Mason Jar Hydroponics Kratky Method Mason Jar Lettuce [ Easy ]

If you don’t have a lot of space consider mason jar hydroponics. Using the Kratky method you can grow lettuce in a mason jar. Here is how.

If you don’t have a lot of space consider mason jar hydroponics. Using the Kratky method you can grow lettuce in a mason jar. Here is how.

It is possible to grow lettuce and other greens using mason jar hydroponics with the Kratky method. You will need a mason jar and a 3 inch net pot. Start a lettuce seedling and place it in the net pot. Fill in around it with hydroton. Fill the jar with water and place the net pot in it. Watch it grow.

Mason Jar Hydroponics Kratky Method Mason Jar Lettuce

I just planted this buttercrunch lettuce seedling last night. It is tiny but it will grow.

Mason Jar Hydroponics How To Grow Lettuce In Mason Jars The Kratky Way

If you are not familiar with the Kratky method it is time to make it your friend. It is the simplest form of DWC hydroponics.

It uses no electricity. It is easy and cheap to set up. Did I mention you can grow lettuce and other greens like cilantro or basil in a mason jar?

It may seem incredible but it is actually true. In a small apartment but still want to grow some of your own food? Well, you are in the right place.

Kratky Method Mason Jar Lettuce

Here is my Kratky Method Mason Jar Lettuce. The lettuce plant is tiny right now. Don’t strain your eyes.

What Vegetables Can You Grow In Mason Jars?

The Kratky method works best for leafy greens like lettuce and herbs like cilantro or basil.

You cant grow tomatoes or peppers in a mason jar. They are too big and take too long.

What Is The Kratky Method Of Hydroponics?

The Kratky method is the simplest form of hydroponics. Roots are suspended in water and nutrients. The jar or reservoir is only filled once at the start of growing.

Feeder roots draw nutrients from the water. As the nutrient level drops the exposed roots become air roots supplying oxygen. This is why no pumps or airstones are needed.

The only drawback to the Kratky method is that you cant refill the container. If you do you will drown your air roots and kill the plant.

Here is an article I wrote that explains the Kratky method in more detail: https://indoorvegetablegrower.com/kratky-lettuce-kratky-method-hydroponic-system-diy/

But right now I am guessing you just want to know about DIY mason jar hydroponics, so let’s get started.

Mason Jar Hydroponics Material List

  • You need a wide mouth quart mason jar.
  • You will also need a 3 inch net pot.
  • You need a lettuce seedling started in rockwool or Root Riot(or other sponge starter plug)
  • You need some hydroton or other inert media to fill around the seedling
  • Some hydroponic nutrients
  • Tinfoil or dark paper to cover the outside of the jar

That’s it. No pumps or airstones. Growing lettuce in a mason jar is simplicity itself. So lets set up your Kratky mason jar.

Kratky Mason Jar Setup Step By Step

  1. You may want to start your lettuce ahead of setting up your mason jar. Start your seedling in an inert media like rockwool. I prefer Rapid Rooters They are sponge like material similar to what the AeroGardens use. Personally, I think rockwool holds too much water.
  2. Drop your 3 inch net pot into your jar. It fits perfectly in a wide mouth mason jar. Start filling your 1 quart wide mouth mason jar with water. You want the water level above the bottom of your net pot.
  3. You will want to add hydroponic nutrients into the water. I used the nutrients that came with my AeroGarden.
  4. You will fill around your seedling with hydroton, perlite, or any clean inert media.
  5. You don’t want the roots exposed to light so cover your mason jar. You can use tin foil, black plastic, or dark paper. Just make sure no light can get through it.
  6. That’s it just make sure it has enough light and stand back and watch it grow!

Mason Jar Hydroponics Update

Here is my mason jar lettuce at 40 days. This is Butter Crunch which forms a loose head. This was started as a sprouted seed, and today it is forming a head.


Here is a look at the roots. They had used up most of the water in the jar. So I did add a bit more.

So the Kratky method does work. However, this is a heading lettuce and the quart mason jar is really too small for it. Head lettuce takes about 2 weeks longer than leaf lettuce.

It should work fine for leaf lettuce or maybe head lettuce if you start with a transplant and not a just sprouted seed.

Otherwise, I think it would work better with a larger container. To be fair, this plant was not getting as much light as my other plants because it was on the edge of the light.

But if you want to grow Kratky lettuce I would suggest you use a tub because a one quart mason jar is really too small even for a single plant.

Learn about using a grow tent for vegetables

Here is some more info on the Kratky Method https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kratky_method