Kratky

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Letsgokate, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    What is the Kratky Method?

    This method was discovered by B.A. Kratky from the University of Hawaii. One of the easiest hydroponic methods for growing vegetables.

    All you need is a container/reservoir to put water and nutrients in for the plants. A lid with holes cut in to hold net pots that are filled with growing media like clay balls, perlite etc and of course seedlings.

    Plants roots are partly submerged into the water and partly exposed to the air. You do that to ensure that plants can get moisture as well as oxygen.

    As the plants grow and use up the nutrient/water mix the level drops and more oxygen is provided to the plants, negating the need for an air stone.

    The container needs to hold enough nutrient for the life of the plant, set and forget. For this reason quick growing veggies like lettuce, Chinese greens etc are best suited for this growing method.

    Many do push the envelope and experiment with different veggies. If you do that, you need to be able to top the reservoir up. I experimented with cucumbers for a bit of fun and it’s certainly an eye opener to how much liquid a plant uses as it grows and fruits.

    It’s great fun and really interesting to see the roots of the plants growing and how big they can get, something you can’t see in soil based growing.

    My 6 year old grandson really loves the “Kratky Method” as he tells everyone and eagerly shows visitors and explains how it works. I am setting up a small Kratky setup for his birthday.

    More information can be found here or doing a google search.

    The below is a video of what I grew using the Kratky Hydroponics.

     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Looks very interesting, Kate.
    Have you done a second crop in the same containers yet?
    What condition was the remaining nutrient in by the time the crop was harvested?
    How long did the fruiting plants live?
    What brand of nutrient mix did you buy?
    Was it an A&B mix?
     
  3. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The recommended about of nutrient per plant for say lettuce or greens is 4l, based on that with the containers I used I could have put another hole or 2 in the lid but I wanted to leave room for growth. They are planted closer together than the recommended amount in soil. That is also part of the beauty of it all up they take up less room.

    There is about 1 1/2 inches of nutrient left in the containers, this will be poured out onto other areas of my garden, so nothing is wasted.

    The idea is once the crop is finished you empty out, give them a wash and start again. I’ve not done this yet, had a visitor all last week :) and I wanted to get seeds started.

    The fruiting plants are still going, I topped them up with fresh water once, and then more nutrient the second time. These were experimental for me just to learn. I have stopped adding anything more to them since I’ve had the dutch buckets going.

    To do fruiting plants in a Kratky setup they need much bigger containers than I used. I’ve seen videos where people have used 200l (44 gallon) drums and putting one or 2 cucumber plants in there and that seems to do them.

    I used Bloom Grow, yes 2 part A & B and also added some Epsom Salts. This was based on recommendations on a friends setup, which once I saw was hooked and thought it was a great idea and all looked easier and simple.

    For fruiting plants there is a Bloom Euro. When I went to Aquagardening for supplies for the dutch buckets he recommended another product, Green Planet Dual Fuel. He said it was more stable in hot conditions and one product will cover pretty well anything I want to grow.
     

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