Growing Tomatoes with Hydroponic Systems

By Tracy Colby | Outdoor Fun

Aug 20

Tomatoes are a super food—a fruit that can be used in sauces, salads and as a delicious garnish. Now these delicious tomatoes can be grown using unique hydroponic systems, either with or without traditional soil.

In the following article we have reviewed several of the most popular and best-selling hydroponic systems for tomatoes, and highlighted the pros and cons associated with each system.

Last update on 2018-09-19 at 01:21 / Affiliate disclaimer / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API

We have also included a Hydroponic System Buying Guide, in which we have outlined and explained the various factors and characteristics you should consider when purchasing one of these products.

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System offers an incredible easy and extremely rapid strategy for getting started with hydroponics—and an awesome way to grow tomatoes.

Each of the six buckets included with this system are equipped with state-of-the-art high-air lids. These lids help to pull out the air bubbles while simultaneously keeping the plants aerated.

The uniquely designed lids in the HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System make it easy to access the water below. Moreover, the surprisingly powerful pump is very efficient at driving oxygen to each of the six buckets below. With enough space to grow 6 adult tomato plants, it is one of the largest systems of its kind, allowing you to grow the juicy ripe treats at any time throughout the year.

Assuming you have the nutrients you need, you can use the HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System the very day it arrives at your door. The kit comes with everything else you need to get started, including the growing media, air pump, six containers and aeration lids, making it one of the most comprehensive hydroponic systems on the market today.

Pros

  • Easy Setup. The HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System is incredibly easy to setup and, save for the nutrients, comes with everything you need to get started.
  • Unique Lids. The unique lids on this hydroponic system make it easy to access the water below.
  • Great air pump. The air pump and hoses that comes with the HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC
  • Durable. Hydroponic System are surprisingly powerful and durable.

Cons

  • Bulky. The HTG Supply Bubble Brothers 6-Site DWC Hydroponic System is quite large and bulky, so it may not be suitable for some garden spaces.
  • No nutrients. The nutrients needed to grow plants in this hydroponic system are not included.

Deep Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket System

The Deep Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket System is another great hydroponic system for tomatoes, one that offers enough space for four full-grown tomato plants.

This down-to-earth system does not include any fancy bells and whistles, but what it does contain is everything you need to familiarize yourself with this type of growing. The kit comes complete with four run-of-the-mill black buckets, each filled with net cups and equipped with air bubblers. A single pump handles all of the aeration for all four buckets, making it a very all-in-one, yet simple system.

As soon as your Deep Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket System arrives at your front door you’ll be ready to get started. Just fill the cups with a growing medium of your choosing and let the system do the rest. Incredibly easy to use, the kit comes with all the “hardware” you will ever need.

Tomatoes work great with the Deep Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket System, as do a whole host of other plants that thrive well in a hydroponic environment.

Pros

  • Easy to use. With a single pump providing the aeration for all four grow buckets, the Deep Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket System is very easy to operate.
  • Budget-friendly. The Deep Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket System is one of the most budget-friendly systems of this kind available.
  • Can be used for other plants. The system can be used to grow other plants as well as tomatoes.

Cons

  • Only four buckets. Unlike other similar products, that allow you to grow between 6 and 12 tomato plants from a single system, the Deep Culture Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket System only comes with four buckets.
  • No growing medium. The growing medium in which the tomatoes will eventually take root is not included with this system, and will thus have to be purchased separately.

General Hydroponics GH4120 Waterfarm Grow Kit

If you are brand new to the art of hydroponic growing, the very basic General Hydroponics GH4120 Waterfarm Grow Kit might be the right product for you.

A great starter kit, the system is comprised of a small media bucket mounted onto a larger water bucket. Although it does not allow you to grow multiple plants at a time, the system does come with everything you need to get started, including the two aforementioned buckets with lids, air pump, growing medium and nutrients. From the moment it arrives this kit truly does have everything you need to roll up your sleeves and get going.

