Doing hydroponics without electricity? Check this out
Have you ever wondered whether there is a technique to grow soilless plants? Yes, the answer to it is Hydroponics, Quite simple.
But, more significantly, have you ever considered this without electricity for food storage or production? If you are still wondering about saving a good amount of power, you are at the right place.
Hydroponics provides a means of obtaining fresh and delicious products from gardens of all skills. However, a prominent question these days is how to construct an electricity-less hydroponic system.
Furthermore, several techniques of hydroponic farming remain increasingly popular. So let’s dive deep to understand which strategies that don’t need electricity and if you can set them up at your home or not.
But the first question is, why is electricity required in the first place?
The primary reason for the electricity-energizing hydroponic systems is using water pumps. Those pumps contribute in several ways, depending on the system, to transfer nutrients into plant roots.
Usually, the water reservoirs are placed beneath the plants in a hydroponic system. In such a case, only water pumps can help. They also help with water recirculation and nutrient control and spray nutrient solution at intervals in the hydroponics method.
Can the hydroponics method still work without electricity?
You have more control over the supply of nutrients while employing electricity. That’s obvious.
You can also recirculate the water needed for the plants’ nutrients, as stagnant water does no good.
Your plants will still deliver results with their rapid development rate while employing hydroponic systems that don’t require electricity. It is the Kratky method.
Studies suggest that plant development can be enhanced by directing electric current. However, some contend that when they use electricity other than Plant or produce, they can grow by different techniques; there is no significant difference in growth.
Hydroponic Systems that use electricity
- Deep Water Culture (D.W.C.) – Costless and easy to construct. It has moving components. Preferred mostly by beginners.
- Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.) – It requires moving parts for its active recovery method
- Ebb and Flow System — The solution in the growing tray floods utilizes a pump.
- Aeroponic system — Rooting of plants in air and nutrient-solution sprayed
- Drip System — one of the most frequent hydroponic systems
What is the Kratky method?
A famous researcher, Dr. Kratky of the University from Hawaii, perfected a hydroponic way of growing that does not require power.
This technique is the most effective and simple way to cultivate an infinite supply of greens of all kinds. This is not, however, an ideal strategy for growing huge crops.
The Kratky technique is a non-circulating system, which means the nutrient-rich water does not circulate through it. This makes it ideal for use in off-grid or low-power environments.
Benefits of this Hydroponic system without electricity
- It’s quite simple to set up. Any other hydroponic approach takes the least amount of money, equipment, and technical knowledge.
- It’s a completely passive setup. You won’t have to touch anything else until it’s time to harvest once you’ve got everything set up. Growing in this manner is simple and stress-free.
- It’s a method that’s suitable for beginners. You may try out hydroponics with the Kratky method before investing in an expensive system with timers, regulators, grow lights, and other features.
- Plants cultivated in hydroponic systems also grow significantly faster than plants grown in soil.
- Plants grow quickly and produce a lot of fruit. You aren’t sacrificing any excellent vegetables for the sake of simplicity.
What all you need to set up an electricity-less hydroponic system
- A container or storage tank (preferably a 5-gallon bucket)— depends on the plant size, but a milk jar can be adequate.
- The cover or lid – which is very crucial – prevents pests from entering and avoids evaporating water within the jug.
- Growing medium – preferable, good aeration, pH-neutral. Hydroton is preferable. Also, you can use peat pellets and Rapid rooters.
- Net pots – depending on the size of your Plant
- Tools for measuring pH hydroponic nutrient – help to monitor your system pH level. You can alter pH if you have a pH control kit.
Steps to build a hydroponic system with electricity
Step 1: Choose a nice location to start with. It may be a sunny spot or even indoors with some artificial L.E.D. Lights.
Step 2: Drill a hole large enough to accommodate your net pot. Holes three inches apart works fine for the majority of the plants.
Step 3: Then, to keep the air fully oxygenated, place an airstone into the nutrient reservoir. The airstone helps in producing the bubbles to oxygenate the water.
Step 4: Fill your reservoir with water, either tap water or distilled. The water temperature should be around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, don’t fill it entirely up to the brim. Keep it up to one-third of the net pot.
We don’t have a water pump here. Your Plant’s roots require water from the start of their existence, and this method ensures that they will never dry out! Stir in the hydroponic nutrients in the recommended proportions.
