If you’re an aspiring gardener who either wants to grow a few or many plants, incorporating a hydroponic system in your indoor garden is the way to go. Plants do not only thrive in soil but also in water. Thus, we list the best indoor hydroponic system for your vegetables.
There are many ways to grow plants these days. Gone are the days when they are only grown in our backyard. Nowadays, technology has introduced us to more than one method of developing them: hydroponics.
Hydroponics allows the growth of plants in water rather than the soil. It is a popular method of growing vegetables since it only consumes a small space in an indoor area. Plus, hydroponics is beginner-friendly.
It’s not only limited to aspiring gardeners. You can also grow a lot of plants for mass production with hydroponics. Hence, an automated hydroponic system is inclusive to all – it provides a container for plants to grow and the necessary devices and tools to keep the plants healthy.
If you want the best hydroponic system for vegetables, you should consider the number of plants to produce and the degree of automation. Ahead, we will discuss the factors when considering the best hydroponic system and the actual products we recommend.
Advantages of Hydroponics
We all know that plants naturally thrive in soil. However, it also can grow in the water, maybe even better than in soil. In fact, plants grow faster in water than in soil. Additionally, your vegetables, herbs, and fruits don’t take too long to grow or even require sunlight.
Hydroponics also encourages plants to thrive all year round as long as there is sufficient water solution along with the roots. If you purchase an automated growing system, it will add water solution or nutrients whenever needed, relieving you from this tedious task of monitoring and checking constantly.
It might be a more expensive solution to grow your plants, but it’s easier and has lower maintenance compared to soil.
Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Hydroponic System for Your Vegetables
Plants need these essential elements to survive: light, water, oxygen, and nutrients. Thus, selecting the best hydroponic system should provide these four elements.
However, hydroponics might be too overwhelming for some people who are just starting with it. Fortunately, today’s products offer process automation for lesser work on your part.
Furthermore, these are some factors to consider when choosing hydroponics for growing your vegetables.
You can grow several plants in a small space with hydroponics since roots won’t need to spread out to look for nutrients. Instead, the system has a size of a few feet or inches deep and wide, depending on the number of plants you want to grow.
If you’re planning to fit plants on a kitchen or table countertop, only 1 to 2 square feet of space for hydroponic gardening is needed to start your table garden.
Maintaining a consistent temperature is essential for successful plant growth. Fortunately, most fully-automated hydroponic systems have water heaters to control the water temperature varying between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, plants do not require the same temperature level for at-home hydroponics since home temperature remains around 60 and 80 degrees.
- Solution and Nutrients
The system often comes with small coconut coir plugged into a mesh pot for indoor hydroponics. The bottom part of the plug settles in the water to trigger germination. During the plants’ growth phase, the roots extend below the mesh pot and reach further down the reservoir.
Furthermore, the nutrients needed for hydroponics are liquid and ready to be dispersed immediately into the water. It is usually in the pH level of 5.8 to 6.3, so plants can develop quickly and uptake the maximum amount of nutrients.
Before, hydroponics required users to have advanced experience and sensors for monitoring the system. They should have had in-depth knowledge of nutrient levels, water flow, and pumps. Even a slight delay can risk the plants drying out or even dying.
Luckily, modern automated hydroponic systems are simple to use. Systems like GrowDirector provide the complete set required for hydroponics, along with an application to monitor the plant’s health and nutrients of the water.
- Types of Plants
Hydroponics prefer small plant varieties for successful growth. These plants include chives, dill and basil, cherry tomatoes, and others. If you love flowers, you can also grow them in hydroponic systems.
Plants grow quicker in hydroponic systems than traditional ones, as you expect to harvest them after 3 to 4 months. Thus, there is minimal maintenance required with this system.
When it comes to maintenance, you only need to wipe down the pot’s surface with a clean towel or rag during the growing cycle. If you use local tap water, fill the reservoir with filtered water to minimize mineral deposits such as calcium and iron.
List of Best Hydroponic Systems
Now that you know what to consider when choosing the best hydroponic system, let’s head on to our recommendations. Read ahead to find out.
