The noticeable rise in the popularity of hydroponic kits comes at a time where both suitable land and weather conditions are becoming increasingly sought after for propagation purposes.
As a gardening enthusiast, you might be asking yourself – well, how do I get involved in hydroponic growing?
Many of you novice growers may not have the time and/or patience to source the individual components necessary to establish a suitable propagation system.
That is where complete hydroponic kits come into play.
This article will identify and discuss hydroponic kits as a means for you budding enthusiasts out there to enter into the world of hydroponic-based growing.
This will assist you in purchasing the appropriate grow kit for your new venture into the world of hydroponics.
7 Budget-Friendly Hydroponic Kits
1. Homend Indoor Hydroponic Grow Kit
Despite being the cheapest of the lot, this hydroponic kit allows one to grow up to 11 plants at once.
It’s versatile in that it can be used as part of both indoor and outdoor grow setups in a variety of environments and takes up very little space.
The kit is easy to set up which makes it very convenient for first-time growers, and it comes with a detailed set of instructions.
It is also made out of food-grade PVC-U materials, making it perfect for food cultivation.
2. HighFree Hydroponic System Growing Kit
This hydroponic kit by HighFree comes with almost everything that is needed to jump into a first-time grow. All you need to add are your own nutrients and seeds/plants, and you’re good to go.
Suited to indoor vegetable growers, it is perfect for anyone looking for a setup that requires minimal space – you can even place it in an easy-to-reach spot if needed while doing the cooking.
The kit provides space for 11 plant sites and is self-watering.
3. Hydrofarm Root Spa Deep Water Culture Bucket System
The Root Spa by HydroFarm is a great example of a DWC system.
It is comprised of a 5-gallon bucket system that is simple, yet effective in its ability to grow larger plants with ease.
This water-tight bucket system comes with a small single-outlet air pump that allows for oxygenation of the nutrient solution without the need to use air stones.
Its forgiving, inexpensive and easy-to-use nature makes it a perfect hydroponic kit for beginners, and once you realize how much you enjoy it you can upgrade to the 4 or 8 bucket system – both of which come with larger outlet air pumps.
4. iDOO Hydroponic Growing System
IDOO have truly outdone themselves with this sublime, best-selling hydroponic starter kit.
The high-performance 23-Watt LED lights make this 12-pod indoor system a winner, no matter the weather.
The system comes with 2 “smart grow modes” for fruits and vegetables.
That, combined with the height-adjustable LED fixture makes for a product that is incredibly versatile.
The best part of it all – it’s suited to growers of all skill levels.
5. Vegebox Hydroponics Growing System
An aesthetically pleasing addition to our list comes in the form of the VegeBox Hydroponics Growing System.
This grow kit comes with a 1.2 L water tank, 9 planting seed pods, and even contains 2 bottles of nutrient solution.
Additionally, this hydroponic kit comes with an adjustable, eco-friendly, full-spectrum set of LED grow lights controlled by a Smart LED Control System.
Best suited to anything from herbs to tomatoes, strawberries, and lettuce.
6. Sidasu Hydroponic Grow Kit
This single-layer system by Sidasu comes with 36 sites spaced out over 4 pipes – the most growing sites on the list thus far.
If that still doesn’t satisfy you, you can go for their 3 layer/12 pipe system instead.
This simple to assemble hydroponic kit makes use of a timed circulation system and is manufactured out of food-grade PVC-U material.
It is very user-friendly and requires no prior growing experience.
7. Back To The Roots Water Garden
Having to decide between your fish hobby and getting into hydroponics? No need.
Our final and most unique hydroponic kit option comes in the form of a self-cleaning fish tank that can actually grow food.
From microgreens to houseplants, this system can do it all, and at an affordable price.
It functions by utilizing fish waste as fertilizer for the plants and in turn, the plants help to keep the water clean.
Absolutely everything is included, from organic microgreen seeds to fish food – just not the fish.
As an added bonus it comes with a free STEM curriculum on aquaponics and hydroponic systems to encourage kids to learn more about it.
What Is Hydroponics?
To understand what a hydroponic kit is, we first have to briefly discuss hydroponics.
