Gardyn is a new indoor gardening system that allows you to grow your own fresh produce indoors, year-round. The Gardyn app provides users with step-by-step instructions on how to care for their plants, as well as tips and tricks on indoor gardening. With Gardyn, you can grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs indoors, whenever you want!
Ease of Use
- Endless supply of fresh vegetables and herbs
- App makes gardening seamless
- Great customer support
- Grow 30 plants at a time
- Can be costly
- Most features require purchase from Gardyn
- Shipping only available in U.S.
With people looking to eat healthier fresh greens and avoid vegetables grown with pesticides and other chemicals, home gardening has recently become more popular than ever.
In the past, having a well-producing home garden that produced a lot of vegetables meant that you would need a decent amount of land space to plant and grow various food crops. It also meant a lot of work planting, weeding, and maintaining the garden. When products like Gardyn, an indoor vertical growing kit, came onto the market, it changed these requirements.
When our team heard about Gardyn and learned that it produced an extensive indoor garden without requiring a lot of room, sunlight, or maintenance, we were definitely intrigued and set out to try it for ourselves. Several of us lived in apartments or townhomes and thought gardening was out of reach for these living environments. The fact that Gardyn could change that had us excited.
But was Gardyn really up to all the hype? Keep reading to find our honest review of the Gardyn Indoor gardening system and the food it grows.
The founders of Gardyn started the company as a way to make fresh, tasty, and nutritious food accessible to everyone while growing it sustainably. Recognizing that finding the freshest and healthiest produce in today’s market often involved traveling distances or paying high prices, Gardyn re-imagined a future in which this type of food could be grown indoors, vertically, year-round, and without soil.
The company worked with researchers at McGill University to develop the innovative Hybriponic™ method used by the Gardyn and connect it with the right artificial intelligence to essentially make the system a smart “gardener” that tends to the growing crops 24 hours a day.
Available Models of the Gardyn
Previously, our review team had looked at the Gardyn Home Kit 1.0 and the newest model at that time, the Gardyn Home Kit 2.0. Like everything else in life, things have changed. The team behind Gardyn has made some adjustments. They phased out the Gardyn 1.0 system, letting their storehouses sell out the last remaining supplies in 2022.
Now, there are only two models of Gardyn available, the Gardyn 2.0 and the Gardyn 3.0. With the Gardyn 2.0, we saw enhancements like:
- A newly designed column that includes an artful vine pattern flowing from the top to the bottom.
- Enhanced Hybriphonics™ features to help with cleaning the system and plant growth.
- Higher accuracy of plant water intake using ultrasonic sensors.
These were all fantastic new options to ensure you get the hydroponic growth you want without the hassle of watching endless YouTube or TikTok videos to build one from scratch. With the Gardyn 3.0 system, new features are now available, including:
- A plug-and-play assembly that makes it even easier to use the light bars and columns without tools or extra assembly.
- Streamlined cleaning options, so you maintain a healthier growing environment without the need for pesticides.
- A fantastic new modern design with a rubberwood and hardwood matching lid as well as brushed aluminum on the light bar assembly.
- Gardyn has gone eco-friendly with 100% recyclable packaging that cuts down on waste and leans into the environmentally conscious buyers in the crowd.
Overall, these changes are incredibly welcome, and the price tag hasn’t gone too crazy. Top that off with a new generation of Hybriponics and Vacation Mode to pause plant growth whenever you’re gone for too long, and you get a much more versatile solution to at-home vegetation through the Gardyn 3.0!
Gardyn Indoor Garden Review
How Does the Gardyn System Work?
The way the Gardyn system works is that the user inserts special “yCubes” into the system as instructed. These “yCubes” have everything needed to grow each specific vegetable or plant.
Once you install the “yCubes” in the system, the accompanying smart Gardyn mobile app automates everything needed to grow each specific plant, including the optimal water and light. Within a matter of days, the Gardyn user will see sprouts starting to appear.
After about 4-5 weeks, the plants are ready to harvest. You harvest only the food you need, and the rest of the plant will keep growing for another 8-12 weeks. During that time, you can continue harvesting fresh food from the Gardyn.
After you have completed the first round of growing and harvesting, you can use the smart Gardyn app and order new yCubes for the Gardyn, which are then directly shipped to your door.
Main Features and Benefits of the Gardyn
The main feature of the Gardyn system is that it allows you to grow up to 30 plants in just two feet of space. By comparison, if you were to grow that many plants in a traditional garden, you would need almost 1,3000 square feet. Not many people have that much land readily accessible to cultivate for food.
