There are so many benefits to growing hydroponically. You can grow plants faster and larger than you could with traditional growing methods, and you can do it with less water. But if you're considering an indoor hydroponic system, there's a lot to think about. There's no one-size-fits-all "best hydroponic system" out there. Each circumstance is going to be different. Here are some questions to consider before we get started:\n\n\n\nHow big should the system be?\n\nAre you looking for a small countertop option? Or are you trying to grow large yields to chip away at your grocery budget?\n\nDo you care about aesthetics? \n\nDo you want your hydroponics system to look like an accent piece for your home? Or is practicality the most important aspect? Some of the more basic systems look like some buckets connected with tubes. Functional? Absolutely. Pretty? Not at all.\n\nDo you have natural light?\n\nPlants need light to grow, so you'll either need to place your unit near a window, buy a grow light, or purchase a hydroponic system that includes a light.\n\nHow much do you want to spend?\n\nThe hydroponic systems listed below have a massive range of costs, starting under $100 and going up to $800 or more. Depending on your needs\/wants, you may have to doll out some serious cash. That said, many of the larger systems have incredibly generous payment plans.\n\n\n\n\n\nThis article takes a closer look at the best hydroponic systems on the market, so you can make a decision that fits your life and your budget.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nHydroponic Basics\n\n\n\nA hydroponic system allows you to grow plants without the need for soil. Most small hydroponic units only require running water and liquid plant food. It is, by far, one of the best (and low-maintenance) ways to grow plants in your home. For several of these systems, you won\u2019t even need to worry about your plants when you leave town - the hydroponic system keeps them happy and healthy while you are away. \n\n\n\nLet\u2019s take a closer look at the top options for home hydroponic systems.\n\n\n\nHelp us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended.\n\n\n\nAll opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.\n\n\n\n1. AeroGarden\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n BrandNumber Of PlantsCostGrow Light Included?\n\n\n\n \n AeroGarden3-24$99.95 - $795Yes \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\nAeroGarden products grow between three and 24 plants at a time, depending on the product. Many of the countertop systems can accommodate plants up to 24 inches tall. That leaves plenty of room to grow a towering garden full of fresh herbs and veggies or beautiful flowers. \n\n\n\nHere\u2019s a breakdown of all the AeroGarden models currently available:\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n Photo \n \n Title \n \n Price \n \n Buy \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Black Sprout (2020 Model) \n \n $79.99\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Harvest 360 - Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light, Round, Compact Design, Black \n \n $79.11\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Harvest - Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light, Black \n \n $129.99\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Harvest Elite - Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light, Stainless Steel \n \n $139.95\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Gr Harvest 360 360-Black w\/Heirloom Salad Greens Seed Pod Kit, Black \n \n $163.41\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Bounty Basic - Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light, Black \n \n $184.69\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Harvest Slim with Gourmet Herbs Seed Pod Kit \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Farm 24Basic, w\/Salad Bar Seed Kit, Black \n \n $500.40\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n AeroGarden Farm 24XL, w\/Salad Bar Seed Kit, Black \n \n $954.10\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFor the smaller units, the setup time is minimal. You will only need to fill it with water and plant food before plugging it in. Next, you can add seed pods to grow whatever your heart desires. The seeds should germinate within a few days. \n\n\n\nHere\u2019s a quick setup guide to the