Gardyn Vs. AeroGarden

AeroGarden has long been the most prominent name in the indoor gardening scene, with Gardyn recently cementing itself as one of its biggest rivals. These indoor hydroponic gardens have made it simple to plant food that not only multiplies but uses much less water (and effort) than traditional soil gardening. Whether a novice or an expert, these innovative smart gardens offer something for everyone: bigger yields, easy usage, and a lot of room for experimentation.

Gardyn and AeroGarden are best for people who want a bountiful harvest without requiring a green thumb. These smart gardens are excellent choices when you want to make the most of cramped spaces. But, how do they fare against each other?

Read on as I compare Gardyn and AeroGarden to find out which smart garden option is better suited for your budget, space, and preferred yield.

Hydroponic greens
Hydroponic greens growing

What are Hydroponic Systems?

Before I delve deep into the specifics of both Gardyn and AeroGarden, it is essential to understand how these units work and if they are the superior choice from an outdoor garden.

Both these units are hydroponic systems. In simple terms, a hydroponic system grows plants without soil. Instead of soil, the plants grow in a nutrient-dense water solution. The basic idea is to use some growing medium that allows direct contact between the plant’s root system and the required nutrients. The result? Plants grow significantly quicker than in an outdoor garden, using less water since they do not have to search for nutrients in the soil.

According to Lawrence Brooke, the founder of General Hydroponics, “In hydroponics, the plant roots are constantly provided with water, oxygen, and nutrients–no searching for available nutrients or waiting for the next rain.” So, the hydroponic system is efficient and asks less of your plants while providing more yields in a smaller space. Amazing, right?

Both Gardyn and AeroGarden work on the basic hydroponics principles. The Gardyn uses a Hybriponic technology, a cross between hydroponic and its subset, aeroponics. Whereas, AeroGarden uses aeroponics alone. The main idea remains: to grow plants efficiently without needing soil.

I have established that both Gardyn and AeroGarden are excellent indoor gardening systems in their own rights, but which one is the best for you? Let’s find out!

Gardyn kit at home
Gardyn kit in a kitchen

Why Choose Gardyn?

If you need bigger yields, then there aren’t many better options in the market than the Gardyn indoor gardening system.

The smart garden system allows you to grow 30 plants simultaneously within 2-sq. ft. of space, and the vertical design makes it a welcome addition to smaller homes. The technology is absolutely incredible – it’s almost impossible to kill plants. If you are still unsure if Gardyn is the right choice, here are three reasons that may change your mind.

Reason #1: Kelby Smart Assistant

Despite having associated apps, no indoor gardening system has a smart assistant like Kelby in the Gardyn. From gardening tips to notifications on when to add plant food, Kelby does it all.

The smart assistant can also access the plant growth from two cameras, which let you monitor your fresh herbs and leafy greens remotely and serve as reference pictures when you need customer support. Considering the advantages you get from Kelby, it won’t be wrong to call Gardyn the best “smart” garden out of the two options.

Reason #2: Excellent Customer Service

Many growers are well-versed with the woes of getting through to the customer support department when it comes to indoor gardening – not with Gardyn. Whether it’s seed germination or general assistance while growing plants, Gardyn provides top-notch customer support to help troubleshoot the matter as soon as possible.

Reason #3: Membership Option

Let’s be honest, Gardyn is quite expensive, and the need to pay an additional $$$ every month to keep using the smart assistant seems a bit excessive. However, they have membership options with the Gardyn home kit, which you can subscribe to for a year or two. These memberships cost less than if you were to buy replacement yCubes (seed pods) monthly. Think of it as putting a dent in your grocery shopping budget every month.

AeroGarden growing herbs

Why Choose AeroGarden?

Hydroponic gardening is often considered synonymous with AeroGarden. The long-established king in the indoor garden market, few competitors can match AeroGarden’s ease of use and options. In addition, this brand has no green thumb requirement with any smart garden. But is that reason enough to choose it over Gardyn? Well, I’ll give you three!

Reason #1: Excellent Seed Variety

More than 120 seed kits are available on AeroGarden.com, with the option of building your customized kits with what you want to grow. The possibilities are endless, from fresh herbs to salad greens, cherry tomatoes, and flowers. AeroGarden even sells Grow Anything Seed Kits, which allow you to grow your own seeds.

Reason #2: More Indoor Garden Options

AeroGarden has various options for indoor gardens, from the 3-pod Sprout (excellent for a herb garden) to the 24-pod Farm 24XL, which allows you to grow taller plants like tomatoes. Thus, you can decide whether you want to grow three plants or nine plants, or twelve plants (or more) simultaneously in your indoor gardens. In addition, the various unit sizes (with comparable price points) help accommodate people with budget and space restrictions for a thriving indoor garden.

