As much as farming is a rewarding activity, it doesn’t come easy.
It demands a lot of time, effort, and patience to grow crops.
From having to dig through the manure to carrying heavy loads under the hot summer sun, to spending hours at the field every day to checking the crops at night for animal attacks, the job of a farmer is anything but easy.
Despite all the efforts, you can never tell when your crops may get attacked by pests and weeds, putting all your efforts and hard work at the risk of going to waste.
Not to mention the hardened skin on the hands and the permanently dusty nails. Many people want to start farming, but the thought of challenges and hardships that follow often keep them from taking a start.
What if we tell you there was a way you could grow crops in your home all year long, without having to get yourself burned in the sun or dirty?
Hydroponic systems are a revolutionary farming method that doesn’t require you to spend hours under the sun, working on the soil. Instead, it enables you to grow crops inside your home without soil!
Hydroponics systems involve growing plants directly in a container containing nutrient-rich water. These are soil-less systems, where the roots of the plants are suspended directly in a water solution that contains all the vital nutrients that a plant needs for optimum growth.
You’ll be surprised to know that growing plants in a hydroponic system boosts growth by as much as 30%. So, not only do you get a soil-free, clean gardening experience, but you also get a more rapid plant growth.
If the idea of growing plants in your home, without the fuss, hassle, and mess of soil farming intrigues you, you might want to know what the best hydroponic system for your home is.
To help you make the right investment, we’ve put together 5 of the best hydroponic systems that you can get to start growing your favorite plants and crops in the comfort of your home.
Best Hydroponic System – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Best Overall – VegeBox Indoor Hydroponics Garden
- Size: Small (9 planting holes)
- Volume: 1.2 L
- Weight: 3.64 pounds
- Power input: 21 Watt
- Extra features: 4-in-1 Light Technology
The first best hydroponics system on our list of the Vegebox Hydroponics Garden.
It secures the top spot for all the right reasons. Equipped with 9 planting holes, it allows you to grow 9 herbs, plants, or vegetables of your choice at the same time, in your home, without the need for soil.
The powerful LED light system features 4 light options, including IR, blue, red, and green, providing the perfect light for the plants to carry out photosynthesis.
With more than 14 hours of daylight and about 10 hours of no-light (stays shut), your plants get adequate day-time and night-time lighting. The auto shut off mechanism ensures that the culture isn’t used for extended periods unnecessarily.
It further ensures that your plants grow fast, up to 1.5 times faster than they would in the soil. Equipped with a 135-inch wide-angle light adjustment option, all the 9 plants receive adequate lighting.
The VegeBox Indoor Hydroponics Garden features a completely soil-less culture. All you need is the seeds of your preferred plants. The process is a simple 3-step process.
First, you sow the seeds in the liquid culture, wait for them to germinate, followed by transplanting the seedlings to your indoor herb garden, where you see them grow into mature plants.
One of the drawbacks that some people might come across is the growth of algae. Since the water needs not to be replaced for two weeks, leaving the system as it is for this duration might result in the growth of algae.
Some extra features that are worth a mention include a large, 1.2L tank. You don’t have to worry about refilling the tank every few days. The volume is good enough for two weeks.
It comes with all the necessary tools that you’ll need during the process, including a measuring cup, seedbox, sponge, twee, hole cover, and nutrient water. The nutrient water is loaded with nutrients like minerals, fibers, and vitamins that a plant needs for healthy growth.
If you’re looking for a hydroponics system that doesn’t look ugly in your kitchen, the Vegebox Indoor Hydroponics Garden is what you should get.
Featuring a sleek and compact design and an incredible 4-in-1 light system, it is not just the best hydroponic system, but also one of the most good looking ones out there in the market today!
Runner Up – Active Aqua Root Spa Bucket Hydroponic System
- Size: Small (1 bucket)
- Volume: 5 Gallon
- Weight: 6.4 pounds
- Power input: –
- Extra features: Air pump to oxygenate liquid culture
If you’re looking for an indoor hydroponic system in which you can grow large-sized plants, the Active Aqua Root Spa Bucket System might be the best option for you.
It features a large, 5 Gallon bucket that is filled with the culture system.
The roots are immersed deep in the culture, which ensures that all the nutritional needs of plants are met. The water-tight nature of this system guarantees zero leaks, and hence, none of the culture is wasted.
The Active Aqua Root Spa comes with an air pump that oxygenates the water inside the bucket. The constant supply of oxygen to the roots encourages the healthy growth of the root system.