AeroGarden Bounty, which is our favorite AeroGarden for beginners:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe AeroGarden Bounty offers several useful features to keep your garden growing steadily. First, the water bowl is one of the largest available for countertop models. Second, it provides a dimmer setting on the grow lights, which can be useful if you live in a small space. The Bounty also has a touchscreen control panel with high resolution to help you monitor your plants\u2019 health easily and a water level indicator to notify you when it\u2019s time to refill the basin. Plus, this model has Wi-Fi and Alexa compatibility to help you manage your garden system. The final feature worth noting is the Vacation Mode that will automatically care for your plants even if you aren\u2019t home. \n\n\n\nHere are the full reviews of the different AeroGarden systems:\n\n\n\nOverall AeroGarden Review and TipsAeroGarden Farm (Largest Yields)AeroGarden Bounty (9 Plants At A Time)AeroGarden Harvest (6 Plants At A Time)AeroGarden Sprout (3 Plants At A Time)\n\n\n\nThis is a video review of the Aerogarden Bounty:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n2. iHarvest\n\n\n\nIf you are looking for a larger hydroponic system with better yields, the iHarvest is an excellent option that\u2019s relatively simple to set up. IGWorks, the parent company of iHarvest, claims that you can grow up to $1,000 of food a year on an iHarvest unit, which is enough to recoup this system\u2019s cost.\n\n\n\nThis beautiful unit looks almost like an in-home art installation, and the setup allows you to grow plants all year round.\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n BrandNumber Of PlantsCostGrow Light Included?\n\n\n\n \n iHarvest30$849Yes \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\nGet $50 off iHarvest with the Coupon Code \u201cTwoPeas.\u201d\n\n\n\nThe main downside of this system is the number of separate parts. Unlike some hydroponics systems, iHavest\u2019s materials mostly come from an assortment of companies, meaning it\u2019s a bit of a hodgepodge unit to put together. This is a small complaint, though, and it\u2019s still a highly recommended indoor garden.\n\n\n\nRead the full iHarvest Review.\n\n\n\n3. Gardyn\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n BrandNumber Of PlantsCostGrow Light Included?\n\n\n\n \n Gardyn30$899Yes \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\nGardyn is a more extensive hydroponic system that grows vertically. You can grow up to 30 large plants at a single time in just two square feet of space. There\u2019s also an app-controlled grow light that gives you the ability to set timers on your LED lights. The app even has a smart assistant called Kelby that takes pictures of your plant growth and makes recommendations along the way.\n\n\n\nWhen you use the discount code TwoPeas, you can get $100 off your Gardyn.\n\n\n\nThis brand also has fantastic customer service, which is surprisingly uncommon in the home hydroponic system space.\n\n\n\nGardyn is one of the top indoor gardens on the market, but it\u2019s not without flaws. It does seem to have slightly lower germination rates than AeroGarden, and the membership for additional seed pods (called yCubes) is a little pricey. Other than this, though, this system is a contender for top indoor garden units.\n\n\n\nSee the full Gardyn Review here.\n\n\n\n4. Rise Garden\n\n\n\nRise Garden is a newcomer to the world of indoor and countertop hydroponics. Rise Gardens was founded in 2019 by Hank Adams, the company's founder and CEO. A multi-shelf smart garden the size of a bookcase was their showpiece offering. They introduced a countertop version in 2020 to deliver fresh vegetables to folks who live in limited places.\n\n\n\nThese easy-to-use indoor hydroponic gardens are straightforward to set up and maintain. These kits include everything you'll need to get started, as well as access to a sophisticated software that lets you manage the lights and provide you with helpful hints. The countertop garden, a single-level system, a double-level system, and a triple-level garden are the four various Rise Gardens models now available.\n\n\n\nSince its inception, the firm has quadrupled its revenues every month and grown at a rate of 750 percent every quarter. They announced in early 2020 that their gardeners had planted 6,000 tomatoes, herbs, vegetables, and other items across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.