Most hydroponic growing systems only need a 2″ net pot, but the exact pot size that you need depends on what you are growing in your hydroponic garden.
Some hydroponic plant systems require larger net pots. Most plants don’t need a net pot larger than 3-4” but some require one as large as 6”.
For example, plants such as hydroponic lettuce and other leafy greens typically only need a 2″ net pot, but some individual species still require larger net pots. Other types of plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, normally require a net pot that is 3-4”.
A net pot is a vital part of any hydroponic gardening system. It is important for you to consider the net pot that is right for the specific hydroponic plant that you are growing, and it is equally important to consider the growing media that you plan to use for this plant.
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What is a net pot?
A net pot is a special type of pot that has holes in the bottom and sides. This keeps the plant and the growing medium firmly in place, and allows the plant roots to absorb more water and the nutrient rich solution.
Net pots are typically reusable, which allows you to use them over and over again in multiple hydroponic growing systems. The design of these reusable hydroponic net pots allows for optimal circulation and absorption of water, air, and nutrient solution.
Net pots are normally submerged in the growing system, so that the plant roots are fully exposed to the nutrient rich solution and the deep water culture.
Why is the right net pot size important when growing hydroponic plants?
A net pot that is too small will not have room for all of the water and nutrient solution that the plant needs to grow. This is damaging both to the plant’s root system, and to the seeds the plant needs to grow.
On the flip side, if you use larger net pots than necessary, this is also damaging to your plants. If you use larger net pots than necessary, your deep water culture and nutrient rich solution are likely to evaporate before your hydroponic plant can absorb them. This damages the plant’s seed and root structure.
How do I determine what size net pots do I need for hydroponics?
The net pot size that you need depends on the hydroponic plant that you plan to grow in your hydroponic garden.
This guide will give you a helpful rule of thumb to determine what size net pot you need, but to be certain that you have the right one, you need to research the specific species of plant that you are growing in your garden. It is best to ask the retailer for advice when you are purchasing your net pots.
Hydroponic lettuce and leafy greens
To achieve optimal plant growth for hydroponic lettuce and leafy greens, it is best to use a 2″ net pot. Species that grow larger than normal might need larger net pots, sometimes as large as 4″.
A hydroponic strawberry plant normally has the best growth in a net pot that’s 2-3″ in diameter.
Other plants in a hydroponic growing system
Plants such as tomatoes and peppers normally only require a 2″ net pot, but some species require a hydroponics net pot that is 4 or 6″. Again, the exact size that you need depends on the exact species that you are trying to grow in your hydroponic system.
Net pot for hydroponic gardening in a mason jar
When creating a hydroponics system in a mason jar, it is typically best to use a 2″ net pot. If you are making a hydroponic system in a larger mason jar, measure the opening of the jar and decide what size net pot you need accordingly.
What should I put in my net pot?
There are a variety of different types of growing media that you can use in your hydroponic net pot. Some of the most popular growing media that people use include coconut coir, clay pebbles, coconut fiber, root ball, rockwool cube, and clay pellets.
Each variety of growing medium has its advantages and disadvantages. It is best to look into each one to decide which one is right for you and the plants in your hydroponic gardening system.
Soil is one of the few types of growing media that is not recommended for use in a hydroponics net pot. This is because soil does not absorb water well enough for a hydroponic plant to flourish and the seeds of the plant tend to rot.
The growing medium that you decide to use serves two purposes. It provides the hydroponic plant with water and nutrients, but it also secures the plant in the net pot.
Further reading: What Is The Best Size Bucket For Hydroponics?