Can Hydroponics Be Organic?

Most hydroponics systems are not organic. Hydroponic gardening involves growing plants without soil, which is the main source of nutrients in a natural setting.

Hydroponic agriculture requires the use of mineral nutrients to keep the plants growing. A nutrient mixture containing the optimal ratio of minerals is added to the water reservoir.

While it is possible to find organic nutrient solutions, most products are made with refined minerals.

The lack of organic plant food options makes it difficult to set up an organic hydroponic system. Yet, hydroponics can be organic. Here’s what you should know.

Also read: Are Hydroponic Vegetables Healthy?

What Is Organic Gardening?

The National Organic Program (NOP) decides what is considered organic in the United States. The NOP is the federal program responsible for setting and enforcing the USDA’s standards for organically grown agricultural products.

The NOP also works with third-party organizations to certify organic farming practices and organic growers. However, the NOP is not the only group that sets standards for organic production.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) helps set the USDA organic standards. The NOSB is comprised of public volunteers but operates as an advisory board of the USDA.

The NOP and the NOSB don’t always agree. In 2010, the NOSB recommended that hydroponics businesses should be prohibited from receiving organic certification. The NOP disagreed with the recommendation but failed to clarify their position for several years.

In 2018, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which manages the NOP, announced that hydroponic producers can receive organic certification.

What Are the Standards for Organic Certification?

According to the USDA, organic agriculture production must meet the following requirements to gain the organic label:

The last requirement is the one that most directly impacts whether hydroponic growing is considered organic. The nutrients need to be supplied using natural methods. However, the USDA allows growers to supplement with organic crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials.

The nutrient solutions used by most hydroponic growers are not considered organic. They include synthetic materials that are not permitted by the NOP.

Can You Use Organic Hydroponic Nutrient Solution?

Commercial organic hydroponic nutrients are available. Growers can also create homemade organic nutrient mixes.

Commercial nutrient solutions are often costly and intended for large-scale applications. Attempting to use the same solution for a small household hydroponic operation may not provide the same results.

The ratio of nutrients may not be equally distributed throughout the solution. Your plants may end up overfed or underfed.

Preparing organic nutrients involves more work. You need to combine raw materials and pre-digest them before adding the mixture to the water in the hydroponic system.

The plant roots cannot extract nutrients from the raw materials used for an organic nutrient mix. The mixture needs to begin decomposing, which is typically achieved using liquid bio-digesters or worms.

Using organic food made from raw materials also increases the risk of excess bacterial activity and algae growth.

How to Deal with Algae Growth in Organic Hydroponics

Raw organic materials are more likely to promote algae growth, requiring you to keep up with the maintenance of your hydroponic system. Keep an eye on all areas of the hydroponic farm to monitor algae growth.

If you notice green growth around the tubes or net pots, choose a suitable time to remove the growth. Use an old toothbrush, a Q-tip, or a paper towel to wipe surfaces clean.

Some components, such as tubes and pipes, may need to be removed for a thorough cleaning. If you need to remove components, shut off your pump.

Water tanks should always be covered with dark material. Exposure to light increases the growth of algae and bacteria.

You should also thoroughly clean all the components between crops.

Some hydroponics methods are also more susceptible to algae growth. Passive hydroponics, which relies on stagnating water, is more likely to promote algae growth and bacteria.

The NFT systems and deep-water culture (DWC) systems use a continuous flow of water, which reduces the risk of algae.

Recipe for Homemade Organic Hydroponic Fertilizer

Homemade fertilizer is typically made with compost or worm castings. Both options contain the nutrients needed to feed your plants. However, you cannot just throw compost or worm castings into the water reservoir.

The compost or worm castings are added to a water solution and allowed to sit. The raw materials break down in the water, creating a nutrient-rich solution that can be added to your hydroponic garden.

Compost is not ideal, as you never know the nutrient ratio. It’s made from broken-down organic material, such as leaves and vegetable scraps.

Worm castings are more likely to contain the nutrients that your plants need, as worms obtain nutrients from healthy soil.

Quick Pro Tip: Setting up a worm farm offers a convenient, fun way to pre-digest nutrients for your hydroponics system.

Whether you use compost or worm castings, place the material in a mesh bag. Place the mesh bag in a large bucket of water, such as a 3-gallon to 5-gallon bucket.

If you have hard water, add a few drops of lemon juice before adding the mesh bag. Squeeze the mesh bag and allow it to sit overnight.

After you remove the bag, you have a bucket of nutrient-rich water.

Some hydroponic gardeners add kelp to the recipe. Kelp contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals that can promote healthier plant growth.

Place a few handfuls of kelp in a 20-ounce water bottle filled with water. Allow the kelp water to sit for several days until it turns light green.

Pour the kelp water into the nutrient-rich water and mix thoroughly. You now have an organic nutrient solution.

Summary

So, can hydroponics be organic? The typical hydroponic setup is not organic, as most people use liquid plant food that contains synthetic ingredients. If you want to grow organic hydroponic plants, you need an organic solution instead of a synthetic fertilizer.

Creating a homemade organic fertilizer with compost or worm castings offers a natural way to supply your plants with nutrients.

If creating a homemade fertilizer sounds like too much of a hassle, just stick with the synthetic nutrients and rest easy knowing that your plants are still mostly organic.

Is Hydroponics Better Than Soil?

Hydroponics offers several advantages over planting in soil. Plants grown hydroponically tend to grow faster. Yet, hydroponics also creates a few challenges.

In nature, plants obtain nutrients and hydration from the soil. Fertilizer is occasionally used to promote fuller growth but is not strictly required.

Hydroponic systems require the addition of liquid plant food to create nutrient-rich water. Using too much or too little impacts the health of the plants.

So, is hydroponics better than soil? Both methods of gardening come with pros and cons. 

In the following comparison, we’ll look at some of the main benefits and concerns of hydroponics gardening and soil gardening.

You should also read: Best Hydroponics Growing System Out Right Now

Advantages of Hydroponics

Most of the advantages of hydroponics come from the fact that you grow plants without soil. Hydroponic growers can choose from a variety of hydroponic growing methods, including aeroponic, deep-water culture, and nutrient film technique (NFT). Yet, each growing method shares a few essential features.

A typical hydroponic garden includes some type of grow tray, a reservoir, a pump, and a grow light. The plants grow in net pots containing a soilless growing media, such as coco coir or perlite.

The plant roots extend below the pot into the cavity of the grow tray. Depending on the setup, the roots are either submerged in water or rest in the path of a stream of water. 

The design of a hydroponic farm provides the following benefits:

These benefits tend to appeal to novice gardeners. You can enjoy faster plant growth with minimal effort. Here’s a closer look.

1. Hydroponics Saves Space and Water

Hydroponics requires less space compared to soil gardening. The lack of soil allows you to grow more plants.

Some hydroponics methods also make it easy to arrange vertical gardens. Vertical gardening involves stacking multiple grow trays or channels to accommodate more hydroponic plants. 

With a soil garden, the roots of the plant need space to grow. A general rule is to use about one gallon of soil per one foot of plant height for soil-grown plants.

Did You Know? An efficient hydroponics garden uses up to 90% less water compared to standard soil gardening. 

Keep in mind that the space-saving benefits of hydroponics depend on the number of plants that you grow. As hydroponics requires a reservoir, you may not save much space when growing one or two plants.

No matter the number of plants, a hydroponics system is likely to conserve water. Watering potted plants or an outdoor garden uses more water, as most of the liquid doesn’t reach the plant’s root.

Some of the water seeps further into the soil. A small amount of the water also evaporates. Any water not used by the plant goes away.

Hydroponic systems recycle the water. The water typically travels through a grow tray and into a water reservoir where it’s pumped back into the tray. 

2. Weeds and Pests Are Not a Problem with Hydroponics

Pests and weeds are two of the most annoying aspects of growing plants in soil. Outdoor gardens tend to require frequent weeding throughout the warmer months. 

Using a planter or a pot allows you to bring your plants indoors and avoid weeds. Yet, you still need to watch out for pests.

Most of the pests that gardeners deal with come from the soil. Getting rid of the soil helps keep critters away. Pests aren’t attracted to the soilless mix often used in a hydroponic greenhouse. 

3. Plants Tend to Grow Faster with Hydroponics

The carefully controlled environments created with hydroponic growing methods help improve plant growth and yields. 

Most hydroponic techniques offer increased oxygen levels compared to traditional farming. You can grow healthier, fuller plants thanks to the oxygen-rich setup. 

Growing cannabis and other plants with shallow root systems tend to result in bigger yields. Cannabis plants can receive optimal levels of hydroponic nutrients, allowing for bigger harvests. 

The roots also tend to grow denser, as they don’t need to press through compacted soil. A denser root system increases nutrient uptake, ensuring that your plants receive the fertilizer that you add to the water.

Disadvantages of Hydroponics

Hydroponic gardening includes a few disadvantages compared to soil gardening:

Most of the disadvantages of hydroponic crops are related to the hydroponic setup instead of the health of the plants. Increased costs, access to electricity, and the need for frequent monitoring have more of an impact on your time and money.

1. Hydroponic Systems Cost More to Set up

Traditional soil farming is inexpensive. Depending on the condition of the soil, you may not need to buy anything other than seeds. Growing a potted plant simply requires fresh soil and a pot. 

Hydroponics gardening is more expensive. You can either purchase a hydroponics system or build one from scratch. Both options require you to spend money.

2. Hydroponics Gardening Requires Electricity

Hydroponics vegetables require the use of grow lights and pumps, requiring electricity. While a small hydroponics kit may not cost much in electricity use, you still need to find an available wall outlet.

Power outages also become a risk. If the power goes out, your system stops working. A few days without nutrients may permanently damage your plants. 

3. Hydroponic Farming Involves Frequent Monitoring

Hydroponic gardening is efficient and typically requires less maintenance compared to traditional soil gardening. You don’t need to weed the garden or deal with common pests. However, you still need to closely monitor the health of your plants.

Hydroponically grown plants are more susceptible to waterborne diseases and problems, including fungal infections, mold growth, and algae growth.

Plants are also quickly affected by disease and inadequate growing conditions. If you don’t quickly treat the problem, your plants may not last long. 

Conclusion

Hydroponic gardening saves space, water, and time. You can grow healthier, fuller plants in less time without needing a green thumb. 

Hydroponics is also great for those who dislike dealing with pests, weeds, and dirt. Yet, you also need to pay attention to a few extra challenges.

If you plan on using hydroponics to grow plants, you may need to invest a little more time and money. Hydroponics requires more equipment compared to soil gardening. You also need to closely monitor nutrient levels. 

In the end, if you’re willing to take the time to test the nutrient mix each week and monitor the health of your plants, a hydroponics system is likely to work better compared to growing in soil.

 

Is Hydroponics Cheaper Than Soil?

When it comes to growing food crops, either commercially or for your own pleasure at home, price is a big factor to consider. If growing your plants will cost significantly more than purchasing the food at a supermarket, many people are disinclined to do it – so is hydroponics cheaper than soil?

A hydroponic system is more expensive to set up than a soil-growing system. You need to buy equipment and install it, and the upfront costs can be high, although they are slowly decreasing as hydroponics becomes more popular.

However, the ongoing costs can be lower than with soil, especially when you take the efficiency and improved yields into account.

You might also like: Which Hydroponics System Is Best For Vegetables?

Why Are Hydroponic Systems Expensive?

Two things make a hydroponic system quite expensive, both in terms of setup and ongoing costs. We’ll look at setup first, and then ongoing costs.

The Setup

The setup involves quite a lot of equipment. You will have to purchase tanks, pumps, and controls, and these things can cost hundreds of dollars for just a square foot of growing space. You need to understand what is needed, and purchasing kits can be very expensive.

This cost is falling as more people move toward hydroponics and the technology to create the systems gets cheaper, but it can still be prohibitive for many growers. Getting into hydroponics is pricey.

You also have to think about lighting; you’ll need equipment that’s appropriate for your space, high quality, and reliable. This can also add significantly to the cost of a system.

Lastly, your main problem is choosing a flow system that allows for rich nutrient solution, giving your plant's roots the best chance of absorbing everything they need to grow fast. EBB and flow system and nutrient film technique are the two most popular.

The Costs

You then have to consider the ongoing costs and the maintenance of your system. You will need to repair and replace equipment as necessary, and you’ll need to consider the costs of your system in terms of electricity. If you have to heat the space you are using, this must also be factored into your cost assessment and budget going forward.

If you are capable of maintaining and making repairs yourself, you will pay less in terms of keeping equipment in good shape, but you should still include this cost in case you need to call in an expert.

