What is the Kratky Method?
The Kratky Method is a simplified hydroponic system in which the plants are suspended above a reservoir containing a nutrient solution. As the plants access the water, the nutrient solution levels fall. As the solution levels get lower, the roots of the plant grow downwards to access more resources. This is merely a simplified introduction to the method, and those interested should research more thoroughly before attempting it. Today we will focus on applying our Holland Secret 3-part Fertilizer to the Kratky Method of growing using hydroponics.
Hydroponics is a soilless growing medium in which you grow plants in liquid. Generally they are grown in a nutrient solution mixed with water.
What fertilizers should I use?
The fertilizers used for this method are relatively simple, consisting of a 4-18-38 blend, Calcium Nitrate, and Epsom salt. However, in Canada the 4-18-38 blend is not available resulting in those wanting to use this method often finding issues figuring out a proper feeding program. That’s where we come in! Using a 3-part system offers huge amounts of flexibility, as changing the ratios can allow for the replicating of most feeding programs.
We recommend our Holland Secret 3-Part Fertilizer:
What measurements should I use?
We did the hard part for you and looked at the amount of each individual nutrient that this feeding program is providing the crop and made adjustments accordingly. From that, this is what we recommend:
Note: It is a lucky coincidence the measurements for each nutrient came out equal! When using a nutrient solution of another brand measurements may vary.
For growing leafy greens we recommend increasing the nitrogen and lowering the phosphorus.
Don't worry about the flushing stage for vegetables, we only recommend flushing for crops that are meant for smoking!
The premise behind Kratky is you add a fairly weak solution of nutrients and as the water is used up the fertilizers will also be used up! This keeps the salinity from going too high and the grower won't have to do much further adjustment.
If you plants start wilting or the leaf tips turn brown, the solution has gone too strong (due to evaporation) and water should be added or your solution replaced.
For those of you interested in using the Kratky Method on tomatoes, we recommend supplementing with a Calcium and Magnesium nutrient as tomatoes have a high demand for Calcium. Do not add to the initial solution as it may be too strong for a young plant. Instead, add our Calnesium or Organical Magic nutrient once flowering begins. Add at a rate of 8 mL per 4 liters (1 gallon) for the remaining volume of nutrient solution (not the initial volume of solution you started the plants out with).
Like other hydroponic methods, always remember to keep a close watch on pH and TDS levels (total dissolved solids). This is most important in warmer conditions as water may quickly evaporate and render the solution too strong which could damage the plant.
Good luck! And remember you can always reach out to @futureharvestdevelopments on instagram if you have any questions or need advice.