In order to find the best hydroponic grow boxes, gardeners should first look for products that contain growing trays with individual pots or potholes. In addition, purchasing a grow box with the right kind of water tray is essential for good results. Gardeners should also look for boxes that come with the appropriate planting materials and an irrigation system. In some cases, built-in lamps make a great addition.
The best hydroponic grow boxes should start with growing trays that boast individual pots or potholes. Typically, the size of the pots or potholes will vary depending on the type of plant that will be grown. Small boxes that hold pots or potholes about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter are best for herbs, while those who are growing vegetables should look for boxes with pots or potholes at least 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm)in diameter.
Hydroponic grow boxes should also contain the right kind of water tray. Most come with pre-existing plastic trays that are relatively shallow. Those that require the purchase of a separate water tray is usually not ideal, as finding the perfect fitting water tray can be a challenge.
Though these grow boxes rely primarily on water for plant growth, they may also require specific types of planting material. This material provides a sturdy footing to which the roots can attach while the seeds begin to grow. As with the water tray, most high quality hydroponic grow boxes will come with small amounts of vermiculite, clay, gravel, or other similar material that can be used for planting.
The best boxes must have some type of irrigation system in order to ensure proper growth of the plants. While systems may vary quite significantly, all should have at least an input valve where water can be distributed to the plants, an effective filter that ensures the water is clean, and a pump to deliver the water to the plants. The size, ability, and technology level of the irrigation system is typically directly associated with its cost.
Gardeners who live in an area that has limited sunlight should look for hydroponic boxes that include built-in lamps. For best results, artificial lighting should only be used for a maximum of 12 hours each day. Using too much artificial sunlight can cause the plants to become too dry.