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Hydroponics is one of the most exciting ways of growing food. With hydroponic systems, the roots of plants have unrestricted access to oxygen, which leads to healthier roots, which results in healthier plants.
Hydroponics systems are also easy to set up and maintain and don’t require much space. The most remarkable thing about hydroponic systems is that they can be used indoors or outdoors and can be scaled to match the size of your area. This article will cover the Kratky method as a Hydroponic system for growing food.
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The Kratky Method: Easy Way of Hydroponics
This method is a great way to grow plants indoors. With the Kratky process, you adopt a hydroponic approach without pumps, wicks, or electricity. It closely resembles a hands-off technique for growing. In the Kratky method, you fill a bucket halfway with nutrient solution and then place your growing container inside the bucket.
Then, you top up the bucket with enough water to fill it up and put a screen over the top so that the water can’t drain back into the bucket as the plant roots grow. Most people use clear plastic containers to grow their plants. The container should have a lid to ensure that the roots are not exposed to light.
The container should be filled with a growing medium. Many different mediums can be used. For example, you can use rock wool, perlite, or vermiculite. These mediums allow for aeration, water retention, and drainage. The container will have to be filled with nutrient solutions.
The solution can be made from water and fertilizer. The nutrient solution should be changed periodically, and the medium should be checked for pH levels. The roots will grow down to the bottom of the container.
The roots will be able to absorb the nutrients in the nutrient solution. The roots will use the nutrients to grow, and the plant will use the nutrients to grow as well. As the plant grows more prominent, it will stretch and reach upward while the roots grow downwards. The downward growth to the bottom of the container will access the water.
The roots will absorb the nutrients in the nutrient solution. The nutrients will be used to grow the plant. When the water level drops, nutrients will deplete, and plants will need more nutrients to keep growing. When the nutrient level in the water gets low, you add more nutrients to the water to keep the plants growing.
What Do You Need for This Method?
You can find a list of everything you need to get started with the Kratky method in this article:
- A Bucket- A plastic bucket is best, but you can also use a glass jar or a pitcher. Be sure to get a bucket that’s at least 4 gallons in size. The size of the bucket will vary depending on how big you want the system to be and the size of the plant.
- A pH Kit- This is useful for checking the pH levels of the system. A pH control kit may also come in handy to help adjust the levels when necessary.
- Net pots- The net pots will vary depending on the size you prefer and the setup of your system.
- A Lid /screen- but you can also use a piece of window screen or cloth. It keeps the pests away and also prevents the water from evaporating.
- A substrate- The best substrate for this is perlite. However, you can also use rock wool, coco coir, or any other inert material.
- A light source- A light source is optional, and you can get away without one if you have good ambient light and a timer. However, a light source will help you keep track of your plants’ growing patterns, and it can be helpful in some strains.
The Pros of This Method (Advantages)
It’s a straightforward system, and it’s hands-off. The rule with Kratky is as simple as it gets: just put your net pots in the reservoir and let the water do the work for you.
Kratky systems deliver the appropriate amount of nutrients right to the roots. The plants get their nutrients in a form that they can absorb easily and efficiently.
It is economical in the long run. With a Kratky system, you save money on electricity usage. It would help if you still used an air pump to oxygenate your reservoir, but you can control how much air your plants get.
The Kratky Method also has a built-in safety feature in that it’s easy to tell when you’ve overwatered your plants. The water doesn’t drain out of the reservoir, so if you’ve added too much water, it’s easy to tell and fix.
No airstone, no problem. Because there’s no air pump, you’ll need to use a small aquarium air pump with a sponge and air stone to keep the reservoir oxygenated.
The Cons of This Method (Disadvantages)
One of the downsides of this setup is that you have to change your reservoir every few days, depending on how much you feed your plants.
The Kratky method is excellent for small growers, but the risk of root rot increases when the plants are submerged in water, so be sure to use quality growing media.
The method is primarily optimal for leafy greens. Being such a simple method of growing food, plants that bear fruits cannot thrive well due to nutrients and water availability limitations. It is perfect for plants such as spinach and lettuce, while plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers will struggle in this system.
Due to the unavailability of an airstone, this system setup is likely to attract pests, especially mosquitoes. Problems with the water quality and pH of the nutrient reservoir are likely to emerge in the Kratky method.
It’s not the most efficient system. The roots are growing in a pretty large reservoir, and the oxygen from the air pump can’t get to all of them. It’s also not the best for plants that like really clean water.
The Kratky method is a simple hydroponics system, but that doesn’t mean people face some common problems. Even though the technique has its setbacks, it’s still one of the simplest and most effective ways to grow leafy greens.