However, despite the expense of hydroponics, many people believe it contains the key to sustainable farming in the future. For example, PSCI.Princeton lists ten reasons that hydroponics may be the future of farming. These include:

What Areas Will You Save Money In?

So, where is hydroponics economically attractive and viable? Let's look deeper at electricity and maintenance costs:

Hydroponics vs soil: What do you prefer?

1) Better space use

Hydroponic gardening can firstly save you money via space-saving. It makes use of vertical space, allowing you to grow more in far smaller areas.

This can save a lot of money when compared with traditional farming, which needs vast areas of land in order to successfully grow crops.

Did you know: Plants grown in soil need more space than hydroponic gardens, as they need to spread their roots through the soil to find nutrients. With hydroponics, the nutrients are given directly to the plant roots and thus a small root network is all a plant needs.

2) Reduced water consumption

Water can be an extremely expensive aspect of farming, and if you don’t have a reservoir or rainwater collection system in place, watering your plants can cost a lot of money. Soil does not hold water well, meaning that you lose the vast majority of your water back into the ground.

Watering your hydroponic plants needs significantly less water and a higher quality nutrient solution, because again, the water is delivered directly to the roots. Some methods, such as aeroponics, use very little water because they only mist the roots, rather than washing them with it.

This is what sparks of the "hydroponics vs soil" debate, as water is the biggest worry.

3) Reduced weeding

A hydroponic system does not require you to weed your plants, and if you’re growing a lot of crops, this cuts a massive expense from your system.

You no longer need to worry about losing plants to weeds, and you don’t have weeds sapping away the nutrients that your plants need.

4) Faster growth

If you want to make the most of the growing season and maximize the crops you get from a space, hydroponics is the way forward. Hydroponic crops can grow up to fifty percent faster in some cases.

This means that you get a great deal more value from the space you own, with far more plants being ready to harvest in much shorter periods of time.

Whether you are growing crops commercially or just for your home, a doubled production is certainly worth the financial input and should pay great dividends.

Many experts believe this is due to the dense nutrient solution that a hydroponic garden uses.

5) Fewer pests

Anyone who has ever grown plants outdoors will know how quickly pests can decimate your entire food crop. You can lose everything in just days. Even if you aren’t that unlucky, pests can massively reduce your harvest.

With hydroponic gardening, pests are rarer. Insect pests can certainly still be a factor, but you won’t be faced by raccoons, pigeons, rabbits, squirrels, etc., trying to munch up your plants. You may also find that there are fewer insect pests to contend with, although they can spread quickly through a hydroponic system.

Final Thoughts On Hydroponic Gardening Costs

Hydroponic gardening is not necessarily cheaper than soil, but they do offer a lot of advantages. If you have the funds for the initial investment, you will probably find that the maintenance costs and ongoing cost of electricity, etc., balance with the increased crop yield and reduced workload.

This will depend a great deal on your system and your options for soil growing methods, but on the whole, hydroponics can be a financially viable alternative to growing in soil. It will likely become even more so in the future.

What Kind Of Fertilizer Should I Use For Hydroponics?

The right fertilizer for your hydroponics project will depend on several factors including the plants you are growing, the medium you are using to support them, and the stage of the plants’ growth cycle.

Your own level of expertise is also relevant with some fertilizers more suited to beginners and others to experienced hydroponic growers.

Before choosing a fertilizer for hydroponics, you should think about the specific needs of your plants and your own preferences in terms of productivity, cost and ease of use. Our simple guide below takes you through the main options.

You should also read:

Why Is Fertilizer Used In Hydroponics?

Traditional agriculture and hydroponics, both require the presence of a specific balance of three key elements, nitrogen (N), potassium (K) and phosphorus (P), in order for plants to develop, flower and produce a crop. Fertilizers all provide these three elements, varying in in exact composition and form.

Soil already contains a certain level of nutrients to support plant growth and fertilizers are used in traditional agriculture to supplement this natural level. In hydroponics, there is no soil involved and you will need to introduce all required nutrients into your system in the correct proportion and at the correct pH (acidity or alkalinity) level.

For the best growth outcomes, you should monitor and maintain N, K and P concentration at optimal levels throughout the plants’ growth cycle. This could mean adding more or less fertilizer in order to adjust the concentration and ratio in your hydroponics system. Uptake of N, K and P by your plants depends on the stage of the plant’s growth cycle.

Can I Use Ordinary Fertilizer In Hydroponics?

Overall, use of ordinary fertilizer is not recommended in hydroponics. Hydroponics differs from traditional agriculture in several important ways. Most obviously, in hydroponics, there is no soil present. This matters when choosing a fertilizer for several reasons.

Firstly, alongside the primary nutrients N, K and P, there are a range of secondary nutrients and other trace elements which support healthy plant growth. These elements are not necessarily included in ordinary fertilizer because they are already found naturally in many soils. They include:

By using an ordinary fertilizer you could be depriving your plants of these elements. With a specific hydroponic fertilizer you add these elements to your hydroponics system directly and in proportions suitable for your plants.

Secondly, hydroponic media do not behave in the same way as soil in terms of mineral retention and availability. A small amount of mineral salts will be present in all fertilizers but levels are higher in regular fertilizer.

Important: This is less important in traditional agriculture where salts could be held safely in the soil or washed out by rain. In hydroponics the same salts could accumulate to dangerous levels in contact with plant roots, causing a buildup which restricts plant growth. Salt levels in dedicated hydroponic fertilizers are therefore carefully balanced to avoid this.

Thirdly, hydroponic fertilizers are pH balanced and normally contain a buffer which will keep the system’s pH level within a safe range. Ordinary fertilizers, with differing pH levels and no buffer, could push the pH of the system to a damagingly high or low level, potentially retarding or killing plants.

Why Does The Stage Of The Growth Cycle Matter When Choosing A Hydroponic Fertilizer?

Your plants may benefit from a different balance of N, K and P at different stages of their development:

N: Nitrogen

Helps to build the internal structure of plants (e.g. their cells) and to produce the green pigment chlorophyll which catalyzes photosynthesis, the plant’s energy producing process).

Nitrogen is especially important in the early growth phase in order to develop healthy leaves, stems and roots.

P: Phosphorous

Supports the plant’s photosynthesis, root development and blooming. Uptake increases when a plant is producing flowers.

K: Potassium

Supports photosynthesis, and the healthy circulation of sap within a plant. These functions are important for ensuring high fruit quality.

What is the cheapest fertilizer for hydroponics?

The cheapest nutrient solution for hydroponics will generally be in solid form and should be dissolved and diluted with water before use in your hydroponics system. Liquid fertilizers offer convenience and ease of use, especially when ready-mixed, but are usually more expensive than solid fertilizers.

Some hydroponic nutrient fertilizers are already fully combined and ready to use. Others come in three parts and must be used in combination. The ratio of parts and frequency of use will vary in accordance with manufacturer instructions and your own needs.

Different brands may contain a slightly different balance of trace minerals, and some types of fertilizer might be tailored to optimize the growth of particular crops or types of hydroponic system. Prices could vary to reflect this.

Buying your fertilizer in larger containers or in bulk could save you money compared to buying small containers more often.

Ordinary fertilizer may be cheaper than hydroponic fertilizer but will not be optimized for hydroponic growth, presenting potential problems described in this article. This could result in sub-optimal plant growth which does not give value for money.

Final Thoughts

There are many excellent fertilizer options available for hydroponics.

If you’re just starting out in hydroponics, you may want to begin by using a simple one-part hydroponic solution which can be added to the hydroponic system without further preparation, following the manufacturer instructions.

As a more experienced grower, looking to maximize the quantity or quality of your crop, you may wish to tailor use of a three-part solution according to your needs.

Hydroponic growers seeking the best value for money may want to consider buying a solid hydroponic fertilizer in bulk.

In all cases, you need a fertilizer which contains an optimal growth ratio of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, along with a balance of the key trace minerals normally found in soil.

Remember, using a normal fertilizer is not recommended for hydroponic systems.

Best Grow Tent For Growing Plants Indoors

Grow tents are the more practical variety of greenhouses. It’s incredibly hard and expensive to try and build one on your own property, and if you don’t have a garden of sorts, it’s impossible.

Grow tents, on the other hand, allow you to control every single aspect of the environment where the plant is trying to thrive.

In this guide, we’ll review some of the best grow tents for indoor growing, so stick around to learn more.

Further reading:

Best Grow Tents Reviewed

Pinpointing a suitable grow tent can be tricky, especially with all the models available on the market. There’s plenty to choose from in regards to features, such as different builds, different sizes, observation windows, door styles, extension kits, and so much more.

But don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you to make things a bit easier. Now, let’s get straight to the point and start discussing the choices that we’ve got for the day.

Best Overall: VIVOSUN Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent

VIVOSUN 4x4 Grow Tent, 48'x48'x80' High Reflective Mylar with Observation Window and Floor Tray for Hydroponics Indoor Plant for VS4000/VS4300

Amazon 

We start the reviews with our top-of-the-line pick, the VIVOSUN Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent.

This grow tent comes with a ton of unique features starting at 98% light reflectivity thanks to its double-stitched tear-proof fabric that’s almost completely light-proof and, of course, the act of the robust SBS zippers supported by black lining on both sides. This prevents the leakage of light from the outside to the inside and vice versa.

The entire grow tent is lined with non-toxic PE. Plus, if you want to keep an eye on your plants conveniently, you can use the strategically placed observation window.

Pros

Robust SBS zipper with black lining

Easy connections

Observation window

Metal frame

Affordable

Cons

Zippers need frequent oiling

Great Choice: Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line

Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line 8x8, Tallest Height-Adjustable, Lite Professional Canvas with EZ Clean Diamond Reflective Interior, Strongest Zippers, All-Steel Poles for Indoor Hydroponic Growing

Amazon 

On to the next choice: the Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line, an 8x8 grow tent that can be extended even higher using the kit that’s sold separately. This entire thing is incredibly robust, thanks to its all-steel frame and interlocking poles that provide security.

On top of that, it comes with both a flood pool and a roof section that successfully blocks the damaging infrared rays and reduces heat accumulation inside. Not to mention, the entire tent is bug and pest resistant for the protection of your plants, courtesy of the double-lined mesh pre-filters.

Pros

Height extension kit (sold separately)

Double-lined mesh pre-filters

Oversized zippers

360° doors

All-steel frame

Cons

210D fabric

Expensive

Best Reflective: Hydroplanet Grow Tent

Hydroplanet 36x36x72 Mylar Hydroponic 600D 3'x3' Extra-Thick Canvas Grow Tent for Indoor Plant Growing (36x36x72)

Amazon 

The Hydroplanet Grow Tent brings a lot of competition to the race with its stylish black and blue design and completely washable fabric; it’s already an attractive choice.

Moreover, this fabric has 100% reflectivity and is completely tear-resistant. Also, no PVC is involved in the construction of the tent at all; hence, it’s environmentally friendly.

All of this tent is supported by a stainless steel frame that’s rust-resistant. Subsequently, the longevity of the Hydroplanet Grow Tent is extended.

As for the windows, it does have observation windows; unfortunately, they’re flimsy and need Constant maintenance.

Pros

Affordable

Stylish (black and blue)

Washable fabric

Stainless steel frame

Rust-resistant

Cons

Flimsy windows

Eco-Friendly: Quictent SGS Approved Eco-Friendly

Quictent Approved 48'x24'x72' Reflective Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent with Heavy Duty Anti-Burst Zipper and Floor Tray for Indoor Plant Growing 4’x2’

Amazon 

This is our environmentally friendly option; the Quictent SGS Approved Eco-Friendly, with its 600D Oxford fabric that provides 100% of reflectivity. As for the frame, there’s a stainless steel frame that’s coated with non-toxic green powder. This allows the frame to withstand the trials of time much longer.

Additionally, it comes with a floor tray and four nylon belts to hang light fixtures and appliances however you see fit. The entire tent is light resistant and heat resistant to maintain the desired conditions for the plants. It’s also worth noting that the observation window is protected by a removable cover.

Pros

100% reflective mylar

600D Oxford fabric

Steel frame

Heat-resistant

Floor tray

Cons

Quality control

Space Efficient: TopoGrow 2-in-1 Indoor Grow Tent

TopoGrow 2-in-1 48'X36'X72' Grow Tent 4'X3' Diamond Mylar Canvas Reflective Growing Tents Room Box House Lodge Propagation Flower Veg Indoor Plant Growing Hydroponics Growing System with Floor Tray

Amazon 

The Quictent SGS Approved Eco-Friendly is space-efficient for a reason. Its design is amazing as it’s split vertically into two chambers, and the left chamber is split using shelves in order to grow all kinds of plants throughout different ages without any trouble.