The buckets included with the General Hydroponics GH4120 Waterfarm Grow Kit are as durable as they get, made from the toughest plastic materials. Each bucket comes equipped with a water level indicator on the side to help you keep your system at the right level; and when you are ready to expand to a more complete hydroponic farm, this kit allows you to do just that.

Pros

  • Very comprehensive. The General Hydroponics GH4120 Waterfarm Grow Kit includes everything you need to get started: buckets, pump, medium and nutrients, making it one of the most comprehensive kits available.
  • Durable. The buckets included with this system are made from only the toughest plastic composites.
  • Great starter kit. Priced to sell, the General Hydroponics GH4120 Waterfarm Grow Kit is a great system for beginners—one that can be added to as the need arises.

Cons

  • Can only grow one plant. With the General Hydroponics GH4120 Waterfarm Grow Kit you can only grow one tomato plant at a time (unless you add on to it).
  • Poor instructions. According to some users, the included instructions with the General Hydroponics GH4120 Waterfarm Grow Kit are not very easy to follow.

Hydroponic Systems Buying Guide

If you are thinking about purchasing a hydroponic system to grow juicy, ripe, mouthwatering tomatoes, you should know that not all systems are alike. To help you find the perfect system for your needs and preferences, below we have covered some of the factors and characteristics you should consider when shopping.

The Different Types of Hydroponic Systems

There are many different types of hydroponic systems, so how do you know which one is right for you? Below we have explained the different types in brief detail to help you make that choice for yourself.

Traditional Water Culture System

The Traditional Water Culture System is what most people think of when they hear the word “hydroponics.” In this system, your plants essentially float on top of the water and you, as the grower, add the nutrients they need to develop. In most cases, the plants are anchored to Styrofoam pieces that are placed atop bubble stones, which provide the various nutrients that need to be expelled with oxygen.

Deep Water Culture System

Similar to the traditional form of hydroponic growing, the Deep Water Culture System is one in which the plants are contained within mesh cups, and where the roots are met with high-powered, nourished oxygen from a pump. In deep water culture, you’ll need stones that will provide the maximum amount of oxygen to assure enough is reaching the roots.

Ebb and Flow System

The Ebb and Flow System of hydroponic farming is the most economical system and the one usually recommended for beginners. In this system, the plants are placed in a large tray, where they are held together by cubes of rock wool. Throughout the day, the tray is flooded to release the proper amount of water and nutrients. Very simple and economical, beginners cannot go wrong with the ebb and flow system.

Drip System

Similar to traditional water culture systems, in the Drip System of hydroponics the plants are actually suspended above the water reservoir. The plants are then “drip” fed, similar to the way a coffee maker drips coffee into the pot. These systems usually require the most maintenance, but they also give the grower the greatest degree of control.

Wick System

Last but not least is the Wick System of hydroponics, which requires a unique method of oxygen delivery to the plants. In this system, the roots of your plants are provided oxygen by a special wick that carries the oxygen through two layers. The plants, which are placed in a shallow tray, receive oxygen from a deeper layer where high-powered oxygen stones are placed.

Other Considerations When Buying a Hydroponic System

  1. Size.How many tomato plants do you want to grow? As you can see just from our reviews above, these systems are available in many different shapes and sizes, from systems that will allow you to grow just one tomato plant to kits that include many different buckets/trays for growing multiple plants.
  2. How Much Space Do You Have? Regardless of how many plants you “want” to grow, you will still need to ensure your growing area has enough space to accommodate all the growing buckets and equipment. This should definitely be determined before you head out to shop.
  3. What Do You Want to Grow? While this particular article is about growing tomatoes, you may find that one day you will want to grow other plants as well. As such, you should select a system that works well with many different plant varieties.
  4. What Is Included in the Kit? Some hydroponic systems come only with the hardware you need to get started—such as the buckets, lids and pump. Others may also include the growing medium, nutrients or both. If you do not want to buy anything extra to get started with your hydroponic system, we recommend you look for the most comprehensive kit that your budget allows.