by Amber

The Hydroponics Experiment: Circulation vs Nutrients

Decisions, decisions. How do you decide which hydroponics method will work best for you? Sometimes you find deciding is impossible, and like Larry Austin in Oregon – you figure you might as well try them all at once and compare the results.

Is deep water culture better than non-circulating hydroponic systems like the Kratky method? Can you grow an awesome organic hydroponic harvest with compost tea, or is sticking to the long standing nutrient system best? Is it really that important to buy pH and PPM/EC meters, or is that just marketing hype?

Here’s a video diary of the Kratky Method – DWC – Compost Tea Hydroponic Experiment. There’s a month between each installment, and #1 isn’t here because it has no value. The image above is a screen capture of the young plants in their different bucket systems in his greenhouse and shows the pump he’s using for the two that are aeriated. Throughout the experiment, take note that at first all the plants have some serious issues that are bound to happen when you try growing without total control. He gets the upper hand before it’s too late, and it becomes a test of circulation versus nutrients. Which is more important? Watch them all, and you’ll see how everything worked out for Mr. Austin in his indoor garden experiment.









It’s not that the Kratky Method isn’t successful. It’s been known to grow an excellent crop of lettuce, tomatoes, cukes – even potatoes and ginger. The cold temps in his greenhouse aren’t the tomato’s friend. They never do well when the weather is too cool. He should look into using some passive heating to keep the temperature more to their liking. They’ll be a lot more robust, and have better immunity to disease with better environmental control.

And that compost tea grow? Looks like you need to stick to the regular nutes. That’s more important than circulation – obviously. Try the organic nutrient solutions if you’re worried about the traditional varieties.

Learn more about the Kratky Methods HERE. There’s more than one of them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.