Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. It is a subset of hydroculture, which uses mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent to facilitate the growth of plants in a controlled environment. The nutrients can come from a variety of sources, like fish waste or duck manure, etc.
Even though this technique was discovered centuries ago, the modern systems were invented just a few decades ago. It is considered a fantastic approach because a variety of plants can be grown at home, without the hassles of understanding the technicalities of growing plants or getting dirty with soil. Each system can be used to grow some types of plants, depending on its design and required setup.
Highly Rated Hydroponic Systems
The best hydroponic systems are as follows:
General Hydroponics EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System
The Eco Grower has an air driven spider drip system that uses the same revolutionary hexagonal reservoir with removable 6” lid inserts. Each lid insert accommodates one 6” in net pot. The water and nutrients need to be drained every 1-2 weeks, depending on the plant.
- Weight- 30.5 pounds
- Dimensions- 26 * 23 * 18 inches
- It is an air-driven spider drip system
- It is delivered with Flora nutrients
- The system includes a 17-Gallon reservoir, spider drip assemble, pumping column, insert lid, six – 6 in lid inserts, net cups, CocoTek liners, Elite 800 air pump, 1/4 airline, clay pebbles, Flora nutrients
- It is suitable to grow very large plants
- Growing capacity is amazing
- Great quality of hardware and efficient designing
- Air pressure can be adjusted as per the needs
- Costlier than other units in the list because it does not provide nutrients to the system
- The growing media needs to be washed thoroughly which consumes a considerable amount of time
Hydroponics Grower Kit, PATHONOR 11 Pods 3.5 Gal Self Watering DIY Planting Cloner Kit Educational Hydroponics System for Transplant, Cloning, Propagation, and Hydroponic Experiment Indoor Outdoor
This system is the most popular one on the list because of the amazing design of the unit, and list of products that it offers. It is an extremely simple & basic hydroponics system which is delivered with all the necessary tools, apart from plants. It is considered the best hydroponics starter kit. It aids the growth of plants by providing sufficient oxygen, water and nutrients to the plants; making sure the yield is healthy.
- Weight- 2.1 pounds
- Dimensions- 16 * 5.5 * 11.1 inches
- Material- Plastic
- Pressure- 100-120v / 50Hz
- Voltage- 0.018mpa
- Capacity- 1.8L/min
- The system includes box, pump, planting baskets, planting sponges, buoy, buoy fixity, tweezers, silicone hose
- Uses eco-friendly materials to grow your plants
- 3-5 times faster plant growth than soil planting is experienced
- The opaque material of the kit prevents light from entering, which in turn hampers the growth of green algae
- This kit can be used for any hydroponic requirement; from laboratory, indoor & outdoor to agricultural experiment, cloning and propagation
- The environmental conditions required to facilitate plant growth can be regulated artificially
- Cost-effective system
- Allows 11 plants to grow at once
- The air pump is weak
- Instructions are not detailed
- Pump makes noise
HTGSupply 3.5-Gallon Bubble Boy Single Shot Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bucket System
The Systems offered by Bubble Boy are considered the simplest hydroponic methods because the units are self-contained, which aids setup and operation. They are also economical to maintain and ensure professional results.
The Bubble Boy system outperforms similar units because it consists of a larger, dual-outlet air pump and higher quality air stones than similar systems, which provide increased oxygenation and better diffusion; facilitating their growth significantly. A heavy-duty black reservoir and the factory-pressed lid is used to ensure the reservoir remains dark to prevent algal growth and keep roots healthy. The plants have a better growth without compromising with their flavours.
- Weight- 7 pounds
- Dimensions- 13 * 13 * 13 inches
- The system includes 6” net-pot lid, efficiently designed 3.5 gallons low-profile, space-saving bucket, 50’ roll, ¼” air tubing, 4” premium air stone and 7.8 litres-per-minute adjustable dual outlet air pump, high-quality hydrostone growth medium, air tubing, ¼” connector and a detailed guide (instructions and tips)
- The electrical specifications of the air pump are 3 watts, 0.03 amps @ 120v
- The dimensions of each assembled bucket- 10-⅞” tall * 12” wide
- One medium-sized plant can be grown at once
- It is considered the easiest hydroponic method
- The inexpensive setup that does not take up much space
- The high-quality nutrients and efficient designs facilitate better growth and flavours
- Simple and straightforward setup
- Perfect setup for beginners
- Not suitable for big growers because it cannot accommodate many plants at once
H2OtoGro 04063.75TF DWC Self Watering Hydroponic System No. 04St, 6 Site, 18×13-Inch, Black
In this DWC hydroponic system, the nutrient-rich water is constantly provided to the reservoir, where the roots are suspended beneath the net pot. It is designed in a way that the plants are bathed in nutrient-rich solution throughout their growth cycle. It has fewer problems with bugs infestation, fungi or diseases because no pesticides are required.
- Weight- 6.15 pounds
- Dimensions- 18 * 12.6 * 7.1 inches
- The kit includes customised reservoir and lid, net cups, Aeration kit (air pump, airstone, airline), Water circulation/watering kit (water pump, water lines, drippers), grow medium starter kit and nutrient starter kit and Instructions.
- It is a cost-effective system
- Perfect starter kit because of its simple design
- Allows modifications with ease
- So easy to use that even kids can practice growing plants with it
- Directions are not detailed
- Poorly designed parts (roots can enter the pump and get chopped off; clogging the system)
- Low quantity of fertilisers
General Hydroponics GH4720 Farm Controller, Terra Cotta
The system can be described as 8 WaterFarm module units connected to one General Hydroponics’ controller. The controller keeps each unit topped off with sufficient nutrients to manage the required level for low maintenance. A GH Dual Diaphragm Air Pump is used to circulate the nutrient solution.
