HydroBucket HydroLid Review
HydroBucket 2022 Updates & Improvements
We recently tested the new HydroBucket HydroLid, along with other improvements and updates to the HydroBucket DWC hydroponic growing system from Visionary Hydroponics. We at Grozine are thoroughly impressed with the level of innovation and thought that has gone into taking a good thing and making it even better; the basis of the HydroBucket in a nutshell.
If you are not yet familiar with the HydroBucket or Deep Water Culture hydroponic growing, please feel free to check out our earlier discussion HERE.
Naturally, we expect a portion of salty growers to say, “hey…a bucket is a bucket and a lid is a lid, what’s the difference?” To them, we say we are glad you asked because there are a number of important differences in the HydroBucket setup that not only make DWC growing easier and tidier–they make it more efficient, productive and versatile.
As you may note with our previous review, the side cover access port is a game changer–no need to lift the lid holding sensitive root systems to check on TDS, pH, make adjustments, add water or even drain the bucket for change outs at grade level with a small pump.
While the side cover has been updated to make it more light tight (while we never had a problem with the original), available March 2022, the most notable innovative updates to the HydroBucket family of products is the HydroPod, HydroLid and Collar assembly.
No More Medium, Secure Hold for Heavy Plants
A lot of DWC growers love the freedom and sustainability that needing little growing medium offers versus conventional cultivation set ups. That’s because the majority of roots in DWC systems are growing with uninterrupted access into highly aerated nutrient solutions, bare, with just a smaller amount of growing medium up top to support the plant. There’s very little to buy or replace between crops.
Well, a good thing just got better. The HydroPod replaces conventional net baskets used in DWC setups. It’s very well thought out, and can securely and snuggly hold and support a common starter plug or up to a three or four inch rockwool cube. Perfect for growers who are not yet propagating their crops in aeroponics and like to take advantage of a small amount of medium in the propagation and early veg growth phase. There’s no need for grow rocks or other materials. Not only does this save hassle, mess and expense, it means there’s less to get in the way of roots absorbing water, nutrients and oxygen. Transplants take off and establish much faster with zero transplant shock or acclimation required.
The locking mechanism in the design of the HydroPod and how it clips into the HydroLid is SOLID. Once you pop it into place, even very top heavy and tall plants cannot slide out of the lid like with some net baskets, saving on trellising and allowing plants to be self supporting.
The neoprene collar keeps light out of the root zone and provides a nice barrier to pests like fungus gnats while minimizing the chances of spray run off from getting inside the HydroBucket. If you propagate plants in aeroponics, it’s just a matter of swapping collars when transplanting from propagation and early veg into your DWC HydroBucket system using the HydroPod and HydroLid with neoprene collars.
HydroLid: Secure, Snug, Light Tight and Ready to LST or Trellis
Having a DWC lid that is secure, snug and light tight is critical. The wrong fit or type of plastic might be passable when your plants are sprout sized, but a heavy yielding top heavy plant can put a lot of stress on the base/lid. Especially in a brighty lit warm environment for months at a time. Plants can fall right through, net basket and all, right into the solution or topple right out of the system. Either way, disastrous if not discovered quickly.
The HydroLid fits snugly INTO the HydroBucket with a thick robust rim; it’s not going anywhere, even in a breezy spot outdoors or on a patio.
While some level of light infiltration does not usually pose a problem, it can contribute to algae growth which can attract more serious problems. For example fungus gnats, whose larvae feed on roots and potentially infect plants with crop diseases. The HydroLid does a good job of keeping light out, with a tight fit and a relatively smaller opening for the HydroPod versus eight inch or larger net basket type lids.
While trellis netting can be an effective way to support and train plant development, it’s tedious and makes it near impossible to move plants or perform other functions including nutrient change outs, inspecting or pruning roots ,etc.
The ingenious design of the HydroLid allows for each plant to be supported by each HydroBucket set up, i.e. each HydroBucket is a stand alone system. Note the eyelets connected to the outer rim of the lid–they can be used with hooks and lines for LST (low stress training) or slide some lengths of PVC pipe into the eyelets to construct a modular plant support system, used with or without netting. We love this! Brilliant.
Now your garden is flexible, whether you want to move plants around to capture light, to perform pruning or defoliation or just to lift plants out of the canopy for harvest in a perpetual harvest setup.
HydroBucket HydroLid Review, the Final Word
Between the updated side cover, the new HydroPod and the HydroLid we can’t seem to find a fault worth mentioning. This innovative DWC setup from Visionary Hydroponics is perfect for the job. HydroBucket’s grower designed and developed innovations take away hassles that real world DWC hydro growers contend with day to day and provide solutions that can actually help you improve your growing experience, yield and crop quality. A nice round of updates indeed from the folks at Visionary Hydroponics–we can hardly wait to see what’s next in their growing line of innovations.