Do you want to start growing plants indoors? If you choose traditional soil planting, then you will need a lot of space and a considerable amount of water.
Hydroponics offers a more efficient solution. Though, there are a quite a few components to install. In order to simplify this process, you should look at hydroponic grow kits.
These kits will include everything that you need to get started with hydroponics. This may include light fixtures, a drip tray or other irrigation system, reflectors, a grow tent, and equipment for setting up your first hydroponics system.
Before you purchase a kit, you should take a moment to look over these beginner tips for setting up hydroponic grow kits.
- 1 Determine Which Type of Hydroponics You Are Using
- 2 What Should You Look for in a Hydroponic Grow Kit?
- 3 What Else Will You Need for Your Hydroponics System?
- 4 Final Thoughts on Setting Up Hydroponic Grow Kits
Determine Which Type of Hydroponics You Are Using
The first step is to choose a type of hydroponics to use. There is more than one way to set up a hydroponics system. In fact, there are over half a dozen methods. Though, the following three are the easiest options:
• Water culture hydroponics
• Multi-flow hydroponics
• Ebb and flow hydroponics
These are among the most affordable solutions and the easiest for beginners. After you have used one of these systems and learn more about hydroponics, you could consider choosing a more advanced setup. For now, you should focus on one of these three options.
Water Culture Hydroponic Grow Kits
With water culture hydroponic grow kits, your plants will be placed in net pots and submerged in a tray filled with nutrient solution. You can typically grow about 5 to 6 plants in a basic water culture setup.
Multi-Flow Hydroponic Grow Kits
With the multi-flow hydroponic grow kits, you will use a plant tray, similar to the water culture hydroponics grow kit. The difference is that a multi-flow system uses gravity to deliver nutrients and water to your plants.
These systems can use a timer to control water levels. Again, you will be able to grow about 5 to 6 plants, depending on the size of the plants and the size of your hydroponic grow kit.
Ebb and Flow Hydroponic Grow Kits
The ebb and flow hydroponic system use a water reservoir, tubing, and a pump to continuously deliver the optimal amounts of nutrients and water to the roots of your plants.
What Should You Look for in a Hydroponic Grow Kit?
The type of kit you choose will depend on the hydroponic setup you decided to use. For any of three methods described above, you should be able to find a basic hydroponic kit. This may include the following equipment:
• Tray or reservoir
• Light fixture
• Grow tent
• Planter, pots, or growing tray
• Tubes and pumps
Your plants will get set in a tray or reservoir that can hold water and nutrient solution. The size of the reservoir will depend on the number of plants that you want to grow. For 6 medium-sized plants, a 36×20-inch reservoir should provide sufficient room for your plants, water, and nutrient solution.
The light fixture may include reflectors. This helps to distribute light evenly over your plants. Though, the kit may not come with a light bulb. Typically, you will want about 30 to 40-watts of lighting per square foot of growing space. If you have a 3×4-foot section of plants, you will want between 360 and 480-watts of lighting.
If you choose to use a multi-flow hydroponics system or an ebb and flow hydroponics system, you may want to use a timer to control the flow of water and nutrient solutions. This is often included in premium hydroponic grow kits, as the timer is needed for the more advanced hydroponic setups.
If you purchase a hydroponic kit that includes a grow tent, you will not have to construct your own grow closet. These tents feature reflective lining and can be setup in any room of your house. They will typically have a hole near the bottom to let air in and a hole near the top to let air out.
The plant tray or pot is what you will use to grow your plants. The water flow method requires the use of Styrofoam and traditional flower pots. You can choose from multiple setups, including the use of pots or growing trays.
What Else Will You Need for Your Hydroponics System?
If the kit that you choose does not include all of the equipment that you require, you will need to purchase a few items separately. For example, your kit may not come with light bulbs, nutrient solution, or a growing medium.
When you are growing your plants from seeds, a fluorescent light bulb should provide enough heat and artificial lighting. But, once your plants begin to grow, you should switch to Metal Halide (MH) lights. They offer a full spectrum of light that closely resembles real sunlight. This is healthier for your plants.
You will also need a nutrient solution. This is typically purchased separately from the hydroponic kit. The nutrient solution will depend on the variety of plants that you are growing. You may even use different nutrient solutions during different stages of the growing cycle.
The most important nutrients include Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium. When shopping for a nutrient solution, you will see the elements listed on the label. They often labeled as NPK. This refers to the content of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Along with nutrient solution and lighting, you may also need a growing medium. With hydroponics, the roots of your plants are not actually submerged in water. A growing medium of some type is used to create a base for the root system. This can include perlite, algae, stone, Styrofoam, and various other growing mediums.
Final Thoughts on Setting Up Hydroponic Grow Kits
You now have the basic information that you need to choose the best grow kit. The main features include the hydroponic setup. You can always purchase lights, nutrient solution, and grow medium separately.
Focus on finding a hydroponic kit that includes the requirement equipment for using one of the three methods discussed. This includes a reservoir and any required tubing or pumps.
You do not need to rush your decision. Take your time and compare different hydroponic grow kits. Good luck on your search and remember to think about the amount of space your plants will require.