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Hydroponics without Electricity: Step-by-Step Guide

Hydroponics is a modern farming method that allows you to grow foods without soil which does save you a lot of costs and ensures higher yield. However, electricity is an important factor for most hydroponic systems. It is needed to provide the plants with oxygen among other important actions. Fortunately, not all hydroponic systems make use of oxygen.

hydroponics without electricity

Hydroponics without Electricity

If you’re one of those growers looking to set up a hydroponic system without electricity, then you’re on the right page. In this article, we are going to get you started on how to set up a hydroponics system without electricity

Types of Hydroponics Systems

There are many different types of hydroponics systems out there, each with its growing requirements and needs. Among the most popular options only two that don’t require electricity. The most popular hydroponics systems include 

    • Wick System – The system is very simple to set and does not require the use of moving parts. There is no electricity require as well).
    • Kratky System – This system is also simple and makes use of no moving parts or electricity 
    • Deep Water Culture (DWC) – This is one of the most effective systems used to grow a wide vareity of plants. It requires electricity for its air pump. 
  • Ebb and Flow System (Flood and Drain) – This method floods the system with the solution and then drains it back. This action requires a pump that needs electricity to operate.
  • Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T) – This system comes with moving parts and requires electricity.
  • Drip System – This system also makes use of electricity for its moving parts. It requires electricity.
  • Aeroponic System – In an aeroponics system, the plant roots are suspended in air, and sprayed with nutrient solution. This system requires constant electricity.

How to Set Up a Hydroponics System Without Electricity

If you want to set up a hydroponics system without electricity, then the wicks system or the kratky system. This guide will help you get started with the Kratky system. 

What is the Kratky Method?

The Kratky method is a hydroponics method developed by B.A. Kratky This method is actually a variation of the Deep Water Culture method that doesn’t require a pump or electricity.

While the Deep Water Culture is easy-to-build and uses the Kratky makes things a lot easier without spending more. 

Also known as the “set it and forget it” technique, once set up, the grower won’t have to worry about constantly checking on the plants. The Plants will get all the nutrients, water, and oxygen they need from this passive system without any extra input. However, the kratky system doesn’t make for the best choice for a wide variety of plants, especially larger plants. 

How does the Kratky Hydroponic System work? 

The Kratky method supplies plants with oxygen, nutrients, and water, in a simple setup technique that doesn’t require any extra work from the grower. 

In this method, the nutrients are added to the container/reservoir. The plants would be placed into net pots usually filled with the growing media (usually hydroton or rockwool) and held by a lid. The net pot is set on a hole drilled in the lid so that it is just touching the water.

This system only leaves the plants roots partly submerged in the water and partly exposed to the air. As the plants grow, the water level drops, and the roots will grow further to reach the nutrient solution. The gap in the lid that supplies the air will aerate the exposed roots. 

The result is that the plants are able to take up sufficient nutrients, water, and oxygen.

Materials Needed

  • Container/reservoir: The size of the container would depend on how large the plants are and how many of such plants you want to grow. In most cases, a 5-gallon black bucket would do. However, only make your choice based on your expectations. 
  • A lid: The lid is very important. You can go for a plastic lid. You will need the lid to protect the plants from pests and disease. It will also prevent water in the container from evaporating. 
  • Net pots: These pots will hold the seedlings and the plant when it grows. The option to go for is based on the size of the plants. The bigger the plants, the bigger the net cup. 
  • Growing medium: This will support the plants as they grow. It takes the place of soil. You can go for Hydroton as it is easy to work with and pH neutral. It also allows for good air aeration
  • A pH control kit:  The pH kit is required to check the pH level of your system. This helps you to keep the pH within the acceptable range to ensure the plants grow properly. 

How to set up a Kratky system

Step 1:

Drill/cut several holes into the lid to place and hold a net pot. The holes should be large enough to hold the net cup but not too large so the cup doesn’t fall through.

Step 2:

Fill the reservoir with distilled or clean tap water 

Step 3:

Add the Hydroponic nutrients. Ensure you follow the instruction on the bottle. When done, stir to ensure it mixes well. 

Step 4:

Using the pH testing kit. check the pH level of your solution. The optimal pH range for plant growth is within 5.5 – 6.5.

Step 5:

Adjust the pH level with the pH kit if needed. Ensure you’re within 5.5 to 6.5.

Step 6:

Place plants into the net pot, and then the net pot with growing media onto the drilled lid. 

Types of plants can you grow with Kratky Method

The Kratky method only allows you to grow a limited number of plants. With this method, you should be able to grow leafy greens properly, as well as other plants at a fast-growing rate.

Some examples include lettuce, spinaches, and herbs. You can also grow larger plants like tomatoes and peppers, however, growing such plants will require a lot of supervision. You will have to check the water level and pH at all times to ensure they are at the right levels.