A hydroponic system can provide you and your whole family with fresh vegetables even if you don’t have your own yard. You can successfully grow everything you need for cooking right in your kitchen!
Here I will help you understand what hydroponic systems are currently available and hopefully, you will find one that is right for you.
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The first and main reason why more and more people choose hydroponics is the very high growing efficiency. With a hydroponic system, you can get a much faster harvest than you would with soil.
In addition to faster growth, you can also count on more generous fruiting. The plant does not have to waste energy to get nutrients and therefore all its energy is spent on fruiting.
The second reason for its popularity is that hydroponic systems can be installed anywhere. You can put it in your kitchen or basement. There is a wide variety of hydroponic systems to suit all needs.
Almost all modern indoor hydroponic systems have LED lights. This makes it possible to benefit from them both in the house and in the apartment. In addition, the compact size and ergonomic design can make hydroponics a harmonious part of your interior.
There is nothing new in hydroponics itself, even in ancient times people grew plants without soil but only in water. In our time this principle has been significantly improved and now the plants receive a nutrient solution rich in oxygen directly to the roots. This makes hydroponics the most efficient way to grow food today.
How does it work?
There are several types of hydroponic systems, but their essence can be summarized by the fact that the roots are in free space and are washed with nutrient solution. This makes life a lot easier for the plant because there is no need for the roots to penetrate into the heavy soil.
To get this advantage, the developers of hydroponic systems had to make a reservoir where the roots are located. Some systems also have a separate tank. The movement of water is done by a water pump.
An indispensable attribute of the hydroponic system is air stones through which the air pump supplies oxygen to the solution. The oxygen-rich solution greatly increases the yield.
Indoor hydroponic systems are equipped with LED lights. This makes it possible to place them even in a room with no windows, for example in the basement.
All you have to do is find a place for your hydroponics and plug it in. Then pour water, add nutrients, and plant the seeds in the net pots. That’s it, now you have to wait for the harvest.
AeroGarden Farm 12XL – Best Overall
The reason why I think the AeroGarden Farm 12XL hydroponic system is the best overall is because of the high efficiency and quality. This is a fairly large hydroponics system in which you can grow a decent amount of vegetables or leafy greens.
The distinctive feature of this device is the high quality of materials and assembly. The basis of the system is a steel frame that can serve for a very long time. All parts are made of high quality plastic and are well assembled.
AeroGarden Farm 12XL has 50 watt LEDs that can provide excellent yields. In addition, there is an increased growing height which allows you to grow tall plants such as cucumbers.
The device looks very beautiful and stylish. It will harmoniously fit into the interior of any house. Moreover, growing plants in winter is very exciting.
By the way, I suggest you check out my review of the AeroGarden Farm 12XL. I am sure you will find a lot of useful information there.
If you find this hydroponic system a little small, you can always buy the AeroGarden Farm 24XL. This version has twice as much space for growing plants.
Pros and Cons
|Huge growing height||The price could be a bit lower|
|Advanced functionality||Trellis system has only one level|
|Touch screen||No covers for unused holes|
|Excellent quality||The hose for draining the water is not convenient|
|Wi-Fi and App|
|50 watt LEDs|
- LetPot LPH-Max 21
- Personal Rise Garden
- Gardyn 3.0
If you favor this hydroponic system, you are sure to get a lot of positive impressions and a lot of benefits. In addition, you will learn a great deal of new information about growing plants in hydroponics.
AeroGarden Harvest – Best For Beginners
The best hydroponic system for beginners is AeroGarden Harvest. This is the device with which I began my acquaintance with hydroponics and I want to tell you that it is really worth it.
Here are some of the features that make this device stand out from the competition:
- Unique design for high yields;
- Higher performance LEDs compared to competitors;
- Powerful and long-lasting pump;
- Lower electricity costs compared to competitors.
The AeroGarden Harvest has a very efficient system for distributing nutrient solution between plants. The solution rises up to the grow deck and is then delivered directly to each plant through channels in the deck.
Such design sets AeroGarden Harvest apart from its competitors, making it more efficient than similar systems.
Next, I’d like to mention the LEDs. The Harvest has more efficient LEDs than other brands. As a result, the plants experience a higher growth rate without an increase in electricity costs.
Similar to all AeroGarden units, the Harvest has a removable bowl, which makes the system very easy to maintain. In contrast, some other hydroponic systems require complete disassembly for cleaning or water replacement.
The AeroGarden Harvest pump is powerful enough and includes a filter, ensuring a long service life. Additionally, you can purchase any spare parts directly from the manufacturer’s website.
One advantage of the Harvest is the wide range of alternative consumables available. It is easy to find compatible grow sponges and baskets from other manufacturers, often at lower prices than the original ones.
To keep this section concise, I recommend checking out my detailed review of the AeroGarden Harvest. There, I extensively test the system and describe all its features from a user’s perspective.
Pros and Cons
|Unique water distribution system||Price|
|High efficiency||No Wi-Fi/App|
|Efficient LEDs||No covers for unused holes|
|Low operating costs||Grow height|
|Water level sensor|
|Plant food reminder|
|Large fill hole|
|Many alternatives of consumables|
- IDOO 8Pods WiFi
- LetPot 5Pods
- GardenCube 8 Pods
The AeroGarden Harvest is a perfect device for those who are starting their journey in the world of hydroponics. It allows you to quickly become familiar with the intricacies of growing plants without soil.
