Aeroponics and Kratky are systems of growing food without soil. The Kratky method is one of the easiest to get started with, especially for farmers that have budget constraints and looking for a method with a high rate of success but low costs.
Aeroponics, on the other hand, is a more advanced method that uses newer technology. It also requires greater expertise but offers a higher chance of success and more profitability.
In general, both systems deliver nutrients and water to the plants without requiring the soil. In this article, we will explore the differences and benefits of both aeroponics and Kratky hydroponics system to determine which is best.
What is Aeroponics?
In an aeroponics system, the roots of the plants are suspended in the air and irrigated with a nutrient-dense mist. This mist provides the nutrients and water needed for the plants while increasing the plant’s access to oxygen and other needed gases. This setup also boosts the plant’s root health and growth rate.
The aeroponics system can save up to 30% of water which makes it a better option than hydroponics When compared with traditional farming, it uses 95% less water. This is due to there being less evaporation from growing media and only a bit of water is required in the medium.
What is the Kratky Method?
In the Kratky hydroponics system, a small portion of the roots is submerged into a body of nutrient-rich water. The remaining part of the root is left exposed so it takes in enough oxygen. The system leaves out an air gap to give the plant access to oxygen and any other gases.
Among all hydroponics systems, the Kratky is one of the most effective and easiest to start. With Kratky, there is less chance of the roots becoming water-logged and oxygen deprived. This ensures the farmer gets a high yield.
Aeroponics vs. Kratky: Pests & disease
When it comes to pests and diseases, aeroponics systems have more promise. The benefits come from a well-aerated root thanks to the aeroponics setup. In aeroponics, the plants are suspended in the air and the mist of water and nutrients is applied directly to them.
This ensures that the growing media remains dry which makes the plants less prone to infections or mold. The chance of pests or disease outbreaks is also reduced through the use of UV sterilization and filtration within the water recapture and reuse process.
In the Kratky hydroponic system, water will have to saturate through the growing media to irrigate the roots which makes the matting and beds difficult to keep clean The stagnant water and artificial light make for the perfect habitat and encourage algae growth on the hydroponic beds.
Aeroponics vs. Kratky: Precision irrigation
The aeroponic system allows for more precise irrigation of plants. The irrigation can easily be controlled based on the crops being grown. Thanks to the use of automatic timers, you can set when the plants will be irrigated, the precise amounts, and the specific period of time. This is unlike a Kratky system where the crops are saturated in water.
Submerging the roots as done in the Kratky method makes it difficult to manipulate the irrigation process. This makes it difficult to grow different kinds of plants on a single Kratky system. You must grow the same kinds of plants that have similar requirements when it comes to nutrient absorption.
Aeroponics allows you to provide water, nutrients, and gas based on the individual requirements of the plants. These requirements can be adjusted based on the plant’s developmental stage which makes aeroponics a better option for commercial growers.
Aeroponics vs. Kratky: The cost of growing
Affordability or cost-efficient farming is one of the major concerns of farmers. This is where the Kratky method becomes the best choice to go for. The Kratky system is easier to use and build within your home. This is why it is often found in grow-at-home kits, or the best choice at lower cost, lower output horticultural facilities.
This growing medium does not require any extra components to generate mist or provide nutrients for the plants. This brings the capital cost to the lowest when compared with aeroponics.
Compared with aeroponics systems, the equipment is not 100% reliable and they are also very expensive to set up. The initial cost of the equipment plus the electricity required to run is one of the reasons why there are not widely adopted.
Talking about reliability, the nozzles used to create mist in an aeroponics system can often clog and break which will lead to the failure of the system and the death of the plants. This makes this system a high-risk farming method even though it offers yield benefits better than many other systems.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, there are unique nozzle-less systems that reduce the chances of failure though they will add to the cost of production.
Aeroponics vs. Kratky: Yield quality
When it comes to the yield of crops and profitability, aeroponic systems tend to be the better option due to their higher productivity speeding up your growth cycles. The faster the plant grows, the less labor and energy would have to be put towards the plant which makes it more profitable.
However, before growing crops via aeroponics and the Kratky method, you need to check and ensure that the crops you are looking to grow are economically viable within your market. Overall, aeroponics tends to offer better benefits when growing crops with short growing cycles. This makes them a better option when it comes to yield and productivity.
Aeroponics vs. Kratky: Which System is Better?
Compared to the Kratky method, the aeroponics system is very expensive to set up. It also requires a lot of attention to run and is very risky if there is a failure in the system. The Kratky method is easier to run and won’t cost much to get started. Overall, the Kratky method is the best option for DIY farmers looking to grow simple crops.
For commercial farmers looking to grow a wide range of crops, the aeroponics method offers a high yield and more profits. The method allows you to grow large fruits which could be a problem with the Kratky system.