A Mason Jar and Yogurt Container Walk Into a Bar
DIY hydroponics from stuff in the house. Ran into this great DIY approach to grow lettuce year-round and it’s affordable – I mean, really really affordable. like dirt cheap affordable. All you need are mason jars, yogurt cups, newspaper. This great video from “Mefford Endeavors LLC” made in 2015 is very straight forward and will walk you step by step on how to use mason jars and yogurt cups to setup a “Kratky Method” hydroponic system. Kratky is a passive technique where you suspend plants above a reservoir of nutrient-rich water. Kratky is named after Bernard Kratky, researcher at the University of Hawaii.
Be Mindful Of
What you really need to mindful is not totally immersing the roots of you plant in the water. What I have found surprising is that roots need oxygen to grow well. In a Kratky passive system plant grows and depletes the water level, a gap of moist air will form and expand between the water surface and the base of the plant. The roots in this gap become laterally branching “oxygen roots,” and absorb oxygen from the air inside the container. By the time the water level is fully depleted, the plant should be ready to harvest. So, in one growing cycle, no additional replenishment of water or nutrients is needed beyond the initial application.
Don't Over Fertilize
The other concern is not to over fertilize – this is one of the biggest mistakes I have made too many times. The plant is not growing well, so I must need to add more nutrients in the water? Rrrrrrright – the answer is wrong, definitely a big no. What I like about this video he uses readily available Miracle Grow Tomato water soluble fertilizer. Please note how he figures out the amount of Miracle Grow to use.
Here Comes the Sun!
Last of all, either paint your jars, use newspaper or if you have them use the colored jars to eliminate direct sunlight to the actual jar itself. Sunlight promotes algae growth in the jar which besides being yucky – will eat up your nutrients. So, enjoy….