Off-Grid Hydroponics - The Kratky Method & Floating Raft Hydroponics
Loss of electricity is a concern for any hydroponic grower. 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 less expensive.
Introducing the Kratky method, developed by a professor from the Univ. of Hawaii. He found a setup that would allow you to grow plants in a static nutrient solution without the need for electricity.
The Kratky Method 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.
There is also the excellent floating raft with aeration method. The video shows how simple the set-up is. As with any method, there will be some trial and error involved for your specific plants, but simple methods can be very effective.
These methods are like an inexpensive insurance policy for a grower using air and water pumps. Even if there is an extended power outage, you have insured that some of your crops will be fine. Or they are perfect for the grower interested in off-grid independence.
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- Amir Ali Shaikh