After growing plants, spices, berries, and even fruits hydroponically for many years, I found that there are really only two main approaches to getting into hydroponics:
The rewarding but difficult path or the easy path.
What I mean is?
You see, the useful but tedious approach to hydroponics is to build a system from scratch or buy a ready-made system. I consider this to be the traditional hydroponic approach. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
It is, but you should keep in mind that this path involves checking the pH of your system daily, checking your water level daily, and even recycling your water every week. , depending on the type of hydroponic system being used This approach takes time. This is a craft you should take seriously.
On the other hand, we have a simple approach. This includes purchasing an automatic hydroponic kit – usually an aeroponics system – that is for the most part, straightforward.
Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with the easy route. I can safely say that I am a fan of my automatic hydroponic systems. They are perfect for the hassle-free cultivation of spices, herbs, and vegetables.
So, in this article, we will look at the 10 best hydroponic vegetable growing systems.
Let’s get into that.
“Hydroponics” is an umbrella term for six different methods of growing plants, typically fruits, vegetables, and herbs, without using soil. This type of hydroponics replaces the nutrients normally provided by the soil with minerals dissolved in water, which then come in contact with the roots of plants. We now introduce to you our best hydroponic systems on the market. For each of the best hydroponic systems we have found, we present to you a full review and recommendations for use.
This article also provides a lot of information about 6 different types of hydroponic systems and types of hydroponic systems that are best for the houseplants and flowers you want to grow indoors. Also, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions from our readers.
Is it confusing? Not really.
Types Of Hydroponic Systems
Hydroponics is a fantastic way to easily grow your own work (even indoors!). So here we will detail exactly how it works, what types of hydroponic systems are available, and which ready-to-buy hydroponic systems we like the most. So what are 6 different types of hydroponic systems? Read on to find out more!
1. Hydroponic drip system
A drip hydroponic system uses a trickle system to provide nutrient-rich water to your plants. It can be used in both normal soil and other growing media and works well if you want to grow many plants at once due to efficient water use.
In other words, a hydroponic drip system generally consists of a reservoir that holds the nutrient solution, a rack of plants in individual pots, a pump to supply water to the plants, and a thin pipe leading in each specific pot to drain the water. to deliver. . You can specify the times when the pump turns on and starts delivering water. A drain back into the reservoir ensures nothing is lost. As such, this is a pretty great way to grow your plants!
2. Hydroponics systems with floods and runoffs
A hydroponic flood and drain system, also known as an infiltration and inflow technique, works exactly as the name implies. Water your plants several times a day (often 2) and then drain them. You can easily set up a flooding and drainage system yourself, though many will go the easier route and buy one instead.
A flood and drainage system consists of two containers stacked on top of each other, the largest of which at the bottom serves as a water reservoir. It includes a pump connected to a timer and your nutrient solution. As soon as the pump can start its work, it lets the container above it (which is filled with your plants and stands up like clay balls) fill up. It will run for about a minute before turning off again to allow excess water to drain into the tank. The risk of spillage is minimized by an overflow. When it comes to hydroponic gardening, this is a great option for small houseplant growers!
3. Hydroponic nutrition film technique
The third part of our list of the major types of hydroponic systems is the nutrient film variety.
The nutrient film technique generally does not use any medium to grow the plants, only mesh pots through which the roots can reach. This is because the system directs a continuous flow of nutrient solution along with the roots. It is simple but ingenious and allows a lot of oxygen to reach the roots so that your plants can grow better.
A nutrient film system consists of a slightly sloping growth channel into which plants are introduced. Below these channels are the water tank and a pump that can supply water at the top end of the channel. Do you see where we’re going? The water flows down (forming the “nutrient film”), passes all the roots of the hungry plants, and then returns to the container to be pumped out again. It’s not a difficult system and you can make it as big or small as you want, although it’s best for smaller plants like lettuce.
4. Hydroponic aquatic breeding systems
Water growing systems are about as easy as hydroponic gardening, and you can do it with just a single plant. As with the nutrient film method, plants are not grown in any medium. Instead, they are placed in mesh pots and hung over a tub, often made of Styrofoam with recesses to match the pots, which hold a nutrient solution and an air stone for oxygenation. An example of aquatic hydroponics is aquarium hydroponics kits that you can find at your local pet store.
If you want to grow a large number of plants at the same time, you can even set up a modular water cultivation system. It consists of several pots or containers with plants and a central water tank in which the water circulates constantly.
While it’s a bit different from the other techniques we’ve discussed so far and aren’t technically really hydroponics, aeroponics is still widely considered one of six types of traditional hydroponic systems. As with aquatic cultivation, as well as flooding and drainage, aeroponics grows plants without the use of a growing medium. Instead, a nutrient solution is sprayed onto the roots, which, as we saw in the hydroponic technique, hang from mesh pots.
An aeroponics system can be installed in a regular tub with a lid, although some prefer vertical towers for space. It’s not the easiest system to make and configure, but it can be done at home with little effort.