While the price of this system may not be the lowest on the market, it is more of a positive aspect than a negative one. For the price, you receive a high-quality, effective, and reliable device. Cheaper alternatives, on the other hand, are unable to offer the same benefits, which can ultimately lead to disappointment in hydroponics as a whole.
AeroGarden Bounty Basic – Best Hydroponic Herb Garden
In all the time I have been using it, I have found that the AeroGarden Bounty Basic is best suited for growing herbs. As you may know herbs can be quite tall, such as dill, and quite large, such as Thai basil.
This unit has all the features you need to grow this type of plants. It has a growing height of over 23 inches and a tank capacity of 4.5. All this allows you to achieve a good harvest in a short period of time.
In a month of using the AeroGarden Bounty Basic, I grew six herb bushes which was enough for my family to cook for a long time. Be sure to check out my AeroGarden Bounty Basic review.
The screen, menu, and many useful features allow for flexibility in controlling it. I recommend setting it to run the light for 17 hours, then the results will be noticeably better and faster.
Pros and Cons
|Large grow height||Lack of Wi-Fi and app|
|Screen with easy to use menu||LEDs could be a little more powerful|
|Not overpriced||No light dimming|
|Unique water supply system||No covers for unused holes|
|Quiet pump||The screen has no sleep mode|
|Quality materials and assembly|
- uHarvest Tabletop Garden
- LetPot LPH-Max 21
- RGBing 15-pods
- Spider Farmer SF-Smart G12
Compared to its competitors, the Bounty Basic is very good. Its price is not overpriced at all and is average for the market. For this money you will get excellent quality and many useful features that other similar devices do not have.
Lettuce Grow The Farmstand – Best For Vegetables
The Farmstand from Lettucegrow is one of the best for producing a large crop. This system is designed so that the roots have plenty of room to grow. As a result, you can get not only herbs or lettuce but also vegetables.
You can grow cherry tomatoes as well as regular large tomatoes in this system. It’s also great for growing cucumbers and even zucchini. But to get a bountiful harvest you need to give the plants lots of light.
The Farmstand is available with or without LED lighting. I recommend making sure you order the lights and place the system near a window (preferably a south-facing one). That way you will have a great crop all year long.
In the summer you can move the system outside or on the balcony. Turning The Farmstand around on its axis from time to time will give the plants an even amount of sunlight. As a result, you will provide your family with a significant amount of plant food.
The advantage of this particular device is its modularity. You can order the system about 4 feet high but then upgrade it to over 6 feet high. The maximum number of plants is 36 but they have plenty of room to grow which will result in higher yields.
AeroGarden Sprout – Best for Small Spaces
The term small space is quite relative. In general, all of the systems presented here can fit even in a small apartment and even more so in a house. However, the last device that I want to recommend to you is worth your attention.
The AeroGarden Sprout is the smallest hydroponic system available today. You can put it in a very small space. You can even put it in a kitchen cabinet. At the same time, you should not expect any big yield from it.
The AeroGarden Sprout has three growing holes and one air pump. There is also a water level sensor and the system will remind you when you need to give the plants food.
The unit has a 10-watt LED light. The growing height is up to 10 inches. All of this is to say that Sprout is a device that can provide a certain amount of herbs for one person.
To learn more be sure to check out my full review of the Aerogarden Sprout.
Pros and Cons
|Compact size||The LEDs are a little weak|
|Low costs||No Wi-Fi/App|
|Reliable pump||Maintenance difficulties|
|Plant food reminder||Low growing height|
|Large fill hole|
|Many alternatives of consumables|
|Almost no impact on comfort|
|Quality of materials|
- Inbloom 5Pods
- LetPot 5Pods
- ScienGarden 3 Pods
Who is the AeroGarden Sprout suitable for? Despite its small size, it would make a great gift for a friend to learn about hydroponics. It is also a great device for children to teach them to grow their own organic food and be closer to nature.
Hydroponics needs maintenance
In the end, I want to tell you a few words about the maintenance of hydroponic systems. Whatever device you choose from the ones presented here, remember that there are some things that you must do regularly in order for the plants to thrive.
The first is regular water changes. In general, the water should be changed every two weeks. In larger systems, you can change the water a little less frequently, e.g. every 20 days.
Also, don’t forget to refill the water when the device reminds you to do so.
Be sure to clean the entire system when you change the water. All units get dirty during use and algae builds up inside. This reduces the efficiency of hydroponics so cleaning is a must.
If you have chosen such devices as AeroGarden Harvest, AeroGarden Harvest Elite Slim, or AeroGarden Sprout you need to shorten the plant roots. The fact is that the tank of these devices is small enough and over time, the plant roots clog it severely making it difficult for water to move.
To avoid this happening check the roots from time to time if they have not turned into a clump. If so, cut them back, but no more than 20 percent. Just trim off the part that is heavily intertwined.
Also, be sure to keep the water in the right condition. I mean pH and electrical conductivity. Usually, hydroponic system manufacturers give detailed instructions on how to do this.
I hope you found a hydroponic system here that works best for you. I wish you a great harvest and all the best! Bye!