What is the Kratky Method of Hydroponics?

The Kratky method of hydroponics is a passive hydroponic technique that is a simple and easy way to grow plants without the need for a lot of equipment. This method is great for growing plants in a small space, and it is also a great way to grow plants for food or medicine. The only downside to this method is that the plants can etiolate if they do not receive enough light.

What Are The benefits of the Kratky Method?

The main benefit of the Kratky method is that it is a very simple and easy way to grow plants. This method does not require a lot of equipment, which makes it great for growing plants in a small space. Additionally, this method is great for growing plants for food or medicine. The only downside to this method is that the plants can etiolate if they do not receive enough light.

As the 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.

Who Invented the Kratky Method?

The Kratky method of hydroponics was invented by Bernard Kratky, a professor at the University of Hawaii.

IMAGINE GROWING HYDROPONIC LETTUCE, TOMATOES, BASIL, CILANTRO, GREEN ONIONS and so much more right in your home using the Kratky Method.

Now imagine doing it all through the winter too. That is what indoor Kratky hydroponics can do for you.

Grow 250+ lbs hydroponically indoors using the Kratky Method in a very small space!

I use only two shelves on a standard 5 x 2 foot shelf that sits in my office. With only two grow lights, I am able to grow over 250 pounds of lettuce, tomatoes & herbs for my family.

Learn all about the Kratky method of hydroponic growing here!

The way we use Kratky is a non-circulating technique. Mostly, in mason jars with very little care needed. Without the need for soil, the Kratky method allows me to grow plants, fruits and vegetables in simple containers.  You can aerate the plants easily with an added pump, but we find the Kratky method needs very little aeration, as the roots are suspended in air above the water.

Kratky Method of Hydroponics - Design a Kratky Hydroponic System

Kratky Design

See how I setup a simple Kratky hydroponic method indoors on two 5×2 foot shelfs – easy peasy!

Watering hydroponically with passive hydroponic techniques for growing plants suspended above a reservoir of nutrient-rich water.

Kratky Maintenance

The Kratky method is easy to setup and even easier to maintain. No weeds + infrequent watering.

Cleanup for Kratky

Cleanup is as easy as putting the jars in the dishwasher in between plantings for easy cleanup.

The Kratky Method of Growing Hydroponically - How to grow using the Kratky Method

Kratky Small Plants

The key to growing in a small space is size. Selecting varieties that stay small is important.

Using the Kratky Method of Hydroponics means no mowing, weeding and no soil!

No Mowing or Weeds

All the yard work is eliminated with Kratky Hydroponic systems. No weeding, no mowing.

Grow fruits and veggies with the Kratky Method - Kratky Lettuce, Kratky Herbs, Kratky Tomatoes and all sort of plants!

Fruits & Veggies

Grow fruits and vegetables in containers. From strawberries to tomatoes and lettuce.

Kratky Hydroponics - Growing Plants Hydroponically With Kratky


Start your flowers indoors or simply grow indoor varieties with ease. Either way are gorgeous.

Kratky Hydroponics - HOw to Grow Using the Kratky Method

Go Outdoors

And when the time comes, you can harden off and move your hydroponics outdoors.

Kratky Hydroponic Divider

My Indoor Kratky Hydroponic Garden

I love to grow things indoors. Taking care of seedlings & watching my food grow right before my eyes. The fresh taste of all these gorgeous varieties can’t be beat anywhere.

Kratky in Mason Jars

My little seedlings growing in my Kratky Mason Jar Hydroponic system. I grow most of my hydroponics in mason jars in less than 20 square feet in my office. 

Kratky method of hydroponics

“Wow, I love Lisa’s easy to follow Kratky method instructions!”

Lisa keeps it simple and simply shows us what we need to do with the Kratky method, without things we just don’t need to know. We used her techniques and grew tons of stuff. Indoors!

 “Imagine growing lettuce in jars using Kratky, who would have thought?”

I still pinch myself when I see all of my little plants growing in these simple mason jars. While Lisa did not invent the Kratky method or techniques, the way she explains it is perfect.

“A salad right in the other room, just pick it! I love this Kratky stuff!”

I was drawn to growing fresh lettuce and tomatoes in the hard winter in Minnesota. Now with prices sky high, I sure am glad I am growing my own varieties right using Kratky hydroponics.

Build Your Dream Hydroponic Indoor Kratky Garden

Would you like to create your own indoor hydroponic system using the Kratky method? Lisa will show you how she setup an entire garden on 2 5×2 shelfs – that’s 20 square feet! Grow lettuce, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, green onions, strawberries, peppers and more using this easy to learn system

What Can You Grow With Kratky Hydroponics?

Kratky Method Of Hydroponic Lettuce Grown Hydroponically Using Kratky

A Bowl of Lettuce Grown Hydroponically Using the Kratky Method

One of the best uses for indoor growing without soil, using the Kratky method to grow lettuce, is to grow all varieties of lettuce.

Why is Growing Lettuce Using The Kratky Method Better?

Unlike other plants grown hydroponically, lettuce grows fast and can be grown in a small container with little to no attention for it’s entire lifespan, which is often cut to less than 20 days using the Kratky method of hydroponics.

What Types of Lettuce Are Best Grown Using the Kratky Method?

Honestly, Kratky hydroponic growing works well for all types of lettuce. Since you will be growing indoors or outdoors without soil, the temperature is more of a factor than anything. Some varieties prefer colder weather than what may be present under grow lights.

Some of the most popular varieties are:

  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Bibb Lettuce
  •  Romaine Lettuce

We suggest you just try what you like and see how it grows. Many leafy greens grow well in a Kratky hydroponic garden.

Everyone loves a ripe, warm tomato just picked from the garden. But when winter comes, we are forced to buy them from the local grocery store and they simply don’t taste the same. Unless there was a way to grow indoors without soil. Wait, that would be using the Kratky Method! We can grow tomatoes all dang year indoors. There are some really great dwarf or micro varieties that you can use indoors if you have limited space.

While cucumbers may not seem like a good choice for growing hydropoincally indoors, there are many dwarf varieties that can help if you are in. alimited space. Outdoors, the sky is the limit. Cucumbers not only grow well with Kratky hydroponics, they thrive in it.

Growing basil is fun and rewarding. If you are a beginner hydroponic gardener, you must grow basil. Hydroponic systems provide plenty of water, which is great for herbs, especially basil. This crop can be a great harvest for your dinner plate and yields a lot for such a little space needed. Combine your basil with your Kratky grown tomatoes for a special treat.