Moreover, the design is flexible as you can remove the shelves and place them however you see fit to distribute your plants. The primary frame is made out of stainless steel.

Additionally, the fabric on the outside is 100% reflective, while the inside has a diamond pattern, which works great for keeping everything where it should be.

Pros

Steel frame

600D Oxford fabric

Diamond patterned mylar

100% reflective

Waterproof

Cons

Absence of front window

Pricey for some people

Best on a Budget: Mars Hydro Grow Tent

MARS HYDRO 2.3x2.3 Grow Tent, 27'x27'x63' Reflective Mylar Grow Tents with Removable Floor Tray View Window for Indoor Plant Growing Room for TS600/SP150/TS1000

Amazon 

Last but not least, we have our budget pick, the Mars Hydro Grow Tent, which offers you 1680D double-stitched fabric on the outside, with a diamond mylar on the inside, all in the pursuit of light reflection.

Moreover, there’s a rust-proof metal frame to support all of that, and it’s helped by the floor drain and the adequate vents distributed around the tent.

Additionally, assembling the Mars Hydro Grow Tent requires no tools, and it’s an easy process. There’s also heavy-duty metal double-lined SBS zippers that don’t harm your hands at all, and they can withstand a lot of trouble.

Pros

1680D double-stitched fabric

Diamond mylar

Floor tray

99% light reflection

Adequate vents

Cons

Fabric and seams problems

How to Choose a Grow Tent

Different Sizes

We’ll just go through a brief of what each side can include in regards to different plants and their sizes.

2×2

A 2x2 grow tent can house a large plant, two medium plants, or four small plants.

2×4

A 2x4 can house either two large plants, four medium plans, or eight small ones.

3×3

A 3x3 grow tent can contain two large plants, four medium ones, or nine small plants.

4×4

A 4x4 makes quite a jump, as it can house four large plants, eight medium plants, or 16 small ones.

4×8

The 4x8 grow tent can be home to eight large plants, sixteen medium plants, or thirty-two small plants.

5×5

Lastly, we’ve got the 5x5 grow tent, which can contain six large plants, twelve medium ones, or twenty-five small plants.

Must-Have Features

Heat and Rip Resistance​

When you decide to go with a grow tent, you’ll find yourself going through numerous processes inside the tent in order to grow your plants properly. So, you’d have a lot of light fixtures, some devices that will require electric current, and, of course, a water source.

Having these three elements in an enclosed space can be incredibly hazardous. Hence, the material of the grow tent will always be a crucial factor in the success and safety of the project. We don’t expect a fire amongst the growing plants, but the working devices can bring it on.

Fabric Density and Strength​

Another essential factor is the strength and durability of the fabric. We’d advise you to go with the strongest fabric possible. The thing is, how do you know the strength of the fabric?

The answer is denier, which is the unit in which the strength of the fabric is measured, and it can go up to 1680D.

A stronger fabric will last you a few years, keeping all of the plant products that can cause diseases, especially respiratory ones, inside, such as spores and pests. It’ll also reduce light leakage as much as possible.

Quality Reflective Material

When talking about the quality of the reflective material, we’ve got two aspects to be wary of. The first one is the pattern on the inside which offers different levels of reflectivity levels. From experience, we’d say that diamond patterns are the best way to go, as they’re adopted by the majority of the top-notch grow tents.

On the other hand, we’ve got the percentage of reflectivity. You ought to go for the highest level of reflectiveness possible; 100% would be perfect if you can obtain it.

This means that all of your calculations will be as accurate as possible since your plants will be benefiting from all of the lightings that you have supplied them with; nothing will go to waste.

No Gapping in the Fabric​

We’ve just mentioned how important it’s to use all of the light that you’re supplying for your plants inside of the grow tent, and that won’t ever happen unless your tent is completely secure.

This means that all of your seams are done perfectly, all windows and openings are extra supported through the use of velcro straps overlapping each other, preventing the light from escaping. Also, openings for any chords must be surrounded all around by zip draws to prevent any leakage.

Zipper Durability

The thing with zippers is that you can easily damage a small part of its length without knowing it; this small error will allow light out of the tent while you’re none the wiser. So, you must be incredibly careful with how you handle your zipper.

You have to be delicate about it. More importantly, when purchasing your grow tent, try to look for a robust zipper system that’s oversized so that you can maneuver it with comfort and economically designed not to hurt your hand when frequently used.

Corner Construction

Corners are the most important pillars of the primary structure of the grow tent. If you have weaker corners, then the tent is bound to collapse at any time; hence, always check the quality of the corner pieces of the frame.

Try to go for interlocking parts that can connect the three sides of the frame. Also, these pieces can be weighted, which will make the tent much more stable, and fixated to the ground; subsequently, way more durable.

Frame and Pole Strength

Just like a puzzle, grow tents are built by connecting the right pieces. These pieces are complementary to each other, so it’s essential for each piece to be of excellent quality.

With the frames of grow tents, you can go three ways; metals in general, steel which is our best choice, or plastic which isn’t at all recommended as it’s nowhere near as durable as the two other choices.

Nevertheless, no matter which way you decide on, make sure that the locking mechanism of the pieces is as secure as possible. Moreover, some frames come with extra pieces in case you want to make the tent taller or wider, which is always a welcome plus.

Number of Ventilation, Exhaust, and Cord Ports

Ventilation, exhaust, and chord ports are all openings in the grow tent. We’ve mentioned before that the security of their closure is essential to obtaining the maximum benefit from the tent.

Their placement around the tent is crucial to the efficiency of the entire process. If you’ve got all of your cord ports placed strategically, you won’t need extension cords, which can make things way more complicated.

The same goes for ventilation openings or exhaust ports, as that will allow the proper amount of ventilation that your plants need without you having to tackle the tent in any way.

Flood Tray

The flood tray is the same as the tray placed at the bottom of the dish drying rack. It catches anything that might’ve spilled inside of your grow tent and drains it through a specific port. In other words, your floor is completely safe and dry no matter what kind of accident happens.

This feature is becoming more and more popular by the day as it doesn't just boost the efficiency of your work, as you don’t have to waste time cleaning, it also makes the grow tent much safer inside and around.

Viewing Windows

Viewing windows are exactly what they sound like. Just like the exhaust and chord ports, they’re secured from all sides using overlapping velcro tape to prevent any leakage from happening.

They allow you to monitor everything that’s going on inside of your grow tent without having to go inside by yourself. That, of course, boosts the lifespan of your grow tent and reduces leakage.

Tool Pockets

At first, tool pockets might sound like a small secondary detail. Nevertheless, they do provide a massive boost to your efficiency and practicality inside of the tent.

You certainly don’t want to be going back-and-forth between the tent and where you keep all of your tools; that’s not productive at all. Pockets allow you to keep everything inside and within an arm's reach. Moreover, they’re very flexible with their shapes and placement to fit your exact needs. You might need specific tools in one spot of the tent, while other tools ought to be kept at the other end.

Net Trellis

Gardeners have used net trellis for so long, and the point of them is supporting the delicate veins that you want to grow higher and higher. Undoubtedly, this makes growing any type of plant so much easier as you don’t have to worry about the newer, more sensitive parts of your precious plants.

Consequently, they’re a great option to have on hand, as they‘re exceedingly adaptable and can fit all kinds of plants without any trouble. In the end, the net trellis will support these branches till they’re strong enough to stand on their own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Use a Grow Tent?​

A grow tent is like a more flexible greenhouse that you can build yourself inside of your home. They come with so many options and so many sizes.

The most important thing to look at is the level of reflectiveness of the wall and the security of the openings and zippers. That way, you’ll be able to provide the best environment possible for your plants and reap the best results.

How Big of a Grow Tent Do I Need?

The size of the grow tent that you want to go with completely depends on the type and number of plants that you plan on growing inside of it. These two categories will lead to the type of devices that you’ll need to put inside of the tent, such as light fixtures.

That’s why you must study the needs of the plants that you wish to grow before going for a certain size.

What Grow Lights Should I Use in My Grow Tent?

When it comes to the lighting system that you‘ll implement inside your grow tent, you need to think about the size of your grow tent to determine the wattage.

For instance, if you have a 3x3 grow tent, you’ll need around 350W to power it. As for the type of light used, our number one choice will always be LED lights. That’s because they use less electricity and reduce the amount of heat generated.

How Thick Should My Grow Tent Fabric Be?

The thickness of the fabric is measured in the unit known as Deniers(D).

One denier stands for the thickness of an individual strand of silk, and of course, the more, the merrier. You ought to go for the highest thickness that you can find, which will definitely cost you a lot.

1680D is the maximum protection of thickness for grow tents, and it offers an excellent level of reflectiveness.

What Kind of Ventilation Fan Should I Get?

In order to guarantee proper ventilation, you’ll need two types of fans. First, we’ve got the air extractor fan system, which is basically an exhaust system that removes old air to the outside of the tent while pulling in fresh air to keep the circulation going.

On the other side of the spectrum, you can use oscillating or regular fans that you can find in houses. They’re efficient!

How Powerful Should My Fan Be?

Your fans should be powerful enough to cover the entire room in a reasonable length of time. How are you supposed to know that? Calculations. The first thing they need to know is the volume of your room.

Then you need to multiply that by the efficiency drop, which is a kind of safety margin to make sure that the entire room is covered. The efficiency drop depends on the duct part.

Do I Need an Intake Fan?

The answer to this question is yes. You might not need to operate it at all times, still, to keep the circulation going, remove all of the unwanted gases to the outside, and start bringing in the fresh air inside; an intake fan or an exhaust fan is essential to the small ecosystem that you’re trying to create inside of your grow tent.

Do Grow Tents Keep the Smell In?

Not really. Exhaust fans carry the air with the particles that create foul smells to the outside, and if the smell is overpowering for any reason, then you might need a stronger exhaust fan or more ventilation ports to boost the airflow a few notches. So, as you can see, there is more than one way to get rid of the smell in a grow tent. Fertilizers, too, can cause foul odors.

Can Grow Tents Become a Fire Hazard?

Grow tents do include a lot of light, appliances, and even gases produced from the plants. So, the answer is yes! Due to the electronics present inside and the fabric of the tent, it can catch on fire.

Yet, there are certain steps that we take to prevent that; most importantly, don’t overload your electronics. If you’re using a power strip, try to distribute more than one around the grow tent.

Can a Grow Tent Be Placed on a Carpet?

Now, placing a grow tent on any kind of flooring that can get damaged by spills isn’t the wisest thing to do. You can take all of the precautions and still suffer from some mishaps with your grow tent.

You wouldn’t want such liquids seeping into your carpet and then into your flooring to ruin it. So, try to find a proper place for your tent, away from carpet and hardwood floors.

Final Thoughts

  • The VIVOSUN Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent is our top pick, boasting a double-stitched tear-proof fabric..
  • The Gorilla Grow Tent Lite Line is another good choice, with its flood pool, heat-resistant roof section, and interlocking poles.
  • The Hydroplanet Grow Tent is made of tear-resistant fabric and is also lightweight.

Best Organic Fertilizer For Your Plants, Fruits And Vegetables

Finding a good organic fertilizer can be difficult. Organic fertilizers are wrongly misunderstood to be ineffective with low nutrient levels, which makes artificial fertilizers more popular.

However, if you find the correct organic fertilizer that suits your soil condition and plant types, you'll be able to see results that last much longer than those produced by a chemical fertilizer.

In this article, you'll discover which organic fertilizers are worthwhile, as well as know how to choose the fertilizer type you truly need so that you don't invest money in the wrong products.

Quick glance at the best organic fertilizers:

Also Read:

Best Organic Fertilizers Reviewed

To save you the trouble of looking and searching for effective organic fertilizers, we've put together a list for your convenience. This list contains organic fertilizers that we reviewed and found to have passed our assessments and quality tests.

We've categorized them into seven different categories to make it easier for you, so read on to discover the best organic fertilizer that most suits your needs.

Jobe's Organics All-Purpose Fertilizer Spikes - Best Overall

Jobe's, Fertilizer Spikes, All-Purpose, 50 Count, Flowers, Trees, Fruit, Nut, Shrubs, Vegetables

Amazon 

Jobe's Organics All-Purpose Fertilizer Spikes are absolutely brilliant. The spikes are easily driven into the ground near the plant's roots, saving you the mess that would've resulted from other fertilizer applications.

