Does The Gardyn Hydroponic System Live Up to Its Promise to Grow Plants Without Soil?
This indoor hydroponic gardening system lets you nurture 30 plants in just 2 square feet of space so you can enjoy fresh, homegrown produce with ease.
Imagine being able to pick produce from a 1,500-square-foot garden, but all in just 2 square feet without leaving your kitchen. The Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 makes this possible in a vertical hydroponic garden system that grows 30 large plants, all without soil or garden space.
Gardyn is an indoor hydroponic gardening company that makes vertical garden systems designed to fit into small spaces. The company’s mission is to reimagine the future of food with organic produce that is accessible to everyone.
After testing the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 system in my home for the last 6 months, I can fully recommend this product. In my test it was simple to use, beautiful to look at, and fun and easy to maintain—all while producing ample high-quality, organic produce.
Gardyn Home Kit 2.0: At a Glance
- This garden system uses exclusively organic and non-GMO plants
- Vertically grows up to 30 full-size plants at once
- The entire system takes up only 2 square feet of space
- Does not work without the app
- Plants that fail to grow will not be replaced without a membership
Get the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 at:
What is the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0?
The Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 is an indoor hydroponic large garden system that grows 30 full-size plants. Unlike other large hydroponic indoor garden kits, the Gardyn takes up a mere 2 square feet and is just 5 feet tall, which is shorter than most large indoor hydroponic systems.
It also sets itself apart from the competition because 100 percent of the plants Gardyn offers are organic and non-GMO (which means they were not genetically modified). The substrate matter in the pods is made from a natural mineral wool.
The system works by feeding water from a reservoir at the bottom through tubes that allow plants in pods (called yCubes) to grow. LED lights are attached to the system and are set on a timer via the app, with recommendations for lights to be on 12 to 16 hours per day for optimal growth.
The system works with an app and has cameras on it for live viewing of the Gardyn, as well as time-lapse models to view plant-growth progress. Purchasing yCubes is also done through the app.
How easy is the Gardyn to put together?
The Gardyn is relatively simple to set up and comes partially assembled. No tools are required. Assembly steps include attaching the tubes that hold the pods to the base and the lights to the base. The system comes in two separate packages: one with the base (water reservoir), cubes, and tubes, and the second containing the LED lights.
The Gardyn system comes with an assembly booklet, which I used for setup, but there are also helpful video tutorials on the Gardyn app that are easy to locate and view that guide proper assembly.
The design of the Gardyn makes it easy to place virtually anywhere, as it only takes up 2 square feet and is 5 feet tall, so high ceilings are not required. The Gardyn does need to be plugged in, however, and requires app access to work.
Is the Gardyn app easy to use?
The Gardyn app is easy to set up and use. It also offers helpful features, such as notifications about when the tank needs to be topped off, and it uses artificial intelligence to identify plants that may need thinning, pruning, or harvesting, sending notifications about these as well.
Like other apps, the Gardyn app’s notifications can be turned off, but in doing so, it’s important to remember when watering is needed so the system doesn’t go dry. Gardyn recommends topping off the tank weekly with fresh water and plant food to maintain the system.
The app also enables users to order plants directly with just a few clicks. I have a membership, which allows me to receive 10 plant credits per month. To order, I simply select the plants I want and Gardyn ships them to me for free (free shipping is part of the Gardyn membership).
Does the Gardyn system require a membership?
Gardyn does not require a membership to use, and the system comes with 30 seed pods. Users don’t need a membership to access the app or order plants as needed for the system. In fact, gardeners can even grow their own seeds in the pods or buy replacement substrate once the plant is done to keep growing. The main benefit of the membership is convenience: You get 10 plant credits a month with free shipping.
How well does the Gardyn grow organic produce?
Once the seedlings are sprouted, the Gardyn grows most organic produce well. However, not all seeds will sprout, and some will sprout but not grow well, whether because they don’t grow to full size, die before they reach full size, or don’t produce as much. In my 6-month test, negative outcomes proved to be the exception and not the norm.
It’s important to know how to sprout seeds and thin plants before adding them to the Gardyn. If there are already mature plants and plant food in the system, the plant food can hinder sprouting.
I reused an old plastic salad container that I placed on the bottom of the Gardyn, in front of the lights, to sprout seeds in the cubes before putting them in the system. Gardyn offers its own product for this, called a Plant Sprout Nursery, which allows for yCubes to be held and placed in front of the LED lights for sprouting.
Once the seedlings are sprouted, thinned, and ready to be added to the system, plants grow fast with the recommended light schedule of 16 hours per day—full harvest is ready in just 6 weeks. The best part is that plants can be continually harvested. For example, I’ve been picking lettuce from several plants on the system for weeks; as long as a third of the plant is left, the lettuce grows back after harvesting.
What is the Gardyn made of?
The yCubes, pod caps, and water tank are made of food-grade, FDA-compliant ABS plastic, not PVC. The top lid of the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0’s water tank is made of bamboo wood. The yCubes hold a material called rockwool as the growing medium; it is a type of mineral wool that is often used as a plant-growth substrate.
Each yCube has a four-dot code on the side. This helps the AI in the app identify the plants and in return let you know which plants may need thinning or pruning.
Is the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 worth the money?
I found the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 to be well worth the cost. Unlike smaller hydroponic systems, it grows full-size produce. It also requires virtually no maintenance besides sprouting the seeds in the yCubes and adding plant food and water once a week. Gardyn also recommends cleaning the tank once per month, which I admit I have not yet done and have not noticed any adverse effects outside of some greening in the tank.
The system has allowed me to cut my grocery bill significantly because I’m no longer spending money on fresh produce that goes bad in just a few days. Instead, I can pick fresh leafy greens off the Gardyn as I need them, and the plants replenish themselves.
After thinning plants, I also transplant the sprouts to another container, where many of them grow into full-size plants I have used for my raised beds and traditional outdoor gardens. The ability for the user to transplant the sprouts the system doesn’t use creates even more value for this system.
Should you buy the Gardyn Indoor Hydroponic System?
If you have struggled with maintaining a large garden due to poor soil, time constraints, or unpredictable weather, the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 system is an excellent way to grow full-size organic produce indoors without the hassle. Anyone who is looking to reduce food waste and plastic consumption from clamshell lettuce containers and plastic produce bags can benefit from the Gardyn indoor hydroponic system.
The system cannot entirely satisfy the produce consumption in my household (which includes two adults, five rabbits, and one bearded dragon, all of whom eat lots of fresh greens), but it greatly supplements it. It has also been really nice not having to dash to the store when I need fresh parsley or run out of lettuce.
I also loved that 100 percent of the seeds are organic, which is something I could not find with other large indoor hydroponic garden systems, as avoiding pesticides is important to me and my family. The Gardyn has made gardening super simple and effective, and with less waste. Plus, I really love seeing the beautiful plants every day and harvesting fresh produce without leaving the house. For anyone wanting to eat healthier at home without committing to the work and time a large outdoor garden requires, this system is absolutely worth considering.
Where to Buy the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0
Get the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0 at:
Meet the Tester
Jenn Ryan is a writer and sustainability enthusiast who has been writing for BobVila.com since 2020 and has been an organic gardener since 2015. Jenn writes about eco-friendly and sustainable solutions and products for BobVila.com as well as numerous other publications, including Popular Mechanics. She takes a detailed approach to reviewing products and considers the value they add for the money as well as the materials used for sustainability and overall eco-friendliness.