In this article you will learn everything there is to know about Plant feeding systems.
So, if you’ve ever wondered ‘What is a Plant Feeding System?’ or ‘What does a plant feeding system do?’, then we’ve got you covered!
This is our all in one guide. All you need to know, all in one place. So, grab your gardening gloves and your reading glasses and let’s take a green fingered voyage of discovery together.
A plant feeding system refers to the means which all of the nutrients the plant needs to grow are delivered to the plants root system.
There are many different systems to feed plants, we will cover each of them later on in this article.
A plant feeding system can be used outside or in indoor grow areas.
To put it simply, plant feeding systems feed your plants. In this case we are referring to the systems that used to feed plants their nutrients in a hydroponic garden.
Although many of the techniques discussed in this article could be achieved with outdoor grows, weather permitting, it’s often far more practical to setup a grow space in smaller, indoor environments.
There are lots of different types of plant feeding systems, which can be categorized into two main groups that are defined by how the system uses its water to feed the plants.
Some plant feeding systems use pumps to circulate or move the feeding water to it’s intended source while other plant feeding systems use what is known as passive actions such as using the force of gravity to move the feeding water.
In traditional gardening, a plant will receive a good amount of its nutrients from the soil that it lives in.
In a soilless grow where an inert medium (such as coco and perlite) is used to support the root base of the plant, extra nutrients will be needed to aid the growth of the plant.
In both cases you can obtain nutrients to boost the growth of your plant.
There are literally thousands of different brands of nutrient suppliers that cater for all sorts of different growers needs.
Along with nutrients plant feeding systems require the feeding water to be at the correct pH level.
Your plants desired pH level differs from plant to plant, however, a pH of around 6.5-7 is what is considered a neutral pH and will be a good fit for many plants.
Feeding your plants the wrong pH level feeding water can result in deficiencies occurring within the plant later in it’s cycle.
A deficiency in a plant can lead to poor growth or potential the plant never reaching maturity.
In most plant feeding systems it is suggested that replacing your nutrient solution as well as running a cycle of clean water through the system once every 7-10 days.
This prevents blockages happening within the system and it also invigorates the plants growth and ensures no nutrients are going to waste.
Replacing your nutrient solution every 7-10 days also helps promote cleanliness in your grow area this aids in the prevention of pest and disease infestation.
There are six plant feeding systems which we discuss further down the page.
You’ll find these are the most common and likely find them written about in every article on the internet.
The team here at MegaPot have a secret weapon! Well okay, maybe it’s not a secret, but it is an extremely effective new method of plant feeding technology!
So without further ado, here’s the 7th wonder of hydroponics: the MegaPot Gravity Fed System.
The MegaPot allows growers of all skill levels to take advantage of the benefits that hydroponic growing can offer while still having the ease of using grow bags.
The gravity fed technology the MegaPot uses means you won’t need any electricity or noisey pumps in your grow room to feed your plants.
Not only that, but it’s tapered walls allow you to prune your plant with ease while the circular design lets you rotate your plant to allow the maximum amount of light to reach your plants.
As we said, there are 6 other types of plant feeding systems used with hydroponic systems. In this part of the article we’re going to introduce to each one and explain how that system feeds plants.
Based on the techniques used by those who foundered the idea behind hydroponics, A wick system is what is known as a passive system.
Earlier in the article we explained that passive systems are those that do not need external pumps to move the feeding water.
As you might expect, the feeding water is moved from a reservoir below into the root zone via a wick, which can be something as simple as a piece of rope.
In most cases an inert medium such as coco coir, perlite or vermiculite is used to support the root system of the plant.
Ebb and flow systems work by flooding the grow bed in nutrient rich water, the flood will continue until it hits it’s predetermined cut off point.
Then the water from that is in the grow bed will then filter back into the reservoir below.
This system uses pumps to move water from the reservoir to the grow bed.
A drip system uses a water pump to move nutrient rich water from a reservoir below to a series of drip emitters that drip the feeding water directly into the root system of the plant.
The drip emitters can have an adjustable flow rate that can be adjusted from a drip to a constant flow.
Drip systems can be recirculating and run to waste.
Deep water culture opts to hang the root zone directly into a reservoir of nutrient rich water, while the root zone is still supported by an inert medium and usually a net of some kind.
Air pumps and air stones keep the water aerated.
NFT systems use air pumps and air stones to keep the reservoir of nutrient rich water aerated, while a water pump continuously pumps nutrient rich water past the tips of the roots of the plant.
When done correctly the nutrient rich water looks like a film of cellophane.