To deliver the air to the bottom of the bucket, the Active Aqua Root Spa features a multi-purpose air hose, so you don’t really have to bother about the roots at the bottom to stay deprived of fresh air or oxygen.
The buckets are a good enough size for you to grow full-size plants in the comfort of your home, without making a mess that typical gardening and farming is associated with.
One major drawback of this hydroponic system is that you can grow a single plant variety in one bucket. If you wish to grow multiple varieties, you’ll need to purchase extra buckets.
For someone who isn’t willing to spend a lot of money to set up an indoor garden may be limited to growing only a few plant varieties.
One of the features that sets the Active Aqua Root Spa a great hydroponic system to invest in is that it comes with all the essential accessories that are required to ensure healthy and rapid plant growth.
It includes an efficient air pump, multi-purpose air hose, tubing, bucket basket, and a grommet, which implies that when you purchase this system, you’re bringing home a complete indoor garden setup!
The Active Aqua Root Spa is an ideal choice for people who want to grow plant varieties other than herbs. This system features a large 5-gallon bucket that ensures that even larger plants have adequate space to grow optimally.
Alternative 1 – AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden
- Size: Small (6 plant capacity)
- Volume: 2.3 L
- Weight: 5.54 pounds
- Power input: 20 Watt
- Extra features: Efficient LED lighting system and integrated water pump
The AeroGarden Harvest makes it possible to grow as many as 6 plants at a time, making it an ideal option for anyone who wants to grow their favorite herbs in their home. It is a soil-less plant growing system that ensures that there is no mess around the house.
The water culture contains all the vital nutrients that plants need for healthy growth. What’s more to this indoor hydroponic system is a 20 Watt full-spectrum, high-performance LED light system.
These grow lights provide the plants with the ideal lighting conditions that are required for optimum growth. LED grow lights ensure that the lighting needs for photosynthesis are met, and the plants grow rapidly and naturally, into healthy adults.
The AeroGarden Harvest is an ideal indoor garden that allows the user to enjoy a fresh supply of their favorite vegetables and herbs all around the year.
One of the drawbacks of the AeroGarden Harvest is that it comes with seed pods that are to be planted in the tray. While seed pods ensure the rapid growth of the plants, it leaves you with a limited number of options.
Seedpod kits offer about 150 varieties of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. If someone wants to plants anything other than what the seed pod kits offer, they’ll have to look around for other hydroponic systems for their home.
Some of the features that make AeroGarden Harvest one of our top picks is its automatic light on and off. It provides the growing plants with adequate hours of daylight and night-time.
Moreover, it is important to maintain the water level in the tank. A reminder light on the control panel ensures that you know when you need to add more water to the tank.
If you want an indoor hydroponic garden in which you can grow multiple plants of up 12 inches height at the same time, the AeroGarden Harvest might be the right choice for you.
With its capacity, high performance LED light system, automatic lights turn on and off, and reminder for tank refills, it surely is a perfect option for people who’re looking for a convenient and efficient way of growing their favorite plants inside their home.
Alternative 2 – Big Smart Hydroponics Growing System
- Size: 6 planting holes
- Volume: –
- Weight: 9.98 pounds
- Power input: 110 – 240 V
- Extra features: Smart Control, water refill reminder
If you’re looking for the best hydroponic system for your home that enables you to grow any plant that you want, the Big Smart Hydroponics Growing System is what you need to get.
From vegetables as small as tomatoes to fruits as big as watermelons, the Big Smart Hydroponics Growing System is good for all.
It comes with dual power sources. You can either plug to an electrical source or keep it outdoors and bring its solar-powered system in use. It is super-easy to use and convenient to clean, making it a great option for anyone who wants to enjoy a hassle-free farming experience.
It comes with a good air circulation mechanism to support healthy plant growth.
All you need to do is add water and fertilizer to the water tank and let the plants grow. If you’re growing large-sized plants, it’s best to grow only two plants at a time. However, in the case of smaller plants, you can grow up to 6 plants at a time.
The Big Smart Hydroponic Growing System isn’t limited to herbs, vegetables, and fruits. It can be used as a trellis for climbing plants.
Some users have complained about the durability of the system. Also, one of the major drawbacks of the Big Smart Hydroponic System is that it’s extremely costly.
The water level indicator makes it convenient to keep track of when to fill the water tank. It also has a Smart Sensor system that senses what time of the day it is and provides the plants with nutrients and light accordingly.
In short, this indoor hydroponic system is one of the most efficient, low-maintenance hydroponic system for your home that will ensure optimum growth of whichever plant variety you choose to plant.
The Big Smart Hydroponic Growing System is ideal for people of all ages who have a passion for growing plants, fruits, and vegetables at home.