Secondly, as mentioned, the system does not require sunlight or soil to grow the plants. Instead, it uses a hydroponic system, the method of cultivating plants in water mixed with a nutrient solution that doesn’t involve soil.
Gardyn’s AI smart assistant, Kelby, accessed through the Gardyn app (with monthly membership), monitors the plants 24/7 during the growing process using various sensors and cameras, meaning that all you have to do is enjoy your harvest!
Since when your crops are ready, you only need to harvest what you need for food each meal and not the entire plant, the Gardyn system provides you with months of fresh produce from a single yCube.
Finally, with over 50 varieties of plants to choose from and more plants added often, you can create the perfect customized garden that includes fresh, fast-growing food that your family will actually eat! All the seed varieties are also non-GMO and pesticide-free, giving you the best nutritional value you can find and making an excellent option for those who are dedicated to eating clean food.
Gardyn Subscription Options
Although the Gardyn app is free for all Gardyn customers, specific features, such as Kelby, are only available through one of the monthly subscription options.
These subscription membership options not only include access to the smart assistant Kelby (and the benefits that come with that) but also provide you with ten free plant yCubes per month and will ship them to you for free. There are also specific member-only varieties of plants to choose from and free access to Gardyn’s team of plant experts to support you and provide additional help with your growing questions or issues with your Gardyn system.
Gardyn members also receive a 60% savings on any additional yCubes purchased and access to certain member-only sales and other types of savings and events.
If you want to subscribe to a membership, you can choose to be billed monthly ($39/month), yearly ($408), or bi-annually ($686). The two-year membership provides you with the most savings.
Gardyn customers do not need to purchase a membership option to use the Gardyn system but will have limited smart features available on the Gardyn app if they do not. These users must monitor the light and water schedule themselves and maintain the system’s water level. The replacement plant yCubes are also more expensive for users who do not have the Gardyn membership.
Many users feel the Gardyn membership is worth the cost because it is the best way to smartly manage your Gardyn system and ensure that you always have the plants you need for an endless supply of produce.
Smart Assistant Kelby
As we briefly discussed, the Gardyn system comes with an AI Smart Growing Assistant named Kelby, which users can access as part of the monthly membership program. Kelby takes care of all the growing steps for you with detailed monitoring of your plants. It’s like having a smart private gardener in the comfort of you home. This is definitely an added benefit of the membership price.
Our team really liked this feature and found that Kelby made a difference in how well the vegetables grew.
Kelby uses Gardyn’s cameras, temperature and humidity sensors, and more data to analyze and smartly optimize the plant growth in the system.
Kelby will conveniently notify you via push notifications when you need to manage the water tank, add bag of plant food to your Gardyn, or start to harvest your food. You can also look to Kelby for some additional tips and tricks for better plant growth.
In fact, Kelby will even take care of the young plants for you while you’re on vacation. Kelby monitors everything in your Gardyn system and makes you the best gardener around without much work on your part.
Gardyn says that Kelby is part of their constantly evolving technology and is getting smarter each day, so we imagine that Kelby will have some new features in the future that will make it an even better and smarter assistant.
The Gardyn 3.0 System
Okay, settle in for a much more immersive growing experience. The Gardyn 3.0 is way more advanced than the no longer available 1.0 setup. That is reflected in the price tag, which starts at around $899. Although there are discounts available online that will drop the price anywhere from $100-$200 at checkout.
This beauty comes with many unique features we’ve already mentioned, but our team was impressed by the faster assembly. You can easily get this bad boy up and running in under an hour. If you already have some vertical garden experience with hydroponics, you only need 10-20 minutes once you have it out of the box.
First off, this is way easier to clean. Anyone that has ever tried or owned a hydroponic system knows little things can get dirty quickly. The new modern design is plug n play, meaning you don’t need a lot of intricate fittings or tools to put it together. That makes cleanup way easier between harvests. There is also a HydroBoost feature where water moves faster through the system to flush out any unwanted debris.
The included Kelby virtual assistant has been drastically updated as well. That allows you to maximize growing sessions and boost germination times when you are going from seedlings to full-fledged plants.
You’ll get around 50 varieties of plants to choose from and can grow up to 30 plants in a small space of only two square feet. Our review team’s favorite part was the vertical growing lights. They are way more durable than in the Gardyn 2.0 system and have a brushed metallic backing that elevates the overall design of the kit. You can easily have this on your kitchen counter or in your office space and feel like it heightens the room instead of being in the way.
