We were so excited to see that Indoor Garden Works (IGWorks) released the iHarvest. There aren’t many indoor garden big competitors to AeroGarden in the space, and so we wanted to see what all the buzz was about with this new hydroponic system. And then we heard that it could produce up to $1,000 of plants and veggies in a year (covering the initial cost), and we were instantly smitten.
In this iHarvest review, let’s dive into the pros and cons of this indoor garden, as well as tips for getting started. Yes, there’s a hefty price tag on the iHarvest, but we believe it’s worth it for most serious indoor gardeners.
The iHarvest uses hydroponics to grow fresh fruits, veggies, and other plants. Hydroponics is a method of growing that doesn’t require soil. Instead, the roots are suspended in a chamber, and nutrient-rich water cycles or drips over them.
Similarly, full-spectrum LED lights shine on your plants, mimicking the rays of the sun. Together, your plants have the perfect amount of sun, water, and nutrients (with minimal effort), and you can typically expect plants to grow larger and 30-50% faster than traditional methods.
You can buy the iHarvest directly through their site. They’ve been selling like hotcakes, so you may need to pre-order in the event they’re sold out.
The iHarvest is pretty expensive, with a retail price of $849. This is on the high end of personal hydroponic systems and is comparable to the larger AeroGarden Farm models’ pricing.
Fortunately, IGWorks has a program with Affirm, which will provide 0% financing for as little as $71 a month.
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What Comes With Your iHarvest?
Your iHarvest comes with everything needed to plant and successfully grow your first harvest.
Here’s a quick look at everything included. We’ll also have a detailed list below:
The base of the iHarvest hydroponic system is a 17-gallon reservoir.
This is the plastic wall that holds the plants. The garden wall has a top lid and five removable sections. The five rows can hold six plants each, totaling 30 plants that can be grown at a time.
Inside the reservoir, there is a small net that keeps plant debris from your reservoir and pump.
The indoor gardening system comes with a water pump. The pump has four small suction cups that attach to the bottom of the reservoir. It pumps water from the bottom to the top of the unit, giving all of your plants the water and liquid nutrients they need.
This tubing distributes water from the pump to the plants throughout this indoor garden.
The trellis goes along each row of this system. It allows larger or hanging plants to have the support they need while growing.
Full-Spectrum LED Light
This gardening system comes with two lights that you can move around – closer to the plants when they are seedlings and further away when they’re fully grown. 72 W low-energy LEDs power the lights.
The light stands, consisting of two poles and two bases, hold your lights in place on the floor.
Rapid Rooter Grow Medium
This is the growing medium where you will start your seeds. It’s mostly made of a peat moss material. If you need more Rapid Rooters, you can buy them on Amazon.
2″ Net Cupspeat moss material in which you can put your seeds.
1kg hydroponic nutrient solution (10-5-14) to fertilize your plants.
General Hydroponics pH Control Kit
This is a small kit that consists of three different bottles. The purpose of this kit is to help you adjust the pH of your water.
This is a reliable tester that allows you to test the nutrients in your iHarvest gardening system. You remove the cap and insert the tester into the water. It checks the temperature of the water and tells you the weight of the solids in the water.
PH Level Tester
Place the tip of the PH level tester in the water. Swirl it around, and then it will show you your water’s pH levels.
Mechanical Light Timer
This timer allows you to see the part of the day that the lights are on.
Mechanical Water Timer
This timer allows you to have a time limit on the hours that water drips across your plants and veggies.
Starter Pack Of Seeds
iHarvest comes with some starter seeds for you to use, including herbs, tomatoes, and mixed greens. You can also use your own seeds, as well.
Started with this beast from @IG_Works and we’re figuring out how to grow lots of other things like onions in pots or water around. It has been a fun project and ultimately will make us more self-reliant. pic.twitter.com/oTnCJKOBPg
— Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin) April 22, 2020
iHarvest Set Up
When first setting up your iHarvest, make sure you place the unit indoors on a level surface that’s against the wall. It needs to be next to an outlet, as well. The iHarvest requires only 2.5 sqft of floor space, so it will work well in a living room or kitchen.
Place the nozzle onto the pump. Put a red rubber gasket to connect the two pieces. Screw the nozzle on so that it fits tightly.
Put the tip of the nozzle to the clear pump. It will be a snug fit. Some users online said that adding a little olive oil to each part can help you connect these pieces easily.
With the suction cups facing down, place the pump in the center of the water reservoir. Press it down so that it sticks.
You can also adjust the pump’s power using a small dial along the side of the pump.
Place the pump’s electrical cord through the hole in the back of the water reservoir.
Feed the plastic hose up through the holes of each section in the garden wall. Follow instructions to add mesh lawyers to create a barrier between the funnel and the floor.
Run the hose up to the top of the unit. Screw-in the “T” pipe to the top section. This is where the water will drip down to your plants.
On each plastic section of the garden wall, add the plastic trellis. It should snap into place on the garden wall. The bracket on the trellis has an arrow, showing you which direction the bracket should face.
Follow instructions to set your light and water timers. You should be sure to give your plants 14 hours of light. Any more than that can be harmful. The light timer has two outlets that can connect to your full-spectrum LED lights.
Set Your Lamp Stand
Add the base of your lampstands to the metal poles. There’s a hole in the center of the base that you can screw into the metal rod. The iHarvest comes with an Allen wrench to help you tighten this screw. This will keep your stand secure.
Add brackets to the top and bottom of the light. They snap on without you needing screws. Use the other end of the brackets and snap the lights onto the pole.
The LED lights have a power cord that must connect to your light timer.
