Hydroponics can be used to grow peppers at any time of the year. Growing bell peppers hydroponically has been demonstrated to provide higher production and higher quality and greater fruit size when done correctly.
Moreover, the hype becomes even more when you can save a lot of bucks without needing electricity. So, today we will be discussing how to grow hydroponic bell peppers using the Kratky method.
Why growing Bell peppers using the Kratky method
- Because hydroponics Kratky systems may be customized to meet the available space, you can grow more pepper plants in less space. In addition, peppers can be grown using the Kratky method at any time of year.
- With this Kratky method of indoor growing system, it is feasible to improve pepper size and production. In addition, the plants get a steady supply of nutrients from the nutrient-rich water, and they don’t suffer from the pests and illnesses that plague soil-grown plants.
- Growing plants using the Kratky method has several benefits, the most important of which is that your plants will develop at a much faster rate. Plants cultivated in the right environment can mature up to 25% faster and yield up to 30% more than plants grown in soil.
- There is no need for soil, which can be advantageous in regions where existing garden soil is poor or for apartment dwellers without access to garden plots.
- Because the system is enclosed, there is less evaporation. As a result, hydroponic plants need less water than soil-based plants.
What bell pepper species can be grown using the Kratky method?
Usually, the larger bell pepper cultivars can be produced using the Kratky hydroponic techniques. California Wonders with a green and red combination, Seminis and Ace, and Yolo Wonder can all be cultivated.
How to Grow Bell peppers using Kratky Method
Before planting the green peppers, fill the hydroponics unit with water and let it run for 2 or 3 days. Then, according to the package directions for the volume of water in the system, add hydroponics nutrients to the water.
Take the green pepper seedlings out of their pots. To carefully remove the soil around the plant roots, dip the root ball in a basin of room-temperature water. Remove as much soil as possible without injuring the roots, and when planting into the hydroponics system, leave a tiny amount of soil on the roots. Each soil-less green pepper plant should be placed in a netted pot with a soilless hydroponics media.
Set the pepper plants somewhat deeper in the new container than they were in the old one. In the hydroponics system, plant one pepper in each netted pot and space the pots 9 inches apart.
The grow tray should be kept at roughly 26°C throughout the germination period. Hence a heating mater is strongly recommended. Otherwise, an additional grow lamp may be necessary to provide the additional heat needed to ensure that your pepper plants sprout viable seedlings on time.
Install indoor grow lights 6 to 8 inches above the tops of the pepper plants over top of the hydroponics. Set the lights on a timer to stay on for 10 to 12 hours every day. To avoid burning the leaves, raise the lights as the pepper plants get taller. In hydroponics, keep an eye on the water level.
Add water as needed to keep the system hydrated for healthy growth. To give sufficient nourishment for development, add nutrients to the hydroponic system every time you add more to the reservoir. Then, based on the amount of water you’re adding, follow the recommendations on the package for the hydroponics nutrients.
When the pepper plants are about 6 to 8 inches tall, pinch off 2 or 3 stem buds to limit branch growth and force the plant’s energy toward pepper production.
When the pepper buds emerge, shake the plants 2 or 3 times a week to aid pollination. To aid pollination, place a small home fan near the hydroponics system and set it to low.
Kratky Method is a low-maintenance technique to improve your gardening skills by employing a stagnant solution to provide the plants what they need while giving space for the roots to “breathe.”
It’s worth mentioning that the Kratky Method can be done in as little as a gallon jug, or you can build a tabletop-sized wooden frame for the Method. The steps are identical, so it’s only a matter of how many plants you want at once.
Challenges of growing Bell peppers using Kratky Method
Placing of equipment should be kept at a high level
The water reservoir should be high enough to reach the roots, but not overflowing. In a container, place the seedlings (2 to 5) and the soilless hydroponic medium.
Place the lights about 8 inches above the peppers and set a timer for 10 to 12 hours each day. Increase the height of the light as the plant grows to avoid scorching the foliage.
Suitable for larger variants
Kratky bell peppers are suitable only for growing large variants of Bell peppers. So you need to provide an ample amount of water.
Be mindful of the Temperature.
The temperature will allow hydroponic bell peppers to develop in a healthy manner. Keep in mind that temperature has an impact on the fruit’s overall development. An abrupt change in this component will diminish the quality of the fruit. Therefore it’s important to keep everything in balance.
More spacing needed
When bell peppers reach their full size, they require a lot of space between them. The optimal spacing for them to grow without competition in the sunshine, soil, and other resources is 24-28 inches.
When adding extra water, keep an eye on the water level and test for nutrient content as well as pH. The optimal pH level is one of the most crucial aspects of any hydroponic culture. If you exceed the ideal level, the bell pepper will be unable to absorb critical nutrients and water minerals,
If you’re growing the plants inside, manually shake them two to three times per week after the buds open, or use a table fan to force pollination. It aids in the dispersal of pollen. To allow energy to go toward pepper production, prune the plants when they reach 6 to 8 inches tall.
Some Tips to keep in mind while growing Bell peppers Using the Kratky method.
Bell peppers might take 70-80 days to mature after germination, depending on the variety. Even though it can be harvested at any time during the mentioned period, the longer it is preserved, the sweeter it becomes. Only the majority of bell peppers become orange, yellow, red, or purple at this time.
So, if you want to get these brightly colored and tasty peppers, a three-week wait will help you get them. The hue changes from yellow to orange to crimson as it progresses. As a result, the wait to harvest bell peppers will be well worth it.
- Viable seeds can be used to grow healthy pepper plants.
- You can utilize cuttings and transplant them to a hydroponics system, but you’ll need to first establish a healthy root system, which means you’ll need to use start plugs.
- Most hydroponics projects require starter plugs. Therefore it’s a good idea to keep a stock of trustworthy starter plugs on hand, so you’re always ready to germinate seeds.
- The germination stage is crucial because you’ll probably get strong mature plants later if you have strong seedlings.
- Once the pepper plants have matured and become heavy with foliage and pods, your hydroponics setup should offer support so that they do not tip over.
- Assemble the hydroponics system in a room with a temperature range of 73 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
- Growing healthy bell peppers necessitates a humidity level of 55 to 65 percent. Although 60-80% is acceptable, it may result in malformed fruits in the case of bell peppers.
- They also require 14-18 hours of light per day. Bell pepper is daylight neutral. Therefore the length of natural light has no effect on pepper flowering, and nighttime is just as crucial as daytime.
- A pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is sufficient for growing bell pepper in a hydroponic setting. Maintain a steady pH rate by not changing the level on a frequent basis. To determine how acidic the water is, use a pH test meter.
- Put on gloves and add small amounts of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide solution to the water if it’s less.
Final Thoughts on growing Kratky Hydroponic Bell peppers
Bell peppers generate more, but they’re also one of the thirstiest plants on the list, requiring 3 gallons of water just for a single plant! This may need the adoption of a greenhouse-style setup or the avoidance of bell peppers.
These aren’t for beginners since they’ll need to be pruned from time to time as they develop. They aren’t ready to harvest until about 90 days after the seedling has formed. So it is advisable that once you have good skills and hands-on, in hydroponics farming, you should definitely try Bell peppers.
Of course, not only will it help you in saving money, but it will give you deliciously huge and vibrant bell peppers.