The 8 Best Hydroponic Garden Kits
Have you decided to try out next-generation hydroponic gardening? Here are the top kits to get your garden up and running in no time.
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What Is a Hydroponic Garden?
In a hydroponic garden, plants are grown by suspending their roots in a concentrated solution of water and nutrients rather than in a bed of soil.
This type of soil-less garden has seen an explosion in popularity over the past few years because it offers a number of advantages over traditional gardening, including lower water consumption, more efficient use of space, higher yields and the option of growing herbs and vegetables indoors year-round.
Once you’ve decided to try out hydroponic gardening, the first step is to set up your hydroponic system. This is a growing structure that supports your plants while circulating the nutrient solution past the roots.
There are various systems to choose from, but the most popular for home gardens are deep-water submersion, drip, and ebb and flow. An indoor hydroponic growing system also requires grow lights to optimize plant development.
Commercial hydroponic farms have vast systems set up by professionals, but home gardeners are generally on their own to get their hydroponic garden up and running. It’s relatively straightforward to build a system with plans and separately purchased parts, but the simplest approach for a beginner is a ready-made hydroponic garden kit that can be assembled and planted in minutes.
Here is a roundup of the best hydroponic garden kits on the market.
Best Hydroponic Garden Kit for Beginners
We tested the Rise Indoor Personal Garden last year, giving it the Family Handyman Approved check. What drew us to the Rise is its just how easy it us to use, as well as its simple, sleek look that fits nicely into your kitchen, or anywhere else in the house, without eating up a lot of space.
Not only do you get the hardware you need, the kit comes with a variety of seed pods, including herbs and greens, and six weeks of hydroponic nutrients. Once you wrap your head around the need to test the pH level in your tap water (using the kit provided by Rise) and manually add nutrients (Thrive, Sprout and pH Balance — all provided in your kit), it’s really pretty easy to get growing with the Rise garden.
- Compact size, lightweight and easy to move by yourself;
- No dirt or chemicals means no need to wash veggies ;
- No pests to control;
- Easy to set up;
- Access to fresh produce daily or weekly;
- It can be a visually appealing centerpiece of your kitchen.
- Personal garden doesn’t yield enough even for one person if your diet primarily consists of produce (like my vegetarian diet does);
- Need reliable internet for full garden functionality.
Best Compact Indoor Hydroponic Garden Kit
If you’re just dipping your toes into hydroponic gardening and want to start small, the popular AeroGarden Black Harvest tabletop system is a winner for growing fresh herbs indoors.
Its small size (just six growing pods) is perfect for a countertop, and the sleek design adds futuristic flair to any kitchen. The deep-water submersion system’s control panel reminds you when to add water, and nutrient solution and the built-in LED lights automatically turn on and off. Use the seeds included in the kit or choose your own herbs to grow.
Best Mid-Sized Indoor Hydroponic Garden Kit
The tabletop iDOO hydroponic system fits 12 growing pods into its compact module, making it a top choice for growing vegetables in a tight indoor space.
The adjustable LED growing light can fit above plants up to 11 inches tall, and features two settings for leafy greens or flowering fruits. The light, water pump and fan are on automatic timers for hassle-free maintenance, and you can check the water level through the handy window.
Best Splurge Hydroponic Garden Kit
The high-end indoor AeroGarden Farm hits it out of the park with its generous size (24 growing pods), contemporary design and high-tech control panel. The modular deep-water immersion system includes two growing trays and built-in LED grow lights that can be adjusted to different heights over each tray to suit the specific type and size of plant.
This self-contained system is stackable so you can expand your garden vertically. It comes with a WiFi and Alexa-enabled control panel to remotely check things like nutrient and water levels.
Best Bargain Hydroponic Garden Kit
It may not have all the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts, but the tabletop Vegebox wins top prize for doing the job at an affordable price.
This deep-water immersion system has nine growing pods and a built-in LED light panel with a timer, suitable for growing herbs and leafy greens. There’s no control panel to warn you when water and nutrient levels get too low, however, so you’ll need to carefully check this low-tech system daily.
Best Space-Saving Hydroponic Garden Kit
Like a tower-style garden, a tiered hydroponic system makes the most of your space. This DreamJoy kit takes top spot for its versatile food-grade PVC pipe design that can be set up indoors (with supplemental lighting) and outdoors. It also can toggle between an ebb-and-flow or deep-water immersion set up.
It comes with 12 pipes set up in three tiers, providing growing space for more than 100 plants in just around five square feet.
Best Indoor/Outdoor Hydroponic Garden Kit
With its convenient tray-style system and compact size, the DWC Hydroponics Growing System is a great choice if you want to set up your garden outdoors in the summer and easily move it indoors in the fall. There is space to grow six plants in this deep-water immersion system. The kit comes with Rockwool and clay pebbles so you can start with seeds or seedlings.
Note: Some Amazon reviewers commented on the lack of clear assembly instructions.
Best Outdoor Hydroponic Garden Kit
Although the sturdy Hydrofarm Root Bucket System can be used indoors with supplemental lighting, this setup really outshines its competitors outside. The rugged deep-water immersion buckets can handle large plants. The powerful pump keeps the water oxygenated and the nutrient solution circulating all the way to the bottom of the five-gallon containers.
“I started using these awhile back and now have four systems running around the clock,” says one Amazon reviewer. “I haven’t had any problems with any part of these systems and my tomatoes are bigger than ever!”