This organic fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 4-4-4, with many other trace elements. Also, it's registered on the Organic Materials Review Institute's list, so it's 100% organic with no artificial and synthetic chemicals.

Plus, it contains microbes that break down the fertilizer to increase its efficacy and efficiency. On another note, the spikes can be dug up with animals, so keep them away until they can fully dissolve.

Pros

Cons

Espoma PT18 Plant Tone - Budget Friendly

Espoma Organic Plant-Tone 5-3-3 Natural & Organic All Purpose Plant Food;18 lb. Bag; The Original Organic Fertilizer for All Flowers, Vegetables, Trees, and Shrubs.

Amazon 

The Espoma Plant Tone is a versatile fertilizer that can be used on trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. It has a 5-3-3 NPK ratio, and it slowly releases these nutrients over a lengthy time period, granting you durability.

It's made of a combination of mineral, animal, and plant-based fertilizers, in addition to other salts and minerals. It also contains microorganisms, which break down the fertilizer particles and result in faster nutrient delivery and plant growth.

However, it has a bit of a strong smell, so it's better to use it outdoors to disperse the smell and make it less noticeable.

Pros

Cons

Scotts Natural Lawn Food - Best For Lawns

Scotts Turf Builder SummerGuard Lawn Food with Insect Control 13.35 lb, 5,000-sq ft

Amazon 

For lush lawns and turfs, the Scotts Natural Lawn fertilizer is the perfect choice. It can be applied at any given time to all grass types, producing good results each and every time. Four applications per year are more than enough to create and sustain a flourishing, green lawn.

Once applied, you can walk on it immediately, and you can see results in as fast as 1-3 weeks.

This organic lawn fertilizer is chemical-free, and it’s also OMRI listed. Moreover, it's completely safe for both kids and pets, so don't worry if your dog or child accidentally ingests this fertilizer.

Pros

Cons

Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula - Best Liquid Plant Fertilizer

Fox Farm FX14049 Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula: Big Bloom, Grow Big, Tiger Bloom (Pack of 3 - 32 oz. bottles)

Amazon 

The triple set of Fox Farm Liquid Fertilizer is an excellent purchase for both beginners and experienced gardeners, consisting of three different bottles; Grow Big, Tiger Bloom, and Big Bloom.

Grow Big is used at the beginning to stimulate plant growth until the flower buds start to form. Then, Tiger Bloom is used because it's very rich in phosphorus. Lastly, the Big Bloom is used for fruiting and flowering plants for maximum nutrition and root health.

These fertilizers have to be diluted in some instances, or else the plants may burn. Research your plant's requirements before applying any of them.

Pros

Cons

Espoma BioTone Starter Plus Plant Food Fertilizer

Espoma Organic Bio-tone Starter Plus 4-3-3 Natural & Organic Starter Plant food with both Endo & Ecto Mycorrhizae; 18 lb. Bag; The Ultimate Starter Plant Food

Amazon 

The Espoma BioTone Starter Plus Fertilizer is a mix of organic fertilizer types, made up of greensand, feather meal, alfalfa meal, bone meal, poultry manure, and other ingredients. It has an NPK of 4-3-3, and its nutrients are slowly released over time.

The fertilizer has 13 types of microbes for optimal root and stem formation, and it also contains humates for increased plant uptake of nutrients.

This organic garden fertilizer is best used when you're just starting your outdoor planting endeavors or when you're repotting your indoor plants. Yet, thoroughly mix it in with the soil to reduce its smell.

Pros

Cons

Dr. Earth 707p Organic 8 Bud & Bloom Fertilizer - Best For Flowers

Dr. Earth GL61100518430 Fertilizer & Soil 707P Organic 8 Bud & Bloom Fertilizer in Poly Bag, 4-Pound, 4 lb, Natural

Amazon 

Made from a blend of rock phosphate, feather meal, fishbone meal, and alfalfa meal, the Dr. Earth 707p Organic 8 Bud & Bloom Fertilizer is a great option for flowering plants.

For starters, it allows for better root formation, which results in a greater quantity of buds and flowers. This is due to its high phosphorus content, with an NPK of 3-9-4.

Not to mention, this fertilizer gives your plants all the nutrients they need and will last you for many months. Also, it doesn't contain any sewage sludge or chicken manure, making its smell considerably better than other organic fertilizers.

Pros

Tolerable smell

Has no GMOs

Rich in phosphorus

Contains beneficial microbes

Cons

The packaging is a bit weak

Unco Industries Worm Castings Organic Fertilizer - Best Soil Builder

Worm Castings Organic Fertilizer, Wiggle Worm Soil Builder, 15-Pounds, (Package May Vary)

Amazon 

If you want an amazing organic soil builder and fertilizer, then Unco Industries Worm Casting Fertilizer is the answer to your prayers. It's suitable for almost all plants and is loaded with both macro and micronutrients for your plants' benefit.

The earthworm castings can provide both fast and long-term nutrition, so your plant will be able to have what it needs when it needs it.

It also improves your soil structure and aeration, which results in more extensive and stronger plant roots. Leaves, buds, flowers, and fruits take the energy that would've gone into the roots and make themselves known.

Pros

Cons

How to Choose an Organic Fertilizer

Organic Fertilizer Types

There are three main types of organic fertilizers; mineral, animal-based, and plant-based.

Mineral

This variety of organic fertilizers comes from natural rocks and sands. That means they're not artificially made and have no chemicals in them. Since they allow for a chemical-free planting, they were thus dubbed organic.

There are two varieties available, rock phosphate and greensand. The former has a high level of phosphorus, while the latter has a high potassium content. Both contain traces of other minerals like nitrogen, iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, and many more.

Did you know? Rock phosphate doesn't immediately dissolve in water and remains in the soil, slowly releasing its nutrients till they're called upon by the surrounding plants.

Animal-Based

There are numerous types of animal-based fertilizers, manure and urine being the most common. Bone meal, blood meal, and fish meal are also popular and are made from what their names indicate. Some other types include shell meal, fish emulsion, seabird guano, and many others.

These fertilizers are rich in the major three minerals. Except for fish emulsion, all types release their minerals a bit slowly, so don't get them if you want a quick fix.

Pro tip: Blood meal can burn your plant if used excessively as it's highly acidic, so use with caution.

Plant-Based

Plant-based fertilizers are what you want if you need a slight nutrient boost. They're suitable for soil preparation and conditioning as they have natural stimulants and enzymes that’ll help your plants grow healthy and fast.

They include compost, alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, seaweed, grass clippings, and more.

If you need a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that doesn't involve animals in any way, fortunately, cottonseed meal and soybean meal are one such fertilizer.

Dry vs. Liquid

A dry fertilizer doesn't work if the microorganisms do not break it down in the soil. So you have to incorporate the fertilizer into the soil and thoroughly mix the two for this to happen.

Since it's long-acting and encourages plant growth for a long time, it's best used with seeds and transplants.

Conversely, liquid fertilizers deliver a fast punch of nutrients into the soil. They can be directly applied to the soil or sprayed on the plant's leaves.

Leafy plants that are starting to grow are the optimal recipient of this fertilizer. However, beware that newly-sprouted seedlings can only withstand a diluted version of this fertilizer.

Nutrients

When choosing your organic fertilizer, you have to look at its NPK ratio. This ratio represents the weight percentage of the three major nutrients; nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each one of these macronutrients is essential for the different processes a plant goes through as it grows and flowers.

Organic fertilizers also contain micronutrients needed by plants in lesser amounts for their general health and well-being. These nutrients include iron, copper, manganese, boron, chlorine, zinc, and molybdenum.

To make the fertilizer more effective, microorganisms like beneficial bacteria and fungi are often included in the fertilizer. That's because they increase the amounts of nutrients available for uptake and use by the plants.

Plant Type

Different plants need varying amounts of nutrients for optimal growth and development. For example, some plants require high nitrogen levels, while others benefit more from phosphorus and similar.

That's why fertilizers come in different NPK ratios to suit specific types of plants better. For example, lawns need high nitrogen levels, not so much the other two. On the other hand, vegetables generally require relatively high equal levels of the three elements.

Moreover, bulbs require lots of phosphorus for strong roots, while trees and shrubs benefit from low to moderate levels of the three macronutrients every now and then.

Desired Effect

Depending on what you want to see happen, different types of fertilizers should be used. If you're just starting a new garden, you won't benefit from a liquid fertilizer. That's because your goal should be to raise the fertility of your soil, so soil builders and dry/granular fertilizers are the way to go.

In contrast, if you already have an established garden with plants in various development stages, a burst of nutrients from a liquid fertilizer is what you need. It'll allow your plants to grow well and reach their full potential.

Soil Condition

Your soil's condition will directly affect the type of fertilizer you'll use. So, make sure to check your soil's pH, organic content, and nutrient content with a soil test first.

If you find your soil unsuitable for planting purposes, then you need to modify its composition and supplement it with what it lacks.

For sandy or rocky grounds, you have to add abundant amounts of mulch, which adds the organic material needed for plant growth. Compost, bark chips, leaf mold, cow manure, and other animal manures are all excellent sources of organic matter. Follow the mulch with soil builders and organic fertilizers.

Synthetic vs. Organic Fertilizers

Gardeners and farmers sometimes use synthetic fertilizers for fast and instantaneous results. However, these results come at a cost.

Over time, the fertility and quality of the soil drop, while its acidity shoots up due to the high salt levels in any synthetic fertilizer. This acidity eventually burns the roots of young plants and stops their growth. These fertilizers also drive away beneficial earthworms.

Meanwhile, organic fertilizers preserve and improve your soil's quality as time goes by, where they increase soil moisture and aeration.

And if you want fast results, don't forget that organic liquid fertilizers are available.

How Can You Tell if Fertilizer Is Organic?

Besides checking the fertilizer's label for the word "organic", you can check if the fertilizer is listed in the OMRI. Its product list only contains truly organic materials that have been measured against strict organic standards.

Also, look at the ingredient list of your fertilizer. If it has superphosphate, potassium sulfate, potassium chloride, ammonium nitrate, or other synthetic ingredients, this fertilizer isn't organic.

How Do You Apply Organic Fertilizer to Plants?

Organic fertilizer generally takes some time to work because you have to wait for the soil microbes to break down the fertilizer into ready-for-use nutrients. This can take two weeks in warm weather, but cold weather can double or triple this duration.

So consider your climate and apply your granular fertilizer in the top 3-6 inches of your soil before you plant the seeds. Pour or spray liquid fertilizers when extra nutrients are needed.

Can You Over-Fertilize Your Plants With Organic Fertilizers?

Yes, of course. Excessive fertilization will harm your plants, whether the fertilizer is synthetic or natural. It’ll burn off the plants and alter the soil's composition, making it hard for new plants to grow. In addition, insects and fungi may seriously infest your ground, and consequently, your plants can contract and suffer from various diseases.

What Natural Fertilizer Is High in Nitrogen?

Blood meal, feather meal, and urine/urea all have pretty high levels of nitrogen. The nitrogen levels can range from 12 to 15 percent in those organic fertilizers. Bat guano and seabird guano also have high nitrogen contents, reaching 10 percent nitrogen.

And if you want a plant-based alternative, cottonseed and soybean meals have decent nitrogen levels, coming at 6% and 7%, respectively.

What Are the Disadvantages of Organic Fertilizers?

One drawback of organic fertilizers is the relatively low nutrient levels when compared to synthetic fertilizers. This can result in smaller and less green plants. Another disadvantage is that it takes a longer time for the fertilizer's effects to be noticed.

Moreover, the fertilizer's composition may vary from batch to batch because organic products are biologically active. This can, unfortunately, produce unpredictable results, which can be very annoying since most organic fertilizers aren't exactly cheap.

What Type of Nutrient Is the Most Important for the Plants?

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the three major nutrients needed by plants. Some plants may need one of those nutrients more than others, but all are still important.

Nitrogen is usually the nutrient that plants lack the most as it can rapidly leave the soil in gas form. The other two are more stable and remain in the soil for longer durations.

Other micronutrients are still of value to plants, but to a lesser extent.

Quick Recap

Best Garden Hose Nozzle - Adjusting The Spray in 2022

A garden hose nozzle makes all the difference when it comes to watering different plants. Not only is it more convenient than using your thumb, but it's also more efficient; you don't have to run back and forth switching your hose off, and it saves you water in the long run. With a nozzle, you're given control to avoid overwatering your plants.

Selecting a hose nozzle is challenging as there are many options available. Depending on how you plan to use it, you should base your choice. Check out the garden hose nozzles that we have reviewed for you below.