\n\n\n\nRise Gardens announced in May 2020 that they had obtained a $2.6 million startup investment led by True Ventures of San Francisco and numerous Chicago executives. We mention this not to boost Rise Gardens' ego, but to demonstrate that this is a serious indoor gardening company that is sweeping the globe.\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n Plant TypePlant NamePurchase\n\n\n\n \n GreensAlfresco Mix LettucePurchase \n \n GreensAstro ArugulaPurchase \n \n GreensBenefine EndivePurchase \n \n GreensBright Lights Swiss ChardPurchase \n \n GreensBronze Arrowhead LettucePurchase \n \n HerbBronze FennelPurchase \n \n GreensButter Crunch LettucePurchase \n \n Edible FlowerButterfly Friend BoragePurchase \n \n GreensCallaloo AmaranthPurchase \n \n GreensCaraflex CabbagePurchase \n \n GreensChina King CabbagePurchase \n \n VegetablesChioggia BeetPurchase \n \n HerbsClassic CatnipPurchase \n \n HerbsClassic Lemon BalmPurchase \n \n HerbsClassic LemongrassPurchase \n \n HerbsClassic RosemaryPurchase \n \n HerbsClassic SagePurchase \n \n GreensClassic TatsoiPurchase \n \n GreensClio DandelionPurchase \n \n HerbsDarki ParsleyPurchase \n \n VegetablesDragon's Tongue BeanPurchase \n \n HerbsFernleaf DillPurchase \n \n HerbsForest Green ParsleyPurchase \n \n VegetablesFresh Bite Orange PepperPurchase \n \n HerbsGerman ChamomilePurchase \n \n HerbsGolden Frills MustardPurchase \n \n HerbsGreek OreganoPurchase \n \n HerbsHoly (Kapoor Tulsi) BasilPurchase \n \n VegetablesHot Lemon PepperPurchase \n \n GreensIceberg LettucePurchase \n \n VegetablesJalapeno PepperPurchase \n \n FruitKitchen Mini Siam TomatoPurchase \n \n HerbsLime BasilPurchase \n \n FruitsLittle Bing TomatoPurchase \n \n VegetablesMascotte BeanPurchase \n \n HerbsMexican Mint Marigold TarragonPurchase \n \n GreensParris Island Cos LettucePurchase \n \n VegetablesPatio Baby EggplantPurchase \n \n VegetablesPatio Pride PeaPurchase \n \n HerbsPeppermint MintPurchase \n \n HerbsPurple BasilPurchase \n \n HerbsRed Baron Bunching ChivesPurchase \n \n GreensRed Cloud TatsoiPurchase \n \n GreensRed Pac ChoiPurchase \n \n HerbsRed ShisoPurchase \n \n GreensRed Veined SorrelPurchase \n \n HerbsRed-Streaked Mizuna MustardPurchase \n \n FruitsSalad Bush CucumberPurchase \n \n HerbsSanto CilantroPurchase \n \n Plant AnythingSeedless PodsPurchase \n \n VegetablesSnackable Red PepperPurchase \n \n GreensStarbor KalePurchase \n \n HerbsSummer ThymePurchase \n \n FlowersSunny Smile SunflowerPurchase \n \n HerbsSuper Sweet Genevese BasilPurchase \n \n HerbsSweet Leaf SteviaPurchase \n \n HerbsSweet MarjoramPurchase \n \n HerbsSweet Thai BasilPurchase \n \n VegetableTango CeleryPurchase \n \n GreensTop Bunch CollardsPurchase \n \n VegetablesTouchstone Gold BeetPurchase \n \n GreensToy Choy Pak ChoiPurchase \n \n HerbsVicenza Blue Apex LavenderPurchase \n \n GreensWild Rocket ArugulaPurchase \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n\n\n\nRead our full Rise Garden review here.\n\n\n\n5. Click And Grow\n\n\n\nClick and Grow is a reputable hydroponic brand with multiple tiers of products. They currently offer five different units that can grow between three and 51 seed pods at a time.\n\n\n\nHere\u2019s a quick breakdown of products:\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n Photo \n \n Title \n \n Price \n \n Buy \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Herb Garden (Includes Basil Plant Pods), White \n \n $132.99\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden Kit with Grow Light | Easier Than Hydroponics Growing System | Smart Garden for Home Kitchen Windowsill | Vegetable & Herb Garden Starter Kit with 9 Plant pods, Gray \n \n $229.95\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe Click and Grow is unique in a few key ways \u2013 first, you don\u2019t have to add nutrients to the water reservoir. The Smart Soil in the seed pods already has all the nutrients that your plants need to thrive. There are some pros and cons with this that we lay out in the full Click and Grow Review.\n\n\n\nAnother difference is that it doesn\u2019t have a pump. It uses a wick system of hydroponics, which pulls water upward into the system without electricity. This means that it costs less than most units to run.