Reason #3: Better On-Unit Features

While the AeroGarden is not a comparable smart garden if you strictly consider the app design and functionality, it does have better on-unit features. Everything from plant setup to gardening tips to plant food reminders is displayed on the control panel. In essence, you do not need the app apart from having the ease of remote access. The modern units have a touchscreen that controls everything from the watering system to the LED grow lights, a simple touch technology even understandable to those who are not tech-savvy.

Setups:

One of the most significant selling points of an indoor garden is the ability to set it up inside your home quickly. Both Gardyn and AeroGarden can be set up on your own as they come with comprehensive guides and all the tools and pieces to do so. That said, most AeroGarden models (since they are much smaller apart from the Farm family) are more manageable to set up than the Gardyn.

Gardyn

To set up this smart garden, you receive a Gardyn home kit. There are considerably more pieces to attach to this hydroponic system, but you can get through it by following easy and clear instructions.

To set up, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Assemble the columns, making sure the irrigation hose remains straight through the assembly line.
  2. Mount the board on the six-gallon water tank and lock it in place.
  3. Lower the pump in the water tank.
  4. Unpack the lights and tip the water tank on its side to allow mounting.
  5. Connect the cables, keeping in mind the orientation, and insert them inside the hole; now tighten the screw in place.
  6. Straighten the unit back up and insert columns in place.
  7. Install the rod behind the columns and put the safety strap on.
  8. Slide the upper blades on the hydroponic system to connect the columns and the lights.
  9. Fill up the reservoir as suggested and turn on the power.
  10. Insert the yCubes, and you are done!

AeroGarden

In comparison, AeroGarden setups are pretty simple, even as they slightly differ from model to model. The most extensive hydroponic system setup from the AeroGarden catalog is of the Farm family, mainly because of how large they are. Even then, all the tools come within the package, and there are tons of videos online on how you can build your very own smart garden in just under an hour.

For countertop AeroGarden units, you only need to attach the LED grow light stand to the indoor garden and plug it in. Then, fill the water tank to the mark and insert the included seed pods. Once powered up, all you need to do is click on the Quick Plant sequence, which will walk you through the gardening steps based on what you are growing, including light scheduling and plant food additions.

For the Farm indoor garden (Assembly video), which is better suited on the floor, you need to do a little more work by attaching metal poles to support the structure and hanging the LED grow lights with metal wires. Even then, the garden comes in more solid pieces, easy to put together when following instructions carefully. Once the assembly is done, add water, insert the seed pods and follow the Quick Plant sequence steps to get your indoor garden going in no time, no seed sprouting required!

Size:

Gardyn has no sizing options, whereas, in AeroGarden, you can find indoor garden models sporting 3 pods up to 24 pods. The pod capacity directly relates to the size of the AeroGarden and how much space they take up in your home.

Gardyn

The Gardyn currently has two versions, The Gardyn Home Kit 1.0 and 2.0. While the newer version has better tech, there is no difference in size between the two units, with 24″W x 12″D x 64″H dimensions. Thus when buying the Gardyn, you need to consider the sizing and if you have the appropriate space to keep it. Also, remember that the brand recommends placing the unit away from windows as sunlight may interfere with temperature control, thus affecting the yield. Check out my full review of the Gardyn for more pro’s and cons of this vegetable growing system.

While vertical, the Gardyn is still a big unit. I am not saying that the size is comparable to how much fresh produce it can deliver, but it is still something to consider when buying this indoor garden.

AeroGarden

AeroGarden, on the other hand, has so many sizing options that it is virtually impossible not to find something that will fit your lifestyle. From a small 3-pod herb garden to the magnanimous Farm 24 XL, their units can fit in numerous large or small spaces.

The biggest unit in the AeroGarden catalog, the Farm 24XL, occupies 14 x 36 x 45.5 inches of space. Apart from the Farm Family, all the other AeroGarden models can easily sit on the countertop, with the AeroGarden Bounty being the largest with 9 pods. Therefore, when it comes to sizing diversity, AeroGarden wins hands down.

Water Tank:

Since these indoor gardens are hydroponic systems, they have water tanks to hold water and plant food to supply to the root system as and when required.

Gardyn

AeroGarden has a water basin at the base of all its models. The seed pod trays go on top of the water tank. Once the seed pods are instead, the roots grow into the tank. The pump fitted inside the tank circulates the water (mixed with plant food) in scheduled cycles.

