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IPFS News Link • Food

Hydroponics: How To Grow Food With A Kratky Jar

• Organic Prepper - Amy Allen

Need a means of boosting your food production in a tiny, indoors space? Why not set up a Kratky jar? This is a low-cost, low-maintenance, high-output means of food production that can help you to grow a wide number of foods in your kitchen. What does it entail? Let's take a closer look…

What is a Kratky jar?

Kratky jarThe Kratky method of hydroponics was discovered by Bernard Kratky, Emeritus Horticulturalist at the University of Hawaii. It's a passive method, requiring no pumps, fans, or anything fancy. Kratky jars can be made from just about anything, from a standard Mason jar to an old plastic creamer bottle. Some Kratky systems are very large and fancy, utilizing large totes or tanks. The only limit is your imagination and what's in your possession.

This method is ideal for apartment & condo dwellers since it requires so little space or equipment. It's also very adaptable and can be used to grow anything from greens & herbs to tomatoes, peppers, squashes, and cucumbers. (It's not well suited to root crops, however, since the vegetables will tend to break the reservoir.)

This article will teach you the basic principles and setup of a Kratky passive hydroponics system. I'll also include my experiences so far setting up my first Kratky system. 

The basic setup is very simple.

The little plant is suspended in a net pot containing some kind of structural component, such as rock wool, coco coir, or peat moss. The reservoir is filled with nutrient-containing water, and there should be an air space in the jar. Most plants don't like wet feet, and they need oxygen just as much as we do.

The plant roots will grow down into the solution as they feed, making the air space larger as the nutrient solution is used up.

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