Growing a full vegetable garden at home is a dream for some but can also be daunting. I have abandoned an outdoor garden before, but growing an indoor garden using hydroponics is a different ballgame. With Gardyn, you can grow 30 large plants in just 2 square feet of space! But, how much food does Gardyn really produce? You would have to plant an outdoor garden as large as 1,300 square feet to grow the same amount of produce. Insanity.
Talk about convenience. You can snip off precisely what you need, so you don’t have to worry about your fresh greens and veggies going bad in the refrigerator. Notably, the entire process is pesticide-free, too, so you can take comfort in knowing thatGardyn is providing you the fresh nutrients you need without commercial byproducts.
How Does Gardyn Work?
While the Gardyn technology is innovative, it is easy to understand and manage. Gardyn is a hydroponic system that includes a six-gallon reservoir. The water tank is big enough that you might not have to add water for weeks at a time. And when it is time to add water, the assistant (called Kelby) will let you know.
Gardyn utilizes a proprietary technology called the hybriponic system to recirculate water in a closed-loop. Not only does this process better circulate air and nutrients, but it also reduces consumption by up to 95% compared to traditional methods, which is one of the reasons the water reservoir lasts so long.
But what if you don’t have much natural light? No worries. The Gardyn system has LED lights strategically placed to provide the perfect amount of light to each of the 30 plants. Gardyn’s full-spectrum lighting mimics sunlight with 75W LED grow lights.
Of course, we are getting ahead of ourselves. The Gardyn indoor gardening system starts with seeds packed in yPods (also called yCubes), which you plug into the device’s columns. The yPods look similar to single-serve coffee pods, but instead of coffee grounds, the yPods include seeds packed in Rockwool to help them grow. Rockwell is a mineral derived from basalt salt that helps the seeds to germinate and develop strong roots.
It’s also good to know that Gardyn will send yCube replacement pods for any Starter Kit pods that have not germinated within 28 days. Since the Gardyn system collects environmental information, the Gardyn team will work directly with customers to address any ecological factors inhibiting germination after the starter kit.
Once the yCubes are installed, the smart assistant (Kelby), the hybriponic watering system, and the smart LED lighting combine to create optimal growing conditions for your indoor garden.
How Does the Smart Assistant (Kelby) Work?
Once you have purchased and installed the Gardyn, you will also want to install Kelby on your phone. Kelby is the name of Gardyn’s smart assistant, accessible through the Gardyn app. The app itself offers countless tips and tricks, but the real benefit is that Kelby notifies you when you need to add water or plant food.
Don’t underestimate Kelby. It isn’t just a set of timers that will let you know when to add water and plant food, and it is much more than an app to control your Gardyn’s lighting. Sure, if you need to adjust the intensity of the lights or the lighting schedule, the app can help you accomplish that, but that is just the start.
The Gardyn collects environmental information such as temperature, humidity, and water level to use as data points, and also captures pictures to gauge the health of your plants or potential problems. Kelby combines all of this information to provide the owner with insights to address any issues and keep your garden growing fresh produce.
Does the Gardyn Have Cameras?
And yes, the Gardyn does have built-in cameras. More specifically, the Gardyn has two built-in cameras that help Kelby monitor the health of your garden. You can review the pictures, which are taken every half hour, in the associated Gardyn app. If you have a monthly subscription, Kelby utilizes the images to provide growing insights to ensure the best leafy greens, basil, and other favorites.
You might have some privacy-related questions, which we understand entirely. The first thing to know is that the cameras are stationary and built-in to focus exclusively on the plants, and as mentioned, you can see what the cameras see in the app.
If the cameras make you uncomfortable, you can disable them in the associated app. Keep in mind that the cameras act as Kelby’s eyes, so disabling the cameras will hamper the efficacy of your Gardyn as a smart device, but the cameras can also be re-enabled later on if you decide you want Kelby to have the additional insight.
At first glance, the subscription seems a little pricey. After all, $40 per month is a lot for a smart assistant that other brands don’t have or need, but there is more to the story. The Gardyn membership is designed to replace some of your produce spendings, so consider your grocery bill should be going down.