While all other AeroGardens have a single water tank attached to the base, the Farm 24 varieties have two water basins, which work like two 12-pod gardens in one. This allows for people to grow short and tall plants together in either of the gardens.

AeroGarden

AeroGarden has a water basin at the base of all its models. The seed pod trays go on top of the water tank. Once the seed pods are instead, the roots grow into the tank. The pump fitted inside the tank circulates the water (mixed with plant food) in scheduled cycles.

While all other AeroGardens have a single water tank attached to the base, the Farm 24 varieties have two water basins, which work like two 12-pod gardens in one. This allows for people to grow short and tall plants together in either of the gardens.

Gardyn growing vegetables and greens

Variety of Seeds:

Both these hydroponic systems have an excellent variety of seeds. So, which one has the edge?

Gardyn

As of now, you can select from 50+ seed varieties for your Gardyn home kit. Mind you, the selection is ever-expanding, with new options added to the mix frequently. Nonetheless, even at present, the seed varieties hold a great blend of salad greens, fruiting plants, and even flowers. If you are still not satisfied, you can plant your own seeds in empty yCubes.

Remember that once you use your first 30 yCubes, the refills must be sprouted outside the unit before they can click in place for further growth.

AeroGarden

There is no comparison to AeroGarden seed varieties with 120+ seed kit options and custom seed kits. On top of that, you can grow anything you desire with the Grow Anything Seed Kit. The possibilities of what you can plant, start, and harvest from your AeroGarden are limitless. If your looking to save even more money check out this guide on how to make AeroGarden pods.

Feeding:

The only real work to keep the plants alive in a hydroponic system is to feed them nutrients as required. While many other indoor gardens rely on manual instructions and your instincts to add the plant food when necessary, both Gardyn and AeroGarden come with automated alerts.

Gardyn

When you start your home Gardyn kit, there is no need to add plant food for the first 10 days. After that, whenever you need to feed the plants, your Kelby assistant will send you an alert to do so. However, remember that you need to subscribe to a year-long (or two-year) membership to keep using the smart assistance after one month. While the Gardyn can work without the subscription, you only get access to the app and not the smart assistant, so there is much less support.

AeroGarden

The AeroGarden displays feeding alerts on the control panel and your phone if the unit has Wi-Fi. In addition, the plant food bottles are clearly marked on how much and when to add the liquid nutrients. The fact that the control panel shows the need to add nutrients even when you have a remote app is just an on-unit feature that makes AeroGarden one of the easiest to use gardens on the market.

Lights:

Both these systems use LED grow lights to control temperature and mimic the sunlight plants naturally receive in a traditional garden.

Gardyn

Gardyn has two 60W full spectrum LED lights that come in vertical stands. The lights face the plants and give them the necessary heat and humidity to grow. The unit also allows you to choose your light schedule and intensity.

AeroGarden

Since AeroGarden has varying size models, their full-spectrum LED lights range from 10W to 60W. The AeroGarden sports horizontal light panels that can be adjusted for height as the plants grow. While the more expensive AeroGarden models allow the grow lights to dim indefinitely, this function is not available in the smaller units.

Expected Yield:

Ultimately, it’s all about how much food you can grow in an indoor garden and whether it makes it worth the unit price. So, how much produce can you expect from both these gardening units?

Gardyn

The Gardyn, with its 30 pods, can produce as much fresh food as a traditional 1300 sq. ft. garden outdoors with a much smaller footprint. The food grown in your Gardyn can easily feed a family of about 4 -6 people. In essence, the Gardyn pays for itself by reducing grocery stops annually.

AeroGarden

The AeroGarden once again yields different amounts of produce based on how much you can plant in the first place. The largest unit, the Farm 24XL, grows food equivalent to a 6-foot by 6-foot outdoor garden. Farm models are also stackable, so you can get two or more models and stack them together in minimal space for an even better yield.

Final Thoughts

Both Gardyn and AeroGarden are excellent hydroponic indoor gardening systems. However, Gardyn does come with better technology and extensive support. That said, it can be hard to assemble and a bit pricey overall. But, there is no comparison to it when it comes to food production. AeroGarden, on the other hand, may not have the tech to compete, but it offers more variety for various living spaces. From countertop options to stackable giants, AeroGarden has it all, along with an excellent seed variety.

So, which one is better? That is subjective. If a bigger yield is your goal, go for the Gardyn, but if you are cramped for space or do not have a family to feed, many AeroGarden models will do just fine.

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