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Gardyn is one of the most extensive personal hydroponic gardens on the market, and it claims to make growing veggies and fresh produce hassle-free and fun. But with a hefty price tag, is this system worth the hype? In this post, we’ll provide details and tips on how to garden with the Gardyn and set you up for indoor-growing success.
What Is Gardyn?
Gardyn is an American-made indoor gardening system for serious indoor growers. The goal of this hydroponic system is to make it easy to grow a large amount of fresh produce and veggies from the comfort of your own home – no green thumb required.
And we just learned that Time Magazine named it the Best Invention of 2020. That’s some high praise!
The Gardyn tower garden can grow 30 large plants in just a 2 sqft space. No sunlight or soil is required, and you have full in-app control of your device, meaning you don’t have to spend a great deal of time messing with the system.
It aims to simplify the growing process through smart hydroponics, a sleek design, and helpful technology that guides you through planting and growing your own foods.
The sensors on Gardyn detect the humidity and light levels in your home, allowing you to better meet your plants’ needs.
How Does Gardyn Work?
Gardyn takes simple indoor hydroponics and combines it with a sleek design and practical artificial intelligence. The entire system is controlled by your Kelby app, optimizing the lights and water and telling you when you need to add plant food and harvest.
Gardyn relies on a type of hydroponics called aeroponics. Like all forms of hydroponics, you’re growing your plants without soil. Nutrients are added to water that is misted or sprayed over the roots of the plants. Hydroponics allows you to use up to 95% less water than traditional growing methods.
Where Can You Buy Gardyn?
You can purchase a Gardyn hydroponic system through either their site or through one of their partners like Amazon.
Does Gardyn Ship Outside the U.S.?
Currently, the Gardyn hydroponic system ships to all 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. It does not ship abroad. If you’re looking for a system that ships abroad, consider the Veritable Smart Indoor Garden.
How Much Does Gardyn Cost?
Gardyn currently offers one model of indoor garden that costs $899. There are also options to buy a Gardyn with a one-year Harvest indoor membership ($1307) and a two-year harvest membership ($1585).
This is one of the more expensive indoor hydroponic systems, but fortunately, Gardyn provides financing options through their partnership with Affirm.
Financing options include 6, 12, 18 or 24-month financing with monthly payments as follows:
Starter Harvest – $44/mo
One-Year Harvest – $119/mo
Two-Year Harvest – $77/mo
They also have a risk-free 60-day trial, so you can always return this unit if it doesn’t meet your needs.
How Much Does A Gardyn Cost To Run?
On average, the Gardyn indoor gardening system uses 75Ws a second for the pump, lights, and cameras. That comes out to 54 kWh per month. Assuming the national average of 13.19 cents per kWh, that means you’ll spend about $7.00 a month to run.
This is comparable to the AeroGarden Farm hydroponics systems, which cost about $8.48 to run a month. That said, the Gardyn can grow 30 plants at a time, while the AeroGarden Farm models can only grow up to 24 plants at a given time.
What Comes In A Gardyn?
It’s time to get excited! The Gardyn home hydroponic system typically arrives between 7 and 15 business days of purchase. It’s delivered in two boxes – one that includes the grow lights (48″ x 5″ x 3″) and another that has the rest of the Gardyn indoor garden (30″ x 25″ x 16″). The entire shipment includes free shipping, as do any seeds you purchase through a monthly membership.
Your boxes include the following:
As someone who’s read many bad hydroponic manuals, I need to point out that this system does a great job of describing how to set up your Gardyn hydroponic system. It’s simple, easy to understand, and includes some great visuals.
This is the tank where your water and nutrients live. You’ll need to clean your reservoir about once a month.
Wood Cap and Pump
The wooden cap is actually made of a stunning bamboo material. This cap has holes where you’ll add your grow columns, and there is a metal attachment on the back that connects to the lights.
When you’re ready to fill your reservoir with water, you’ll do so through the opening on the wood cap.
The water pump is attached to the underside of the wood cap.
There are three columns in a Gardyn, with each column having enough grow holes to raise ten plants each. When you’re ready to grow, you’ll place the yCubes in the holes.
The upper blade connects the towers to the grow lights.
The organic plant food is made from minerals and gives your plants all the micro and macronutrients they need to thrive, such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and more.
You’ll start adding plant food to your Gardyn ten days after planting. Do not add plant food when you start your indoor garden. It’s important to note that too much plant food can interfere with germination and even hurt your plants. Follow the directions carefully when adding plant food. You’ll add it to the water reservoir directly so that it distributes evenly across your plants.
The accessory bag includes a few necessary items for set up and growing. Here’s what’s inside:
This teaspoon is for doling out plant food to your seeds, seedlings, and full-grown plants.