Aeroponics is by far one of the most difficult forms of plant feeding systems you’ll come across, the plants root base once again hangs above a reservoir of nutrient rich water while a water pump, moves the feeding water to a series of misters, that spray the roots with a fine mist in automated intervals
In the next part of this article we’re going to take a look and see ‘What is The Difference Between Hydroponics and Plant Feeding Systems?’ then we’ll take a look at ‘What Plants Can I Grow With A Plant Feeding System’
Now, you may well be reading this article thinking to yourself ‘what is a plant feeding system?’ and ‘isn’t he just talking about hydroponics?’ well, the answer there is. Sort of.
Although, when the term hydroponics was first coined, it was solely used in reference to how water was used to aid the growth of a plant. The word when broken down in translation literally means ‘ water work’ in greek.
However, in the modern world the term hydroponics has become a blanket term for the entire industry from lights to nutrients and all inbetween, not just the system used to move or circulate the feeding water.
When we refer to a plant feeding system, it is now just referring to the system it uses to move the feeding waters ie Wick, Deep Water Culture, MegaPot Gravity Fed etc All of which we covered in the last part of this article.
Essentially, you can set up a plant feeding system anywhere that you have enough space.
Although it’s probably best to have your setup on the ground floor, in an area that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if a spill or leak did happen, like a garage or basement area.
Having said that we’ve seen plenty of people use the MegaPot systems in their attic or loft spaces and the like to great success.
Hydroponics as a whole has seen a massive rise in popularity since it’s initial boom in the 1930s, as it allows gardeners to grow in small spaces and on a schedule that suits them, not mother nature.
As time has moved forward the technology involved in the process has gotten better and more accessible to the general public, allowing people in even the smallest of apartments to scratch that green fingered itch.
The use of plant feeding systems indoors has also risen due to the reduced risk of infestation of pests and diseases.
Although pests and diseases can certainly invade a plant feeding system or the hydroponic setup as a whole, in general these practices ensure a cleaner grow area. Cleaner grow areas in turn mean less chance of infestation of any kind.
Now we’re going to cover our 10 favourite plants that can be grown using a plant feeding system.
As we highlighted earlier in this article, one of the main benefits to hydroponic growing as a whole is being able to produce crops all year round.
Strawberries come high on many people’s list because having this tasty treat at your fingertips all year round, sounds like an offer too good to refuse.
The strawberry reacts great to all the methods of plant feeding systems from DWC to The MegaPots Gravity Fed design, you’re sure to find the strawberry a great addition to your hydroponic garden.
Another big favourite with all growers not just those who utilise plant feeding systems to maximise the growth of the plant, is the tomato.
This might be one for a grower with a bit more experience in the field, the tomato reacts great to the many plant feeding system methods and let’s face it, no salad is complete without a bit of tomato.
You know the phrase ‘as easy as pie’? Well it should be ‘as easy as lettuce’ because lettuce is ridiculously easy to grow, they pretty much grow themselves!
Many people stagger their lettuce plant, as a lettuce usually takes around 30 days to reach maturity this ensures a continuous supply throughout the year.
Another one for the more green fingered growers, however peppers are well known for being a great grow for those indoor growers and have a great reaction to ebb and flow and DWC methods.
Most sweet peppers can be grown in around 60 days while some hot peppers can take closer to 150 days to reach full maturity.
Cucumbers are another popular choice for growers the world over, for it’s relative ease with which it grows.
Although from seed you can expect growing times of anything from 55-70 days, so it is quite a lengthy excursion however one cucumber plant can generate around 5 pounds of cucumber per plant, so the wait will be worth it.
Basil is one of the herbs that does very well in certain plant feeding systems such as a drip system or NFT system, basil can be grown from either seed or cutting, the later providing a quicker rate of growth for those impatient gardeners out there.
Beans are extremely low maintenance to grow and react great to many of the plant feeding system techniques that we’ve highlighted earlier in this article.
Beans can generally be harvested around 6-8 weeks after plant and can produce crops for a further 3- 4 months.
typically ready in around a month and very easy to grow whether you’re a dirty soil grower or someone who uses plant feeding systems to boost their plants performance.
Radishes are also super small and take up a small footprint overall in your grow space.
As we said before herbs are well known to react well to plant feeding systems and hydroponic growth in general, chives are no exception.
It usually takes 6-8 weeks to reach full maturity and then around a month in between harvests. Tasty on the plate, super easy to grow.
Spinach is easy to grow and does great with several different plant feeding systems.
Spinach is a quick grow going from seed to harvest in around 20 days, while weekly harvesting can allow for a decent steady supply.
When harvesting a spinach plant it’s advised to begin with the leaves on the outside of the plant first.
In the final part of this article we’re going to discover exactly ‘What Is The Best Plant Feeding System For Hydroponics’ and ‘How To Set Up The MegaPot Plant Feeding System’
In the final part of this article we’re going to discover exactly ‘What Is The Best Plant Feeding System For Hydroponics’ and ‘How To Set Up The MegaPot Plant Feeding System’
As we’ve already taken a look at the seven main types of plant feeding systems available to hydroponic growers the world over, we thought it would be a great idea and breakdown which ones are the best by highlighting some benefits and disadvantages of each one.