Pros and Cons of Gardyn
After trying the Gardyn system in their homes for several months, our reviewers came up with the following pros and cons.
- Gardyn provides an endless supply of fresh vegetables and fresh herbs year-round.
- The Gardyn App with the smart Kelby assistant makes gardening with the system virtually foolproof.
- The Garden grows vertically, so it takes up a small space in your home or apartment (less than 2 feet).
- The system can grow up to 30 plants at a time, providing a substantial yield of food.
- The company provides excellent customer service, with Gardyn experts on-hand to answer questions, advise, and address challenges with your Gardyn.
- The Gardyn monthly membership provides significant discounts and other perks, such as automatic replenishment of your plants.
- A limited warranty guarantees replacement if your Gardyn has defects or malfunctions caused by regular use of the system.
- The Gardyn system and membership can be pricey, with a significant initial investment required to get started.
- The Gardyn system can be challenging to set up initially (although Gardyn says it should only take about 30 minutes).
- Some users don’t love the aesthetic of the Gardyn system in their homes or have trouble finding the ideal place to locate the system.
- Most of the features require purchasing the Gardyn monthly subscription.
- The company will only ship the Gardyn system in the U.S.
Gardyn 2.0 vs. Gardyn 3.0
So, why upgrade to the Gardyn 3.0? If you are suffering through the Gardyn 1.0, then you need to upgrade for no other reason than to get a hold of the wider variety of plants you can grow. A lot of the membership pods you get with the 1.0 do not fit the newer versions.
The next big reason is the AI. The Kelby virtual assistant in the Gardyn 1.0 cannot manage the advanced growing system needs of the 2.0 or 3.0. It also doesn’t include the handy vacation mode or faster turnaround times on germination.
Style is another consideration. While the Gardyn 2.0 looks clean and well put together, the Gardyn 3.0 is like a designer handmade wooden boat compared to something off the shelf. It is streamlined, clean, and has those added touches you cannot find in the 2.0.
Keep in mind you are paying a little more for the premium features of the Gardyn 3.0. That will run you around $899, while the Gardyn 2.0 is at $599. We think the increase in price is more than worth the added features and stunning design.
Unboxing and Assembling the Gardyn Home Kit 3.0
When our review team first tried the Gardyn Home Kit 1.0, we thought it was a fantastic invention that provided a decent amount of fresh food. That was until we unboxed and assembled the Gardyn Home Kit 3.0. Holy cow, this thing is gorgeous!
From the moment you get the sizeable single box with everything you need inside to setting up the virtual assistant, you’ll see how clean and modern they have made this new system. Everything has been re-engineered for simplicity, and the boxing materials are 100% recyclable, cutting down on carbon emissions.
We were already familiar with the Gardyn system, so it only took us around 18 minutes to get up and running. Once you get the orientation of the columns right, so the irrigation hoses are lined up correctly, everything else kind of falls into place. From there, you need to mount and lock the board onto the tank and place the water pump inside the reservoir.
We took our time unpacking the lights because certain review team members are way over cautious, but they lock into place reasonably smoothly into the metal arms. Then we needed to straighten the entire unit together. Our review team opted to lean it against a wall for some added support, but that isn’t necessary if you don’t have space.
You want to line up the columns so the grow lights face the plant pods and then install the top rod that adds stability to the structure. Once you’ve tossed on the top blades, you can fill up the water to the fill line and turn the system on.
Don’t worry if that feels overwhelming. Gardyn provides clear instructions, and there are instructional videos if you get totally lost. We suggest leaving yourself an hour of total time, but you’ll probably only need 20 minutes or so, especially if you have a second pair of hands.
What Plants Can You Grow with Gardyn?
One of the great things about the Gardyn garden system is the sheer variety of plants and vegetables you can conveniently grow indoors. With over 50 varieties of plants, there is something for everyone and many ways to switch up the variety with the seasons or your tastes.
All of the seeds for the Gardyn system are non-GMO, locally-grown, and pesticide free, ensuring that your indoor garden has the healthiest homegrown food you will find. Gardyn also rigorously tests and taste-tests the food varieties to ensure they have the highest nutrition and best taste.
Our own testers agreed! They all found the food grown with the Gardyn system far superior tasting to vegetables purchased at the supermarket and enjoyed the freshness and satisfaction that comes from growing a garden of healthy food.