The sleeve is a red container that you put around your yCubes when either harvesting or moving your plants. Just slide the pod into it, and you are free to move around.
If you don’t want to use all 30 grow holes at a time, you will need to cap the unused ones with grow caps.
yCubes are non-GMO seed pods where your plants germinate and grow. Each yCube is made with Rockwool, which is an inert growing medium composed of basalt salt. The Rockwool comes in a biodegradable plastic made from corn.
Each yCube includes specific seeds. With each new Gardyn, you get a total of 30 yCubes. If you sign up for the monthly membership, you get an additional ten yCubes a month for additional growing needs.
You don’t need to begin growing your plants immediately. For best results, Gardyn recommends that you plant your yCubes within 90 days of your receipt. This is nice if you’ve purchased Gardyn as a gift for someone.
When you purchase your Gardyn, you can download the Kelby app. This is Gardyn’s artificial intelligence that acts like your own private gardener. Kelby tests all of your device’s specs, tracks your plants, and then optimizes their growth to suit their needs specifically. She notifies you when it’s time to add plant food, manage the reservoir, harvest, and even provide tips and ideas for better growth.
Some features of the Kelby app are only usable when you have a membership.
LED Grow lights controlled by Kelby – your app-powered AI. Kelby allows you to set timers for when your lights are on and off.
The two cameras work as the eyes of your AI-plant guru Kelby. These cameras track how well your plants are growing and offer feedback through the Kelby app.
Getting Started With Gardyn
Setting up your Gardyn Home hydroponic system only takes about 30 minutes. Take a look at the following instructions for unboxing and getting started.
1. Assemble Columns
When connecting the columns, make sure that the irrigation hoses aren’t tangled. They must be straight in the column.
2. Mount And Lock The Board On The Water Tank
Add the wooden cap with the board front onto the water reservoir
3. Lower The Water Pump
Press the water pump down gently without your hand to lower it into the reservoir
4. Unpack Light
Tilt the Unit on its side with the front-facing down. Unpack your lights and attach them to the reservoir using the cables.
5. Connect The Light
Once the cables are connected, combine the light piece to the metal arm.
6. Straighten The Unit
Lean the unit up against a wall for support.
7. Insert The Columns
Put your columns into the holes on the reservoir. The holes should face the lights.
8. Install The Rod
Install the rod and put the safety strap in place.
9. Attach The Upper Blade
On the top of the hydroponic system, screw the blades on top of the columns. You’ll need to slide the protection caps down to the light.
10. Add Water And Turn On
In the final step, add water to the fill line. Do not add plant food at this point. Turn on the system, and the pump should start running.
Once your hydroponic system is set up, you can add the yCubes and begin growing!
Steps For Adding Plant Food
On Day 10, top off your reservoir with water to the max level and add three teaspoons of plant food.
After the initial feeding, add one teaspoon each time you add water. As a good rule of thumb, every two gallons of water requires a teaspoon of plant food.
To improve the plant food distribution, dissolve it in warm water before you add it to the reservoir.
How Long Does The Plant Food Last?
If you’re refilling the reservoir (and cleaning it) as directed, the plant food lasts three to four months. To reorder plant food, you can do so on their site.
What Can You Grow In A Gardyn?
Gardyn currently offers 35+ varieties of veggies, fresh produce, and more, including butterhead lettuce, jalapenos, leafy greens, cilantro, and arugula. Each plant arrives as seeds in a yCube, so you can germinate and watch your new plants grow.
You can also grow your own seeds with blank yCubes.
How Does Gardyn Compare to Other Hydroponic Systems?
The Gardyn is similar to a few personal hydroponic systems on the market, such as the Smart Garden, the Veritable Garden, and more. It’s most closely related to the iHarvest, a beautiful system that grows the same amount of plants (30) at a time. The Gardyn is significantly more advanced than the iHarvest, though. The lights connect to the system and the Kelby app does a lot of the heavy lifting for you – assuming you have the membership.
AeroGarden is another popular brand of indoor gardens. While the Gardyn is larger than most of the cheaper AeroGardens – the Sprout, the Harvest, the Bounty – it’s similar in size to the AeroGarden Farm. AeroGarden has a similar amount of bells and whistles, and they don’t require a monthly subscription. But, you’ll likely need to purchase seed pods from AeroGarden on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, so the differences between the two brands is minimal.
The Gardyn membership is highly recommended when you purchase your hydroponic system. It provides you with the following:
- Ten yCubes or plant food each month
- 60% of any additional yCubes
- Free shipping
- Vacation mode
- AI guidance through Kelby (when to add water, how to optimize, etc.)