6. Hydroponic wick systems
If you really want to keep it simple while exploring hydroponic growing systems, consider setting up a fuse system. No complicated installation, no risk of flooding or malfunction, and while some like to use an air pump, it doesn’t even require electricity technically!
In short, a wick system consists of a basket on which the plant rests – think of the decor of hanging plants! The wicks descend from the growing medium (usually something like coconut or perlite) to the water with the nutrient solution underneath, let it run-up, and carry it to thirsty roots. The method is best for plants that aren’t too thirsty: little things like lettuce don’t bear fruit and therefore don’t need as much water.
The Best Hydroponic Systems
1. Indoor garden kit from iDeer Life
Like most hydroponic systems intended for occasional home use, the iDeer Life Indoor Gardening Kit is a hydroponic system. It houses up to 12 plants and uses a 24-watt full spectrum LED lighting system to grow them.
As with other pre-built hydroponic systems, setting up the indoor growing kit is not much of a challenge. Now that you have assembled the included bamboo frame, all you need to do is plant the seeds and make sure they are getting water and nutrients by filling the tank.
This is pretty much the only kit on this list with a natural-looking design. Bamboo looks great against the greenery of the plants! All around a simple little hydroponic growing system that does what it’s supposed to do and fits in the kitchen.
2. DWC Hydroponic System Grow Kit from SavvyGrow
The DWC Hydroponic System Grow Kit is one of the simplest hydroponic growing systems. It contains almost everything you need to start your indoor hydroponic adventure. In the polypropylene pot, you can grow 6 or 11 small plants such as lettuce or herbs at the same time.
While this kit isn’t the most polished and lacks some of the things needed to start growing (nutrient solution, light), its affordable price should allow beginners to take the plunge and get started hydroponically. Simply place the seeds of your choice in the Rockwool medium, place them in the mesh pots and turn on the air pump!
It seems like a good option for something like a classroom. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s affordable and does what it’s supposed to do. Don’t forget to buy a fire!
3. AeroGarden premium
If you like your hydroponic kits, the AeroGarden Bounty is probably what you are looking for. With this stylish indoor garden solution, you can grow up to 9 small plants at the same time. It comes with 45 watts of LED lighting and even has a display to remind you when it’s time to add water and nutrients. Plus, the lights turn on automatically, so you don’t have to add a timer yourself.
Like the kits discussed earlier, the AeroGarden Bounty is a hydroponic water culture system. It contains an herb seed kit, but you can grow any plant up to two feet in it. If you want to grow spices and fresh plants in the kitchen for consistently tasty meals, check out our guide to the best herbs to grow indoors all year round!
A nice premium is a great option if you’re looking for something that looks nice without sacrificing functionality. The small screen really helps to keep control of your mini garden!
4. Hydroponic Bucket Kit for Deep Water Culture from PowerGrow
Deepwater cultivation is a sub-type of water hydroponics used here by PowerGrow for the DWC kit. This 5-gallon bucket can only hold one plant, but the upside is that you’re not limited to lettuce or herbs. There is plenty of room to grow something bigger, such as a large tomato plant or your favorite vegetable.
The most important thing when growing in deep water is to provide the roots with enough oxygen. That is why the DWC set comes with an air pump of 44 liters per hour. It also includes pretty much everything you need to get started, except for the lights.
When it comes to hydroponic gardening this is probably the best hydroponic system for growing larger plants, and it works especially well if you have some plants under a light grow space.
5. Dreamjoy hydroponic kit
With the hydroponic systems discussed previously, if you are wondering if there is something with a little more capacity, don’t worry. For those who have many plants, there is the DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit, a system with up to 108 locations. Interestingly, this is also the first hybrid kit on the list: it can be switched between flood and drainage methods or recirculating water cultivation according to your own preferences.
The DreamJoy Kit is made of PVC and is easy to assemble if you want to grow large quantities of small to medium-sized plants such as lettuce, rosemary, and other edible plants or flowers. It can be used indoors or outdoors, but keep in mind that as always, if you plan on using it at home, it will require additional lighting.
While this hydroponic system isn’t great for growing larger plants, it will certainly give you plenty of lettuce or herbs! We love that it works well in the garden and only has to put the PVC pipes together to get started.
6. Complete grow tent Room Kit from TopoLite
So you have experience with hydroponics and want to expand your setup? If so (or if you’re just one of those people who likes to dive into it) then the TopoLite Grow Tent Room Kit might be for you. This hydroponic garden tent kit is designed to make the most of the light reflected from all sides by your plants.
What we love about this kit is that it comes in a variety of sizes and LED light outputs, meaning there’s the perfect one for every grower. The kit also includes a filter set, although some items, such as a thermometer and fan speed controller, are sold separately.
While the set itself could be more complete, the big plus here is clearly that this hydroponic garden tent set comes in many different sizes. A great choice for the dedicated hydroponic!
