Best Indoor Hydroponics Garden Systems
Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Gardening at home is cost effective and convenient. Hydroponics is a clean way to grow plants that you use in everyday recipes. There are hydroponics systems available for purchase that are good investments for those who prepare their meals at home.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a way of gardening or growing plants without soil. Typically hydroponics involves growing plants in nutrient rich water or mineral rich gels. I was first introduced to this system during my undergraduate studies in biology. I had the opportunity to implement small hydroponic setups while completing my studies. I periodically revive my indoor garden habit when time permits. Hydroponics is my preferred method for indoor gardening.
What are the Benefits of Hydroponic Gardening?
Save on groceries. A major benefit of home gardening is saving money on some groceries by growing your own food at home. Lately we are experiencing shortages on many items and increased prices on fuel for numerous reasons, so by maintaining a home garden you can possibly decrease your food expenses.
Garden year round. The garden is indoors with its own light source so you can grow your plants year round.
Conserves Water. A hydroponics garden uses less water than traditional gardening in soil.
No Weeding. Traditional gardening often involves weeding beds, but not hydroponics.
Organic. No weeds and bugs from the ground means no need for harmful pesticides.
What is Needed to Establish a Hydroponics system?
If you want to start a hydroponic garden then you have 2 options:
Buy an all-in-one manufactured system
Build your own system
Only you can determine which option is best for you, however it I will quickly list important considerations for each system:
Containers and space limitations
When you are setting up a hydroponics garden indoors you must make sure that you have an adequate light source for the plants that you want to grow. If you use an LED grow light then you won't have to worry about window access for light. If you don't need a window then you can place your garden in almost any room. I will include a few lighting options below.
Containers and Space
As a financially strained college student I set up an indoor hydroponics vegetable garden in my college housing using a fish tank and plastic cups. I set the plants up adjacent to a large window with great sun exposure and made my own plant food to add to the water. I was able to make it work on a shoestring budget and small space. You need to consider the number and size of plants that you want to grow at a time and the space that you have available. If you do not have room to spread out but want to grow a number of plants consider a vertical hydroponics container garden. You can set up a vertical garden on a bookshelf, vertical racks, or purchase a hydroponic growing tower specially designed for that purpose.
Your garden will not thrive unless the water or gel that it is growing within has the minerals and nutrients necessary for healthy growth. Thankfully you do not have to be a Plant Scientist in order to create this mixture, you can buy a plant food solution to add to the garden's water. Another great idea is to purchase a pH monitor just like you
would purchase a thermometer for a fish tank to make sure that the environment is ideal.
6 Best Indoor Hydroponics Systems
If you are pressed for time or do not want to put together a customized system for hydroponics then you have the option of buying a ready made hydroponics setup. There are some benefits to these systems including:
Most include a light source
They usually include a source of plant food
Many kits come with seeds and guidance on which plants grow best in the apparatus.
The benefits come at a slightly higher price than constructing your own customized garden. The initial expense varies based on the size and features of the kit. The ones below that I recommend range from under $100 for a mini herb and vegetable garden to $1450 for a vertical garden that can grow over 70 plants in less than 3 square feet indoors.
Starter Garden options
Dr Goodrow Mini Indoor Garden
This hydroponic garden is ready to go with lighting, pods and plant food. Just place pods into the pots and add water. Due to its size it is best used as an herb garden. It starts at $69 for a garden that accommodates 4 pods.
Budget Hydroponic Garden options
iDoo 12 Hydroponics Growing System
For just $10 more than the starter option you can get a hydroponics system that accommodates 12 plants at a time. This system also has a convenience timer to set for lighting. It starts at $79 and goes up with bundle packages.
Mid Range Garden options
Click and Grow Indoor Herb Garden
This hydroponic garden is ready to go with lighting, pods and plant food. The kit comes with 3 tomato, 3 basil and 3 lettuce plants. You can purchase alternative plants to use in the 9 available pod slots. The garden itself has a sleek and slim modern appearance that makes it easily placed within any room. It is priced in around $220.
AeroGarden Harvest XL with Gourmet Seeds Kit
Aero Garden is a well established brand in hydroponics. This kit allows up to 6 differents plants to be grown at once. The starter kit comes with seeds for Basil, thyme, cilantro, mint, Parsley and Dill. The small Harvest Garden starts at $129 and the Harvest XL is available for $250.
High Capacity Garden options
Nutraponics Hydroponics Tower
Nutraponics has systems that can accommodate more plants in a small amount of space. Their Hydroponics Towers offer options for 48, 64 or 80 plants pots slots. Drawback the tower must be assembled. They start at $499 and go up to $699
Nutraponics Hydroponics System for Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables
This indoor garden is good enough for professional gardening but simply enough for a hobbyist to set up. It is a system that has space for 80 plants. It requires only 3 feet of space in width but stands almost 6 feet tall. Due to its size it requires more assembly. This system sells for $1450.
Bonus Fun Buy Garden: Aqua Sprouts Garden
There are multiple benefits from combining fish tanks or aquaculture (fish breeding or fish tanks) with hydroponic gardening to form a Aquaponics system. Aquaponics enjoys the pesticide free and water conserving benefits of traditional hydroponics. In addition the waste produced by the fish provide nutrients that the plants can use to grow. In addition to my university studies in plant physiology and hydroponics, I also studies aquaculture. You do not have to be a scientist like myself to get set up a system.
I came upon this garden kit when I was doing research on the various options on the market. This is a fish tank and hydroponics garden combination. I love this tiny beginners' ecosystem. It provides an aesthetically pleasing room feature while fulfilling a useful function. Your guests can be drawn to a unique fish tank, meanwhile you get the benefit of having fresh herbs for cooking at your fingertips. I foresee myself gifting this to a family member or friend. You can have your kitchen herb garden and a visually interesting setup. This one costs $156.
The Benefits of Hydroponic Gardening
There are numerous benefits of indoor hydroponic gardening.
The freedom of a year round garden regardless of season or weather.
No worrying about using harmful pesticides for pest control common with traditional gardening.
Due to the small foot print of most indoor hydroponics gardens you can establish your garden in an apartment or small living space.
You can establish a renewable food source without having to spend money on herbs and vegetables at the grocery store.
Fresh produce offers the best nutritional benefit.
Hydroponic indoor gardening is worth starting and a hobby that will continue to grow on you!
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