Quick glance at the best garden hose nozzles:

You may also like:

Best Garden Hose Nozzles Reviewed

We've reviewed the top hose nozzles available on the market, suitable for all uses. We've even considered those with additional features and the benefits of having them, as well as the materials the nozzles are constructed from and how this could be a deciding factor for you, depending on how long you want your nozzle to last.

So, without any further ado, let’s get to them.

Gardenite Heavy-Duty Watering Nozzle - Best Overall

Garden Hose Nozzle / Hand Sprayer - Heavy Duty 10 Pattern Metal Watering Nozzle - High Pressure - Pistol Grip Front Trigger - Flow Control Setting Knob - Suitable for Car Wash, Cleaning, Watering Lawn and Garden - Ideal for Washing Dogs & Pets

Amazon 

This 10-pattern metal nozzle is durable and versatile as it allows 10 varied watering styles and lets you control the water flow.

These watering styles include "shower", "jet", "mist" for new plantings, and "cone," as well as directional styles of flat or vertical. You can switch between washing things using the high-pressure stream to hose dirt away and the gentle shower for watering flowers.

Regarding usage, you twist the nozzle to the spray pattern required, and it clicks into place. It's also got a sturdy, comfortable grip, so you feel minor strain when using it for long periods.

Pros

Cons

Dramm Revolution 9-Pattern Spray Gun - Best Design

Dramm 14503 Revolution 9-Pattern Spray Gun, Yellow

Amazon 

This hose nozzle equips you with watering styles "rain" for plants, "mist" for new seedlings, and "stream" for deep cleaning around your garden. Directional water styles in cone, center, flat, fan and angle, allow for more control with the shape of water sprayed.

Regarding usage, you rotate the nozzle to the spray pattern required, and it clicks into place.

The Dramm has a fancy one-touch system, allowing you to switch the water on and control water quantity just by sliding a switch forward and back. It's also got a molded hand grip, so you feel minor strain when using it for long periods. Moreover, its sturdy metal and plastic combo come in lots of colors.

Pros

Cons

Dramm One Touch Rain Wand - Best Wand

Dramm 14864 One Touch Rain Wand with One Touch Valve, 16-Inch, Green

Amazon 

This watering wand has got to be one of the best picks out there. It's perfect for watering hard-to-reach areas like hanging planters and broad flowering beds. Its plastic hose nozzle combined with an aluminum body makes it light and portable.

It's available in 2 lengths, 16 and 30 inches, and has a thumb switch or one touch on its grip to control water flow, depending on if you want low water pressure or high. This effectively saves water when moving from one plant bed to the next.

The wand also comes with a rain shower watering head, perfect for delicate plants, and is available in many colors.

Pros

Cons

Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Grip Nozzle - Best Budget Nozzle

Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Grip Nozzle with Threaded Front, Silver (857302-1001)

Amazon 

This classic, metal-based pistol grip nozzle is made from stainless steel combined with zinc alloy. It’s a lightweight, budget option for many of us who want something that will last us the peak gardening season.

It has a versatile hose nozzle that comes with a different spray pattern, giving you a lot for your money. It has a threaded front so you can easily attach cleaning tools, and the pistol nozzle has a metal loop at the top that locks in place. It also has a flow rate control dial for flexibility.

The pistol-style grip may be a little hard to squeeze each time water is needed. This can be overcome by wearing some gloves, and for extended periods of use, the open clip feature it has can be used to spray continuously.

Pros

Cons

Gardena Metal 7-Pattern w/ Flow Control - Pistol Grip Nozzle

Gardena Multi Sprayer Premium

Amazon 

This water hose from Gardena has a spray gun-style plastic nozzle and a classic pistol grip. You're given 7 different spray patterns to switch between delicate plants or large planting beds. It's designed ergonomically out of non-slip plastic that fits snug in your hand.

The hose comes conveniently pre-assembled to you and features a quick connect option. Regarding usage, you can adjust the flow with the handy rear adjustment knob. All metal fittings and the plastic body give the user the benefits of durability and lightweight usability.

Pros

Cons

Dramm 9-Pattern Dial Nozzle - Dial Nozzle

Dramm 12701 9-Pattern Revolver Spray Nozzle, Red

Amazon 

This dial nozzle comes with 9 watering patterns for flexibility of use and directional water styles, such as "cone" or "center". You can choose between watering the garden using a "shower" setting or "jet" pressure washing your driveway quickly with one nozzle.

It features a molded handgrip with a handy one-touch valve, so with a flick of a button, you can start watering. This gives you control over the quantity of water used, saving you water in the long run and reducing hand strain as there’s no need to squeeze the way you must with conventional hose use.

Regarding usage, you rotate the dial nozzle to the spray pattern required, and it clicks into place, then pushes down on the pistol grip lever. Its sturdy metal body is available in many colors.

Pros

Cons

Bon-Aire Ultimate Hose Nozzle - Fireman Nozzle

Bon-Aire Original Ultimate Aluminum Hose Nozzle ( Colors may vary )

Amazon 

This comfortable fireman nozzle only needs a twist to start and stop the water flow. Though it doesn't come with spray settings, its simple design means you gradually rotate the nozzle for the different options.

With a two-way shut-off, you don't have to worry about turning it all the way to the beginning to stop the water flow.

This fireman nozzle comes with 5 watering patterns with the pressure consistent in all. The "jet" and "spray" settings allow a range of uses. Moreover, the rubber casing protects the metal aluminum middle for long-lasting durability.

Pros

Cons

Dramm Brass Traditional Nozzle - Traditional Nozzle

Dramm 12380 Heavy-Duty Brass Adjustable Hose Nozzle

Amazon 

This simple, no-frills durable brass nozzle offers high pressure that is handy for cleaning up. Its basic design feels heavy duty and is durable due to its solid brass construction.

So, you can rest assured it'll last longer than many plastic nozzles. However, it doesn't offer low-pressure settings for basic watering but does come with spray patterns for convenience.

Regarding its usage, twisting the barrel emits a fine mist, which could work for general gardening use, and you can change the watering pattern as you rotate more to release a stronger jet-pressure water flow.

You can switch between fan or cone directional water patterns. It may lack various spray patterns and flow triggers, but the solid brass construction promises lifelong usage.

Pros

Cons

How to Choose a Hose Nozzle

Though a water hose nozzle seems like something that just attaches to the end of a garden hose, it can provide many benefits and simplify gardening for you.

Think about your specific requirements. As a gardener, these would be the plants you have and the kind of watering they require. As a homeowner, think about the cleaning you might need to use your hose for.

Also, for either, consider factors to do with the power you need: the jet pressure, functions, such as different spray patterns you may need for versatility, and how long you need it to last you - either just for the season or for many years to come.

Spray Patterns

Spray patterns can be crucial features depending on the nature of your garden. If you have combinations of fragile plants and heavy shrubs in your garden, then a spray pattern nozzle would greatly benefit you in saving you time and water.

Most of the nozzles that come with multi-spray patterns are user-friendly, allowing you not to worry about switching the water off and alternating between spray patterns at a twist of a dial.

Shower

This pattern can be used for watering most shrubbery and plant beds, covering a large area.

Flat

This setting allows you to cover narrow areas like plant rows or edging plants; it directs the water in a flat shape so you can adjust water direction only to narrow plantings.

Cone

This setting sprays water in a circular cone-shaped pattern so you can water a ring of plants all in one go.

Soaker (Fireman)

Plant beds that need a drenching of water, similar to how a fireman's hose would work, would benefit from this pattern.

Materials

Water hose nozzles consist of two parts: the handle and sprayer, which can be only plastic and metal or a combination.

Plastic

Plastic nozzles have the advantage of being lightweight. However, this comes at the cost of durability and how long it'll last. There are also possibilities of leaks with a plastic nozzle, as they have the tendency to crack if dropped, and issues with melting if left out in the sun.

Metal

Usually, metal hoses are stainless steel, brass, or aluminum. They tend to be more durable and heavy-duty than plastic, which is weaker and cracks easily. They're sure to last longer but that comes at the cost of their weight, which may make it hard for those with wrist strains to use.

Some are combined with rubber, and others have a baked-on enamel finish; both give added durability.

Grips

This is the way by which the user holds the nozzle. Depending on what you wish to use your hose for, a grip can make a difference in the ease you experience when watering. Some grips are perfect for hard-to-reach areas such as watering baskets, while others aren't suitable for those who may have sensitive wrists.

Pistol

This nozzle style looks like a pistol gun with a trigger that gives you control of the flow. They have the advantage of giving you control but can be susceptible to usage ablation, so it's ideal to invest in a higher quality one.

Dial/Turret

Dial nozzles let you switch between different spray patterns and give you convenience at a turn of the dial. Gardens with varieties of plantings may need different flows and directions of water and will benefit significantly from this convenience.

The dial mechanism lets you quickly switch between patterns. Most styles are great for fragile plants, and heavier shrubs benefit from shower style.

Wand

This wand nozzle style gives you the convenience of an extension lead onto your hose so you can reach up to hanging planters or broader garden beds. Some wands come with trigger buttons to give you control over the flow. This can help avoid overwatering and saturating soil more than needed.

Traditional

Traditional nozzles come with a barrel at the tip that, when rotated, controls the quantity of water that flows out. These nozzles also have a few watering patterns, such as mist and jet.

Nozzle Connectors

Most hoses have standard thread sizes with plastic or metal fittings on end. The fitting can either be US standard or GHT, or British Standard/BSP. That is something to look for when purchasing your nozzle to ensure that your nozzle fits onto the threading of your hose end.

Additionally, using a small washer plate helps you avoid leaks as it ensures your nozzle and hose fit together.

You can use a quick-connect process that puts together the nozzle component and hose, saving you time rather than screwing them together.

Flow Rate

The water flow from a garden hose can range from 2.5 to 5 gallons per minute. When purchasing a nozzle, this isn't a deciding factor, as most nozzles will adapt to the particular water pressure level coming through your hose.

Shut-Off Valves

This feature is important considering the need to reduce our overconsumption of water. A shut-off valve gives the ease of switching off water flow when needed. Most hose spray nozzles available will have this either by releasing a trigger or twisting the barrel at the end of the hose.

Hose Diameter

A typical garden hose nozzle will have the below diameters:

A ⅝-inch hose is the average most people require.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most important questions that people have.

What Is the PSI of a Garden Hose Nozzle?

The PSI is a measure at which a garden hose will split due to the amount of water pressure. A low-quality hose splits at about 200 PSI, while a medium-quality hose splits at about 275 to 350 PSI. A high-quality one can take up to about 500 PSI.

Nozzles are handy because they can produce more pressure, using the same amount of water that you would use without a nozzle attachment. This is perfect for pressure washing areas that may need cleaning.

What Is the Best High-Pressure Hose Nozzle?

The Dramm Brass nozzle is the best for high-pressure usage. This is great for cleaning up walkways, gutters, and patios, and you have the choice between spray patterns and flow volumes by adjusting the barrel at the top. It's also a great durable construction and is long-lasting.

How Do Hose Nozzles Work?

Your hose has two ends, one is fitted with a cuff that attaches onto your outdoor spigot or water source, and the other end has special threading, which allows for a nozzle to be connected. Once water is turned on without a nozzle, you'd have little control over how the water flows out.

How Do You Clean a Hose Nozzle?

There are a few ways to do this: If you don't have much grime to clean, you can grab a toothbrush to give a good scrub. But when dealing with clogged water deposits, you might need more action.

First, remove the nozzle from the hose, and then take apart the spray head from the handle using a screwdriver and pop the spray head into a bowl of white vinegar for an hour.

Alternatively, sprinkle some baking soda into the vinegar bowl, and that will break down the deposits. You can even use a pin to poke each hole in your spray head to remove debris that might be wedged in.

How to Connect a Garden Hose to a Nozzle?

The end of your hose will have threading and a clamp that attaches onto your nozzle with a quick click as you twist. WIth your garden nozzle, you will be supplied with a small washer plate, which looks like a little rubber ring that you place between your nozzle and hose so that leaks are avoided.

Conclusion

All the nozzles we've reviewed have unique features that may coincide with your requirements. You might need a nozzle to perform a range of tasks, cleaning grime off your driveway or lightly misting your new flowers.

We've gone through specific features, like how spray patterns can be put to different uses or what grips would best suit you during your usage, and if the material it's made from tends to how long you'll use it for.

Along with this, there are a few pointers we've suggested to keep in mind, such as the flow rate and hose diameter, when you're shopping for your nozzle.

Best Hydroponic Systems in 2022: Buying The System That's Right For You

Hydroponic systems can offer faster, fuller plant growth compared to growing plants in soil. Yet, the success of your indoor gardening depends on the method and system you choose. The wrong choice may keep you from growing fresh herbs and vegetables.

