DIY Hydroponics From Stuff in Your House.

DIY Hydroponics

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….

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16 Comments

    • Thanks – trying to help people to get started with this wonderful hobby. Of course like any other hobby, it can get away from you in terms of cost and how much equipment you buy. The mason jar is a very simple approach that anyone can try. If you go crazy – and buy some like the Verti-Grow units which I have 3 of… Thanks fo dropping by.

  1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this post and the video as well. I think this is a cool idea. It’s cheap, eco-friendly, and most importantly, it’s healthy for you. Great stuff. Thanks!

  2. this seems to be a great idea it’s cost-efficient you let us know about not using too much fertilizer are it will burn the plant up think I’m going to try this out would just like to see if it has any health benefits vs the traditional way of growing

    • The health benefits really come from actually knowing what you are putting into the plants. By growing indoors you can control plant exposure to insects and other pests. Besides being able to have fresh year-round greens is a big plus. Haven’t been able to grow lettuce so far with the DIY. Just planted some starters – hopefully this time they will turn out.

  3. This is cool. I am a big home gardener and these ideas for a hydroponic system are great. I found it especially interesting to note the details of the airspace between the plant and the water surface.

    • Thanks for noticing that – not leaving enough air space has been one of those more than I want to have happened errors that I keep repeating. Just started some new seeds that I am going to do the Mason Jar approach. Thanks for dropping by.

    • The DIY method is simple and very inexpensive to start with. I am setting up a DIY Mason Jar setup along with an AeroGarden – will post on how each one goes and how fast they produce. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Thanks for the comment – Hydroponics is a great way to grow your own healthy food. Let me know how you do. Again thanks for dropping by.

  4. This is incredible! We live in an apartment with no place for growing anything – but I think we could definitely do this! Thanks for the inspiration, I will give this a try!

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