7. Big Smart Indoor Hydroponics System from E SUPEREGROW
Although the name says “indoors”, we think E SUPEREGROW’s Big Smart Grow System is also perfect for outdoors. This hydroponic aquatic cultivation system has been specifically designed to make it easier to grow trellis-covered vines such as cucumbers. It has three main locations for growing larger plant species but also has a booth to convert those locations into small spaces for a total of 27 mini-plants.
This hydroponic kit comes without light. So you have to install it yourself if you grow indoors. It has smart controls for water level tracking, and its minimal design keeps it from sticking out like a sore thumb in your home.
We love the trellis that comes with this hydroponic system as many others are not suitable for growing vines without some modifications. It’s so big that you don’t have to limit yourself to plants like lettuce or mini tomatoes, which is good if you’re looking for a bit more variety.
8. ECO-Cycle Aquaponics indoor garden system from Ecolife
Most of the hydroponic aquarium setups we’ve come across are not really successful. They are often too small to hold fish and do not provide adequate filtration, resulting in poor fish health. The Eco-Cycle Ecolife looks more promising. The set doesn’t actually include an aquarium, but mounts on top of your existing 20-gallon tank and has plenty of room for fish and plants to thrive.
The ECO cycle includes programmable LED lights and a pump to pump the aquarium water along with the roots of the plant. Nutrient solutions are not used in hydroponic systems in aquariums. Instead, fish waste is used to keep the plants healthy and well-nourished. A fun and educational project that is perfect for a classroom or anyone bored with just growing plants.
Definitely, the nicest option on the list as it combines two relaxing hobbies in one small ecosystem. We think this is the best hydroponic system for kids because it can teach you how to grow fish and how to grow plants!
9. WePlant hydroponic systems
Just like the DreamJoy kit described above, WePlant’s hydroponic growing systems consist of PVC pipes in which small plants such as lettuce (in large quantities!) Can be grown. A timed pump runs for 5 minutes every 30 minutes, pushes the nutrient-rich water through the pipes, and then drops it back into the water tank (not included) for reuse.
Since this hydroponic system has no lighting, it is easiest to use outdoors where plants can get the sunlight they need. With additional lighting, it would work indoors as well, but keep in mind that this kit will take up some space.
While not the most complete kit, this hydroponic system is quite affordable. It is a great choice for beginners who want to grow many plants at once. If you’re just starting on your hydroponic gardening adventure, this system is a good place to start.
10. Farm Plus from AeroGarden
Another AeroGarden product, the Farm Plus, gets its name from its size. It contains two separate containers for growing plants, one on top and the other on the bottom to accommodate different sized species. It can accommodate up to 24 plants up to 36 ” and has 60 watts of LED lighting to stimulate growth.
The Farm Plus is a “smart” garden because it connects to your phone via WiFi, so you can control it via your app and receive notifications when the water tank needs to be refilled. A perfect option if you really want to grow a lot of plants, although as you would expect, this is certainly a more expensive option when it comes to indoor hydroponic gardens.
If you have room for the Farm Plus, this should be a great option to get your indoor hydroponic garden up and running. Plenty of space to plant is a big plus and the nice design doesn’t hurt either.
Best Hydroponic Systems: Frequently Asked Questions
As promised, below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions people have when considering building a hydroponic garden in their home.
1. What is the best hydroponic system for beginners?
The easiest way to start your hydroponic gardening adventure is by using a DWC (Deep Water Cultivation) hydroponic system. It requires little installation, maintenance, or knowledge. Fill the storage container with a nutrient solution and you’re done!
2. What are the best plants and plants to grow in hydroponic systems?
Certain plants, vegetables, and herbs grow best in hydroponic systems. We listed a few examples above, but here’s a look at the best plants and plants you can use for indoor hydroponic gardens:
- Leafy greens: lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, etc.
- Indoor spices and herbs: parsley, oregano, thyme, cilantro, mint, etc.
Hydroponic tomatoes. When it comes to choosing the best hydroponic system for tomatoes, we recommend choosing a system with LED grow lights, as tomatoes need to be exposed for a minimum of eight hours at a time to get a bountiful harvest.
Broccoli. It takes time and practice, but you can grow broccoli hydroponically successfully if you keep a close eye on it and make sure the temperatures are cool.
3. Is aeroponics a better method than hydroponics?
There are certainly differences between these two methods. In aeroponics, your plants don’t have to compete for nutrients. Professionals say aeroponics is the most effective method if you want higher yields.
The Best Hydroponic Systems For Your Indoor Vegetable Garden
A hydroponic system helps your vegetable garden have constant access to the essential nutrients it needs for maximum yield. Many of these systems also provide your plants with the light they need to grow. And often you don’t have to turn anything on or off. Some of these systems also remind you when to fill your water and nutrient reservoirs. With hydroponic systems, you have as much or as little control over your indoor vegetable garden as you want.
In short, hydroponics is something we think every (indoor) gardener should give a try. Whether it’s the simplest wicking system or the most complicated setup, you’ll be amazed at the many benefits of this method in no time.