Hydroponics is the technique whereby the need for soil in gardening is eliminated. As soil is not used, all the necessary nutrients like oxygen, and hydration are provided by the water. This method allows for the plants to grow quickly, the plants are of superior quality and disease-free.
Hydroponics setup costs at home in the USA could range from as little as $192 to as much as $10,475+ depending on the setup, electricity, water, growing media, and nutrient costs.
Hydroponics saves 90% more water than conventional gardening, as well as space. It can be used to grow anything from herbs, and vegetables, to exotic plants such as orchids. The designs are innovative and can be tailored to suit anyone.
Total Hydroponics Setup Cost at Home in the USA
Here is the full estimate
|Hydroponics Equipment- Type of Hydroponic System||$50 – $10,000+|
|Electricity||$50 – $250|
|Water||$63 – $125|
|Growing Media||$9 – $50|
|Nutrients||$20 – $50|
Minimum Total- $192 give and take some. Maximum Total- $10,475 definitely more if growing on a large scale.
Factors Determining Hydroponics Setup Cost at Home
If you are ready to find out a closer figure of how much a hydroponics setup costs at home, these are the factors that will determine the final cost.
Hydroponics Equipment- Type of Hydroponic System
The first and most important factor influencing a home hydroponics setup cost is the type of hydroponics structure you want.
Some are simple and others are more technical, requiring a higher financial investment. We suggest you choose the best according to your personal requirements and budget.
Generally, Drip and Wick systems are the most affordable costing around $50, while Nutrient Film and aeroponics are the most expensive reaching $1000 to $10,000+ in costs!
In order to grow, your plants will need light, this will be artificial lighting as sunlight is out of the question. It’s a bit tough to estimate the exact or even estimate the hydroponics electricity setup cost.
Throughout the USA electricity tariffs may vary from state to state and also it also varies based on the provider. Luckily, there is a simple formula that can help you estimate your cost, here it is:
Total Kilowatts x kWh x Hours per day x 30 (for the number of days).
NOTE- Convert watts to kilowatts by dividing by 1000, (1,000 kilowatts in 1 watt)
Running a 5000 watt grow light for 12 hours a day with the kWh rate of $0.14 would cost:
5 x 12 x $0.14 x 30 = $242 a month
Likewise using a lower wattage will result in a lower cost
1 x 12 x $0.14 x 30 = $50.4 a month
But, some systems consume more or less and rates vary during the year due to changes in season. So, set aside a bit extra as a precautionary measure.
Hydroponic electricity costs are between $250 and $50 a month.
As the name suggests, a hydroponics system relies heavily upon the water. Failure to secure enough water to the system would result in complete failure for the plants to grow. Therefore, you will probably assume the final hydroponics setup cost at home deeply depends on the water costs.
Again, water costs in the USA vary per gallon depending on location. It can be as low as $6 per 10 gallons in Florida or as high as $65 per 10 gallons in California.
Assuming you need 50 gallons of water a month, the cost will be:
Water rate x Gallons of water
So, assuming you use 100 gallons at a local rate of $25 (1 gallon costing $2.5), the cost would be roughly $250 per month.
But, if you are growing on a smaller scale, monthly water costs could be half of this $125 or even a quarter of it $62.5.
NOTE- Water rates may fluctuate based on availability, demand, season, and inflation.
Next, you’ll need some media to anchor the plants down, absorb moisture, and nutrients to facilitate growth. Expanding clay pebbles are a popular choice, however, we suggest Rockwool.
You can buy plugs of Rockwool from Amazon at the following price:
This substance is highly porous and usually carries a neutral pH so as to not interfere with the pH of the hydroponic system.
So, growing media costs for a month could range from $9 to $36.
The nutrient solution will be the only way to feed your hydroponic plants. Hence, it should be excellent and well formulated. However, there’s a catch. Every expert insists on making their own mixture based on their requirements!