Whether you want to grow herbs or you want to grow larger plants like that of a watermelon or enjoy some climbing plants, the Big Smart Hydroponics Growing System is probably the best option out there.
Alternative 3 – Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit
- Size: Large (108 plant sites)
- Volume: 15-20L
- Weight: 20.1 pounds
- Power input: –
- Extra features: Comes with planting accessories
If you’re looking for a large-scale indoor gardening system, the Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit is what you should get. With 108 plant sites, you can grow multiple plant varieties at a time.
The Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit is made up of food-grade plastic that makes sure that the vegetables, herbs, or fruits that you grow in this system are free from any harmful chemicals.
With the Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit, you can enjoy a highly nutritious green supply all around the year. Since the roots are directly immersed in the nutrient culture, the plants grow healthy and fast.
The Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit doesn’t come with a lighting system. Therefore, you can’t keep it just anywhere in your home.
You’ve to make sure that you place the stand somewhere where the plants get adequate sunlight. Another drawback is that it is more expensive than other hydroponic kits.
The Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit comes with a holder, pipes, two planting sponges, a water pump, and a soft house, which means you’re sorted for good!
For people who have limited space in their homes, but wish to grow their favorite plants anyway, the Giraffe-X Hydroponic Grow Kit is the best option. With its vertical design and huge plant capacity, you can now enjoy soil-less gardening in the limited indoor space of your home.
Hydroponics System FAQ
Let’s have a quick go-through of the most frequently asked questions about hydroponic systems.
How do you start a hydroponic system at home?
To start a hydroponic system at home, you’ll need an efficient hydroponic system, a culture of essential hydroponic nutrients, an inert medium, a suitable light source, and of course, the plants that you wish to grow in your home hydroponic system.
You can build your own hydroponic system or invest in any ready-made system that comes equipped with everything that you’ll need.
What are the 6 types of hydroponics?
There are 6 types of hydroponics. They are as listed below:
- Wick System
It is the simplest type of hydroponic setup. It doesn’t use any electricity, pumps, or aerators, making it suitable for literally anyone, regardless of their experience level.
The plants are placed directly in the culture solution. Before the plants are immersed in the nutrient solution, nylon wicks are position around each plant.
- Water Culture
The roots of plants are immersed in the nutrient culture directly in this type of hydroponic system.
There is no barrier between the plant and the nutrient solution. The oxygen is delivered to the water through an air stone or diffuser. Plants grow pretty fast in a water culture.
- Ebb and Flow
The Ebb and Flow type of hydroponic system is one of the most commonly used hydroponic systems. The plants are placed on a growing bed that is usually packed with a growing culture like perlite or rockwool. The grow bed is flooded with the nutrient solution.
In this type of system, the water pump that introduces the nutrient solution to the grow bed is switched off after the automatic timer goes off. The water is then drained and returned to the pump. The Ebb and flow type of hydroponic system is suitable for growing nearly all types of plants.
- Drip System
The drip system is a fairly simple and easy-to-use system, which can be altered according to the type of plants that you’re growing. The nutrient solution is pumped to the plant through a tube.
There is a drip emitter at the end of each tube that keeps the volume of the solution pumped well in check. The flow of nutrient solution can be adjusted as per the plant needs.
- Nutrient Film Technology
This type of hydroponic system has a variety of applications. The nutrient solution is stored in a large reservoir, from where it is pumped to the plants.
The excess solution flows back to the reservoir through slopped channels. While it flows down, it passes through the roots of all plants and delivers nutrients along the way.
- Aeroponic System
Aeroponic systems are a bit complicated as compared to other types of hydroponic systems. It is suitable for growing plants that you want to keep suspended in the air.
The nutrient solution is delivered to the bottom of the plants through mist nozzles. This way, the nutrients are delivered directly to the roots.
What is the easiest hydroponic system to use?
The easiest hydroponic system is the water culture, where the plants are immersed directly into the nutrient-rich water. You simply fill a reservoir with the nutrient solution and suspend the roots of the plants in it. That’s all!
Why should you first use small systems?
Although hydroponic systems are fairly simple to understand and use, it is recommended that you start with small systems.
It’ll help you get accustomed to the basic mechanics of a hydroponic system and make managing plants easily. Starting with larger systems might be overwhelming for beginners.
Choosing the best hydroponic system for your home can be difficult for beginners. There are multiple factors that one needs to consider from the ease of use to the planting capacity to the price.
We’ve listed the best hydroponic systems for home in this buying guide to help you choose the one that makes soil-less farming a lot more convenient and fun for you.