- Weight- 43.3 pounds
- Dimensions- 24.5 * 24.5 * 24.5 inches
- It has an integrated 13-gallon reservoir and an 8-gallon controller unit
- It includes 8 WaterFarm module units, one General Hydroponics controller, high-quality nutrients, necessary supplies and hardware
- It can be expanded to 12 module units
- It is suitable for big growers (the system allows you to go on vacations as there is enough space when the plants grow bigger)
- It is delivered with all the necessary supplies, hardware and high-quality nutrients
- It can be arranged in a variety of designs to make it suitable for any environment; which makes it the most convenient hydroponic system on this list
- It is a simple and flexible (allows personal configuration) system
- A bit of splash is experienced from the system
- It is not detailed enough; making it difficult to set-it-up yourself
- The pump does not provide sufficient power
- Water does not drop evenly in all buckets
HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System
The DWC Systems offered by Bubble Brothers are considered the easiest hydroponic methods because these self-contained units are simple to set-up and operate, economical to maintain and ensure professional results.
The Bubble Brothers system outperforms similar units because it consists of a larger commercial pump and higher quality air stones than similar systems, which provide increased oxygenation and better diffusion; facilitating their growth significantly. The plants have faster growth, leading to bigger yields without compromising with flavours.
- Weight- 30 * 15 * 15 (inches)
- Dimensions- 31 pounds
- This DWC system includes 6 net-pot lids of 6” each, 6 efficiently designed 3.5 gallons low-profile, space-saving buckets, 50’ roll, ¼” air tubing, 6 premium air stones of 2” each and 951-gph high-power commercial air pump with 6-way divider
- Specifications of electrical air pump- 41 watts, 0.42 amps @ 120v
- The dimensions of each assembled bucket- 10-⅞” tall * 12” wide
- 6 medium-size plants can be accommodated in one system
- The system is delivered with a 10-litre bag of high-quality clay pebble growth medium
- The easiest hydroponic method in the industry
- Plant growth is phenomenal
- Amazingly aerated stones
- The system is delivered with manuals to help beginners have a better initial experience of hydroponics
- Professional results are expected at desirable rates
- Requires a good light source
- Requires assembling
- The Air pump is pretty loud
General Hydroponics GH4120 WaterFarm Complete
This hydroponic system allows you to grow all types of plants in your backyard because it is designed in a way that makes it easy to setup and operate.
- Weight- 15.1 pounds
- Dimensions- 10.3 * 16.5 * 10.6 inches
- The square design allows growers to pack modules closely in order to create large, high-density installations
- Large water capacity
- Low water requirements
- Suitable for all types of plants
- Easy to set-up and operate
- Long service life
- Simple direction guide is available
- More expensive than other systems in the list
- The system can be designed in a better manner
- Ventilation fan for each unit is required
Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler 8 Bucket Kit with 6″ Lids by PowerGrow ® Systems
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to grow vegetables hydroponically, then this Deep Water Culture System by Powergrow ® Systems will be the best choice for you.
The DWC system is a complete set, i.e. you don’t have to purchase any other tool to add to the system. In this system, the roots are immersed in a nutrient-rich and oxygen infused water reservoir. The oxygen-rich solution facilitates the growth of healthy root systems in a faster and more efficient manner, as compared to soil. The result is a superior plant yield.
- Weight- 36 pounds
- Dimensions- 30 * 24 * 12 (inches)
- The DWC system includes an industrial air pump, airlines, 8 airstones, 8 buckets of 5-gallon capacity each and 6” basket lids
- The bucket includes a drain and a water level indicator to aid water changes
- Super easy to set-up and use because the system is straightforward
- Most parts are reusable
- 8 different variety of plants can be grown to maturity in one system
- Does not take up much space
- Last for years if used properly
- Does not require a huge investment to start
- Too warm for healthy roots
- The air pump is loud because it is a 35-watt commercial air pump
- Dark blue water level indicator makes it difficult to spot the water level
Benefits of Hydroponics
The following is a list of benefits that these hydroponic systems offer:
- Does not take up much space
- Easy to practice at home
- Simple and straightforward setup & operations
- 30-50% faster plant growth
- Year-round production is possible
- Helps in the conservation of water
- Professional results are experienced, even by beginners
- Requires ¼ the fertilisers that traditional farmers require
- It can be a fun, family experience
Tips for Beginners
Here are some tips for beginners:
- Do thorough research about hydroponics, fruits and vegetables you wish to grow, nutrient solutions and systems before choosing this path.
- Many systems are available in the market with different technicalities, so understand them first, and then order.
- Initially, invest your money in a small system to practice the art.
- Don’t invest all your money in one type of plants; ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’.
- Experience will make you better, so don’t worry!
Although a hydroponic system allows you to practice gardening at your home, it still does not mean that you don’t have to look after it. The plants are in a solution which facilitates growth, which also means that you need to take extra precautions because the faster it grows, the higher are the chances of damage. Choose the nutrient solution carefully to avoid unwanted results. Adequate light and water are necessary to make sure that the fruits and vegetables have the right flavors and look. Practice on smaller systems to avoid unbearable losses.
Writer Bio : Martin Whorley of Attenborough Garage Doors that has been trading for over 20 years. He assists home owners to get great garage doors & gates supplied and installed.
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