Urban Farmer: * Kratky Unleashed * GH Winter Garden * Share your photo!

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Urban Farmer: * Kratky Unleashed * GH Winter Garden * Share your photo!
March 01, 2015


The Urban Farmer, Issue #080 * Kratky Unleashed * GH Winter Garden * Share your






“A garden must combine the poetic and the

mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.”

~Luis Barragan



non-circulating hydroponics

~ By DianneMW

A friend of mine, Ingrid, started growing her own lettuce mix at home using a

non-circulating hydroponics system.  I was very interested in what she was doing

because it requires no electricity and only a one time nutrient feed.  She sent

me brief, but great, instructions and I did a little research on the Kratky

method of hydroponics and decided to share what I’ve done.

These instructions are brought to you after six months of successful growing. 

Ingrid had been growing for a year by the time I gave it a try.

Before you begin, choose where you will keep your setup, on a table with some

indirect sunlight or under house eaves is best.  Once the tub is

full of water

it is very difficult to move the system.  You can also grow indoors under light

if you want, I don’t because I live in Hawaii and we have a year round growing

season that allows me to use good ol’ sun light.

Underbed box 41 QT/39 L (approx 35″ X 17″ X 6″) and/or 5 gallon bucket (I will

be using both in these instructions)


Utility knife

Tape measure

Plastic paint primer and paint

1/2 inch x 1/2 inch elbow (optional)

Rubber grommet 3/4 inch OD x 7/16 inch ID (optional)

Clear vinyl tubing 1/2 inch OD x 3/8 inch ID (optional)

1/2 inch drill bit (optional)

2 inch hole saw

8 – 2 inch net cups per lettuce bed.


Strap to hold shape of container once it’s filled with water

PH water testing kit

Hydroponic nutrient (your choice of brand)

Lettuce seeds

Place to set up your lettuce beds

This setup should come in at under $30

With the

Kraty method of non-circulating hydroponics it’s important to remember

that one gallon of nutrient water per plant is an optimal ratio when growing

lettuce… so with the under the bed storage box I used, I drilled eight, evenly

distributed, holes in the lid using the two inch hole saw.  Use the utility

knife to scrape off any plastic and smooth out the holes.

This box is a 10 gallon box, but I only fill it up to eight gallon so that there

is a space of humid air for the plant roots to derive oxygen since this system

doesn’t aerate with mechanization.  

I use this type of container for lettuce because the roots are shallow and I

want a good amount of space for my plants to grow.  There are other types of

totes that hold the same amount of water, but the shape and depth aren’t what I

considered optimal for lettuce growing.


like to keep track of the water level in my reservoir, so I also

drill a 1/2 inch hole on the side to insert a tube to monitor what’s

happening on the inside.  If you decide to include this step you

have to be very careful drilling the hole.  

I think starting with a small bit and graduating to larger ones

until you reach the 1/2 inch bit might be best if the plastic is


I’ve cracked the plastic a few times and had to use food grade

plastic epoxy on the damage in order to use the container.  It’s not

too big of a deal because you still need to paint the container and

the repair will be camouflaged.  


For a complete set of illustrated directions to build this

super-simple setup,  visit:





 Hoops of Hope (Our original Hydroponic SURVIVAL GREENHOUSE)

We have a great new start on a winter garden in our

hoop Solexx panel greenhouse. We have decided to wait until after harvest of

the winter crop to put in place solar powered units. It should be much

more clear how this works and how best to arrange in a greenhouse

without plants in the way. So look forward to that in the spring. Below

are pics of our winter hydroponic garden today, 2/28/15:

Video of the Month:

The Simple Beauty of the Kratky Method



Hydro Tip of the Month- 

Have A Great Photo of your Hydroponic


Share it with us here:



We hope you have enjoyed this issue of The Urban Farmer Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, gardening quote or idea, plus fresh new hydroponics news, techniques & products.

Insiders tips to get you growing…


~Stella and Simon from


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