- Access to Gardyn growing experts
The cost of the membership varies depending on the length of your membership.
- Month-to-Month Membership: $39 a month
- One-Year Membership: $34 a month
- Two-Year Membership: $29 a month
The membership gives you access to many resources that non-members don’t receive.
Is the Gardyn Membership Worth It?
It depends on what you’re trying to do. If you want to make a one-time purchase and receive limited support, then you may not need a Gardyn membership. But if you’re interested in regularly growing plants, then it can be a great option.
That said, the membership is expensive and may not be an option for everyone.
How Do You Clean Gardyn?
Like any other hydroponic indoor garden, you need to clean the reservoir, which becomes dirty with debris from roots, plants, and general buildup from the liquid nutrients. You should clean your Gardyn monthly.
Here’s the process for cleaning this system:
- Turn your Gardyn off
- Remove any plants from the system. Destroy any plants that have disease or mold.
- Empty the reservoir and clean with dish soap and water.
- Fill the reservoir with water and add 2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide (which can be found at most pharmacies)
- Turn the system on and let the water cycle through the tubes.
- Empty the reservoir
- Refill with water and add 3 tsp of plant food
- Return your healthy yCubes to the Gardyn
The YouTube channel Plant4Table does a good job of showing the cleaning process.
We scoured the web for reviews of this product to get an extensive sampling of pros and cons. Here’s what we found:
Amazing Customer Service
If you’ve read any of our other hydroponic system reviews, many of these companies struggle with basic customer support. Gardyn, however, seems to have taken the hint and does – as a whole – a standout job of giving their customers the support they need. Whether you have issues with germination or there’s a random software issue, Gardyn is standing by to help you troubleshoot.
Gardyn’s smart hydroponics relies on wifi to connect the system to the Kelby app. This means you spend less time keeping your plants alive and more time enjoying them grow. This is a benefit that some of the Gardyn’s competitors, such as the iHarvest, don’t have.
You can grow 30 plants at a time with your Gardyn, making it one of the largest personal hydroponic growing systems on the market. It can produce more plants than the AeroGarden Farm 24 and raise the same number of plants as the iHarvest. Will you be able to feed a family of four on this unit alone? Probably not. But it’s big enough to put a dent in your fresh produce budget. And, if you grow greens, you’re likely to get a higher value than if you grow tomatoes or other flowering vegetables.
I’m personally not a fan of growing tomatoes in these systems. I think they take too long, the quality is never great, and you don’t get as much food as you would through other plants like greens. If you have success with tomatoes in the Gardyn, let us know!
Indoor growing is the best. You don’t have to worry about monsoons, droughts, blizzards, or any other weather events that kill your plants. You can grow using the Gardyn 365 days a year. And simply growing something inside can do wonders for your mental health. As someone who lives in a city where it’s winter six months of the year, any help in the psyche department is appreciated.
Challenge To Set Up
Of the few poor Gardyn reviews, a common concern is that the unit is difficult to set up. Most people don’t have issues, but the people who do have problems seem to have big problems. If you have issues setting up your unit, you can schedule a call with their customer service, and they can help you troubleshoot.
High Cost Of Membership
My least favorite thing about the Gardyn is the cost of the membership. Once you factor in the prices – $899 for the system, $91 to run a year, and then at least $348 in membership costs – you’re putting down a lot of money for this system.
That said, you can potentially grow a lot of food. While Gardyn doesn’t specify how much food you can grow in their unit, iHarvest, which also produces 30 plants at a time, boasts that it grows $1,000 worth of food a year. So, by year two, you could potentially be in the black with this system.
All that said, the membership benefits are great, and they’ll make your growing experience even better. For many people, the high cost of the membership is entirely worth it.
Lower Germination Rates
There are some reports of low germination rates among the yCubes. This is unfortunate since Gardyn’s biggest competitor, AeroGarden, has excellent germination rates.
Fortunately, customer service provides coupons for your yCubes if they don’t successfully germinate.
Gardyn, like other personal hydroponic systems in the space, has a limited home use warranty that guarantees replacement if your Gardyn Home has defects or malfunctions caused by everyday use. This limited warranty is available for one year after the original purchase. For all information on the Gardyn warranty, you can view it under their policy section.
Final Thoughts on Gardyn
Gardyn is, without a doubt, one of the top personal indoor garden systems on the market. You can grow a lot of food at once, it has a sleek design, and the Kelby assistant makes it easy to know when and how to tend to your plants. While it’s more expensive than most models, the Gardyn is a great way to grow large yields without you ever leaving your couch!
Check out pricing for the Gardyn today!