Fundamentally, hydroponic growing is the use of a nutrient-rich, water-based solution in place of soil as a growing medium for plant propagation.
With this method, nutrients are fed directly from the solution into the roots of the plants.
Additionally, plants can access ample amounts of oxygen, allowing for greater quality produce and noticeably less time between yields.
There are numerous other benefits to utilizing hydroponic systems over traditional soil-based cultivation techniques. One significant advantage is the ability to save space.
This is achieved through the use of customizable nutrient solutions that are perfectly calibrated to provide a continuous stream of nutrients to the plants.
As a result, root systems do not need to spread throughout a large area of soil to take in adequate nutrients. As such, you’re able to place them closer together and save on space.
What Are Hydroponic Kits?
Now that you have a basic idea of what hydroponics entails, we can move on to hydroponic kits.
Key features of a general hydroponic kit:
- Growing chamber -This component assists in maintaining optimal conditions for the plants. It does this by helping to control factors such as temperature, light and protecting plants from possible pest infestations.
- Reservoir – a suitable reservoir is at the heart of every hydroponic kit. Here lies the water that holds the nutrient-rich plant solution required for hydroponic grows. Depending on the setup, they can also be used as an additional growing chamber.
- Growing media – the substitute for soil, though they do not provide the plants with nutrients independently. Instead, they act as a catalyst for nutrient transportation. This is achieved through their porous structure which absorbs and retains both moisture and nutrients. Additionally, they work to support the plants.
- Air stones/ air pumps – believe it or not, plants that are submerged without sufficient oxygenation can quickly drown. To avoid this, hydroponic kits make use of air stones/air pumps. Together, these components provide sufficient aeration in the solution by means of tiny oxygen bubbles. This also helps to distribute nutrients among the roots equally.
- Net pots – these are mesh planters that are used to hold hydroponic plants. Their structure facilitates greater exposure to both nutrients and oxygen. They also allow for a greater degree of drainage.
- Lighting – though not always a standard component of hydroponic kits, some more expensive kits come with grow lights. These lights imitate the sun and help to carry out photosynthesis. This makes them extremely beneficial in setups where natural light is hard to come by.
What Is The Easiest Hydroponic System To Use?
You may find yourself lost in the hundreds of hydroponic kits and systems that are available today
These variations fall under 6 main types of hydroponic systems. We will focus on one of, if not the most suitable option for beginners – the Deep Water Culture (DWC) system.
If you’re a novice, the name may give off the impression that this method is terribly complex. Rest assured it is actually a relatively simple system to understand.
The DWC system is labeled as such for the following reasons:
- Your grow will take place within a reservoir holding a significant amount of water.
- The amount of root mass continuously submerged in water.
In a DWC system, roots are suspended over a reservoir filled with an oxygenated, nutrient-rich, water-based plant solution. Doing this allows the roots to receive a steady uptake of oxygen, nutrients, and water.
The oxygen is supplied by air pumps and air stones. These 2 components work in tandem, ensuring that the solution is aerated enough – by means of dissolving bubbles – so that the plants don’t drown.
Yes, it sounds rather odd but plants can in fact drown. The roots suck up available oxygen from the water solution. If the oxygen isn’t constantly replaced you can say goodbye to your grow.
Now let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of a DWC setup:
- Low maintenance.
- Inexpensive and easy to assemble.
- Larger yields and accelerated growth due to greater uptake of nutrients and oxygen from the nutrient solution.
- Less nutrient mix compared to other systems.
- Higher risk of plant diseases spreading due to a shared reservoir.
- Susceptible to pump malfunctions and power outages.
- Can be difficult to maintain water temperatures due to the continuous running of the water pump.
- Can be challenging to calibrate appropriately in smaller systems.
For those of you out there who want to dip your toes into the hydroponic world – go out, grab that first grow kit of yours and dive in headfirst.
Initially, it may seem a bit overwhelming but there is an overabundance of fantastic hydroponic kit options out there tailored to beginners.
Ultimately, the world can only benefit from the wonders that hydroponic growing has to offer.
So take the first step towards being part of the hydro community, and if you already have, feel free to detail your experiences in the comment section below!