Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Marco C.
Have you heard of the Kratky method for strawberries? It is a great way to increase your strawberry yield in hydroponics! We have created this detailed guide on the Kratky method for strawberries to help you understand more to get started!
This method is known to be one of the most passive and simple forms of hydroponics. It is a good idea for those who do not have a lot of time on their hands.
The Kratky method was originally developed by a professor from the University of Hawaii named Bernard Kratky. It can be used to grow many different kinds of vegetables, not just strawberries.
At its basic form, it is growing plants directly in a water solution but it is not aerated. So the Kratky method for strawberries does not require any electricity to operate. This makes it one of the cheapest forms of hydroponics that you can do.
Strawberries are a delicious fruit. If you can grow them without electricity and with very few materials, why would you say no? Continue reading now to learn about the special Kratky method for strawberries.
By the end, you should be ready to get started on your own!
How To Grow Hydroponic Strawberries?
When strawberries are grown in optimum conditions it is a very high producer. In general, they are grown in a place with cooler weather. The optimal temperature range to grow strawberries is between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the University of New Hampshire, strawberries prefer loamy soil with good drainage.
Of course, in a hydroponics system, you are not going to be using any soil. The plants are supported to float above water. Roots sink down into the water to absorb nutrients and moisture.
Each type of plant requires certain PH levels in order for them to grow well. PH level affects the plant’s ability to process and store nutrients.
In a hydroponics system, the PH level will be provided by the PH of your water. Make sure to always measure your PH levels before pumping the water into your plants.
The optimum PH range for strawberries is between 5.8 – 6.2. As long as you keep it around this level, you shouldn’t have any major problems.
This is important to pay attention to using the Kratky method for strawberries. You will need to test your water on a weekly basis to understand its chemistry. If the PH or nutrient levels are out of balance, you will have to add something to alter it.
In the Kratky method, you will need to use a net pot to support your plants. These pots are usually made of plastic and have small holes in them to allow for the roots to grow down into the water.
Learn more about: Growing Strawberries Indoors Hydroponically- All You Need To Know!
What Is The Kratky Method?
As mentioned, the Kratky method is simply growing plants directly in water without doing anything else. In order to do this, you will need to find something to hold the water.
You can use many different things for your water reservoir. The water reservoir is basically anything that holds water and your nutrient solution. We always suggest upcycling something in your house rather than buying new plastic from the store.
From a sustainability perspective, there is enough human-generated waste on this earth. We do not need to contribute to the problem by buying more.
You can upcycle a plastic tub or bucket for your reservoir. Make sure there is a lid to support the net pots from submerging into the water. The net pots will help keep the roots from sinking too deep into the water.
One of the key design points of the Kratky Method for strawberries is that the roots are fully underwater. A small part of the root system should be above the water. This means that you do not need to fill your water reservoir up to the brim.
By doing this, you are ensuring that the roots receive oxygen from the air. This is the reason that you do not need to use an air pump in the water. Leaves and roots both need oxygen to grow.
Basically, you are giving the roots a space of air between the lid and water to breathe. Aside from that fact, you have to sit back and let your plants do the work.
Of course, all plants require light to grow. If you are growing indoors, you need to use special grow lights that mimic natural sunlight. You can buy them from any grow shop in your area.
What Can You Grow With The Kratky Method?
You can grow almost anything using the Kratky method. To grow strawberries, you just need to get started with strawberry seedlings.
Transplant them into your net pot once they have their second set of true leaves. It is best to fill your net pot with a hydroponic growing medium. This can be clay balls, perlite, or coconut coir.
Take your seedlings and place them firmly into the net pot. Be careful to make sure that the roots are not fully submerged in the water. You want your seedlings to have long enough roots for this to occur.
From there, just give your strawberries full sun and sit back and relax. Of course, you will have to provide the proper levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium at the correct times.
Continue to observe your plants to make sure the roots do not fall fully into the water. Make adjustments as needed.
Using the Kratky method for strawberries is perfectly achievable and easy to do. If you are interested in a no-work gardening style, this will be your best friend. You can experiment with growing multiple different kinds of fruits or vegetables to see which ones do best with this style.
Overall it is not easy to get started. So why not give it a try? You have nothing to lose and it will be a good learning experience.
If you try it, share it with us here in the comments. As always, feel free to comment and ask questions below!
Candace is an aquaponics expert with over 5 years of experience in the field. She has a degree in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley and a degree in aquaponics from the University of Florida. She is passionate about sustainable agriculture and has a deep knowledge of aquaculture and hydroponics. She has worked on numerous projects and has been involved in the development of aquaponic systems and fish farms. She also has experience in designing and constructing aquaponic systems. With her expertise, Candace is able to advise clients on the most effective and efficient way to construct and manage their aquaponic system. She is an active member of the aquaponic community, often speaking at conferences and seminars. Candace is dedicated to helping others understand the importance of aquaponics, and she is a strong advocate for sustainable food production.