\n\n\n\n6. Veritable Smart Indoor Garden\n\n\n\nVeritable is a smart garden designed in France that ships most places internationally. It offers seven types of indoor gardens that fit nicely on a countertop or a coffee table. Their units can grow between two and four plant pods (called Lingots) at a time.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIf space is a significant issue in your home, buying a large hydroponic system might not be the right fit. That\u2019s okay! You can still enjoy fresh veggies and herbs through a smaller hydroponic system. If you are looking for a smaller countertop model, the Veritable Smart Indoor Gardens are a good choice. \n\n\n\nAlthough there aren\u2019t as many bells and whistles on this system as some other models, it is an excellent hobbyist system for indoor gardeners working on hydroponics for the first time.\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n Photo \n \n Title \n \n Price \n \n Buy \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Veritable VPOT-CAWAW-US-15 Classic Indoor Garden, Artic White \n \n $136.64\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Veritable VPOT-SSBAS-US-18 Smart Indoor Garden, Soft Black \n \n $249.95\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Veritable VPOT-SSBCO-US-19 Smart Indoor Garden, Copper \n \n $269.95\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Veritable VPOT-BAWIG-US-20 Connect Indoor Garden, Infinity Grey \n \n $329.95\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Veritable VEXK-CAWAW-US-44 Exky Classic Indoor Garden, Artic White \n \n $159.95\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n Veritable VEXK-SSBCO-US-46 Exky Smart Indoor Garden, Black Copper \n \n $189.95\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nRead our Veritable Smart Indoor Garden Review.\n\n\n\n7. PowerGrow Deep Water Culture System\n\n\n\nThe PowerGrow Deep Water Culture System is heavy on the practical but a little light on the aesthetics \u2013 In other words, it\u2019s not the prettiest indoor garden we\u2019ve seen. But if you\u2019re more interested in having a high-performing garden than an accent piece, it\u2019s likely one of the best options for you!\n\n\n\nThe PowerGrow Deep Water Culture System with bubbler bucket kit (FDA-approved) is an excellent solution for low-cost hydroponics. It would be challenging to build this system for less than the $119 it costs on Amazon. \n\n\n\nThe system is essentially a modified 5-gallon bucket with a growing medium and water reservoir. The plants\u2019 roots are able to extend 10 inches into the reservoir.\n\n\n\nYou\u2019ll find that the system is easy to set up. However, it requires regular check-ins to ensure that it\u2019s functioning properly. The unit should be placed in an area with adequate sunlight. Plus, the unwieldy nature of a five-gallon bucket may need to stay outside on a patio or terrace to avoid any major spills inside. If you are comfortable with the maintenance required, this could be a good solution for raising larger plants. \n\n\n\n8. Water Garden Duo\n\n\n\nThe Water Garden Duo offers a fun twist on the traditional hydroponic system called aquaponics. In addition to growing plants, the system functions as a small fish tank. The balance between the two systems allows the fish to thrive in a clean tank and the plants to grow happily. \n\n\n\nWith this system, you\u2019ll need to find a sunny place to support the health of your plants. Although it is a relatively low-tech system, you\u2019ll find that keeping the water level right is easy due to the reservoirs\u2019 transparent base. \n\n\n\nLike Veritable or the other small systems, Water Garden Duo is more of a fun project than a method for cutting your grocery budget. You\u2019ll need to purchase a much larger system \u2013 such as the larger AeroGarden units, the iHarvest, or the Gardyn \u2013 if you want large yields.\n\n\n\n9. DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit\n\n\n\nIf you want to grow an abundance of small plants, then the DreamJoy Hydroponic Grow Kit is a good choice. The utilitarian design offers eight pipes with holes for seedlings. You\u2019ll be able to accommodate up to 72 plants. This is the biggest system we\u2019re reviewing today and would likely work better on a home balcony or rooftop garden.\n\n\n\nThe setup for this system is somewhat involved. You\u2019ll need to prepare a reservoir tank and connect it to this system and the pump. Plus, grow lights aren\u2019t included, so you\u2019ll likely need to bring your own or place this unit outside or in a greenhouse.