A major concern for people today is loss of electricity. If you are running a hydroponic system with air and water pumps, this can be a serious problem. Even with solar backup, it’s not easily dealt with. It would be nice to find a way to grow leafy vegetables in a hydroponic setup without any concern for the power going out, in a true off-grid manner. Plus, with no need for pumps, it would be a lot less expensive.
There is a way to do accomplish this goal. It is called the Kratky method, developed by a professor from the Univ. of Hawaii. He found a setup that would allow you to grow the plants in a static nutrient solution without the need for aeration.
I am testing Mr Kratky’s method and have learned a couple of things that that will help in the future. First off, it does work…and very well. It is so simple, just set it and forget it. But, for each setup, you need to be consistent in what you grow. Not all plants grow at the same rate, and if you’re not careful, the faster growing plants will consume the water and the slow growing plants will be left hanging. I saw this first hand.
The traditional floating raft with aeration has worked excellent as well. Swiss Chard, Arugula, Tatsoi Asian Greens…. they have all done great.
We’ll take a close look at some of the roots, and I think you’ll be impressed with just how clean everything is. And the Chard roots may surprise you with their colors.
In closing, if money is tight, or you’re short on time. … I don’t think you’ll find a simpler or more productive way to grow leafy vegetables than what I’m using in this video.
My nutrient formula: http://youtu.be/vYv9iu2NI3M