Step 5: Check the pH of your solution using the pH kit; it should be between 5.5 and 6.5. If the pH falls outside of the range, use the pH control kit to correct it.
Step 6: Then, you have to put the growing medium in the Plant. This should allow only the roots to sit in the solution. Your Plant’s roots will grow eventually into the nutrient solution and are fully immersed in nutrient-rich, well-oxygenated water.
As your plant grows, it will consume more water, causing the water level in your bucket to drop.
Your Plant’s roots, on the other hand, will grow down into the nutrient solution, providing them with all of the nutrients and water they require.
Why is the lid important?
- It is critical to cover the container. It protects the system from outside influences such as bugs, rainfall, and temperature.
- Many individuals choose to grow in the open air to take advantage of the most amount of sunlight.
- Make sure that no rainfall enters the tank. If you use too much of it, the water level in your system will rise, and your plants will drown.
- Additionally, the pH and ppm levels in your system may vary in the future.
Which Nutrient solution should you choose?
In the market, there are a few general-purpose hydroponic nutrition solutions. All will function properly and are simple to use. There are many vegetable-specific nutrient treatments available as well; however, these can be costly.
To keep your plants healthy and fruitful, you’ll need to mix fertilizer with water within your Kratky reservoir.
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium are the three most important nutrients for any plant (K). Above all, your plants require these three nutrients, known as NPK. Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are also vital nutrients.
The best method to make nutrient compost
Making traditional compost tea is a simple way to create your own fertilizer solution. Simply prepare compost tea with either worm compost or normal compost.
The compost tea should then be mixed 50/50 with water.
This is a much more cost-effective way to support your hydroponic system. To assist the circulation of the nutrients in a non-circulation Kratky system utilizing compost tea, agitate the solution frequently.
What kinds of plants can you grow with the Kratky method?
Plants that can be grown with the Kratky Method include leafy greens and other plants that develop quickly. Lettuces, spinach, and herbs are among them. Larger plants, such as tomatoes or peppers, can be grown, but they will require a larger pot.
Another amazing Kratky project is broccoli. While broccoli requires more water and grows more slowly than other brassicas like kale and collard greens, it can produce excellent yields in a Kratky system.
Along with leafy greens, herbs are another type of food that goes exceptionally well with Kratky.
Most herbs grow quickly and don’t require much water, making them ideal for use in your Kratky system.
The following are some of the simplest herbs to produce using the Kratky method: Basil, Chives, Dill, Cilantro, Endive, Sage.
Challenges you might face in an electricity-less hydroponic system
1. Keep an eye out for pests:
The water will be still because you aren’t using a pump to disturb it. Mosquitoes, for example, may become attracted to this. To avoid this, ensure your reservoir is free of any insects or pests.
2. Make sure the water level is in good condition:
Because you won’t be changing or modifying the water in your reservoir, it’s critical, to begin with, using high-quality water. This refers to water that is within the proper pH range. You need to start by adding distilled water, followed by adding your nutrients, and then correcting pH with the help of a meter.
3. Fluctuating pH levels
pH levels can change in a tiny reservoir, so keep an eye on them. If the pH is out of a set range, your plants will not absorb the nutrients in the water. So you need to do testing daily to keep your pH in the appropriate ranges.
4. Best for growing leafy plants, but not fruit-bearing plants:
The Kratky Method is a straightforward, hands-off approach. Growing plants that demand more nutrients and water later in life, such as fruit-bearing plants, is complex.
Though you get to save a lot of electricity apart from other useful advantages of this Kratky method. However, remember to keep an eye out for the challenges you might face. This will result in lovely hydroponic plants, healthy yield and amazing taste with minimal expenditure
Is there a lot of electricity used in hydroponics?
When compared to lighting expenditures, pumps and other machinery used in hydroponic agriculture utilize comparatively little electricity. Even the least-used devices will add to your utility cost. Finally, the high electricity expenses of hydroponic gardening are passed on to the consumer.
How long should a hydroponic air pump run?
In most cases, 30 minute minimum on/off time settings are sufficient. A pump timer is required for any Ebb & Flow system, Drip system, Aeroponic system.
Is a hydroponics air pump required in hydroponics?
Some hydroponic systems require air pumps since the majority of the Plant’s roots are submerged in water. However, plants grown in hydroponic systems that expose more roots, such as the Kratky Method, do not require an air pump to work.