More specifically, Gardyn members can order up to 10 plant yCubes each month, with free shipping. And if members want to substitute plant food, they can choose nine plants plus plant food each month. Since the Gardyn system is large enough for 30 plants, the idea is that you will have a constant supply of lettuce and veggies in the pipeline, preparing for harvest.
Pre-paid memberships can be purchased for discounts, depending on how long you pre-pay for. Your pre-paid membership will activate once your Gardyn has paired to WiFi and you have activated the system via the company’s app.
Gardyn Discount Coupon
And we have exciting news! Gardyn is offering a $100 discount for anyone that purchases one of the company’s indoor gardening solutions through a Gardyn link on this site. Why? The brand is on a mission to improve the health of individuals and the health of our climate. To accomplish their mission, they want you to join the Gardyn family.
For those concerned about leaving a minimal footprint, the idea of using a human-made indoor garden might be unsettling when you could use the ground outside. Still, you can’t grow year-round outdoors, and gardening food in traditional soil isn’t nearly as easy. Fortunately, Gardyn has made every effort to minimize its footprint.
The Gardyn device, including the columns and reservoir, is made from FDA-compliant plastics that are 100% recyclable. The same goes for the yPods too. Each piece of the main unit is strong enough to be washed in the dishwasher if needed (little care is generally required) but still recyclable and easy on the planet.
TheGardyn system was named the best invention for 2020 by TIME magazine. Still, it is essential to do your research and understand your options, and we’ve done the same. We did an entire review comparing AeroGarden to Click & Grow, but we share some of those insights here as well.
AeroGarden vs. Gardyn
While the Gardyn systems work best for growing greens and salad fruits at scale, AeroGarden is well-suited for kitchen counter herb gardening. AeroGarden has a much larger variety of products, ranging from small, three pod starter kits to much larger home farms. Still, if you plan on growing at scale, Gardyn is your best bet. Gardyn’s vertical design allows for larger plants in a smaller footprint, and none of the competitors have a smart assistant like Kelby.
Nonetheless, AeroGarden’s Sprout and Harvest Series products are great if you are looking for a place to get started before jumping into a full Gardyn. The AeroGarden system claims to grow plants 5X faster than if the seeds were planted in the soil. It’s an impressive claim, but each of the hydroponic garden companies could probably make a similar claim.
AeroGarden makes an excellent indoor hydroponics system. Anecdotally, we also like that you can watch the roots growing deep into the water tank. But which should you choose? Consider AeroGarden (or Click & Grow) if you are looking for a place to get started or just want to grow a few herbs, but if you’re going to grow lettuce in addition to your basil, we recommend you start with Gardyn.
Click & Grow vs. Gardyn
The Click & Grow devices are very similar to AeroGarden’s smart devices. While AeroGarden has more products to choose from, we appreciate Click & Grow’s product portfolio’s straightforward nature. The Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 Pro is the smartest device made by any of Gardyn’s competitors. The Smart Garden 9 Pro features app-controlled grow lights, but it doesn’t have the cameras or environmental sensors featured on Gardyn.
Click & Grow’s Smart Garden 3 and Smart Garden 9 would both work well for an indoor herb garden grown on your kitchen countertop. In fact, in some ways, we prefer the Click & Grow system to AeroGarden’s because of the focus on simplicity. On the other hand, if you want to grow lettuce and other salad greens at scale, Click & Grow offers the Smart Garden 27 (a vertical stand featuring three Smart Garden 9 devices) and a Vertical Wall Farm.
The Vertical Wall Farm features enough space for 51 seed pods, making it the most extensive indoor garden we’ve reviewed. It’s worth noting that Gardyn is designed to use minimal floor space (less than 2 square feet). The Vertical Wall Farm looks like a large bookcase and takes up substantial space. If we needed that much produce, we would install two Gardyn’s next to each other. Doing so would be less bulky and allow room for 60 plants to grow. This would also be cheaper than installing the Vertical Wall Farm.
For the most part, we prefer Click & Grow to AeroGarden, so if you are looking for something a little smaller, Click & Grow should be your pick. Of course, if you are growing anything other than herbs, the smaller devices don’t produce enough to feed a family or even an individual repeatedly. If putting a salad on the table is your goal, it makes more sense to get something larger, like the Gardyn, which is big enough to grow a variety of lettuce and more.