Some of the most well-known plants you can grow with the Gardyn gardening system include lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.
For something a little different, they offer more unique plant varieties like endive, gooseberry, purple beans, stevia, chamomile, sunflowers, Thai eggplant, and much more.
Gardyn also offers its members the option of purchasing empty yCubes, to allow you to choose and purchase seeds elsewhere and put them in the Gardyn system. This option allows you to customize the food you grow further and provides almost unlimited gardening potential.
How Is This Garden Different Than Other Gardening Systems?
The Gardyn growing system is not the only indoor gardening option on the market. Although TIME magazine named Gardyn the best invention in 2020, we also wanted to compare it to the other similar products on the market to help you decide which indoor garden best meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle.
Gardyn vs. AeroGarden
The AeroGarden products are another popular alternative that uses the same type of hydroponic growing system that Gardyn does. It is the most popular and recognizable name in the indoor gardening business. AeroGarden offers various models of gardening systems to meet the needs of various customers.
The Farm Family option of AeroGarden is the most comparable to the Gardyn system. It allows you to grow up to 24 plants simultaneously, while the Gardyn system holds up to 30 plants.
The Farm Family AeroGarden is also modular and vertically stackable, allowing you to expand upon your garden system if you want more room to grow additional plants for food or flowers.
AeroGarden also has some smart features, including an app to assist with maintaining your garden, as well as a touchscreen control panel, and compatibility with the Amazon Echo.
Unlike Gardyn, AeroGarden does not offer a membership-based subscription service, so you need to order your seed pods individually each time you need new plants and don’t have a specific seed allotment included each month. However, AeroGarden offers over 120 seed pod kits, including everything from flowers to herbs to vegetables. Right now, Gardyn is limited to 50 different plant varieties.
As far as the app goes, overall, our testers found that the Gardyn app with the Kelby assistant was a little more robust and smarter than AeroGarden’s. In addition, the vacation mode that Kelby provides has more features than AeroGarden’s vacation option.
Gardyn vs. Click and Grow
Another option for indoor gardening is the Click and Grow smart garden system. This system is known for its streamlined designs and ease of use. Click and Grow smart garden has three different options, and their largest option, the Smart Garden 27, is the most comparable to the Gardyn system.
The Smart Garden combines three Smart Garden 9 systems with a Click and Grow plant stand to allow for indoor vertical gardening of up to 27 plants, only slightly less than Gardyn’s 30 plants.
Our reviewers found that the system looked a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the Gardyn system and liked that you could choose from three colors to best match your decor. However, its design doesn’t allow for the growth of very tall plants like the Gardyn does.
Click and Grow also offers a companion app to help you manage your garden. The app is also not as robust as the Gardyn app and does not have a smart assistant feature like Kelby. However, the company mentions that they are constantly updating the app with new features, so there is the possibility for it to become more like Kelby in terms of smart features in the future.
Like the Gardyn system, Click and Grow also offers customers a subscription service to help conveniently replenish their plants. The subscription service has more options than Gardyn’s, allowing you to choose whether to receive a 3-pack or 9-pack of seed pods every two, three, or four months. Gardyn currently only offers one type of subscription plan.
Also, like Gardyn, you can select your varieties of plants for each delivery and change them any time you want. The subscription also saves you significant money from purchasing the seed pods separately.
From a cost perspective, the Click and Grow subscription costs less per month, but you are not paying for the added features that the Kelby smart assistant provides.
Finally, the Click and Grow smart garden system currently offers 75 options of seed pods versus the 50 options currently offered by Gardyn and the 120 options offered by AeroGarden.
Gardyn vs. Tower Garden
The company Tower Garden makes a third vertical indoor garden system. This system uses a more advanced form of hydroponics, called aeroponics, to grow the plants in an air and mist system, and you can use it both indoors and outdoors. Gardyn, Aerogarden, and Click and Grow are meant for indoor use only.
The Tower Garden Home system allows you to grow up to 32 herbs, vegetables, and flowers and takes up about the same square footage of space as the Gardyn system (2 square feet of space).
Tower Garden does offer family garden options that combine multiple Tower Gardens to grow up to 84 plants at once and even a community garden option that includes 12 Tower Gardens.
Regarding the look and design, we think the Gardyn is more aesthetically pleasing than the Tower Garden. Tower Garden looks more like a giant plastic planter and seems more suited for outdoor spaces than indoor gardening.
Tower Garden also seems a bit more complicated to use than the Gardyn system because instead of using a pod for their seeds, they grow in Rockwool.
You have to prep the seeds by soaking the Rockwool and adding the seeds to it before placing them in the Tower Garden compartments. The Gardyn system’s pre-filled yCubes make adding the plants to your garden much more straightforward.
Additionally, the Tower Garden does not offer an app with smart features to help you monitor and care for your garden or help with the growing process. The user must ensure that the pH levels are correct, the nutrient solution is replenished on time, and the plants receive enough light (sunlight or artificial light if indoors).
The Tower Garden system allows you to grow up to 150 different types of crops. However, the customer must purchase their own seeds to use with the system. The company ships a starter kit of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomato, cucumber, basil, eggplant, and bell pepper seeds with each new tower purchased.
Since there’s no compatible smartphone app and the company does not ship seeds to the customer (other than the starter pack), Tower Garden does not offer any membership or subscription options.
We think the Tower Garden system would be better suited for a more experienced gardener, as it requires more user input. Therefore, it is more prone to user error than the Gardyn system and other comparable indoor garden products with “smart” features.
Is the Gardyn Worth It?
Although the Gardyn is one of the newer vertical indoor garden systems on the market, our testers all agreed that it was a quality product worth purchasing if you want to consider growing more of your own food. Yes, it can seem like a significant investment at first, but once your garden grows, you save money at the supermarket each month.
Most families spend more than the $38 subscription fee on fresh foods like vegetables and herbs at the supermarket. The Gardyn system saves money and provides fresher and better-tasting food.
In fact, one of our team members who never had success with growing vegetables in the past and considered herself to have a “black thumb” when it came to plants experienced success with the Gardyn system. She was amazed at how quickly the plants germinated and how easy it was to grow and harvest the crops.
Another team member liked the versatility that the Gardyn provided by selling the seedless yCubes, which allowed her to grow very specific varieties of heirloom tomatoes in her Gardyn system.
All of the testers thought the app was far superior to the apps of similar products on the market. The Kelby smart assistant made all of the difference when it came to caring for and monitoring the plants, and one reviewer who traveled often found the vacation-mode feature a life-saver for keeping up with the garden.
Overwhelmingly, all of our testers were pleased with the product and would recommend it to others looking to grow their own food indoors.
Other product reviews by customer we found on Amazon echoed the ease of set up and gardening.
Is Gardyn only for growing herbs?
No! You can grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs with Gardyn.
What type of plants does Gardyn allow me to grow?
Gardyn is suitable for any plant that doesn’t require deep soil, including leafy greens, herbs, and most small fruits and vegetables.
Does Gardyn need sun to work?
No, Gardyn’s artificial grow lights provide the plants with everything they need to thrive indoors.
How often do I need to water my Gardyn?
The reservoir in the Gardyn unit will automatically supply water to the plants as needed, so you only need to refill the reservoir when it’s empty. The app will notify you when it’s time to add water.
Is Gardyn difficult to set up?
No, Gardyn is designed for easy set up and requires no tools for assembly.
Is Gardyn hard to maintain?
No, Gardyn is virtually maintenance-free. The app will notify you when it’s time to add water or nutrients to the reservoir.
Is Gardyn expensive?
No, Gardyn is very affordable and is actually cheaper than many of the other vertical indoor garden systems on the market.
Where Can I purchase Gardyn?
You can purchase Gardyn from a few places. Amazon is a popular place to purchase the Gardyn. That said, we recommend purchasing directly from Gardyn. You will not only get the best deal, but can also sign up for the subscription service.
Wrapping It Up
If your home doesn’t have space for an outdoor garden, and are looking to take part in the indoor gardening trend, you may find it overwhelming to evaluate the many options on the market. Although Gardyn is newer to the hydroponic gardening scene, it is definitely emerging as a frontrunner in the competition.
We liked that it had an attractive design, didn’t take up a lot of space (great for apartments), and produced a large yield of food with limited growing experience.
Even though it costs more upfront than other comparable models and requires a subscription to make the most of the smart features, the Gardyn system was worth the price, especially if you want to integrate technology into your gardening. The Kelby smart assistant alone beats the other available indoor gardening systems.
Because it practically guarantees a flawless growing experience for any level of gardener, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Gardyn system. It requires minimal effort!
So next time you’re at the grocery store, you can skip the vegetable isle! We hope you enjoyed our Gardyn review. If you have one, let us know what you think in the comments below!
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