The Lettuce Grow is a popular hydroponic gardening tower that makes it easy to grow vegetables and leafy greens at home. But with a $400 price tag, it’s not for everyone. In this guide, we’ll share the best Lettuce Grow alternatives for home gardeners on a budget.
Growing fruits, vegetables and herbs has always been a great way to save money and eat better. If you have healthy food growing in your home, you’re much more likely to incorporate it into meals and snacks, which can improve your diet. Gardening is a hobby that is inexpensive, good for the environment and helps you get fresh air. Cutting back on trips to the grocery store is convenient and saves time and gas, plus knowing where your food is coming from means you know it’s free from pesticides. Location, time of year and access to outdoor space have always been limiting factors for gardening — but not anymore. There are now more ways than ever to grow food indoors.
Hydroponic plant growers have become a popular way to grow fruit and vegetables year-round. Hydroponic growers, which grow plants without the use of soil, typically produce yields faster than traditional gardens, which means you get to enjoy your harvest more frequently. Hydroponic plant growers work with several varieties of plants, vegetables, and herbs, including lettuce, which is having a moment thanks to the buzz around Lettuce Grow.
The Lettuce Grow Farmstand is a vertical hydroponic planter that has become hugely popular on social media. Like most hydroponic growers, it cycles water on a timer so that only a limited amount of soil and fertilizer is needed to yield an impressive crop. It also looks super cool.
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The Farmstand has been a hit with customers thanks to its eye-catching appearance and impressive growing speeds, but its price tag has some sticker shock and customers will likely have to spend more to purchase add-ons, like Glow Rings, especially if they want to use the Farmstand indoors. Fortunately, there are some viable Lettuce Grow alternatives to consider.
Lettuce Grow Farmstand Hydroponic Growing System Kit
Contrary to its name, Lettuce Grow’s Farmstand grows more than just lettuce, though lettuce is an ideal vegetable to grow in your home. It doesn’t require much space, it has a shorter yield time than most fruits and vegetables and it’s one of the easiest crops to grow. As the basis for salads and a great topping for sandwiches, tacos, wraps and burgers, lettuce makes an excellent addition to any garden. Plus, growing your own lettuce means one less inflation-plagued item hitting your bottom line, and you no longer have to worry about the frequent salmonella breakouts that are targeting leafy greens.
If the Lettuce Grow Farmstand is out of your budget, there are other options for growing lettuce, as well as herbs, vegetables and fruit. Check out some of the top Lettuce Grow alternatives below that work for gardeners with green and black thumbs alike.
1. AeroGarden Harvest Elite
AeroGarden is one of the most popular hydroponic gardening companies on the market thanks to their wide selection of price points and user-friendly products that allow food to be grown indoors year-round. The AeroGarden Harvest Elite has enough room for up to six plants, including many varieties of lettuce. A digital display allows users to set their preferences and use timers even when they are going to be away for an extended period. Full-spectrum 20-watt LED lights encourage high-efficiency growth and the adjustable light level makes it easy to give plants enough room to mature up to 12-inches. The Harvest Elite helps plants grow in water and AeroGarden’s soil-free, non-GMO pre-seeded pods cut down on the mess and help plants grow five times faster than in traditional soil.
2. EXO Garden Exotower Hydroponic Growing Tower
If you want something a little more sophisticated than an AeroGarden-style system, then try the EXO Garden Growing Tower, which comes in configurations for 12-24 plants. Even the largest version of the EXO Garden is cheaper than a Lettuce Grow, and there’s currently a coupon on the Amazon page that brings the price down to $208. This hydroponic gardening system comes with everything beginners need to get started, except the seeds.
3. Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden
COMES WITH LETTUCE PODS
Grow a variety of plants with style using the Click & Grow Indoor Herb Garden. Made with a minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic, the Click & Grow features professional grow lights, a built-in timer, a self-watering tank and a water-level indicator that makes gardening fast and easy. Click & Grow offers 50 plant pods to choose from, all made with no-mess smart soil that is free from GMOs, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. The tank is large enough to hold enough water for a month, making this a great option for users who travel. We also like that the Click & Grow comes with nine pods to get started right away, including three green lettuce pods.
4. Rise Gardens Personal Garden and Starter Kit
Whatever your physical size constraints, there’s a Rise Garden for you. The company has a compact, counter-friendly Personal Garden and Starter Kit, which is 18-inches by 11-inches and comes with enough space for eight seed pods. There is also a Single Family, Double Family and Triple Family Garden, which holds up to 48 seed pods at once (all Rise Gardens have a size upgrade feature and the Triple Family can be upgraded to 108 plants). Each model works with the Rise Garden app, which allows users to control the built-in LED lights, get water notifications and learn about which nutrients each plant requires to thrive. The Personal Garden is great for small spaces and we like that the large Rise Gardens double as décor with tops that can be used for shelving space. Users can get started on growing their own salad right away using the four-pack salad mix of Bronze Arrowhead Lettuce, Parris Island Cos Lettuce, Astro Arugula and Red-Streaked Mizuna Mustard that comes with every Starter Kit (a four-pack herb mix is also included).
5. Gardyn 1.0 Vertical Indoor Garden
Smaller systems like the AeroGarden and Click & Grow have minimal maintenance but also produce a smaller yield. For those who want a large amount of food from their garden, one of the best Lettuce Grow alternatives comes from a brand called Gardyn. Keep in mind that this grower has a similar price point as Lettuce Grow, so it’s not exactly a low-cost alternative.
The vertical indoor garden uses its own AI technology through the Kelby app to educate customers on their plants, while also providing alerts for water, 24/7 monitoring and controls that allow users to water and light their plants even when away (the app is only free for the first 30 days). The vertical design saves space while still providing plenty of room to grow up to 30 plants using the company’s organic yCubes. The 5-foot-tall Gardyn comes with built-in LED lights, a water tank, a timer and a starter kit of plants that includes several lettuce varieties. Like the Lettuce Grow, the Gardyn produces large quantities of plants. Also, like the Lettuce Grow, the Gardyn has a high price point and regular cleaning of the unit can be cumbersome.
6. Smart Farm Automatic Self-Watering Garden
Mr. Stacky vertical growers have a big following thanks to their space-saving design. The Smart Farm Automatic Self-Watering Garden can be placed outdoors or used inside near natural light or under an LED light. The vertical garden has room for 20 large plants and a 16-gallon water reservoir. A seven-day digital time allows users to ensure their plants are watered daily even when they’re away from home. Users can add a variety of seeds or plants, including several lettuce variations, and enjoy growing indoors year-round.
7. iDOO Hydroponics Growing System
Want to dip your toe into the hydroponics world but don’t want to break the bank? iDOO has a handful of affordable hydroponic growers that can yield a variety of plants, including the Mini Herb Garden. The iDOO doesn’t come with seeds, which helps bring down the cost and lets customers pick their plants. Made with full-spectrum LED growth lights, the iDOO has auto light cycles, a water pump that emits very little noise and a water shortage reminder. The system comes with degradable plant sponges that help ensure a balanced pH value. The height-adjustable iDOO is a compact countertop unit with room for seven plants.
8. Fabric Raised Garden Bed by Back To The Roots
BEST OUTDOOR PLANTER
No space for an outdoor garden? No problem. The Fabric Raised Garden Bed by Back To The Roots is a contained garden that can be placed just about anywhere, from small balconies to grass-covered yards. Unfold the 3-cubic-feet garden, which has a 22-gallon capacity, and fill it with soil and plants, including lettuce varieties. The weatherproof fabric is breathable and facilitates plant growth. We also like that the foldable garden has handles that allow users to move the garden, making it easy to find or avoid sun or shade depending on the plant and time of year.
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