Vegetables grow well in soil from Mars supplied by Nasa in experiment in Netherlands, scientists say

Tomatoes, peas, rye, rocket, radish and cress have grown in soil from Mars

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The Independent Online

Scientists have taken a leaf out of the script of The Martian by showing how easy it would be to grow your own veg on the Red Planet.

In the hit Ridley Scott film, a stranded astronaut played by Matt Damon uses his botanical skills to cultivate potatoes.

Now his success has been emulated by researchers in the Netherlands who harvested tomatoes, peas, rye, rocket, radish and cress raised on simulated Martian soil supplied by Nasa.

Yields were unexpectedly high and matched those of vegetables grown in ordinary potting compost.

The lead scientist, Dr Wieger Wamelink, from Wageningen University, said: “That was a real surprise to us. It shows that the Mars soil simulant has great potential when properly prepared and watered.”