Place Net Cups and Fill Reservoir
Add your net cups to the pod holes. Add water to your reservoir and set your timer to start running. You should hear the water travel to the top of the unit and trickle down through the different sections.
Add Growing Mediums, Seeds, and Nutrients
Add seeds into your growing medium and place them into the seed pod holes. Add the recommended liquid nutrients. At this point, you should be ready to grow. Follow instructions on how and when you should add more nutrients and test your water’s pH levels.
Harvest and Prune
After 4-6 weeks of growing, some plants will be ready for an initial harvest. Use a sterilized pruning tool to remove your greens. Make sure you remove 1/3 or less of the plant’s leaves/stems. Any more than that can cause damage to or even kill the plant.
What Can You Grow In An iHarvest?
According to iHarvest’s website, you can grow up to 30 fresh fruits and veggies, including bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, thyme, dill, zucchini, watermelon, spinach, greens, flowers, and even some houseplants.
Since iHarvest uses a simple hydroponic method, you can grow most plants, assuming they aren’t root vegetables like carrots or potatoes. But as a whole, vegetable gardening with iHarvest is simple and easy.
What’s more, you’re able to grow without using harmful pesticides or herbicides, and you can choose seeds that aren’t GMOs (if that’s something that concerns you).
The iHarvest is a high-end hydroponic system, and it’s great for the serious indoor grower. Its massive yields make way for you to have a DIY produce section from home – even if you don’t have a green thumb.
That said, there aren’t as many bells and whistles on this model as, say, some of the AeroGarden indoor systems or the Gardyn indoor garden. Let’s a look at the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.
The iHarvest uses 98% less water than traditional gardening methods.
IGWorks claims you can grow up to $1,000 worth of food each year with the iHarvest. That’s more than any of the competitors we’ve seen, including the AeroGarden Farm models. What we don’t know – and we’re trying to figure it out – is which plants and veggies IGWorks used to make this claim. You can grow 30 plants at a time, which is a lot, but $1,000 is a lofty goal. We’ll report back once we have more data on this.
There are so many ugly hydroponic systems out there. But iHarvest did it right. Their unit is sleek – it looks like an art installation for your home. This is ideal since you’ll likely have this indoor garden in either your living room, kitchen, or another area for people to see. It should be both practical and beautiful. And in this case, iHarvest hit the nail on the head.
You don’t have to worry about the growing season with this hydroponic system. You can even use your green thumb in the dead of winter.
For those living in cold or dark areas, you may experience seasonal affective disorder – caused by a vitamin D deficiency.
The full-spectrum LED lights can help give your body and mind a boost of vitamin D during the cold winter months.
At $849, this is an expensive product, and I’m honestly not sure why the cost is so high. With AeroGarden, you have fancy displays and movable parts. This is just a simple system with components that IGWorks appears to have purchased from other suppliers in the hydroponic space (like the growing mediums, nutrients, etc.)
The cost seems directly correlated to the number of plants you can grow at a time. That said, if it can grow up to $1,000 of plants, fresh fruits, or veggies in a year, then the price tag is comparable – if not better – than AeroGarden.
Like many large hydroponic systems, the light required for the plants is often incredibly bright. For those with light sensitivity, this could stress your eyes or cause headaches. You may want to place this unit in a spare room or basement.
Many Separate Parts
I was a little disappointed in the hodge-podge parts you get with iHarvest. Unlike AeroGarden, where all the parts are Aerogrow/AeroGarden-branded, it seems that iHarvest just purchased pieces from hydroponic wholesalers and put them in a box. For instance, the pump, the water timer, the light timer, and the PH kit are all products from other companies. Is this actually a problem? Not necessarily. But it does mean that your whole indoor garden is a Frankenstein of multiple brands. At some point, I wonder if I could just build a similar unit on my own.
On the other side of that, it’s easy to find replacement parts because so many different brands can be mixed and matched with iHarvest. AeroGarden, on the other hand, makes it pretty challenging to replace lights and LCD screens.
— Stevens Strategy (@StevensStrategy) April 9, 2018
How Does iHarvest Compare To Other Indoor Gardens?
iHarvest is similar to both Gardyn and the AeroGarden Farm models in terms of yields. Both the iHarvest and the Gardyn can grow 30 plants at a time. The Farm24 produces slightly fewer plants than Gardyn or iHarvest, but has more bells and whistles.
iHarvest is a little simpler than the other two brands and doesn’t have/need an app for the timer. Moving the lights is easy. You only need to move the light stands closer to the plants to give them more light.
You can also add sections to the iHarvest garden wall, meaning you could grow and harvest more than 30 plants. The only limit would be your ceiling height or the power of the water pump.
You aren’t able to do that with the other brands.
Between iHarvest and Gardyn, I currently recommend purchasing the iHarvest. While it’s not as complicated of a unit as its competitor, it looks (in my opinion) better and less messy in a home.
All three of these options would be perfect for any beautiful home.
What Is IGWorks?
IGWorks stands for Indoor Garden Works, which is an indoor garden brand created by Dave Stevens. They seek to provide healthy, clean, and pesticide-free veggies and greens.
The iHarvest first gained popularity on Kickstarter. Stevens wanted to find an indoor garden that could grow many plants indoors – but in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing. All of the options he found were too small or too ugly. He pulled in various engineers, business people, friends, and family members to make the iHarvest a reality.
Indoor gardening has never been easier than it is in 2021. Now you can #growyourown fruits and veggies without even stepping out of your door. With the iHarvest hydroponic system, you can produce tons of food affordably while also having a beautiful addition to your home. While the price is steep, the iHarvest is still an excellent unit with yields to offset the costs.