And while Click & Grow’s technology is sufficient, Gardyn’s technology stands head and shoulders above any of the alternatives.
Tower Garden vs. Gardyn
The most directly comparable hydroponic garden to compare with Gardyn is the Tower Garden. It has a vertical design, but the 360-degree design makes the lighting a little awkward. Similar to Gardyn, Tower Garden is designed so that seed pods are installed on a vertical column, but Gardyn’s forward-facing design will more universally fit into most rooms, in our opinion.
The only discernible advantage we can see with the Tower Garden system is that there is a FLEX system that can be moved outside during the warm season. Still, the Tower Garden doesn’t feature the AI-level technology provided by Gardyn’s Kelby personal assistant.
There is no earth-shattering price difference between these two vertical indoor hydroponic gardens, so we recommend Gardyn because the personal assistant provides advice based on environmental factors and because the Gardyn membership provides for on-going plant shipments. If you are serious about growing an indoor garden, there isn’t a better option than Gardyn.
What Plants Can You Grow?
The Gardyn team offers seedless yCubes, so you can grow almost anything you set your mind to growing. That said, the company has rigorously tested an entire portfolio of products to handpick the type of plants that will be most successful for its customers. Specifically, the plants chosen by the Gardyn team have short growth periods and don’t take up excessive space. They also work well with the hydroponic system.
Honestly though, Gardyn offers nearly any plant you might want. You can grow greens, including arugula, celery, kale, romaine, watercress, and wheatgrass. Of course, if you want to grow your own salad, you probably want a little variety beyond greens. Gardyn offers several fruit plant pods that will work great with a salad, including cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, sweet peppers, strawberries, and sugar snap peas. Yes, they are all considered fruits.
And, if you want to add a little color to your living space, you can select from a variety of flowers, including campanula, chamomile, lavender, oopsy daisy, and petunias. Some people grow the flowers on the Gardyn system before moving them around the house to add that fresh pop of color.
How Do You Use Fresh Herbs?
As you might imagine, herbs work wonderfully on vertical indoor gardens. The plants themselves are smaller, and they are potent, so you don’t normally use as much as you might with the greens or fruits. Still, it is incredibly convenient to have your own herb garden, and with Gardyn you can grow basil, chives, cilantro, dill, Italian parsley, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, and more.
The trouble with fresh herbs is that most of us are more used to using dried herbs. But here’s the thing, dried herbs have a more robust flavor than fresh herbs. Fresh herbs have a more natural and subtle flavor. So, with a little practice, you might more frequently use your fresh basil or curly parsley.
Here is one hint that might be helpful: If you cook with fresh herbs, add them toward the end of your cooking time because the flavors are more subtle. Adding them too soon might minimize the flavor. Since flavoring is concentrated during the drying process, you should also consider tripling the amount of herbs you include in a recipe using fresh herbs.
Is Gardyn Worth It?
There is no denying that the Gardyn system is a significant investment for most people, but it is also an investment worth making. Over time, you can grow exactly the plants you want, and since the membership comes with ten yCubes each month, you will have an endless supply of your favorite fresh produce ready for harvest.
Plus, since the Gardyn is designed vertically, you can grow as much food on this indoor garden that takes up 2 square feet of space as you could in a full-blown outdoor garden covering 1,300 square feet. That’s not even to mention you won’t have to use pesticides, as pests are much less likely to appear in indoor gardens. In Fact, Gardyn’s yCubes are made of an inorganic material and seeds to eliminate the possibility of external contamination (meaning any pests would have to come through a door or window).
So whether you are mainly drawn to the idea of growing your own salads, or there are other types of plants you are interested in, the Gardyn is worth considering.
And don’t forget about Kelby. Multiple brands are selling indoor gardening kits, but only Gardyn has a smart assistant that provides feedback based on your plants’ environmental surroundings and pictures. This is cutting-edge stuff, and since it is based on an AI-like platform, it will only get better over time.
If you are looking for a small herb garden kit that you can nourish on your kitchen counter, you should consider AeroGarden or Click & Grow. Otherwise, Gardyn offers the best-of-the-best technology and insights to cultivate success.
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox!