Fresh herbs and earthy lettuces elevate simple dinners, but finishing a bunch of mint or cilantro before it starts to wilt is a perennial challenge. The solution lies in the home gardening kit. Thanks to grow lights and innovative soil technologies, a green thumb is no longer a prerequisite for successfully growing a garden. Today’s best planters self-regulate, requiring little more than water and electricity to produce a bounty of fresh herbs.
Click & Grow Smart Garden 3
Click & Grow's Smart Garden 3 is a set-it-and-forget-it indoor garden kit with a self-watering system and a built-in grow light. Where does the brand name come from? Each of its pods click into place, and, well, they grow. As the plants get higher, adjust the height of the lamp so your plants gets ample space to grow. There's a wealth of pods to grow from standard herbs to uncommon vegetables.
Modern Sprout Growhouse
The Modern Sprout Growhouse works with seedling kits beyond just those sold by the company, and it can be mounted on a wall or set on countertops. Made from glass and antique brass, it doubles as a greenhouse — ideal for cacti and succulents. While it’s the most low-tech of the bunch (it lacks an irrigation system), it’s the most versatile and arguably the best looking.
Chef'n Microgreens Grower
Don't except to grow a full-on vegetable garden indoors. Instead, try out microgreens, which offer the flavor and nutrients of fully developed vegetables in a tiny package. Chef'n's Microgreens Grower will help you grow your tiny greens incredibly fast. Each kit includes growing soil, that you'll have to replace over time, as well as a batch of seeds. It's on you to mist your your plants, and they'll be ready to eat after a couple weeks.
Grow up to six plants at once with the Harvest from AeroGarden. The indoor garden kit grows plants in water instead of soil, which the brand claims will make speed up the growing process. The device uses an easy-to-use control panel that reminds you to add water or plant food, plus a button to control the 20-watt lights.
Mr. Stacky Smart Farm
Indoor vertical farming is the future of growing crops, and Mr. Stacky's Smart Farm gives you a piece of that at home. It's a fairly simple setup, with room for up to 20 plants. The 16-gallon water tank can last for up to three weeks, and it waters itself.
Lettuce Grow The Farmstand
Farmstand is a self-watering and self-fertilizing growing setup that can be used both outdoors and indoors. The smallest option grows up to 12 plants, and the largest Farmstand grows up to 36. Because the smallest Farmstand sits at just under 4 feet, these aren't meant to be countertop devices.
Plantui Smart Garden 6
A semi-automated countertop kit, Plantui looks less like a grow kit and more like a minimal design object (due in great part to its matte texture and egg-like shape). With self-regulated irrigation and light exposure, Plantui’s soil-free seed capsules are fully grown within eight weeks and range from standbys like basil and curly kale to more obscure herbs and lettuces, such as bloody sorrel, mustard leaf and an array of edible violets.