Nothing beats GrowDirector when it comes to the automated hydroponic system. It’s what you need in a grow room controller – it monitors the current status of the plants, temperature and acts as a hydroponic and co2 controller.
You can also control the climate of your indoor grow room via a smartphone app or browser. With various sensors in the kit, you are in charge of regulating the temperature, CO2, humidity, soil moisture, VPD, and water pH and EC levels. GrowDirector also sends a real-time notification once you download the application.
On the other hand, if you’re still a beginner in hydroponics, GrowDirector will also provide the best environment for your vegetables and other plants through the sensors. It will automatically provide nutrient solutions and grow a light schedule. In short, it’s an intelligent system that can do everything for you while you’re spending time with your family.
As well as, if you like to plant vegetables for mass production, you can also use GrowDirector as a greenhouse environment controller.
GrowDirector hydroponic system is excellently excellent in monitoring and taking care of your plants. To know more about it, you can browse here.
Aerogarden is part of our list of the best hydroponic system for vegetables, and a reason. It is a popular and innovative hydroponic system on the market. Also, it’s a favorite among first-time users since it is simple to use.
It is a hydroponic system that consumes small space in your home. You can still grow many vegetables and other plants despite only taking a small area. Your cherry tomatoes, lettuce, microgreens, and other vegetables will thrive until it is suitable for harvest. The system kit includes LED light which acts as sunlight for the photosynthesis of your plants.
However, if you want AeroGarden to do all the work, it can provide it with a limit. Although it will regulate the temperature, control the lights, and take care of the water while you are away, it will not automate pH or EC levels, which is lacking in most simple home-growing systems. If you are looking for full automation, you will need to look further and be ready to spend north of 1,000 USD. Aerogarden has an integrated touchscreen that informs you when to adjust the lights or add water to your plants.
The device itself comes with nine pods with a 3-ounce fertilizer bottle. In this way, your vegetables will be able to get all nutrients they need for hydroponics.
Click & Grow Smart Garden
Click & Grow Smart Garden is another indoor hydroponic system suited for your small vegetables and herbs. It functions similarly with AeroGarden, but it’s better suited for growing herbs.
This system is suitable if you have a small counter space. It includes a 2 feet wide, 1 foot and 4 inches height, and 7 inches deep, which can be small for growing vegetables. Hence, you need to consider carefully which herbs or vegetables to plant in this kind of system.
The Click & Grow Smart Garden Hydroponic System has reusable pods that you can purchase. Hence, it’s easy to clean and easy to grow herbs. It’s the best smart garden for growing small herbs and vegetables, in our opinion.
Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System
Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System has 12 growing stations, which costs less than other systems with six stations. The system also includes a water reservoir, a fan to provide oxygen, and an overhead LED light mimics sunlight.
This system also comes with a 12-station grow pot with a transparent water level window. Hence, you can see the water level in the reservoir. The lights can be turned on for 18 hours and turned off for 6 hours, while the water circulates in the reservoir every 30 minutes. However, there’s no nutrient liquid and seed included in the kit.
Overall, the pros and cons of the Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System are.
– Water circulates in the reservoir every 30 minutes.
– It has 12 growing stations.
– Integrated automated LED grow lights with timer.
– The kit comes with seed plugs, mesh pots, and covers.
– There are no included seeds and nutrient liquid.
– Plants can only grow up to a maximum height of 11.2 inches.>
iDOO Indoor Herb Garden System
Another hydroponic system in the market, the iDOO 12-Pods Indoor herb Garden Kit, is what we recommend if you’re still a beginner in hydroponics gardening.
iDOO 12-Pods Indoor Herb Garden Kit comes with 12 pods to grow your herbs and 23-watt LED light to mimic sunlight to provide plants with photosynthesis. You can also view the water level in the reservoir to know when to add water and nutrient solutions to your plants. In this way, your plants won’t get malnourished.
