The Best Automated Hydroponic Growing Systems
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Automated hydroponic growing systems are by far the easiest way to grow food indoors. They are “push-button easy.” Many people who have never successfully grown anything in their entire life have managed to grow an abundance of food using these automated hydroponic gardens.
Here are some of my favorites, and the highest rated options available on the market today.
AeroGarden is by far and away the most popular automated hydroponic growing system on the market today. It was one of the first (if not the first) automated hydroponic growing systems created, and it remains the most popular indoor gardening system on the market for good reason.
I personally have around 20 AeroGardens, so I’m obviously happy with them. You can purchase each of the different AeroGarden models on Amazon, often at better prices than you can get from the actual AeroGarden website. Here are the different models, along with the benefits of each type.
The AeroGarden Sprout is the smallest and least expensive AeroGarden on the market. It’s a good way to get started, and if you’re unsure about whether or not AeroGarden is right for you, the Sprout is a low-commitment way to get started. It’s important to note, however, that due to the size and a light that isn’t as strong, your growing options in the AeroGarden Sprout are more limited than the other AeroGarden models.
The AeroGarden Harvest is the most popular AeroGarden model, for good reason. You can grow a maximum of six plants at a time in the Harvest. It has a couple more inches of growing height compared to the Sprout. That may not seem like a lot, but it really does make a difference. The grow light is 20w, compared to 10w in the Sprout.
If you are going to buy only one AeroGarden, you can’t really go wrong with the Harvest.
AeroGarden Harvest XL
The AeroGarden Harvest XL is the newest member of the AeroGarden Harvest model family. It meets a real need because it’s in between the size of the Harvest and Bounty models. Like all of the other Harvest models, it has six grow pods. But it provides an extra 6″ of growing height compared to the Harvest models. There is also a little more extra space between the grow pods. The grow light is 25w, compared to 20w in the other Harvest Models.
The AeroGarden Bounty is the next step up from the Harvest XL. It’s the largest of all of the AeroGarden countertop models. It provides 24″ of grow height. The strength of the grow light as well as some of the other features depends on the Bounty model you choose.
From a cost perspective, the Bounty is probably your best bet overall simply because it offers a substantial amount of grow height, but is about half the price of the Farm models (which I’ll get into next).
AeroGarden Farm models are the way to go if you want to grow as much food as possible indoors. The Farm models are the largest of all AeroGardens. There are many different Farm models, so it’s a bit harder to sum them up succinctly. However, in short they range from 12 pods to 24 pods and have a grow height of between 12″ and 36″.
In my personal opinion, the AeroGarden Farm family is best for larger plants, such as bell peppers and slicing tomatoes. You’d be hard pressed to grow slicing tomatoes in any AeroGarden other than the Farm models. Even then, if you want to grow slicing tomatoes, be sure to choose one of the XL models, such as the AeroGarden Farm 12XL or the AeroGarden Farm 24XL. Those models have the most height, which is what you really need when growing large plants.
You can use standard AeroGarden accessories with great success. Afterall, they were made specifically to work with AeroGardens. However, there are a few times when I choose to buy AeroGarden accessories that are not made by AeroGarden.
I also recommend checking out Etsy for accessories made to work with AeroGardens. Since the products sold on Etsy are mostly from independent sellers, I don’t want to link to any specific products because they come and go. But if you do a search for AeroGarden once you’re on the Etsy website, you’ll find all kinds of cool products.
My Personal Reason for Choosing AeroGarden
All of the hydroponic growing systems on the market have pros and cons. And I’m going to share with you other systems besides AeroGarden, since other systems may be a better fit for you. But before I do, I wanted to share with you the main reason why I chose AeroGarden instead of iDoo, Rise, Click and Grow, or Gardyn.
The first reason is that it’s what I started with, and I’ve had a good experience with the gardens, and with the customer service. Another big reason is that due to the popularity of AeroGardens, it’s very easy to find accessories, including knock off products such as AeroGarden sponge alternatives, mason jar accessories that work with AeroGarden, and so on.
BUT there are others out there who swear by some of the other options out there, and have ditched AeroGarden in favor or other hydroponic growing systems. So, keep reading for other options that may be a better fit for you.
AeroGarden Related Articles
Since I use AeroGardens a lot, I frequently write articles related to AeroGarden. Go here to find all of my AeroGarden articles.
If you’re looking for a budget option, iDoo is one of the most popular options. It’s very similar to AeroGardens, but some would say that the quality just isn’t there. However, others rave about it. So if you want to dive into automated hydroponic garden systems, but don’t want to outlay a bunch of cash, iDoo is the way to go.
Here are some of the most popular iDoo hydroponic garden models available on Amazon.
- iDoo 7-pod (no WiFi) – this is one of the most reasonably priced options.
- iDoo 12-pod (no WiFi)
- iDoo 12-pod (with WiFi) – this is one of the highest rated iDoo hydroponic garden systems
Rise is another hydroponic growing system that is growing in popularity. What I like about it compared to the AeroGarden is that is has seed pods available for vegetables such as baby cauliflower that I’ve never seen grown in any of the other hydroponic growing systems.
The Rise hydroponic garden systems are one of the nicest looking currently options available.
The Gardyn hydroponic growing system (Amazon) is quite a bit different from the other systems I’ve listed on this page. It’s a vertical garden, which means it occupies vertical space, rather than horizontal space. If you have a really small space for indoor gardening, then the Gardyn hydroponic growing system may be the best choice for you. You can grow up to 30 plants in the Gardyn in less than two square feet.
I hope that you enjoyed all of these indoor hydroponic growing system resources and found them helpful. If you’d like to check out all my indoor gardening resources, be sure to check out my indoor gardening resources page.