Hydroponics is another innovation to the world of plants. Plants typically need three things to not just survive but thrive: light, water and nutrients. Nutrients are an interesting case, as most people assume nutrients are the same as soil.
You plant your plants in some soil, add some fertilizer and there’s all of the nutrients your plant will need. While this is true for the most part, soil and fertilizer are not the sole source of nutrients for plants.
Nutrients can be provided through other means, such as water. There are two main options for soil-less plant growth: aeroponics and hydroponics. Hydroponic systems are similar, yet different. Continue reading below to learn about the best hydroponic systems on the market!
What is a hydroponic drip system?
Hydroponic drip systems are an alternative form of growing plants. By using micro-irrigation, water pumps provide the proper amount of water and nutrients to your plants. They are fairly affordable to install and the pump system allows you to have control over the watering schedule your plant receives.
The water solution that the plant receives is vital. Plants require 17 essential nutrients to survive, so including these in the solution is very important. Using clean, filtered or distilled water is important as you can ensure the proper ratio of each nutrient is in the water solution. Check out this blog to learn more about how to make a hydroponic water solution.
How are hydroponics different from aeroponics?
Aeroponics are done through a mist sprayed in the air. The roots are exposed meaning that they are able to obtain much more oxygen. Due to the hydroponics system having submerged roots, they have access to less oxygen and therefore have smaller plant yields. Both of these systems function without soil, which is useful for places where fertile soil doesn't exist. These systems also function well in warehouses or places with vertical farming potential. To learn about vertical farming, check out this blog from Soltech Solutions.
Top 5 Hydroponic Drip Systems
The AeroGarden Harvest
The AeroGarden Harvest is a good starter hydroponic system for those waiting to start one in their home.
The AeroGarden Harvest is an easy to use hydroponic system able to go anywhere in your home. Coming in at 17.4”x 10.5” x 6”, this sleek design is perfect for those who want to grow plants in your kitchen to add to your dishes. It comes with a 20 W LED grow light meaning you don’t have to get other lights to support your plants.
With 6 pods, you have the ability to grow a good amount of plants in a relatively small space. The system is also smart as it informs you when you have low water and nutrients as well as automatic lights so you don’t have to set a reminder on your phone to turn the lights on and off.
The AeroGarden Bounty Elite
The AeroGarden Bounty Elite is perfect for those with a little bit of prior hydroponics experience. The AeroGarden Bounty Elite hydroponic planter comes with 9 pods for even more possibilities for plant variations. It comes with a 50W grow light with 24” of vertical growth room for your plants.
With dimensions of 34” x 17.25” x 11.25”, it is about double the size of the AeroGarden Harvest, but it justifies this size and price increase. With 3 more pods and a more than double wattage LED grow light, this hydroponic planter will provide more for your plants. It still has the low water and nutrient reminder, as well as the automatic lights, however, it has additional features such as a touchscreen, Wi-fi, an app, dimmable lights and vacation mode to ensure your plants are taken care of while you are out of the house on vacation or away for work!
The Smart Garden 9
The Smart Garden 9 is another great kitchen add for those who want to add a touch of green to their meals.
The Smart Garden 9 provides automatic watering, grow lights and a companion app to help the ease of use. This planter comes in at 2’ x 1’ 4” x 7”, making it easy to keep anywhere in your home. Considering this kit comes with a complimentary set of 3 tomato, 3 basil and 3 lettuce plant capsules, it might be a good idea to keep this in your kitchen to have fresh produce to add to your dishes.
VegeBox 12 Pods Hydroponic System
The VegeBox 12 Pods Hydroponic System is a safe and non-toxic way to grow plants in your home, which is especially useful when you have pets or small children in the home.
The VegeBox 12 Pod Hydroponic Growing System is a simple yet efficient smart garden for your home. With an adjustable 135 degree light panel and high performance LED grow lights, your plants will be provided with the right amount and quality of light. The system is made of food grade ABS making it safe, non-toxic and no-odor, which allows for your plants, herbs and vegetables to grow healthily and safely.
Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System
The Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System is a wonderful product that is capable of blending in as a side table, allowing for your room to maintain its aesthetic.
The Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System is a sneaky way to have a hydroponic system in your home without having a big eye sore. The sleek, modern design of the frame prevents it from disrupting your feng-shui. It comes with a companion app, the Miracle Gro Twelve app, that helps you control the light cycles and watering cycles of your hydroponic system from your phone.