Easily our top pick for ‘best plant feeding system’ okay, we might be a bit biased, but when you count up the benefits and disadvantages on this list, you’ll be able to see why we had to choose the MegaPot as our number one pick.
The tapered walls of the MegaPot makes pruning your plant super easy, while the circular design allows you to rotate your plant to ensure the maximum amount of light reaches your plant.
Also the module-like form of the MegaPot means that it’s scalable from one to hundreds of pots! The MegaPot is easily the best plant feeding system on the market, we guarantee that you will receive bigger yields with fewer plants!
Second place goes to drip systems. They’re typically easy to use and the slow rates of flow the emitters have makes it easy to spot any potential blockages, before they get too bad. This makes them a top choice with commercial growers.
As we said before in this article, the wick system is by far the oldest form of plant feeding system that is available to growers and it does have a few alluring qualities.
The deep water culture is one of those plant feeding systems that is easy to get going but difficult to master.
The ebb and flow or flood and drain method comes in next on our list, many growers like the flexibility that this method of plant feeding system offers.
NFT is a fantastic technique that can provide some excellent results in the right conditions, however it’s dependence on pumps and difficulty to set up and maintain finds itself on the undercard of this list.
Aeroponics comes in at last place on this list. Although aeroponics can produce some excellent results this is one of those techniques that should be left to the big boys.
In the final part of this article we’re going to take a closer look at our winner the MegaPot Plant Feeding System.
You’ll find the answer to such questions as ‘How Much Does the MegaPot Cost?’ and ‘How To Setup A MegaPot Plant Feeding System’
There are two sizes available in the MegaPot; there is the 39 litre version and the 56 litre version. Both versions of the MegaPot Module have the MegaPot tray, Mega-Valve and MegaPot Valve cover included, however all of these pieces can be purchased separately through our website.
The MegaPot 39 Litre Module is currently £45 per unit while the MegPot 56 Litre Module is priced at £54.95.
To complete your setup you’ll need a fabric pot. The 39 Litre pot is currently £3.50 and the 56 Litre pot is currently £6.
a 16mm White pipe is required to feed the water from the water reservoir to the plant. Currently 30M of white pipe is priced £30.00, you can also purchase Tee and Elbow joints to get around corners or spilt your pipe up to cater for multiple units; these are currently priced at £0.75 each.
We also now sell The MultiPot that allows you to feed four plants from just one Mega-Valve, currently these are priced at £90 per unit.
And finally the latest addition to our online store the VegPot, which is perfect for either small plants, cutting or getting those seedlings going.
The VegPot uses the same gravity fed technology of its big brother and eliminates the need to hand water your babies. The VegPot is available on our store now for £54.99!
If you’re planning on having 2-4 plants growing at any one time it would probably be advisable to go for the MultiPot, however multiple MegaPot units can be linked together. This means you could put a plant feeding system that could feed upto 4 plants at one time for as little as £132!
Now we’ve discovered how little the MegaPot system costs, it’s time to take a quick look at how to set up your MegaPot Plant Feeding System once you’ve got your purchase home.
The MegaPot couldn’t be easier to set up! Here’s a quick list of all the items you’ll need to set up your MegaPot Plant Feeding System.
Now we’re going to break down how the set up of your MegaPot System should go.
Although the MegaPot system is gravity fed you can also use air pumps with our system.
For a in depth look at how to set up the MegaPot plant feeding system and how to integrate and air pump into your set up check out this video: How to Set Up Your MegaPot System
Some other things you’ll need to finish your hydroponic set up and compliment your plant feeding system are as follows.
Over this past year the MegaPot has really come into its own. We currently have our products in no less than 75 different hydroponic and gardening stores across the country.
So if you really need to get your hands on one and you can’t buy directly from our MegaPot online store then all you need to do is check out our suppliers page and you’ll be able to find a MegaPot supplier near you!
Visit our MegaPot Suppliers Page.
In this article we’ve discovered ‘What is A Plant Feeding System’ and ‘What Do Plant Feeding Systems Do?’ we also discovered ‘How do Plant Feeding Systems Feed Plants?’
After that we took a look at ‘What Is The Difference Between Hydroponics And A Plant Feeding System?’ and ‘What Plants You Can Grow With A Plant Feeding System’.
Then we found out that the MegaPot Gravity Fed System was our top pick for ‘What Is The Best Plant Feeding System For Hydroponics’ before we finished things off we found out ‘How Much Does A MegaPot Cost?’ and ‘How to Set up The MegaPot Plant Feeding System’.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article on Plant Feeding Systems and The MegaPot Gravity Fed System, then here’s some more articles we’ll think you’ll like!