Best Hydroponic Kits for Home Gardeners
Hydroponics is a great way for home gardeners to have a year-round crop that grows in a small space indoors. Unfortunately, it can be daunting if you’re new to indoor gardening. Learning how to build a hydroponic grow system isn’t too hard, but you’ll probably need some assistance getting everything set up. We’ve compiled some of the best hydroponic kits so that you will have a jump-start on your hydroponic garden by making the right purchases.
Hydroponic gardens are gardens that feed their plants through nutrient-rich water instead of using soil. Although it’s often considered a new form of growing plants, hydroponics has been around for hundreds of years. It’s recently become more popular with home gardeners due to the many benefits hydroponics has over the other methods of gardening.
Benefits of a Hydroponic Garden
There are several benefits to creating a hydroponic garden over a regular garden. The first is obvious: it doesn’t need any soil. This factor means less mess and less heavy lifting for the gardener to undertake. On top of that, people who live in the city can have their indoor garden, even if they have limited space. A hydroponic garden isn’t going to take over an entire room, so the method allows many people to grow vegetables in their small, city apartment.
One of the reasons I love my hydroponic garden is because there is no such thing as growing season. The cold New England weather means that fresh vegetables are hard to come by in the winter months. My indoor hydroponic garden, however, stays producing food throughout December and January. Fresh salads for everyone at my house!
When you’re using hydroponics, disease and pests are a lot easier to spot as well. You’re often able to act quickly before the illness spreads, or eradicate pests that would otherwise decimate your outdoor crop. There’s nothing worse than finding a colony of aphids on your tomato plant a month before you’re supposed to harvest. With hydroponics, these problems are far easier to avoid.
Negatives of Using Hydroponics
There aren’t too many negatives in having a hydroponic garden. One of the biggest deterrents for many people is the upfront cost associated with it. When compared to a soil garden, the hydroponic kits are going to cost considerably more. For those who have enough space for a garden in their yard, the extra work often doesn’t outweigh the extra cost of buying the materials to create a hydroponic garden.
Although diseases and pests are easier to spot in a hydroponic garden, they can also spread a lot faster due to the shared nutrients. If you’re not attentive enough, you may find that your plants were taken over by a disease you didn’t see coming. Related to this, hydroponic gardens react much more rapidly to good and bad environments. Because of this, you'll need more knowledge to maintain a lush hydroponic garden. If you’re a beginner, you may want to get your hands dirty to start.
Another drawback of hydroponics is that not all plants are ideal hydroponic candidates. If you’re only looking for some vegetables for a salad, you’ll probably be fine using hydroponics. If, however, you want to grow some fruit or a more sophisticated plant, it’s probably worth it to go with soil rather than hydroponics.
What to Look for in Hydroponic Grow Kits
Every hydroponic garden kit is going to be different. Some of the indoor plant growing kits on the market are complete hydroponic systems. This factor means that they’ll contain all of the materials you’ll need to get your hydroponics growing. Others will only provide a few of the elements needed, and leave the lights or other components up to you. If you’re looking for complete hydroponic grow kits, then your options might be a little more limited and often more costly.
Other hydroponic kits for beginners offer a simple setup but require the purchase of additional materials to get the most out of your indoor hydroponics system. There are also a ton of hydroponic systems DIY, which will save you a fair amount of money in the long run.
In the end, the decision of how much you’re looking for in a hydroponic kit is up to you. Several videos on YouTube will show you how to make a simple hydroponic system at home, and only require the purchase of lighting and tools you may not have.
In general, though, it’s important to make sure that any grow tent kit Amazon offers, is made of quality equipment. You can build a homemade hydroponics system with the help of a few tutorials, so if you’re buying one, you’ll want to ensure you’re not wasting your money on a product that doesn’t surpass your creations.
1. AeroGarden Bounty with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
The AeroGarden Bounty kit is one of the best hydroponics kits for sale. LED lights are a must-have with most hydroponics kits, as they are the most versatile and practical forms of lighting for plant growth. The setup is simple and conducive to beginners. I got one of these for my sister who never gardens. She loved this kit, and now has a consistent source of fresh lettuce and basil.
The purchase of one of these hydroponics kits includes nine seed pods. This feature would be ideal for new gardeners who aren’t sure what they want to grow. Users have reported problems with the chive seed pod, but this appears to be with the pod itself and not the kit.
2. iRSE Indoor Garden Kit
iRSE Indoor Garden Kit is a great hydroponics kit for beginners. It doesn’t have a ton of space for multiple plants, but it will serve your needs if you just want to get started with your indoor hydroponics garden.
Setup is straightforward and easy, and getting started with this product was much easier than I expected. Apart from installation instructions, the manual doesn’t give many gardening tips. New gardeners may want to take a look online to get a better sense of how to proceed, but more intermediate gardeners shouldn’t have a problem figuring out what to do.
3. Apollo Horticulture Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent
The grow tent by Apollo Horticulture is one of the adequate grow tent kits for beginners. Grow tents are usually for more serious gardeners, but this product is easy to set up and will help you along if you’re new. That said, grow tents take more knowledge than other options on this list. If you’ve never gardened in your life, I’d advise you start with one of the above recommendations.
You’ll need to buy some extra materials if you decide to use this product, but that’s the same with most quality grow tents. If you need the light protection, though, the Apollo Horticulture tent will serve your needs.
4. PowerGrow Deep Water Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit
If you’re looking for a deep water culture hydroponic kit, then take a look at the option from PowerGrow. It’s not one of the complete indoor grow kits like some of the others on this list, but it serves a more specific purpose. Instead of learning how to make your hydroponic garden on your own, you can pick up one of these and get started.
This kit would be better for people who are intrigued by the above options but want the feature of having a larger plant. You’ll need to get a light source if you’re growing indoors. This factor means that the product is a bit pricey for what you get. Still, if you want to get started immediately, it has most of what you’ll need.
5. H2OtoGro DWC Self Watering Hydroponic System
If you’re interested in a deep water culture hydroponic kit, you could probably do better than the H2OtoGrow product. It’s far smaller than many gardeners require. It’s decent if you’re just getting started, but most people with DWC plants want more room to expand.
For only a few dollars more, you’d be able to buy something that will house your plants for a lot longer. In my opinion, this product just isn’t worth it. It would be good for beginners, but the setup instructions are so confusing that you’re better off if you do some research and build a homemade hydroponics system of your own.
Out of the above systems, the number-one choice has to be AeroGarden Bounty kit. It’s one of the best hydroponic kits out there, and won’t cost you too much either. If you’re getting started with your first indoor hydroponics garden, then AeroGarden won’t let you down. It’s also an ideal option if you’re a seasoned gardener and want to have some fresh vegetables in the winter months.
The other options are usable, for the most part, but aren’t among the best hydroponic kits like the Aerogarden Bounty Kit. There are also other models available from the same company if you want to downgrade a bit and pay less.