Using the Kratky method to start or germinate seeds and transplant seedlings and sprouts

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Materials needed

  • Sponge for holding seeds or sprouts. I like the Park Seed biodome sponges, but you can use aerogarden sponges, rapid rooter plugs, rock wool, etc…
  • Container for holding the sponge. This has to let water/air through, small net pots work great, as do AeroGarden baskets. The AeroGarden baskets will fit perfectly in bottles that have a 1 1/2″ mouth.
  • Hydroponic nutrient solution – I use MasterBlend mixed with MgSO4 and Ca(NO3)2. More information on that here. There are many options, check with your local grow store or search on Amazon for something like DynaGrow. Mix about half the strength you’d normally use, but test first. For my Masterblend mix I use
    • 1.6 grams/gal 4-18-38 MasterBlend
    • .8 grams/gal MgSO4 (Epsom Salt)
    • 1.6 grams/gal Ca(NO3)2
  • Container for holding the nutrient solution. This can be anything really as long as it securely holds the net basket. You might half to carefully cut the top down to make it fit. You can also put these into flat lids for containers like totes. Just make sure the hole is just the right size to prevent the net basket from falling through.
  • Seeds or a sprout

Process steps

  1. Fill the nutrient container to the point where it touches the bottom of the grow sponge up to 1/2″ from the bottom.
  2. Place the seeds or sprout in the grow sponge and place it into the net basket/cup.
    • With seeds, just place them in the top of the sponge. If there is no indentation in the top, make one about a 1/4″ deep by 1/4″ wide.
    • With sprouts, cut the sponge halfway lengthwise. Spread it apart and place the sprout stem inside.
  3. Place the net basket in the growing container.
  4. Place the grow container under a grow light or outdoors if the weather permits.

Video of this process:

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2 Replies to “Using the Kratky method to start or germinate seeds and transplant seedlings and sprouts”

    1. I would suggest making sure the plant is hardened off to sunlight first, by gradually exposing it more each day, or setting it in a semi-shaded area for a few days first. I’m not the best one to give advice on in-ground soil planting, but I would dig a hole, and break up the soil really well with a hand tiller, make sure it’s not all clay, that the roots have some mobility and excess water can drain down. In a container setup, I would use potting mix and add in some composted manure and extra perlite. I would use slow-release fertilizer and bone meal or use hydroponic nutrients. If hydroponic nutrients are used, I would set up a constant feed, either through a drip system or a self-watering setup.

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