Indoor farms use soil-free growing systems (hydroponics and aeroponics) and environmental controls to boost crop yield and quality. Currently, indoor farms mostly grow leafy crops (lettuce, herbs) with short life cycles and high commercial value. But to realise the potential of indoor farms to support food security, sustainable food production and human nutrition, indoor farms must be able to grow a greater diversity of crops. Several crops, including table grapes and tomatoes, have been bred specifically to grow in indoor farms. These new types have a suitable plant architecture and fruiting patterns. Previous studies have confirmed that they grow well in hydroponics in both glasshouses and LED-lit vertical farms, but it is unclear how to manage such novel systems to maximise fruit yield and quality. This project will study new grape microvines to investigate the impact of plant nutrition on plant architecture, fruit yield and quality to increase our understanding of how to optimise the management of fruiting crops in indoor farms.

Project members

Primary Supervisor:

Professor Susanne Schmidt

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Associate Supervisor: Cathryn O'Sullivan (CSIRO)