The 6 types of hydroponic gardening systems…How to decide which to use and why

Your choice of hydroponic gardening system(s) will depend heavily on three main factors including the size of your grow area, what you are growing, and your budget. Tip: When determining what system is suitable for your grow room remember that you’ll want to leave some room to move around your reservoir tank(s), cleaning, and accessing your equipment and plants. For more tips visit

The most common techniques for hydroponic gardening are Aeropoic, Drip, Ebb and Flow, Deep Water Culture, wick, and Nutrient Film systems.


This variation of hydroponics is more technical, but very The plant roots are continuously sprayed with a vapor-mist solution and are not anchored on any medium, exposing them to air all of the time. When done properly, this method can create large, quick-growing plants and lots of fruit.

The Click and Grow hydroponic garden utilize areoponics and make the process very simple. Everything comes in the kit, just add water. Choose from mini tomatoes, chili peppers, basil, strawberry planters. Order Click and Grow for 59.95 at Amazon.




Drip systems are probably the most widely used type of hydroponic gardening system in the world. Operation is simple, a timer controls a submersed pump. The timer turns the pump on and an advanced nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line.

Zero Soil Hydroponic GardenThe Zero Soil Hydroponic Garden is an impressive looking hydroponic garden that sits perfectly on your countertop or table. $44.95 at Amazon.







Ebb & Flow

A growth tray over a nutrient container, and a pump is used to flood the tray(s) with the advanced nutrient solution.Hydrofarm Megagarden Hydroponic Gardening System The advanced nutrients that aren’t absorbed by the roots are drained into the reservoir and recycled.

Hydrofarms Megagarden System uses a flood-and-drain pump irrigation system which works by pumping nutrient solution up from a reservoir to a water tray where water levels are precisely controlled on a timed cycle. $151.31 at Amazon.



Deep Water Culture

This method suspends the roots of the plant in a solution of nutrient-rich, oxygenated water. Deep water culture is oldest Hydrofarm Emily Garden Hydroponic Gardenrecorded method of hydroponic gardening, and one of the simplest methods of hydroponic gardening.

In the Hydrofarms Emily’s Garden planter, it’s easy to rearrange or replace plants as each plant has in its own one-quart container which stands in a reservoir filled with nutrient solution. $77.79 at Amazon.




This is another very simple method, and no pump is required. A wick (such as an oil lamp wick or candle wick) simply draws the ModernSprout Hydroponic Gardenadvanced nutrient solution from the reservoir to the growth tray, where the plant roots absorb the solution. This more passive method is low-maintenance, but it can often over-soak the roots, resulting to a smaller yield.

Modern Sprout’s hydroponic gardening systems comes in a variety of cool finishes. $130 at Amazon.


Nutrient Film

The roots of the plants are suspended in a continuous flowing “film” of advanced nutrient solution; a pump sends this stream of solution into one end of the grow channel, running the length of the channel(s) and emptying it into the reservoir the opposite end of the grow channel. This method is great at nourishing roots but is also recognized as extremely technical and difficult to setup.

What’s your favorite hydroponic gardening system? Share your thoughts with our community.