Which method is best for home growers Kratky Method vs DWC

Which method is best for home growers: Kratky Method vs DWC?


If you are from the same category of people who think the Kratky Method and DWC are the same, then you should definitely not stop reading this.

Though they look similar, there are differences between these two methods. So what are the main differences between these models?

The Kratky method doesn’t use any type of air pump or aeration. Whereas, Deep Water Culture requires constant oxygen supply through air pumps for the plant growth.

People often get confused due to their looks, they look almost similar from the outside. You just cannot identify them without opening the lid and looking inside it.

So did you ever wonder why the Kratky method doesn’t need any aeration? Before knowing the answer to this question, we need to know another thing. Why does the plant root system need oxygen?

Why do plants need oxygen?

Oxygen is considered as an important factor for plant growth. For a plant root to function and perform its activities like absorbing nutrients from the nutrient solution, it needs oxygen.

If enough oxygen is not supplied for the plant root, it will produce very little or no energy. So the uptake process will be slow which leads to the root rot disease in your hydroponic plants that eventually kills all plants in your system.

How Deep Water Culture Works?

Deep water culture is a hydroponic method of farming, it is done by suspending the plant roots in a nutrient-rich solution of oxygenated water. This is also known as Deep flow Technique(DFT), floating raft technique (FRT), or Raceway. This method is called Deep water Culture for two reasons.

The first one is that you typically throw this with a reservoir that can hold a sufficient amount of water. More water is equal to more stability in your nutrient solution. Which basically means less maintenance and monitoring.

The second reason is because of the root mass you submerge in water. Other methods expose your plants roots to air and drench them only a few times a day. The Ebb and Flow method is one example of this. In deep water, the roots are submerged in water 24/7 – Hence the name !

The main difference between Deep Water Culture and the Kratky method is, Kratky method is a passive way of growing plants unlike DWC. A DWC system will require electricity, regular monitoring of roots to check if they are getting enough nutrients and water.

Pros and cons Of Deep Water Culture.


  • You can grow any type of plants including, green leaves, trees or any other crops. You can grow bonsai trees, apple trees in your hydroponic system.
    However, rice and cotton are less popularly grown plants in this system but give wonderful results.
  • As the HydroponicsDWC system is a more popular method of growing plants, we can find a lot of information online to know more about your plant growth system. Even if you have any problems regarding plants, you can just find the right solution online within seconds.


  • Unlike the Kratky method, DWC needs electricity and proper care. It doesn’t mean you don’t need to care for kratky methods, DWC needs more care regularly.

How does the Kratky Method work?

The Kratky method is one of the most unique systems in this Hydroponic system. This is one of the easiest and simplest systems to set up. You can just leave the plant in this Kratky bucket and it can grow passively without electricity or human care.

You can simply transfer the seedlings into the Kratky container. Then the seedling root should be immersed in the nutrient solution. The nutrient solution started to reduce gradually as the plant started growing. It creates a gap between the net pot and the surface of the water as the nutrient solution decreases

The roots present in the air gap develop into roots called air roots. These gaps allow the roots to absorb oxygen that is present in them. This is the reason why the plants in the Kratky method doesn’t need any oxygen supply.

Pros and Cons Of Kratky Method.


  • You don’t need any air pump or oxygen to start this Kratky system. It can save you a lot of money from electricity for running an air pump. So if you want to grow something using Kratky method, you can place the bucket beside a window or door where it can get enough sunlight and leave for 45 days without any monitoring. After 45 days you can find the mature plants.
  • Growing Kratky needs no or less monitoring as we previously discussed. You can get rid of tasks like flushing the system, checking nutrient levels and many more. This is less work when compared to Deep Water Culture.


  • This method is not suitable for growing all kinds of plants. It is the best method for growing short-term crops like leafy greens.
    There are many plants that cannot be grown using this system. Trees also are not suitable for growing in the Hydroponic Kratky system. As trees take a lot of time to reach the harvest stage, it is not recommended to grow this using the Kratky method.


Each method in this Hydroponic method of farming has its own advantages and disadvantages. You should choose the right method of farming according to your planting needs and necessities. 

Frequently Asked  Questions.

1. Is DWC better than Kratky?

The Deep Water Culture requires more water and care when compared to the Kratky method. The Kratky consumed the least because it’s a passive system that doesn’t force the air out.

2. Which hydroponic method is best?

Nutrient Film Technique has been used successfully for many decades, and for it’s simplicity NFT is a highly effective hydroponic growing system. NFT is best suited to fast turn-over crops like leafy greens or when using SOG (sea of green) growing methods.

3. Is Kratky a DWC?

For those of you unfamiliar, the Kratky method is named after B.A. Kratky is a passive growing method. This means that no pumps or electricity are needed during the growth cycle. A young seedling is placed onto a raft, similar to a standard hydroponic raft (DWC) system.

4. Is aeroponics better than hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the clear winner in terms of reusing water, aeroponics consumes less water. Depending on your garden’s size, you might use up to 25% less water with aeroponics than hydroponics. You’ll also require fewer nutrients since it is gently provided rather than washed over the roots.

5. How much water goes in a DWC bucket?

The water level should be approximately 1 inch below the net pot. You must also check how wet the bottom of the net pot will get and adjust the level based on it. A dry bottom will need a slightly higher water level, and an excessively wet bottom might need a lower level of water.

6. What is the easiest hydroponic system to use?

Deep Water Culture (DWC) is the easiest type of hydroponic system that you can build and maintain at home. In this system, the plants grow with their roots submerged directly in nutrient-rich water. For home growers, this can be achieved by growing in large opaque storage containers or buckets.

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