If these are incredibly fresh herbs and bright, fragrant flowers that you desire every day, it may be time to consider acquiring your own smart indoor garden. When there is a recipe that requires mixed mint, a full serving of chopped parsley or a sprig of fresh rosemary, most of us should run to the food or local farmers market if the weather allows. However, with a personal smart garden, you can grow all kinds of vegetables, from herbs to vegetables, regardless of location or season.

With LED growth lights and self-watering mechanisms, smart gardens require almost no maintenance or attention. Many of the best smart garden companies will send seed pods or planted sprouts at any time to keep your smart garden in bloom forever. These days, smart gardens like AeroGarden, Click & Grow and Ingarden make gardens of all sizes and are designed for growing different types of products. There are large smart gardens suitable for full tomato plants, and smaller models that are more suitable for growing microgreens, lettuce or herbs.

Most pod gardens are compact Aerogarden Bounty Elite or Click & Grow Smart Garden 3, could not be easier to work with. In addition, they are small and light enough to be moved around the house. Others, such as the lettuce farm and the Rise Garden, take up more space but can hold up to 36 plants at a time. There are also niche indoor gardens for growing microgreens and others, which emphasize the style and simplicity of complex mechanisms and integrations of mobile applications.

To find the best smart garden in 2022, we are stepping up several manufacturers. The only thing they have in common is that you will never have to lift a shovel or clean your finger from under your fingernails.

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Click and grow

I tried just this unit and it is a smart garden with the perfect size for growing basic herbs such as basil, mint and chives and lettuce. It couldn’t be easier to work with, stand-alone seed pods, LED growth bulbs and a water tank that only needs to be refilled every two or three weeks. The perfect herb garden to start with for someone with a less green thumb.

This Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 comes with three basil pods, but you can buy any number of lettuce, fruit and vegetable seed pods from the website for about $ 3 each. With room for only three plants, this particular garden is a little smaller to grow a lot in the way of vegetables, so it is best to stick to herbs and lettuce. There are many of colored podshowever, if your garden goals are aesthetic in nature.

There are several larger Click & Grow models, all of which work the same way. They include Smart garden 9which can hold nine seed pods and the multilevel Smart Garden 27 which contains, as you might guess, 27 seed pods.

Megan Wallerton

AeroGarden Bounty Elite Artisan is a relatively compact indoor gardening system that, when removed, manages to make room for nine plants of your choice – options range from a wide range of herbal mixtures to tomatoes, peppers and flowers.

As the plants grow, the adjustable LED stand can grow with them, up to 24 inches tall. Plant food is included, as well as an optional pergola that is designed to hold tomatoes and other plants that need support as they grow.

I am currently in the early stages of growing nine lavender plants, but AeroGarden has made the process incredibly simple so far. The instructions clearly guide you through the initial setup, and the display warns you when you need to add more plant foods.

While the Click & Grow system has a tank and injects water into the soil pods, AeroGarden uses a pump to circulate moisture. Fortunately, the pump sounds like a gentle drip, not something distracting.

Ingarden

A nutritionist can tell you microgreens are an extremely underused source of nutrition. As a bonus: They are quite easy to grow at home. Ingarden is a new elegant smart garden designed to do just that and is compact enough to fit on your window sill or bookshelf.

Ingarden is completely soilless, but absorbs water in three seedbeds above the tank. LED growth lights under the handle work with a timer and support the growth of microgreens – and they grow fast. You will have sprouts in a few days and fully grown microgreens such as mustard, radishes and broccoli for about a week to sprinkle on salads and sandwiches, as well as in sauces and soups.

My favorite thing about Ingarden is the simple elegant design, made only of ceramics and metal and without plastic. Compact, clean and easy to use, this is the perfect smart garden for someone who dips their finger in a game in the indoor garden.

Smart Growhouse

Smart Growhouse is one of the most important indoor gardens on this list, but we love it for its stylish brass exterior. It doesn’t hold seed pods or water alone like some of the others, so you’ll have to operate this part yourself, but there are full-spectrum LED lights that run on a timer for optimal growth. This means that you can show the garden anywhere in the house, not just by the window.

Rise Gardens

If you are looking for a stylish indoor garden that fits effortlessly into your living space, the Rise Single Family smart hydroponic garden is a good choice. This self-watering garden is completely hydroponic, which means that there are no soil pods for cultivation. Comes with a 5-gallon water tank and LED growth lights, all of which are controlled and monitored via an integrated mobile application. Water levels, light settings and nutrient levels have built-in sensors that read information to keep things in tune.

The Single Family’s smart garden contains 12 plants, but you can add levels to increase the capacity of the shoots for a stable supply of fresh herbs, vegetables, flowers and even tomatoes. Sprouted seedlings are available in packs of four for $ 10.

What really sets Rise apart from others, in my opinion, is the sturdy steel and solid wood design, which makes it look a lot like modern furniture. Rise Garden can be placed behind a sofa or next to a wall to serve as a chic bookshelf or end table, as well as a garden.

Growing lettuce

I have personally used this indoor / outdoor farm and I can tell you that it is well designed and easy to operate. The salad stand works by pumping water mixed with nutrients from the base so that it goes down on the seed pods that are filled in the walls. I had this for a few weeks indoors and without lights and while some shoots did well, many died. Enter the LED ring lights, which made a huge difference. (In fact, I had to turn down the lights for growth because things are growing too fast.) Both the water pump and the LED light rings run on timers, so almost no weekly maintenance is required.

It is worth mentioning that the irrigation system makes a moderate amount of noise – like one of these zen water fountains – for about 15 minutes every few hours. It was a little annoying at first, but I quickly adjusted and now I find it relaxing. The frame is also heavy once you fill it with water, so it’s not something you have to move often. It is also voluminous, but when the greenery begins to bloom, it adds a tone of life and atmosphere to any room. However, it’s probably still not great for a small home or apartment.

Prices start at $ 348 for the main Farmstand, which contains 12 shoots, but you can add levels and increase capacity to 36 shoots. Optional ring lights are $ 200 for the basic two-ring package and $ 50 for each additional ring. You should also buy sprouted seedlings, which are $ 2 each, and it is recommended that you change them every few months.

As a bonus, the salad stand is delivered the next day.

Amazon

This little boy was created especially for microgreens, which are great for garnishing soups, salads and other exquisite recipes. It’s always nice to have green on the kitchen counter, and this widget doesn’t take up much space at all. The garden kit for microgreens consists of a planter, soil and seeds for your first round of plants, all for under $ 30.

Unlike Ingarden, this model does not have LED lights, so you will need to keep it in direct sunlight most of the time.

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This is another option for a hydroponic garden, but one that is definitely more suitable for a small space. Gardyn’s upright system houses up to 30 plants, but is only 2 square feet. The individual shoots are watered through the tank and the pump, which circulates the water on a timer. The built-in LED lights – also on a timer – trigger this sweet, sweet photosynthesis. The Gardyn system monitors itself with sensors and real cameras, so you don’t have much work to do other than clean and refill the tank every month or more.

Although it has a huge price – $ 849, plus shoots – Gardyn is very effective. Just ask CNET’s own Bridget Carey, who took Gardyn on a long test recently and managed to grow herbs, tomatoes and many, many green salads. Read her full review of the Gardyn smart hydroponic indoor garden for everything you’d like to know.

Read more: The best places to buy plants online for 2022


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