\n\n\n\nAlthough this system requires more hands-on maintenance, it provides a wonderful bounty. It\u2019s also unbelievably affordable, costing only $110.99 at retail.\n\n\n\n10. eSuperegrow Hydroponics Growing System\n\n\n\nIf you want to grow plants known to climb, such as peppers and tomatoes, the eSuperegrow Hydroponics Growing System could be a good fit. The system\u2019s design is meant to support plants that grow and climb up to 60 inches tall with the help of a trellis.\n\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n \n Photo\n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n Title\n \n \n eSuperegrow Hydroponics Growing System,Indoor Herb Garden Kit with LED Grow Light,Smart Garden Planter with Lighting and Pump Timer,Self Watering Hydroponics Gardening System for Home Kitchen\n \n \n \n Solar Power Hydroponics Growing System,Big Hydroponic Gardening System with Smart Controller, Auto Remind Self-Watering Planter with 60" Climbing Trellis for Cucumber Tomato Basil Pepper(3 Modes,3IN1)\n \n \n \n Prime Status\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n Price\n \n \n \n \n \n \n Buy Now\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n Photo \n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n \n Title \n \n \n eSuperegrow Hydroponics Growing System,Indoor Herb Garden Kit with LED Grow Light,Smart Garden Planter with Lighting and Pump Timer,Self Watering Hydroponics Gardening System for Home Kitchen\n \n \n \n \n Prime Status \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n Price \n \n \n \n \n \n Buy Now \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n Photo \n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n \n Title \n \n \n Solar Power Hydroponics Growing System,Big Hydroponic Gardening System with Smart Controller, Auto Remind Self-Watering Planter with 60" Climbing Trellis for Cucumber Tomato Basil Pepper(3 Modes,3IN1)\n \n \n \n \n Prime Status \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n Price \n \n \n \n \n \n Buy Now \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nOverall, this is a simple but effective hydroponics system, but it requires careful maintenance and access to direct sunlight. If needed, you can use a grow light to give your plants the rays they need.\n\n\n\n11. Miracle-Gro Twelve\n\n\n\nThe Miracle-Gro Twelve houses up to four seed pods. The system is designed to stay on the floor with a functional design that can double as a small accent table. At the base of the system, you\u2019ll find a large reservoir that can hold two gallons of water and maintain your plants with minimal effort on your part.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAfter you add the water and plant the seeds, you\u2019ll be able to control your garden from your smartphone via Bluetooth capabilities. You can monitor the water level and control it without getting your hands dirty.\n\n\n\n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n BrandNumber Of PlantsCostGrow Light Included?\n\n\n\n \n Miracle-Gro4$245.50Yes \n \n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\nThe end result is an endless supply of fresh herbs and veggies contained within a classic accent table.\n\n\n\n13. Hydroponics WaterFarm Complete\n\n\n\nThe WaterFarm Complete system by General Hydroponics is a somewhat basic model. But it is a good choice for a beginner that wants to learn more about hydroponics. The system can support a large plant and hold up to 2 gallons of water. You\u2019ll need to add more water as needed by checking the easily accessible tube. \n\n\n\nThe system needs to be placed in sunlight but will work well indoors. You might find that this takes longer to set up than some of the other options.\n\n\n\n14. HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System\n\n\n\nLike the PowerGrow Deep Water Culture System, this bucket system isn\u2019t the prettiest, but it can grow six large plants at a time, and the Bubble Brothers bubble generator is incredibly powerful, so your plants will have proper aeration. This is a good system for beginners, but it\u2019s also a bit noisy.