Hobbies - Gardening
My First Hydroponics Experiment



Kratky Hydroponics


The basic principle behind the Kratky method of hydroponics is that a seed/seedling which is planted in a container with holes at the lower and bottom part is submerged into a big container filled with hydroponics nutrient solution. The roots will then grow longer into the water as the nutrient solution is absorbed by the plant.
Advantages of hydroponics


1. The growth rate on a hydroponic plant is 30-50 percent faster than a soil plant, grown under the same conditions.
2. The yield of the plant is also greater.
3. Hydroponic plants also have fewer problems with bug infestations, funguses and disease. In general, plants grown hydroponically are healthier.
4. Hydroponic gardening uses considerably less water than soil gardening, because of the constant reuse of the nutrient solutions.
5. Less work is involved.
6.No need for herbicides and pesticides.
7.Ideal for people with less garden space.
8.No tilling/weeding.
9. No electricity/air pump required.




Materials Needed


1. opaque, clean water reservoir - styro box, plastic gallon, plastic pail, etc.
2. hydroponics nutrient solution made up of macro and micro nutrients
3. growing medium - coco coir, perlite, gravel, pebble, hydroton,vermicompost, peat moss, rice husk, clay pellet,rock wool, etc.
4. seeds/seedlings
5. net pots or styro cups with holes
Steps in hydroponics set-up


1. Fill the water reservoir with unchlorinated water or rain water.
2. Add nutrient solution and stir well.
3. Create a hole on the lid of the water reservoir large enough to hold the net pots.
4. Put on the lid on the water reservoir.
5. Place the empty net pot into the hole. Make sure that the bottom part of the net pot touches the nutrient solution about 1" deep. Pour more nutrient solution is necessary.
6. Remove the net pot and fill it with the growing media.
7. Make a hole 1/4" deep at the center of the growing medium.
8. Plant the seed/seedling into the hole and cover lightly.
9. Return the net pot into the hole on the lid. The growing medium becomes moist as the nutrient solution wets it by capillary action. The nutrient solution level will recede as the plant grows.
10. Replenish the solution when the level has gone down. Add just enough solution to submerge the bottom half the of the roots.


Note:


The set-up must be placed in an area where it can receive morning sun or near a window but where the rain will not fall on it as the rain water will dilute the nutrient solution.
Day 1. August 9, 2013

I started my hydroponics experiment using the Kratky method. I used a big, clean plastic paint container measuring 4 gallons and filled it with rainwater to about 2 inches from the top. Then I added 30 ml each of nutrient solutions A and B. I used the bottom part of an empty plastic softdrink bottle to be my pot. I've punched some holes in it using an ice pick. Then I filled it with vermicompost. I strung a thread all over the holes in the upper part of the bottle and tied the thread to the handle of the pail to support the plastic bottle so that about half an inch of the bottom of the plastic bottle was submerged into the nutrient solution. Next, I planted 1 cucumber seed into the vermicompost. Then I sprayed some water on the vermicompost and submerged it into the nutrient solution.


Day 2. August 10, 2013

The seedling has sprouted.


Day 4. Aug. 13, 2013.

The seedling has grown about 4 1/2" taller with only 2 seed leaves. The vermicompost was very wet and I was afraid the roots might get rotten so I removed about a liter of nutrient solution making sure that the lower bottom part of my cup is still submerged in the solution. I also covered the surface with plastic to minimize water evaporation as my cup is too wide. The black plastic sheet you can see here is a garbage bag which I used to cover my container because I didn't use the lid of my paint container.I fastened the garbage bag to the side of the pail using clothes pins.


Day 13. August 21, 2013.
Here the seedling has two true leaves. I had replaced the white plastic sheet covering the growing medium with pebbles to cover my growing medium and to support the seedling and to minimize water evaporation.


There are still no roots growing out of my growing cup. Maybe the holes I've punch are too small for the roots to pass through.


Horror of all horrors!!! The stem has broken. I had accidentally touched it with my elbow. This happened on Aug. 21 around 4 p.m. The picture was taken at night time so it isn't very clear.


Day 18.Aug. 26, 2013
.

Praise the LORD. My cucumber is still alive. I had thought of pulling the broken plant last Wednesday because I thought it was already good as dead. But God is so amazing. He gave me the wisdom to let it be. He is a good healer. He mended my plant and now it is growing bigger.


Here you can see the hairlike roots growing inside the cup.
Last Saturday afternoon, Sept. 7, I've noticed that there were already some buds growing and that the two cotyledons were dying. I thought it was a normal occurence. Then on Sunday afternoon, I've noticed that the three leaves right above the cotyledons looked wilted so I checked on my nutrient solution and saw that the solution barely touches the bottom of my growing medium. Also there were only 2 roots growing outside the growing medium which were too short to touch the nutrient solution. So I added a small amount of water which I got from a pail of water where I had added some banana peelings soaking for a few days. I poured the water into the growing cup and not into the nutrient solution. The wilting leaves had recovered after a few minutes. On Monday morning, I saw my first cucumber flower. Then on the afternoon, I added about half a cup of rice washing into the growing cup because I was afraid the leaves will wilt again.


Day 32. September 9, 2013
As you can see here, the cucumber flower has bloomed. There are some flower buds which have not opened yet. The cotyledons are dead.


You can see only 2 roots coming out from the growing medium. The roots are still too short to touch the nutrient solution.


This was taken last Oct. 2. Flowers are blooming but still no signs of the fruits.
October 24. 2013


It's almost 3 months since I started the experiment and I'm sorry to say that I will be terminating it. My cucumber plant isn't doing very well. The leaves have wilted. I haven't been taking good care of it since we had the strongest earthquake last October 15. I plan of doing another one next year with a lot of improvements. I hope next time around I will be successful.
To GOD be the glory
great things He has done.




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My First Hydroponics Experiment (Hobbies - Gardening)    -    Author : Rose - Philippines


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last update : 2013-10-24

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