The selection of hydroponic growing equipment and approaches can be confusing for beginners. Some systems are complex while others only require a few simple steps.

Here are our recommendations for the top hydroponic systems based on a variety of criteria. We compared performance, ease of use, price, and other factors to narrow the selection. As you compare systems, think about the features that matter most to you, such as size or simplicity.

Whether you want the most popular hydroponic system, the most compact, something for beginners, or the top of the line, we have options to suit your needs.

Keep reading to explore the various types of hydroponics solutiocns, how they work, and how to find the best hydroponic system for your growing needs.

Related:

Best Hydroponic Systems Reviewed

Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 - Editors Choice

Click and Grow Smart Garden 9

Available at ClickandGrow.com

The Smart Garden 9 is a self-growing garden that can be used by every household to grow every kind of plant you can think of!

Whether you live in a city, suburbia, on an island or anyplace else, you can enjoy the advantages of having your own garden. Grow 100% organic herbs, fruits, salads, and flowers that are healthier than anything you'll find in stores.

AeroGarden Bounty Elite - Best Overall

AeroGarden Bounty Elite

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The AeroGarden Bounty Elite is a premium aeroponic system with space for growing up to nine plants. It features a stainless-steel nutrient reservoir and base with a height-adjustable LED grow light.

The system includes a 50-watt LED array to provide a full spectrum of light for optimal growth. After you start a new garden, the system automatically adjusts the LED grow lights to simulate the day/night cycle.

The three-step water level indicator lets you know when the reservoir needs more water while the nutrient indicator lets you know when to add plant food. You do not need any experience to grow big, healthy herbs and vegetables.

Editors note: If quality is your main goal. This is considered the best indoor hydroponic system on the market right now.

Pros

The streamlined menu is easy to operate and understand

Includes Wi-Fi connectivity and supports Alexa voice commands

The stainless-steel base holds up better compared to the plastic options

The adjustable light can be extended to support plants up to 24-inches tall

Empty seed pods and sponges are available for growing other plants

Cons

One of the more expensive countertop units

AeroGarden Harvest - Best For Beginners

AeroGarden Harvest

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The AeroGarden Harvest is essentially a compact version of the Bounty Elite with a plastic base instead of stainless steel. As with the larger option, the system relies on the aeroponic method to deliver optimal oxygenation. However, instead of supporting up to nine plants, the Harvest unit has space for up to six plants.

The AeroGarden Harvest is a small hydroponic plant system that can easily fit on any counter or desk. It comes with everything needed to start growing common kitchen herbs.

The menu includes just three buttons, including a water-level indicator, plant food indicator, and LED light switch. The indicators light up to let you know when to add water or nutrients.

Pros

It’s an affordable system that comes with everything needed to start growing

One of the easiest hydroponic systems to set up and maintain

Only requires a small amount of space on a counter or desk

The water pump is whisper quiet

Cons

The opening for adding water is small, making it easy to spill water

The design only supports plants up to 12-inches tall

AeroGarden Farm 24Plus - Top Of The Line

AeroGarden Farm 24Plus

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The AeroGarden Farm 24Plus is AeroGarden’s ultimate in-home hydroponic system. Instead of six to nine plants, you can grow up to 24 plants with a single kit. The setup includes two adjustable 60W LED grow lights.

The set comes with seed pods offering a wide selection of leafy greens and kitchen herbs. As with the AeroGarden Bounty Elite, the Farm 24Plus allows you to grow plants measuring up to 24-inches tall.

It also includes a simple menu with indicators to let you know when to perform necessary tasks, such as topping off the water or adding more of the provided nutrients.

Pros

The stackable design allows you to connect multiple systems for vertical gardening

Includes space for growing up to 24 plants with heights up to 24 inches

The 60W LED grow lights help maximize photosynthesis for faster growth

Comes with 24 starter seeds and pods to quickly start your first garden

Cons

Costs significantly more compared to some of the options

Vegebox Growing System - Most Compact

VegeBox Hydroponics Growing System - Indoor Herb Garden, Smart Garden Starter Kit with LED Grow Lights for Home Kitchen, Plant Germination Kits (9 pods, White)…

Amazon 

The Vegebox Growing System is one of the most compact hydroponic systems available, taking up less space than the AeroGarden Harvest. It relies on an aeroponics system, which includes a continuous flow of water inside the small 1.2-liter reservoir.

The unit includes nine holes for growing up to nine plants. Each plant sits in a small foam sponge placed inside a plastic basket.

Due to the limited space, it may not work well with large vegetables and plants, but it offers an ideal environment for delicate herbs, such as parsley and basil.

Pros

One of the most affordable ways to try in-home hydroponics

The base measures just 14.7 x 17.5 inches and takes up less space compared to others

The design is easy to use, as it includes a single on/off button for the pump and light

The LED light is adjustable to support taller plants

Cons

Does not include any indicators for water level or plant food

Does not come with any seeds to try

The foam sponges may collect mold and algae

Moistenland Starter Kit - Easiest To Use

Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System,Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit w/LED Grow Light,Plant Germination Kits 12 Plant Pots for Home Kitchen Gardening (12 Pots)

Amazon 

The Moistenland Hydroponic System is another aeroponic kit with automated control to reduce the hassle of growing plants indoors. The system automatically turns the lights on and off and controls the flow of water.

The system includes 12 seed pods with biodegradable coir sponges. Unlike the AeroGarden kits, it does not come with seeds or nutrient solutions. However, the design is a little easier to operate.

After adding water, seeds, and nutrients, you just need to turn the device on and select the growing mode. Choose between vegetable and flowering modes to suit the growth cycle of your plants.

Pros

Includes a clear water indicator window for monitoring the water level

The one-touch button operation makes it one of the easiest hydroponic systems to use

Takes up minimal counter space and provides room for up to nine plants

Automatically controls the LED lights and water pump

Cons

Does not come with seeds or plant food

Only offers a maximum grow height of 11 inches

iDOO Indoor Herb Garden Kit - Best For Herbs

iDOO Hydroponics Growing System, 10 pods Smart Garden with Auto Timer, LED Grow Light, Indoor Herb Garden, Height Adjustable, Water Shortage Alarm for Home Kitchen, Black

Amazon 

The iDOO Indoor Herb Garden Kit closely matches the Moistenland Starter Kit and AeroGarden Harvest in terms of size and ease of use. It is another countertop unit designed for growing herbs with limited space.

The system relies on LED lights for indicating the current operating mode. It includes a water reservoir and pumps housed in a compact design with an adjustable LED grow light.

The hydroponic kit includes seven plant pods and supports a maximum height of 14.57 inches, which is a little taller compared to the previous countertop kits. You can grow taller herbs, such as sage and lavender, without having to trim them early.

Pros

Cost-efficient option for growing kitchen herbs

Suitable for growing taller herbs, such as sage and lavender

The 24-watt LED is a little more powerful compared to systems in the same price range

Cons

Only provides space for up to seven plants at a time

Does not come with seeds

GrowLED Plant Indoor Garden - Best For Tight Budgets

GrowLED LED Indoor Garden, Herb Garden, Kitchen Garden, Height Adjustable, 20W Grow Light, Automatic Timer, Ideal for Plant Grow Novice Or Enthusiasts, Various Plants, DIY Decoration, White

Amazon 

The GrowLED Plant Indoor Garden is simply an adjustable LED grow light with a tray. The tray measures 7.5 x 17.7 inches, offering space for about four small pots.

The LED grow light includes an automatic smart timer. It automatically stays on 16 hours and off for 8 hours each day. It does not include a water reservoir or pump.

However, you could technically use this grow light with a DIY bottle hydroponics setup. Position the bottles below the LED and adjust the light as the plants start to grow. You can also use the GrowLED Plant Indoor Garden with standard pots containing soil.

Pros

Low-cost LED grow light with a tray for convenient desktop or countertop use

Includes an automatic smart timer to switch the LED array on and off

Suitable for a variety of applications, including bottle hydroponics and potted plants

Cons

It is not a complete hydroponic system, as it does not include a water pump or reservoir

Gardyn Home Indoor Smart Garden - Best Vertical Hydroponic System

Gardyn Home Indoor Smart Garden

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The Gardyn Home Indoor Smart Garden uses the nutrient film technique (NFT) with a vertical hydroponic gardening configuration to grow more plants with less space. The plants sit in openings on one of two vertical tubes that extend from the base.

The water pump sends water up to the top of the tube, allowing the nutrient solution to travel down the channels and through the plant’s root systems. It is a costly system but offers one of the most efficient options for indoor growing.

The design also accommodates plants of all sizes, making it ideal for growing marijuana and other plants that require more space.

The light comes from two LED tubes that stand opposite the vertical growing channels. The two lights provide the equivalent of 75 watts of power and a full spectrum of UV rays for healthier growth.

Pros

Provides space for growing up to 30 plants

Includes everything you need to start growing, including seeds and plant food

Suitable for growing cannabis and other tall plants

Takes up minimal floor space compared to other systems with the same capacity

Cons

One of the most expensive in-home hydroponic systems

The Farmstand - Simplist Setup

The Farmstand

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The Farmstand is a compact aeroponics system with a unique design. It has a circular shape with modular trays that hold the plants. The stackable trays include openings for inserting seed pods and allowing the plants to grow.

The plant roots grow toward the center of the tray where they receive nutrients from the water reservoir. The water is pumped from the bottom of the base to the trays for a continuous flow of nutrients.

The innovative design takes up less space and involves less work. You just need to plug it in to start running the pump and remember to add water and nutrients.

Pros

Takes up less floor space compared to some of the other choices

The modular design allows you to add more trays without taking up more floor space

One of the easiest designs to operate and maintain

Cons

Does not come with a grow light for indoor gardening

Miracle-Gro Twelve - Great Design

Miracle-Gro Twelve

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The Miracle-Gro Twelve hydroponic system features an innovative design for growing a wide range of herbs and vegetables. While it only includes space for growing up to four plants at a time, the design supports larger plants. The LED grow light stands over a foot above the tray that holds the grow pots.

The Miracle-Gro Twelve is built with a steel frame and features a stylish design that should work well in any space, including your living room.

The system relies on an aeroponics setup, with the pots suspended just above the water reservoir. It is also a smart system. The connected mobile app provides notifications and allows you to monitor plant growth.

Pros

The stylish design is perfect for use in any room

The mobile app makes it easy to monitor the growth of your plants

Requires minimal maintenance to keep the system running smoothly

Surprisingly affordable for a hydroponic system that can support a large plant

Cons

Only includes space for growing up to four plants at a time

What Are the Different Types of Hydroponics Systems?

One of the hardest parts of getting started in hydroponics is choosing the right method. Each type of hydroponic growing system has separate pros and cons.

Most systems involve placing seeds in a growing medium suspended above a source of water. Nutrients are added to the water, which feeds the roots of the plants.

However, some systems are small and require minimal maintenance while others are complex and come with a steeper learning curve. Here’s a quick overview of the most popular hydroponic growing methods (or the most common hydroponic systems).

Ebb and Flow

Ebb and flow systems, also called "flood and drain", typically requires the use of a growing medium with plants resting in a tray. Ebb and flow hydroponics involves flooding the plant roots with a nutrient solution at a set interval, such as every few hours.

The nutrient-rich water drains into a reservoir instead of having the roots continuously sit in water (Often referred to as a flood and drain cycle).

As the water drains, oxygen is sucked into the grow medium, creating an oxygen-rich environment. These systems are efficient, but often difficult for beginners to set up and maintain due to the extra steps involved.

Wicking Bed

A wicking bed is a type of irrigation system designed for use in arid regions with limited access to water. It is also a convenient way to grow vegetables at home.

With a wicking bed, the plants are placed in soil or a soilless grow medium. As with ebb and flow systems, a water reservoir sits below the plants. However, instead of flooding the plants, the roots use a wick system to suck water up.

A small wicking bed may include a nylon rope. Larger setups require layers of fabric sandwiched between a soilless grow medium and soil or compost.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

The nutrient film technique (NFT) is often used for commercial growing but may be set up for in-home use. The plants are placed side by side in a long channel, which is typically made from PVC piping. A pump circulates the nutrient solution through the channel.

An NFT system may include one or more channels. Large commercial systems may include a winding maze of interconnected pipes. This method takes up less space compared to other commercial approaches and delivers consistent water flow.

Quick takeaway: The NFT method does not work well with certain types of plants, including plants with long root systems and plants that require lots of support.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is another hydroponics method commonly used for large-scale commercial operations. It is also an affordable system to set up at home but requires more space compared to other in-home options.