\n\n\n\n15. General Hydroponics EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System\n\n\n\nThe General Hydroponics EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System is a good option for large plants. And you\u2019re able to grow up to eight plants at a single time. This gardening system has a 17-gallon reservoir, so it can go extended amounts of time before needing to refill. \n\n\n\nThis system includes a reservoir with a lid, plastic cups, vortex sprayer, CocoTek liners, and CocoTek Caps.\n\n\n\nIt also comes with Flora nutrients, a plant food that can help your greens and veggies thrive. This hydroponic system works on a drip timer, which feeds your plants at precisely the right time.\n\n\n\nThis unit doesn\u2019t have built-in LED grow lights, so you\u2019ll likely need to purchase your own\n\n\n\nI wouldn\u2019t say this unit is as posh as the countertop units \u2013 like AeroGarden, Click & Grow, or Veritable \u2013 but it is better looking than most of the bucket hydroponic systems we\u2019ve seen, and significantly better than most DIY options.\n\n\n\n16. Lettuce Grow\n\n\n\nLettuce Grow is a hydroponic garden system invented by Zooey Deschanel, the star of the show New Girl and a Hollywood actress. Zooey's Facebook Watch series "Your Food's Roots" is co-produced with her co-founder Jacob Pechenik.\n\n\n\nLettuce Grow's technique was created for people who like gardening and want to harvest their own greens but have limited indoor and outdoor space.\n\n\n\nLettuce Grow has differently-sized plant stands, starting at a 12-plant Farmstand and going all the way up to a 36-plant Farmstand.\n\n\n\nYou can read our full Lettuce Grow review here.\n\n\n\n17. VegeBox\n\n\n\nThe VegeBox is a simple gardening system that makes maintaining an indoor garden a breeze. Anyone can grow fresh herbs on their kitchen countertops at any time of year. If you choose VegeBox, your plants will be able to experience spring weather all year.\n\n\n\nVegebox relies on a form of hydroponics where electric pumps aren\u2019t needed - so this is a good option if you\u2019re not a fan of bubbling water sounds - or if you\u2019re trying to save on an electricity bill.\n\n\n\nIs VegeBox the most effective solution on the market? It all depends on what you're after. VegeBox appears to be mirroring some of AeroGarden's products. And VegeBox can produce more plants at once and is less expensive than some of the smaller AeroGarden systems.\n\n\n\nAeroGarden, on the other hand, has fewer complaints regarding product malfunctions, and it offers a number of unique features, like an app, that may help you simplify your growing process.\n\n\n\nRead our full Vegebox review here.\n\n\n\n18. Mr. Stacky Smart Farm\n\n\n\nIf space is tight in your home, then a vertical gardening system might be a good solution. With a Mr. Stacky Smart Farm, you can grow up to 20 plants with a relatively small footprint. The tradeoff is that you\u2019ll need a space where height is not a problem.\n\n\n\nYou\u2019ll also notice that this hydroponic system doesn\u2019t come with a lighting system. Because of this, you\u2019ll need to find a sunny spot for this unit. Luckily, the plants can rotate around the center pipe, so you can choose a corner spot and turn the plants regularly. \n\n\n\nWhen you set up this system, you\u2019ll need to fill each pot with coco peat and perlite. The initial setup can be somewhat messy, but once you plug in the system, you won\u2019t have to worry about it anymore. The reservoir can hold up to 16 gallons of water and sustain your plants for two to three weeks at a time. \n\n\n\nWhat To Consider In Your Hydroponic System\n\n\n\nAs you consider your options for the best hydroponic system, you should consider what you want out of this. If you want to enjoy a few fresh herbs and veggies year-round, then a smaller system could make sense for you. If you are seeking to entirely grow your own produce, then investing in a larger system will be critical. \n\n\n\nHere are a few things to consider:\n\n\n\nSize\n\n\n\nTake a look around your home and determine what size system can comfortably fit. Make sure to weigh the space needs in your home with your desire to grow food at home. You might need to get creative about where you place your hydroponic system. The decision will come with tradeoffs, but that\u2019s okay. For example, my AeroGarden system sits comfortably on my countertop, but I can only grow nine plants at a time. Think about the tradeoffs in your unique situation before moving forward. \n\n\n\nMaintenance\n\n\n\nConsider what