When plants receive photosynthesis, they can withstand different weather conditions. For this reason, the LED lights have two modes: on and off to ensure plants get the required sunlight. You can also adjust these lights to support your vegetables’ varying stages of growth.
iDOO is terrific for beginners since it is a budget-friendly hydroponic system. It may have fewer features than other hydroponic systems, but it does the job. It has automatic water circulation, LED lights, and an overhead fan to allow plants to thrive.
However, there are no seeds included when purchasing the system. There’s also a limit to the type of plants you want to grow. The system only allows plants with a height capacity of up to 11 inches.
Hydrofarm Root Spa Bucket System
Now, if you’re a pro in hydroponics and want to get serious about it, check out Hydrofarm Root Spa Bucket System. The system includes eight 5-gallon reservoirs with 8-inch grow basket for each reservoir. Honesty, be told, it’s an excellent system, but it’s the bare minimum. In order to automate this system, you will need a controller, such as a grow room controller.
Hence, it can hold different hydroponic mediums such as coconut coir or perlite. Each reservoir or bucket is connected to a central pump to allow air circulation through the water.
Additionally, this system is for users who want to grow several big plants. You can harvest tomatoes, squares, or even sunflowers with Hydrofarm Root Spa Bucket System.
It has a large growing area that would require space for your bedroom or your living room, or porch. You can also use this system if you plan to use it for greenhouse gardening. However, you need to supply your own grow lights for the plants for large areas.
It also has an integrated pump designed to run continuously. If you want to control the pump, manual operation is possible. Unfortunately, there’s no growing medium, seeds, and nutrients provided with Hydrofarm Root Spa Bucket System.
– You can plant large plants with deep roots.
– It has an integrated air pump to provide oxygen to the water to encourage healthy roots.
– The connections along the pump are watertight to prevent leaks.
– No real automation.
– There are no LED lights, seeds, growing medium included in the package.
GrowLED Adjustable Germination Hydroponic System
If you want to grow your plants and survive in different weather conditions, GrowLED Adustable Germination Hydroponic System is the best choice for you.
It includes 10-pods and LED lights so your plants can receive the needed light and photosynthesis to withstand different weather conditions. The LED light is adjustable to cater to the various growth stages of your plants and vegetables.
It also has a timer feature to ensure lights are switched on for 16 hours and switched off for 8 hours to fit the one-day cycle.
GrowLED also comes with a nutrient solution for hydroponics. This system will make your vegetables last through a growing season.
It also has a water indicator to notify you of the water level and when to add water. GrowLED will prevent your plants from running dry since you know when to add water to keep your plants growing and strong.
In summary, GrowLED Adjustable Germination Hydroponic System allows you to use it all year round. You can then grow vegetables during the winter or in the middle of the spring. It is versatile to grow whatever vegetables or fruits you want to plant.
XXXFLOWER Hydroponic Garden
XXXFLOWER Hydroponic Garden has a very basic system. It is a straightforward basic hydroponic system with integrated LED lights and a water pump. It also includes three glass bulbs that hold the water to encourage root growth while decorating your windowsill or countertop.
XXXFlower is what you need if you’re still into traditional gardening, but with a hydroponic twist. There’s not much automation as you only need to fill the water. To achieve the best results, fill in the bulb with water every 3 to 4 days to keep it fresh. As soon as the roots develop, the plants can be transferred to pots or your outside garden.
– It is affordable.
– It has a stylish display.
– Suits small spaces.
– Easy to use and set up.
– Very basic features.
– No automation.
– Catered for three small plants.
Our team of experts strongly recommends GrowDirector as the most advanced and comprehensive hydroponic system. This is an automated hydroponic system that will do the job from A to Z without cutting any corners. You are informed of the condition of your vegetables in real-time, and your plants are automatically adjusted in real-time.
If you want less work, GrowDirector will do all the work for you, and you only need to supply water when it’s time to. Also, it’s catered for small to large gardens; hence it’s versatile enough to cater to different gardening needs.
Nevertheless, the decision comes down to you. With our list of the best hydroponic system for vegetables, there’s no reason you won’t be able to choose one for your home.