As with most hydroponic systems, the plants sit in pots or containers with soilless growing media. A drip nozzle connected to a tube is positioned above each plant.

A water pump drip system allows the nutrient solution to gradually drip through the nozzle and over the plant. The excess solution is collected and recycled through the pump.

Quick takeaway: The drip system is cost-efficient but requires extra maintenance and monitoring to ensure the proper distribution of nutrients and water.

Aeroponics

An aeroponic system uses a hydroponics method adopted by many of the in-home countertop kits, such as the AeroGarden.

The plants sit in pots suspended above a water reservoir. Depending on the design, nozzles deliver water over each plant or spray the roots with the nutrient solution.

As the plants are suspended in air, they are naturally aerated. This creates an oxygen-rich environment that allows the plants to thrive. The roots eventually grow down into the water reservoir where they soak up the nutrients as with other hydroponic systems.

Quick takeaway: Aeroponics systems are often compact, easy to operate and allow you to grow many small plants in tiny spaces.

Kratky Method

The Kratky Method is a type of passive hydroponics. With passive hydroponics, you do not use an industrial air pump or any kind of pump to circulate water. The nutrient solution sits in a water reservoir below the plants.

The water level starts high, allowing it to saturate the growing medium containing seeds. As the seeds sprout and roots grow, they soak up more water. The water level gradually decreases as the roots grow and extend down into the reservoir, maintaining an air gap between the water level and the plant.

You do not replace the water or add nutrients during the growth cycle. By the time that the water is fully depleted, the plants should be ready to harvest.

Deep Water Culture (DWC)

A deep water culture system is comparable to nutrient film technique (NFT) systems. Both methods involve placing the root system directly into the water.

The main difference between DWC and NFT is the configuration. With the DWC system, instead of placing the plants in a row in a channel, the plants are suspended in a container. The container may include multiple plants. Tubing connects the water pump to each container.

Quick takeaway: Deep water culture systems are simple to set up, as they do not use cycles of flooding and draining the nutrient solution. The water flows continuously. The drawback is that disease can quickly spread from one plant to the next.

Bottle Hydroponics

A bottle hydroponics system is a type of passive hydroponics, as it does not require a water pump. It involves suspending a plant in a bottle partially filled with water and nutrients.

A wick system may be used to draw water up to the grow media during seed germination. The roots eventually grow down through the media and to the water below.

Bottle hydroponics is a popular choice, as bottles take up less space and you do not need any extra equipment. There are no moving parts to deal with, but bottle hydroponics does require frequent maintenance.

As bottle hydroponics do not typically use water pumps, you need to replace the water about once per week. A straw may also be needed to manually blow air bubbles for proper oxygenation.

How to Choose a Hydroponic System

The price may be a primary concern when choosing a hydroponic growing system. Luckily, most of the systems discussed are available to fit any budget. Other considerations include the types and number of plants you want to grow.

If you just want to grow a few herbs, you can start with one of the basic countertop hydroponic grow systems. If you want to grow enough veggies to feed a family throughout the year, you will require one of the larger setups with space for taller, fuller plants.

After you consider your budget and the types of plants you want to grow, think about your experience level, available space, temperature, and the needs of your plants. Here’s what you should know to make the right choice.

Your Experience Level

If you are new to hydroponics and indoor grow systems, you should start with a simple system. A large-scale commercial hydroponic growing system includes a lot of components and requires frequent monitoring of nutrient levels. Any mistakes could result in dead plants.

Luckily, several of our hydroponics system recommendations are incredibly easy to use. The compact indoor kits, such as the AeroGarden or the Farmstand, allow anyone to start growing.

Space Needed

Think about where you plan on setting up the hydroponic system. If you only have a little bit of space on a counter or desk, consider using a compact hydroponic kit.

For those with more space, you may set up a larger system. Hydroponic systems can be set up in areas measuring a few feet wide and deep or covering an entire basement.

The Ideal Temperature

The ideal water temperature for a hydroponics growing system is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not typically a problem for in-home systems, as the temperature in most homes is within the same range.

Yet, if you plan on placing the system in your basement, or if you live in a cold region, you may need to use a water heater to maintain the best temperature.

Substrates and Nutrients Required

Hydroponic systems require substrate to hold the plants. Most in-home systems use a type of soilless substrate, such as coco coir, peat moss, organic sponges, or perlite.

A liquid fertilizer is added to the water to supply the roots with nutrients. If you want a simple setup, consider using a countertop system that comes with a bottle of plant food and coir plugs for germinating the seeds.

Ongoing Maintenance

If you are the type of person who tends to lose interest in projects over time, choose a hydroponic system that requires minimal maintenance.

You typically need to clean out the entire system at least once a month to remove calcium and iron buildup. Small units may only need an occasional wiping with a damp rag and a thorough cleaning between crops.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Hydroponics?

There are several things you need to consider before thinking about setting up an entire solution of your own or choosing from one of the best hydroponic systems above.

Pros

Cons

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions that people have.

What Types of Plants Can You Grow with Hydroponics?

Countertop hydroponics kits are often used for growing common kitchen herbs, such as cilantro, oregano, parsley, and basil. Leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, are also good for first-time growers. With experience, almost anything you grow outdoors can be grown indoors with a hydroponic system.

What’s the Best Hydroponics System for Beginners?

A compact all-in-one countertop hydroponics system is the best choice for beginners. The AeroGarden Harvest is a common recommendation. You simply add water, seeds, and plant food. LED indicators let you know when the system needs more water or plant food.

What’s the Best Commercial Hydroponic System?

The drip system and the deep-water culture (DWC) method are two of the most used hydroponic systems for commercial applications. These methods often involve lower costs and less frequent maintenance, making them well-suited for large-scale growing.

What Is the Most Popular Hydroponic Method?

The drip system stands out as the most popular commercial hydroponics method due to its efficiency. It tends to cost less and involves less work compared to most other hydroponics approaches. The setup includes fewer components, which means there are fewer things that can go wrong. However, the aeroponic method is commonly used for in-home kits.

How Do You Aerate Hydroponics?

Aeration is required to provide oxygen to the roots. The easiest method for aeration is to suspend the plants above the nutrient solution to prevent the roots from sitting in water. Air stone and air diffusers may also be used to aerate hydroponic systems. An air stone and diffuser release bubbles in the water to supply oxygen.

Do I Need to Test the pH of My Nutrient Solution?

Monitoring the water culture is necessary for maintaining a healthy environment for the roots. A high pH level means that the water is more alkaline, which reduces nutrient uptake. A low pH level can also inhibit growth. The ideal pH level for a nutrient solution is between 5 and 6.

How Do I Adjust the pH in My Hydroponic System?

Test the pH level after adding the hydroponic nutrients. Adding one teaspoon of baking soda per five gallons of liquid can help raise the pH level. A small amount of white vinegar or citric acid can help lower the pH level.

Along with household items, you can buy commercial products designed specifically for raising or lowering pH levels.

Do I Need to Clean My Hydroponics System?

Algae, bacteria, and calcium buildup can accumulate around nozzles, filters, and pumps. You should change out the water or flush the nutrient solution about every 7 to 10 days. You may also need to clean or replace nozzles and filters.

Are Indoor Hydroponic Gardens Worth it?

Indoor hydroponic gardens are worth it for those without the space or interest in growing plants outdoors. You can grow almost anything using a hydroponic system. Small countertop hydroponic systems are affordable and easy to use. A large-scale drip system is cost-efficient but requires more experience and space.

Conclusion

A hydroponic system allows you to grow all types of herbs and vegetables indoors, similarly to a grow tent. However, some hydroponic systems require more experience and space.

Beginners should start small. An in-home countertop hydroponics system or grow kit involves minimal work and maintenance and allows you to learn more about the hydroponics growing process. Our top choice for beginners is the AeroGarden Harvest. If you want to grow more plants, try the AeroGarden Farm 24Plus.

If you have a tight budget or limited space, the Vegebox is one of the most affordable and compact choices.

Best Garden Hose Reel - Keeping Your Hose Tidy

You certainly don't want your garden hose piling, twisting, and getting damaged, right? Well, that’s why it’s preferable to maintain your tools and equipment so that it can last long.

A garden garden hose reel, a cylindrical spindle that you can mount your garden hose on, protects your hose. Not to mention, you wouldn't have to worry about a pile of long hose interfering with your garden's aesthetics.

A gardening hose reel can be a real game-changer, so follow along as we tell you about our top picks and what we consider when buying one.

Quick glance at the best garden hose reels:

Best Garden Hose Reel Right Now

Finding the best garden hose reel is tricky because it differs from one person to another. Your perfect garden hose reel could be a hose reel cart, but someone else's could be a retractable garden hose reel.

In short, it all boils down to your usage, budget, garden size, and prioritized features. With that in mind, we've put together a comprehensive hose reel review and guide with a diverse collection.

Suncast Swivel Smart Trak Hose Hideaway - Best Overall

Suncast 225 ft. Swivel Hideaway Hose Reel with Hose Guide and Crank Handle, Mocha/Taupe

Amazon 

The Suncast Swivel Smart Trak Hose Hideaway is our personal favorite. Its closed storage space protects the hose against the elements. Also, it's durable and contributes to the hose's durability.

Decor Interiors president, Bill Ferris, states that synthetic resin is an excellent choice for outdoor containers with high durability, puncture resistance, UV resistance, and water resistance. And sure enough, the reel is made of synthetic resin.

Additionally, the hose reel is easy to maneuver with a swivel base for smoothness and coordination. Concerning its measurements, the reel is about 26x21x30 inches, fit for standard width hoses up to 225 feet.

Pros

Closed storage space for a shielded hose

Made of synthetic resin, making it very durable, water-resistant, UV resistant, and puncture-resistant

This is a feature that will make people want to actually buy the product because it's awesome.

Swivel base for easy maintenance and maneuvering

Fits standard width hoses up to 225 feet

Cons

May be expensive compared to other hose reels

Eley Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel - Heavy Duty

Liberty GARDEN 712 Single Arm Navigator Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel, Holds 125-Feet of, 5/8-Inch, Bronze

Amazon 

You can depend on the Eley Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel to do some heavy-duty hosing. That's partly because it's sturdy and can be fixed to brick, concrete, and other walls.

The hose reel puts an end to your doubts about wall-mounting, as you can configure it for perpendicular or parallel accessibility and reach tricky corners. Not to mention, its accessibility and mounting options are varied.

The downside is that the reel's water isn't safe for drinking. Also, it isn't suitable for direct mounting to pressure-treated lumber walls for its corrosiveness. However, you can overcome that with mounting standoffs.

Pros

Impressively sturdy

Can be mounted to brick, concrete, and other walls

This is a feature that will make people want to actually buy the product because it's awesome.

Can be configured for perpendicular and parallel accessibility and reach difficult spaces

Various mounting and accessibility options

Cons

Not a drinking water safe system

Needs mounting standoffs to be mount to pressure-treated lumber

Not the best for 24-inch stud width

Strongway Garden Hose Reel Cart - Most Portable

Strongway Garden Hose Reel Cart - Holds 5/8in. x 400ft. Hose

Amazon 

If you have a large garden, the Strongway Garden Hose Reel Cart is the one for you. As a portable hose cart, you can use its easy handle to cover your garden's every inch. It also features a swivel grip that adjusts the hose direction when winding and unwinding.

Furthermore, the hose reel cart has excellent hose capacity, as it can contain 400 feet of 5 to an 8-inch hose, and it comes with a 6 feet leader hose.

Nevertheless, like most portable reels, it isn't very durable, so don't take the 7-year lifetime warranty to indicate its longevity.

Pros

Perfect for vast gardens, as it can cover large areas

Handle with an easy pull-behind design

Swivel grip that adjusts the hose direction

Excellent hose capacity (400 feet of 5/8-inch hose) and comes with a 6 feet leader hose

Flat-free tire

Cons

Not the most durable but isn't less durable than other portable hose reels

MES NeverLeak Cold-Weather Resistant Hose Cabinet

AMES 2380500 Estate 4-Wheel Steel Wagon, 400-Foot Hose Capacity

Amazon 

AMES NeverLeak Cold-Weather Resistant Hose Cabinet is ideal for locations with extreme weather, placed inside a weather-resistant cabinet that’s simple to put together. Moreover, its slatted design prevents rain from hitting it incessantly, causing corrosion.

Not to mention, the hideaway design can carry up to 150 feet of hose. And the product includes a durable leader hose, along with a hose guide as well. We also can't forget the aluminum never-leak water system that resists cross-threading.

