Plant Feeding Systems - Everything you need to know by MegaPot

Plant Feeding Systems: Everything You Need To Know

An Introduction to Plant Feeding Systems

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.

Table of contents:

    What is a Plant Feeding System?

    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.

    What Do Plant Feeding Systems Do?

    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.

    • Recirculating – Recirculating systems as the name suggests recirculates the feeding water around the system.
    • Run To Waste – The other method of water use can be defined as run to waste, as run off will not be circulated.

    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.

    Do Plant Feeding Systems Need Nutrients?

    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.

    Here at MegaPot we invented a gravity fed hydroponics system that is designed for growers with all the benefits of traditional hydroponics, but we have added to the ease of the grow process.

    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.

    How Often Should I Replace The Nutrients In My Plant Feeding System?

    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.

    How Do Plant Feeding Systems Feed Plants?

    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.  

    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.

    Wick Systems

    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

    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.

    Drip Systems

    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

    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.

    Nutrient Film Technique

    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

    What Is The Difference Between Hydroponics and Plant Feeding Systems?

    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.

    Can You Use Plant Feeding Systems Indoors?

    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.

    What Plants Can I Grow With A Plant Feeding System?

    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

    What is The Best Plant Feeding System For Hydroponics?

    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.

    MegaPot Gravity Fed System

    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.

    • Benefits – The gravity fed system means that no electricity is needed to move the feeding water. The 500mm diameter base is made to fit a 56L fabric pot, for those gardeners who want to have the bigger yields hydroponic growing can produce but, while still using grow bags. The massive inlet hole on the Mega-Valve allows the feeding water to run freely between the reservoir and the growbed, while also preventing any blockages from occuring in the pipes.

    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!

    • Disadvantages – Although, compared to many of the other methods of our list, the gravity fed technology inside of the MegaPot doesn’t have many disadvantages. Like any other plant feeding system that uses recirculating or run to waste water supplies there is always some chance of a leak, however with a keen eye and regular maintenance, you shouldn’t have any problems at all!

    Drip System

    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.

    • Benefits – Drip systems are easy to set up and maintain. They allow for a high level of control over feeding and the water schedule in your grow area. Many consider a drip system a good choice because they are quite cheap to set up as well.
    • Disadvantages – Not great for growers who want to do things on a smaller scale. A keener eye is needed to be kept on the pH level of the feeding water as it uses a recirculating system and pH level fluctuates. Drip systems can be run to waste and recirculating, if the drip system is run to waste this can cause a considerable amount of waste.

    Wick System

    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.

    • Benefits – If set up correctly a wick system can be quite hands off as operation is almost automatic. Wick systems are also notable for being a great choice for beginner gardeners as it works great with smaller plants.
    • Disadvantages – Although wick systems work great for smaller plants, they’re not the best when it comes to growing plants that are a bit larger in scale. Also The wicks placement needs to be precise, an out of place wick can cause the plant not to feed correctly and at the very least could lead to your plant not growing to its full potential.

    Deep Water Culture

    The deep water culture is one of those plant feeding systems that is easy to get going but difficult to master.

    • Benefits – A DWC uses a recirculating system, this means that you will waste less water, than with some of the other methods on this list. DWC systems can be inexpensive to run and easy to make yourself at home.
    • Disadvantages – DWC isn’t the best method of plant feeding system if you’re planning on growing larger plants, also DWC doesn’t work well with plants that have a longer life cycle.

    Ebb and Flow

    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.

    • Benefits – Ebb and flow has an efficient use of both water and energy, while the units themselves can be customizable to your indoor gardens needs.
    • Disadvantages – If left unattended for longer periods the ebb and flow system could leave the roots to dry out quickly. Ebb and flow is also known to consume a lot of growing materials in comparison to the other plant feeding systems on this list.

    Nutrient Film Technique

    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.

    • Benefits – NFT works on a recirculating system so there is less waste overall, not only that but there is minimal growing medium needed as well.
    • Disadvantages – This system relies heavily on the use of a pump to circulate the water around the system, if that pump fails and you can’t replace it in time, this will lead to certain death for your beloved crops. In some cases, the roots can become overgrown which clogs the canals which the nutrient solution passes through.


    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.

    • Benefits – The roots are exposed to quite a lot of oxygen in this method, this is great for promoting growth in the plant.
    • Disadvantages – This is one of the most expensive systems you can set up, not only that but that maintenance on this unit will far exceed any of the others on this list.

    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

    How Much Does MegaPot Cost?

    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.

    The MultiPot

    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.

    The VegPot

    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.

    How To Set Up A MegaPot Plant Feeding System

    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.

    • MegaPot or MultiPot Module
    • White Pipe
    • Tee and Elbow Barbs
    • Water Bucket

    Now we’re going to break down how the set up of your MegaPot System should go.

    1. Firstly you’ll need to insert the Mega-Valve into the MegaPot or MultiPot. Ensuring that the rubber washer is on the inside of the pot then hand tighten the nut on the other side of the pot.
    2. Then check the hose tail piece and ensure that the ‘O’ ring is still in place, once you have everything where it should be, then thread it onto the Mega-Valve.
    3. Once the hose tail piece has been hand screwed into place, it’s time to space out your pots and modules into a configuration that suits your space the most.
    4. Upon finding a configuration that works for your space, it’s time to start cutting the white pipe into the lengths you require.
    5. Then connect the pipe to the Hose tail, here you can use the Tee and Elbow joints we mentioned earlier. Fitting the pipe over the hose tail and barbs is as simple as pushing it on, much the same way as you would a regular hose pipe. (A great tip is that if you’re finding it hard to place to pipe onto the hose tail or barbs then heating the pipe up should help make it easier to maneuver.)
    6. Although the system doesn’t need to have an air ring or curtain to work, now would be a great time to put yours in, if you choose to have one. Adding an air ring is a slightly more advanced job and if you choose to grow gravity fed then it won’t be needed for your growth.
    7. Then fill your grow pots with the inert medium of your choice and place them into the MegaPot module. Popular choices for growing mediums include rockwool, coco fibres and chips, perlite and vermiculite to name a few.
    8. At this stage you’re ready to add your water bucket and fill it. It’s advised to check to see if your system is working correctly before you start to put your plants into to grow.

    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.

    • Tent
    • Lights
    • Intake and Outtake Fans
    • Circulation Fans
    • Grow Medium
    • pH Testers
    • pH Adjusters
    • Nutrient Solutions
    • Thermometer

    MegaPot Hydroponics Near Me

    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.

    Conclusion: Plant Feeding Systems: Everything You Need To Know

    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!