amount of effort you are willing to put into your gardening endeavor. Also, think back on past gardening attempts and be honest about what you can commit to. \n\n\n\nPersonally, I am notorious for letting my houseplants die due to a hectic schedule. With that, I chose an AeroGarden that alerts me when my garden needs more water or plant food. That reminder is beneficial for maintaining my indoor plants. \n\n\n\nCost\n\n\n\nOf course, there is a wide range of costs associated with hydroponic systems. A large and complex system will likely cost you more than a basic setup. Decide what you are comfortable spending on your new garden before shopping around. It is likely that there will be a great system in your price range. \n\n\n\nTypes of Hydroponics\n\n\n\nThe word hydroponics is an umbrella with many categories underneath it. Here are the main ways that you can grow hydroponically.\n\n\n\nAeroponics\n\n\n\nLike the name suggests, Aeroponic systems use air to help maximize growth. The root systems are mostly suspended in open air, and a nutrient solution is dispersed through a mist. Typically, this system sprayer mists the plants every few minutes. This process is called aeration.\n\n\n\nWhen growing hydroponically, regularly check on the roots of the plants. A healthy root should typically look white and long.\n\n\n\nIllustration Credits: Modern Farm\n\n\n\nDrip Systems\n\n\n\nWith drip hydroponics, an air pump in your grow system feeds plants with nutrient-rich water. Also called a trickle irrigation system, this process relies on small emitters to drip a water solution on your indoor plants and veggies.\n\n\n\nDeep Water Culture (DWC)\n\n\n\nA DWC hydroponic system relies on nutrient-rich water housed in a reservoir beneath your plants. The roots grow into the water, and a submersible pump with an air stone in the reservoir provides oxygenated water. This keeps your roots from drowning.\n\n\n\nA simple DWC system is great for beginners and can be built for $50.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWick Systems\n\n\n\nThis is the oldest system of hydroponics and takes the least amount of effort. This watering system has a wick sitting in a reservoir that draws water upward into a growing medium, where your plants\u2019 roots then absorb it. A \u201cwick\u201d is typically made with rope or felt. This basic system is pretty hands-off but isn\u2019t great for regulating the amount of water. It\u2019s not usually an ideal solution for larger plants. \n\n\n\nIllustration by: Luv2Garden\n\n\n\nNutrient Film Technique (NFT)\n\n\n\nThe NFT method relies on an airstone and a water pump in a basin (a gallon reservoir works well for beginners). The water is then pumped above into the channel (like a long dish), where your plants grow in net pots. The track is at a slight angle downward with a hole at the end, so the water circulates back into the reservoir.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nEbb and Flow\n\n\n\nEbb & Flow systems have many moving parts, so they\u2019re a tad complex type of hydroponics to pull off. In a plant tray \u2013 sometimes called the flood tray \u2013 you have your plants in net pots with a growing medium (clay pebbles, for instance). A pump set on a timer sends nutrient-rich water from a reservoir up a pipe and into the plant tray. Gravity then pulls the water from the tray back into another pipe and into the reservoir again, where it is recycled. \n\n\n\nUnlike most other hydroponic growing systems, you only need to flood your plant tray between 10 and 15 times a day for larger plants and even less for smaller plants.\n\n\n\nGrowing Mediums\n\n\n\nWhile hydroponics doesn\u2019t require soil, you will still need a growing medium to help keep the plant sturdy or send nutrients to the plant. Common types of grow mediums include perlite, vermiculite, clay pellets, Rockwool, and more.\n\n\n\nMost of these grow mediums are contained in a net pot with the plants\u2019 roots running through them.\n\n\n\nThe Bottom Line\n\n\n\nA hydroponic garden can be a great way to enjoy fresh veggies and herbs in your home all year round. Although each system will require a little bit of effort on your part, hydroponic gardening generally requires less maintenance than a traditional garden. Plus, you can choose a size that suits your needs and your lifestyle. \n\n\n\nWhich hydroponic system will find a place in your home?