There's nothing to critique about this cabinet except for its high cost, which is understandable considering all it has to offer.

Pros

Weather-resistant cabinet to protect the hose reel against the elements

Slatted model to reduce corrosion

Can contain up to 150 feet of hose

Comes with a durable hose guide and leader hose

Aluminum never-leak water system to avoid cross-threading

Cons

A bit costly for most people

Sorbus Manger Garden Hose Holder Stand - Best Bang For Your Buck

Sorbus Manger Garden Hose Holder Stand, Great for Garden, Lawn, Yard, Decorative Water Hose Storage with Ground Stakes, Holds 125-Feet of 5/8-Inch Hose

Amazon 

People who want the most value will be interested in the Sorbus Manger Garden Hose Holder Stand. It can take up to 5 to an 8-inch garden hose that's 125 feet and doesn't disappoint on construction. It can certainly withstand extreme weather conditions.

And with no leader, you can merely connect the hose and the spigot. You'll find its three anchor points effective in fixing the hose stand in place.

There's barely any reason not to buy this hose holder stand as long as your soil is in good condition because its anchor points might sink a bit in a not-very-solid ground.

Pros

Can hold up to 125 feet of 5/8-inch garden hose

Good construction quality with a curved design and a thick steel construction

Can handle extreme weather conditions

You can attach the hose directly to the spigot

Has three anchor points for steadiness

Cons

Not very good for soft ground

Why Use a Hose Reel?

You might argue that a hose reel isn't really a necessity. But there are four main reasons winding your hose on a hose reel is loads better than letting your hose pile haphazardly.

Longevity

If you think you'll save money by not buying a hose reel, think again. A fluid hose is made of rubber and likely to wear over time. Contrarily, a hose reel keeps your hose protected, shielded from the sun, and out of the way. It won't be tangled, damaged, or cracked.

This way, it'll last longer and remain in good condition. In other words, you'll be saving the cost of premature hose replacement, making this a wise investment.

Safety

When it comes to products for residential use, the main priority should be safety. People bump into and trip over their hoses more often than you'd think, hurting themselves in the process.

And if you live with an elderly or have kids or pets, a hose sitting around is just an accident waiting to happen.

Rolling the hose up and storing it over a hose reel will save you many safety hazards and serious injuries.

Not to mention, it's safer for your plants because you won't overwater them to death by accidentally leaving the wayward water hose running. That's because the hose reel will serve as a reminder for you to collect your hose.

Efficiency

We value your time, so you better believe that if a product were to make your gardening chores more manageable, we'd be all over it.

With a hose reel, you hand over some of the cleaning-up to the appliance. To illustrate, you won't have to untangle or unravel your hose, water your garden, or roll it up when you're done.

And that's not counting the extra features that may come with a garden hose reel, like adjusting the hose's direction or baskets for gardening tool storage.

By facilitating the handling and storage of a hose, a hose reel does all the heavy lifting, leaving you the simple job of operating it.

Organization

Leave it up to a piling hose to make an unnecessary clutter. But we're all about organization. And what better way is there to keep your hose looking neat than to roll it over a hose reel? Reducing clutter in your garden will enable you to enjoy an organized, stress-free zone, which is the point, after all.

Pro Tip: If the aesthetics of your garden is a priority to you, it'd be best to get a decorative hose reel. They're designed to enhance your patio or garden's visual appeal.

How to Choose a Hose Reel

There are several things you need to consider before choosing a reel.

Hose Capacity

It's crucial to consider your garden hose capacity when buying a garden hose reel. That's because some fit small hoses of about 100 feet, whereas others hold larger ones of 250 feet.

Pro Tip: Any hose reel has suggested upper limits for water hose sizes, but you might want to take their recommended maximum size with a grain of salt. To be on the safe side, aim for a reel that's a bit larger.

As for the hose length, the hose reel should be able to carry a water hose 50 feet longer than yours so that it has enough space to contract and expand.

Reel Construction Quality

One thing you should never overlook in a hose reel is its quality because that's what will determine its durability and longevity.

Stainless steel is the sturdiest material and arguably the superior choice. It doesn't break easily, making way for more risk-free motion. Metal and rubber are durable too, and they're cheaper.

Plastic is probably the most affordable material. It's flexible, but you have to decide if it's strong enough to handle your usage and weather conditions.

Hose Construction Quality

In case the hose reel you have your eyes on comes with a hose, we'll give you an idea about the materials used and the best among them. Typically, rubber hoses are more durable than vinyl ones. Not to mention, they facilitate the passage of hot water.

Pro Tip: You can learn about a model's build material from the product's specifications.

Leader Hoses

A leader hose is a good match for a garden hose reel. That's because you can put the reel away from the spigot and make use of the full leader hose length to water your garden.

You can find a leader hose of any hose length from 3 feet to 10 feet and even more. To decide on the appropriate leader length, consider where you'll store it and its distance from the water faucet.

Pro Tip: If you intend on drinking from your hose, your leader hose and garden hoses need to be drinking water safe

Portable vs. Stationary

You need to choose between a portable hose reel and a stationary hose reel. A portable hose reel has wheels. So, you can reach your garden's every corner, even if you have a large garden. Not to mention, it's easy to store and doesn't take up much space.

However, a stationary hose reel or wall-mounted hose reel is a fixed sturdy structure. It'll do the job as long as you have a small garden or long hose, allowing you to water your garden fully without moving the garden hose reel.

Furthermore, a manual hose reel is suitable for storage because it probably has handles and takes up no space.

Manual vs. Automatic

On the one hand, a manual hose reel, also known as a non-retractable garden hose reel, is an economical option compared to a retractable hose reel. In fact, it's probably the cheapest kind. You save money but exert effort.

This reel should suffice if you have a small garden or short hose. After all, you'll be mounting and looping the water hose over the garden hose reel with a hand crank.

On the other hand, an automatic garden hose reel or retractable hose reel is more expensive. But an automatic hose reel saves you energy and maximizes your comfort with a garden hose that reels in by itself. Also, it's ideal for de-spooling your garden hose.

Closed vs. Open Storage

A closed hose storage reel, referred to as a hideaway hose reel, provides you with sheltered storage space in the hose box for the hose pipe.

After separating the spray gun, you can store the hose inside the container, which conceals and protects it against stark weather conditions. Therefore, a hideaway garden hose reel is durable and long-lasting in extremely cold or hot regions. You can retrieve it later through the container's lid top.

As for open storage hose reels, you leave the hose visible and vulnerable to the elements.

Optional Features (Basket, Swivel Base, Guided)

If you're looking for a stationary hose reel, it can have an attached basket in which you can put your essential gardening tools, such as an extra hose nozzle, cultivators, and gloves.

Pro Tip: Perhaps, a bin for storage would be better than an open basket thanks to its weather protection.

If you want free movement in multiple directions for a stationary hose, a swivel base is where it's at. You won't have to alter the hose direction when unwinding it from the garden hose reel, as it'll spin automatically.

Finally, a hose guide protects the hose from kinking when it's winding or unwinding.

Is a Hose Reel Needed if You Have an Expandable Hose?

This is a valid question, and you'll see why if you understand the features of an expandable hose.

Expandable hoses extend up to three times their length when water runs through them. And they shrink back to their original size afterward, which makes them compact and easy to store.

They're flexible and dependable, and their lightness makes them easy to maneuver. In addition, these hoses kink and knot way less than your average rubber hoses.

All of these features may lead you to question the need to buy a hose reel altogether. Although expandable hoses don't require hose reels the way regular rubber hoses do, they still have use for them.

Mainly, an expandable hose requires protection against the elements, perhaps even more than a rubber one due to its vulnerability. This is where a garden hose reel comes into play with its storage capacity.

Pro Tip: Be careful not to pair an expendable house with a retractable reel because that might damage the hose's stretchy material. Instead, you can mount it on a manual reel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions that people have:

Is a Hose Reel Worth It?

A garden hose reel is more than worth it. You can find anything from a metal hose reel with a durable powder coat to a garden hose reel cart with hand crank control. Not to mention, a garden hose reel protects the hose, prevents kinking, and makes it easier to store.

What's Better, Wall Mounted or Portable?

Portable hose reels are arguably the superior choice. With wheels, you can move them around to water large gardens. Since they can service broad areas, one portable reel can do the job of two wall-mounted reels. And you can pull it from one spigot to the next when you're watering your plants.

Do Retractable Hose Reels Work?

Sometimes, you'll find retractable hose reels that work manually. That means you'll need to use a lever or handle to wind the hose. If you have a small hose, that isn't a concern. However, manually reeling in a 100 feet long hose might cause you to wonder if investing in a retractable hose reel was worth it in the first place.

How Long Should a Garden Hose Last?

A quality garden hose should live 5 to 10 years if you're taking good care of it. An otherwise piled or uncovered hose will get damaged and need replacing a lot sooner than that.

Therefore, investing in a garden hose reel is one of the best ways to extend the life of a garden hose. And that's just scratching the surface of how to extend the life of a garden hose.

Can You Buy a Hose Reel Without a Hose?

Not only can you buy a hose reel without a hose, but it's more common for steel reels to be sold separately from hoses. And that's more practical and easier. Also, you'll find the buyer's manual detailing the appropriate ranges when it comes to hose capacity, length, and width for each hose reel.

Final Word

Can You Use Regular LED Lights for Grow Lights?

If you have any regular LED lights around the house and want to grow some indoor plants, this question may have crossed your mind.

Of course, natural sunlight from the sun is best for growing plants, but what about indoor plants?

The simple answer is yes, you can use a regular LED bulb to grow plants. However, there are some specifics and caveats that you need to know. Let’s take a look at what those are, and the best ways to use light to aid in plant growth.

You should also read:

LED Grow Lights Versus Regular LED Lights

While both can be used to grow plants, there are specific advantages and disadvantages to each.

LED Lights

Pros

Cons

LED Grow Lights

Pros

Cons

Why Your Plants Need PPFD

PPFD, or photosynthetic photon flux density, tells us how much of the light being delivered to a plant enables photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants make their own food and energy, and are able to survive and thrive. Therefore, it is essential for plant growth.

LED grow lights provide the PPFD on their packaging. Typically, regular LED lights do not; you will have to calculate it yourself.

Quick Tip: Wattage doesn’t tell you much about a bulb’s helpfulness for plant growth. Look for PAR and PPFD.

Color Matters with Grow Lights (Kelvin Color Temperature)

Did you know that even incandescent bulbs that appear clear or white emit a “color”? This color temperature is measured using the Kelvin scale.

Plants need different numbers of Kelvin at different stages of growth. Red and blue are the most important light colors on the light spectrum for plant growth.

Initially, plants need a blue light, or about 5,000 Kelvin. Blue light helps with leaf growth and at the seed stage, while red helps with flowering. Once they have reached maturity and begin to bloom or are flowering, you can switch from a blue to a red light, which is about 2,700 Kelvin.

Keep in mind that we’re referring to the light spectrum and not to the actual color that is visible to the human eye!

Have you read: How Much Do Grow Lights Cost To Run?

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s look at some FAQs regarding plant growth, light sources, and more.

How many LED lights do I need

It depends how many plants you’re trying to grow, what kind of LED lights they are, and the types of plants.

Different plants need different amounts of light. In addition, one small potted herb needs far less light than a long bed of herbs and flowers, for example, or a much larger plant.

Can fairy lights work?

If your fairy lights are strung with LED bulbs, then they might be able to work for growth. However, it’s doubtful that they will provide enough energy to meet your plants’ needs. They should be used as a supplementary light source only.

Is light intensity important for growing plants

Yes, light intensity is crucial. Light intensity impacts photosynthesis, which in turn impacts your plants’ ability to grow.

What is the difference between regular lights and grow lights

Grow lights are specifically made to provide the kind of light that plants need, including adequate amounts of both red and blue light.

Regular LED lights are made for human consumption. They are usually multifunctional. While they can help plants grow (certainly using LED lights is better than incandescent bulbs), they probably won’t be sufficient on their own unless you make sure they are the right type and give off red and blue light.

Can white LED lights grow plants?

Yes, they can. They should emit a high amount of light, though.

Final Verdict

Both regular LED lights and LED grow lights are effective for growing plants indoors. LED grow lights emit red and blue colors on the Kelvin spectrum, which is ideal for plants at both early stages of growth as well as around time for harvest. Therefore, grow lights are ideal.

That said, regular LED lights are easily accessible; you probably have them lying around your house and if not, you can buy them at most supermarkets or pharmacies. They also tend to be less expensive.

Further reading: Can Grow Lights Cause Eye Problems?