Introduction: Non-Circulating Hydroponics
Super affordable hydroponics.
Grow for a fraction of the cost of other commercial systems.
Easy to learn- Start small.
Great for a backyard.
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: The Secret of Non-Circulating Hydroponics
(The Kratky Method)
This system works great - on any size scale.
One more way to grow without power or pumps!
Step 2: Theory and Steps
Anyone familiar with the “Kratky Method” understands the
- upper roots stay aerated
- capillary roots feed and grow.
A series of hole placements in the hydro-cups was an essential part of its success.
The holes are really just pencil points, not quite as large as they appear here. And when someone’s punching hundreds of them, they aren’t always perfectly lined up, but the concept is pretty clear. Aerate the top and grow roots out the bottom.
We used 10 oz styro-foam cups. Not bio-degradable but reusable. The lip was perfect, the holes could be punched out by hand, and they were cheap. We reused them until they were falling apart.
Step 3: Building Your System
Decide how many plants you want to grow and build that size hydro-bed(s). Small, medium or lots..
If your bed is a plastic tub, no need for this step.
The thicker sheets of styro-foam don’t work as well, although
they’re stronger. The 3” thickness can interfere with the aeration of the hydro-cup.
The floating method works well, but if styro-foam sheets are used, the water eventually breaks it down and the sheets break apart really easily.
The dryer you keep the styro-foam, the longer it lasts, and the less fungus and algae growth occurs. Be careful not to lean on it or let animals (raccoon, cats) race over them.
Step 4: Grow Right on the Ground- or Not.
Great way to get started cheap.
The ground is the bottom, so just sides are needed. Nail a 6”x 4’x 8’ frame together, (or any size frame) and plastic line it. Screw a pvc hoop frame over it, use 1x2’s as support and attach plastic.
Step 5: PH and Fertilizer
Remember to check the pH of your water and use a buffering agent if needed before you add the fertilizer.
Measure the fertilizer carefully. Use suppliers to help figure ratios to your tank/hydro-bed.