The perfect nutrient solution for your plants will depend on what you are actually growing. Is it a fast-grower or a slow-grower?
You can, however, pick up a ready to dilute solution or solid dissolvable nutrient product online costing between $20 and $50 a month.
Types of Hydroponics Structures
There are different types of techniques in hydroponics to suit various plants grown. These include water culture, aeroponics, wick, drip, ebb and flow, and nutrient film technique. The main types of hydroponics are:
1) Wick Systems
In this type of system, there are no water pumps or air pumps. Therefore, electricity is not necessary at all!
Thus, you can also call it a passive hydroponics system. A wick comes into use to transport the water and nutrients to the roots of the plant.
So, the wick can be pieces of felt or rope or even string. Alternatively, you can use a growing media (vermiculite, perlite, coconut coir) that allows the transport of water and nutrients.
Wick Systems are best for growing small plants.
Live in Texas, have a garden, and love fruit! Take a look at the 10 Best Fruit Trees to Grow in Texas.
2) Deep Water Culture (DWC)
In this method, the plants are suspended over a reservoir holding the liquid nutrients and water. An aquarium air pump is used to oxygenate the solution to keep the roots from drowning. But, to avoid algae from growing, light penetration is avoided.
The DWC is a good choice for organic hydroponics, there are also no drip or spray emitters to clog.
3) Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
This is an arrangement where the plants are grown in channels, and the solution flows through the plant’s roots. The channels are tilted so the solution runs through one end and out the other side, and back to the beginning.
This is a reticulated system, and it works well for the plants as more oxygen is absorbed from the air than from the solution itself.
This type of hydroponics is best for mass production, as many plants can grow simultaneously in the channels. The Nutrient Film Technique is best for lightweight plants such as Spinach, Kale, Lettuce, and Strawberries.
4) Ebb and Flow or Flood and Drain
Ebb and flow or flood and drain hydroponic structures are not very common but are effective. As the name implies it involves flooding the growth bed with nutrient solution at a specific time.
A submersible pump is fixed to a timer, so the process is repeated, after flooding the area the solution drains back into a reservoir, which also has an overflow pipe.
When the growth bed is flooded the plants are able to absorb the nutrients through their roots, then as the solution ebbs, the roots are able to oxygenate, until the next inflow.
This type of hydroponics is very popular, and the excessive amount of oxygen and nutrients allows the plant to grow actively and quickly. This method is very versatile and allows a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
Aeroponics is the most sophisticated of all the hydroponic systems that there are.
The system uses a hanging method. Plants hang in the air so that the roots are available, and you then mist them with a nutrient liquid spray. The roots being constantly exposed to oxygen and nutrients helps them grow exponentially.
Aeroponics uses 95% less water than a normal irrigation field, and vegetables grow throughout the year regardless of the season. As this system involves a vertical layout, it saves room for other setups. It does, however, need someone more experienced and methodical.
Aeroponics is the most eco-friendly hydroponic system, though quite costly, and there are many ways in which it can fail.
Instead of the typical feeding from below, dip structures feed the plants from above. This may just be better than other methods as it can help to conserve nutrients and water. Also, it can be space-efficient if you have a high room but not a lot of horizontal space.
Drip hydroponic systems are more prominent in the commercial growing of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and eggplant.
Indeed the idea of growing vegetables or herbs indoors with a hydroponics setup is intriguing and exciting. However, do investigate the hydroponics setup cost before getting everything you need to start up at home.
For someone who has space in their house to spare but no garden at all, hydroponics sounds like the best option. Because it really is cost and space-efficient!
A beginner hydroponics home setup costs approximately $192 but this could decrease or increase depending on your selections.
Yes, they do. Indoor artificial LED lights do not create light as intense as the sun. Hence, your hydroponic plants will need twice the amount of time under the LED lights than under the sun.
It depends on what you are actually growing. It generally takes up to 8 to 9 weeks for an optimal growing session. But, it can take less time in the case of rapidly growing herbs.