Hydrofarm Megagarden System
|Product Name:||MGSYS Megagarden System|
|Type:||Ebb & Flow|
The Hydrofarm Megagarden System at a Glance
If you’re looking for an ebb and flow system that can grow up to 15 small plants, the Hydrofarm Megagarden is your only option under $200. And it’s quite an option at that. You get almost everything you need right out of the box, including growing medium, seed starter cubes, nutrients, and a pH test kit. All you will need is a light and an acid solution to adjust pH if necessary.
This kit is perhaps the most complete kit out there. If you are looking to grow small flowers or herbs, we cannot recommend it highly enough.
- Complete kit. Sure, some other systems come with nutrients and growing medium. The Megagarden comes fired clay growing medium, Hydrofarm all-purpose nutrient, rock-wool starter cubes, and a pH test kit.
- A versatile timer. Set the timer to ebb and flow up to 12 times per day. You’ll be able to grow plants with any number of watering requirements.
- 15 planting sites. 15 five inch pots fit into the 23″ square system. As long as your plants don’t need room to stretch, you won’t be able to find a better and cheaper way to grow 15 of them.
- Very quiet operation. If you’re growing plants anywhere in or near your bedroom, you’ll be happy to know that the Hydrofarm Megagarden is one of the quietest systems around. As it is an ebb and flow system, it is in fact silent most of the time. And when the pump does come on, it makes a gentle burbling sound that is actually soothing rather than annoying.
- Comes with a handy water-level meter. You won’t have to open the system in order to tell when you need to add more water/nutrients.
- Is backed by a great company. H2OtoGro customer services is incredibly responsive. In fact, they personally thank every reviewer of their products on Amazon and answer every question in the customer question and answers section.
With six 3.75″ planting sites squeezed into a small system, don’t expect this to be able to grow large plants like tomatoes all the way through to fruit. While you can start large plants in the H2OtoGro system, you will need to move them to a larger hydroponic system or transplant them into soil beds after they have grown to 8 to 12 inches tall.
In addition, one reviewer pointed out that the drip system got clogged with roots after about a month. It’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on the pump guard, filter, and tubing to make sure roots aren’t finding their way into the drip system.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on the nutrient reservoir, as depending on the water and nutrient appetite of your plants, the water levels can drop pretty quickly.
While the H2OtoGro DWC Starter Kit comes with everything you need to start growing, there are a few items you’ll likely want to add on to the system as you go. PH monitoring and adjustment capabilities are important, especially for plants with tight PH tolerances. You can learn more about the role of PH in hydroponics here. In addition, a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter will help you know if your nutrient solution contains the right amount of nutrients.
You may also want to look to artificial lighting to boost growth by extending the length of each day. We would recommend taking a look at LED grow lights, given their steep decline in cost in recent years combined with their massive efficiency bump over other lighting methods. The H2OtoGro system is only about 13″ by 18″, meaning a <100w LED grow light would be plenty for explosive growth. Take a look at our light reviews for more ideas.
While the H2OtoGro DWC Starter Kit is great for small plants, you may eventually want to grow larger plants hydroponically. You’ll still have the ability to use the H2OtoGro as a starter system for larger systems. We have reviewed a few of these systems, including the GH4720, Viagrow DWC, and GH4830. By splitting the stages of growth between two systems, you can grow twice as many plants in the same amount of time. You can read more about efficiently cycling and rotating systems in our hydroponic hacking section.
If you’re looking for the best hydroponic starter system, you can’t go wrong with the H2OtoGro DWC Starter Kit. Combining the best of DWC and drip hydroponics, the kit provides nutrients, medium, and comes almost fully assembled. Even if you upgrade down the road, the H2OtoGro kit is great for starting larger plants to double your capacity.
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