Have you ever wondered if there is a way to grow plants without soil? More importantly, have you ever thought about how you would survive if there was no electricity to store or grow food?
If you answered yes to either of these scenarios this article is for you.
Learning how to make a hydroponic system without electricity is a popular topic these days. In addition, various forms of hydroponic agriculture continue to increase in popularity.
It’s also a great way to grow plants in areas of the world that cannot support soil-based agriculture.
Hydroponics provide a way for gardeners of all skill levels to get the fresh, delicious produce they all crave. It’s also a great way to explore different foods and share with your community.
Let’s take a deep dive into hydroponics and learn what it is, and uncover how you can make a hydroponics system without electricity.
What is Hydroponics?
By definition, hydroponics is a way of growing plants without soil. Instead of getting nutrients from the soil, plants get them from a nutrient-rich solution that combines water and the nutrients plants need to grow.
Simply put, the plant feeds from a reservoir containing a nutrient solution. Net cups suspend the plants over the solution and the roots are the only thing touching the water.
As the roots grow, they deplete the water and nutrient source. As water levels decrease, a gap develops between the base of the plant and the water below. This air gap provides necessary oxygen to meed the plant’s needs as it grows. For a more detailed explanation, you can visit here.
Why is Hydroponics Important To You?
Hydroponics is an important concept for many reasons.
- It provides an easier way to grow plants without the need for soil (which often times can be contaminated depending on the soil source).
- It provides a safer option for growing plants without the need for pesticides. Making your food safer to consume and provide a healthier environment for the planet.
- Using a hydroponic method is efficient, many hydroponic methods recycle water which prevents waste. Also if gives gardeners complete control over the nutrients that are delivered to the plants.
- Using a method of making a hydroponic system without electricity saves valuable energy and resources. Furthermore, growing plants hydroponically allows plants to use less energy. Increasing the growth rate, and at times providing up to 30% more, than plants that are grown in soil.
These are just a few benefits of using the hydroponic system to grow your plants. The long term benefits on your health, the environment, and more go above and beyond what you see here.
Why Do Many Hydroponic Systems Use Electricity?
There are many different ways of growing plants using hydroponics. If you want to make a hydroponics system without electricity it’s crucial you understand these different systems and which ones require electricity and which don’t. Here we will cover 7 methods.
The six systems are:
- Wick System – The simplest of all the other systems, uses no moving parts (no electricity required).
- Kratky System – Very Simple to use, and doesn’t use any moving parts (no electricity required)
- Deep Water Culture (DWC) – Inexpensive and easy to build. Has moving parts (needs electricity)
- Ebb and Flow System (Flood and Drain) – Floods the solution into the grow tray, uses a pump (needs electricity)
- Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T) – Used for its active recovery system, it requires moving parts (needs electricity).
- Drip System – They are one of the most common types of hydroponic systems used (requires electricity).
- Aeroponic System – Plant roots are suspended in air, and sprayed with nutrient solution (needs electricity).
The main reasons the hydroponic systems that require electricity are used is because of the water pumps. These pumps help the flow of nutrients towards plant roots in a variety of ways, depending on the system. They also help with recirculating water and nutrient control, or in the case of aeroponics to spray nutrient solution at time intervals.
What are the Differences In Growth If You Don’t Use Electricity?
When using electricity you have better control over the delivery of nutrients. You also have the ability to recirculate the water being used to feed the plants it’s nutrients.
Stagnant water is never a good thing. However, when using the Wick method or Kratky method properly, your plants will still provide amazing results with their quick growth rate.
There are studies that show directing electrical current on plants can improve growth. However, some may argue that there is no real difference in the growth when using electricity aside from the type of plants and produce you can grow using a different method.
Leading us to our final point.
How You Can Make a Hydroponics System Without Electricity?
Making a hydroponic system without electricity is not difficult. As you can see from the above choices, you can use a Wick system or the Kratky method.
Both of these systems are not only simple, but also require only minimal effort. This makes them great for beginners as well as those with busy schedules. The more popular beginner hydroponics system is the Kratky Method. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to start your own hydroponics system.
- A container or a reservoir – depends on the size of the plant you want to grow, but a milk jar can be sufficient.
- A lid – very important- keeps pests away and water from inside the jug from evaporating.
- Net pots – again depending on the size plant you want to grow
- Growing medium – Hydroton is preferred, has good aeration, and is pH neutral.
- Hydroponic nutrient
- pH measurement tools – helps check the pH level of your system.
- A pH control Kit – allows you to adjust the pH if you need to.
- Drill or cut a hole that will hold your net pot.
- Fill your reservoir with water, tap, or distilled is fine.
- Add hydroponic nutrients in the suggested amounts, then stir the water.
- Check the pH of your solution if it’s between 5.5 to 6.5 it’s perfect.
- Adjust the pH with the pH kit if it falls out of range.
- Place the net pot with growing medium and plant into the lit of your container, only allowing the roots to sit in the solution.
That’s it! That is the Kratky method of making a hydroponic system without electricity. You can now experiment with growing different plants using this method. Don’t be afraid to try your family favorites. Harvesting home grown at its peak tastes better and provides more nutrients than grocery store versions. Start today to begin enjoying the fruits of your labor.
The Kratky hydroponic method is also a great way to catch your children’s interests and develop that into a love for growing plants. The bonus being that it comes without the mess that soil brings. They’ll be able to see their plant grow through the various stages of development until they can finally reap the rewards. It really is a great project for the whole family.