Gardyn provides an opportunity to turn any space into a thriving hydroponic indoor vertical garden for year-long gardening. It allows consumers to grow fresh nutritious salad greens, veggies and herbs.
Its design is well adapted for any living environment; even apartments or townhomes that thought gardening was not possible.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil. And, the Gardyn, is a smart hydroponic system that grows plants indoors with just water & plant food.
For years I have enjoyed homegrown vegetables throughout the year with a simple hydroponic gardening system of a plastic storage bin, net pots, rockwool, air pump and a few other supplies. This system works well but takes up a lot of space. Learn how to set up this type of hydroponic garden here.
To grow more plants in a small space, let me introduce the Gardyn. It's a vertical indoor garden that occupies only two square feet of floor space while producing lots of food like salad greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, herbs and many other products all year round.
As a newbie to this Gardyn gardening system, learn my experience to date with the Gardyn hydroponic home garden kit by watching our video. In this article, I’ll discuss more details about this hydroponic garden.
COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to
watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Gardyn - An Introduction & Review to watch in Youtube.
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What is the Gardyn?
Gardyn is a US-based smart hydroponic vertical indoor garden system that makes growing vegetables and herbs in your home easy and convenient.
This hydroponic system makes it easy to grow a large amount of fresh produce (30 plants) in a small space from the comfort of your own home – no green thumb is required to master this garden system.
The Gardyn requires 2 square feet of floor space. Namely, the water tank is 2 feet by 1 foot deep, and when everything is put together, the system will be a little over 5 feet tall.
The Gardyn self-waters and suns the plants through an app that controls the device, meaning set it and forget it. You don't have to spend a lot of time messing with the system.
The system doesn't need to connect to the water line since the unit has a water tank.
How does Gardyn work?
The way the Gardyn system works is on the basic principle of hydroponics which utilizes a water reservoir that recirculates water in a closed loop. A water pump moves water from the water reservoir base up irrigation tubes inside the columns of the tower, where each plant is watered according to a programmed schedule.
What about the lighting? No sunlight? You don’t have to worry if you have little to no natural light in the room. With the two LED lights strategically placed, it creates the optimal growing conditions for the plants.
It uses a standard household electric outlet and runs off wireless internet. You don't need the wireless internet to use the unit but it gives you access to the smart features.
Once you unpack, set up and connect through the app, it is time to install the starter pack of yCubes. Each plant starts as a seed tucked into a little pod, called a "yCubes" These yCubes look similar to coffee pods. The user slips the yCubes into one of the yPod slots on the devices' vertical columns.
Once the user installs the “yCubes” in the system, the WiFi-connected smart Gardyn mobile app automates the water and light needed to grow the plants.
The app does offer manual controls. But the thing I love most about this system is it automatically handles water and light scheduling for me.
What plants can you grow in the Gardyn Garden System?
Gardyn offers so many plant varieties from rare heirloom varieties to grocery store favorites.
Choose from 60+ varieties like your favorite leafy greens to fruits and veggies ranging from tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, kale, cucumbers, and peas to herbs like basil, chive, cilantro and dill to flowers such as lavender, chamomile and petunia and even strawberries! And a whole lot more!
Want microgreen? It offers them too!
What do you get with the Gardyn Home Starter Kit?
The Gardyn Home Starter Kit comes with a base that houses the water reservoir and pump. It has three columns, into which the yPods are popped along with the yCubes.
At the front are two poles that stick out of the base housing the LED grow lights and two cameras.
When you get the system, it comes with different varieties of plants in yCubes. It also comes with a bag of plant food, a rubber yCube holder for trimming and harvesting, and yCube covers.
How to set up the Gardyn system?
I have read that some people find it challenging to initially set up the Gardyn. I really can't comment on this.
My son, who already had a unit, set mine up so it went together relatively quickly.
However, I did have one problem, connecting to WiFi. It just wouldn't connect. I tried moving the unit closer to the WiFi router as the app suggested. No luck connecting. Tried the different app suggestions. No luck! Tried over and over again. No luck!!!
Finally, purchased a new WiFi router with up to 1000 sq ft wireless coverage. Then the unit connected to the app.
THE MOBILE APP
All communication with your Gardyn takes place via the app.
You can access the watering and lighting schedules via the mobile app, as well as visually check the progress through the built-in cameras. When it’s time to harvest, head to the plant book in the app, which houses all the information about each plant.
What I like about the app!
- Turns water and light on and off automically
- Can access and change water and light schedule
- Tank care section
- Plant book section
Personally, I find the cameras worthless.
Do I need a Membership?
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.
The membership subscription service is a bit pricey. It's taunted that you have an AI-based personal assistant Kelby who monitors the plants 24/7 with the cameras and sensors. With the service, you're supposed to get guidance and custom plant care from Kelby, vacation mode and each month receive credits that can be redeemed through the Gardyn app for yCubes, Microgreens, plant food and certain accessories.
For what the service provides and the high monthly cost (and since I have been hydroponic gardening for years), I felt the subscription service isn't worth the money. But if you are new to gardening it may be helpful.
If a person chooses to opt out of the membership, as I did, they are still able to use the Gardyn app for monitoring purposes (namely lighting and watering schedule, and monitoring water-level sensors).
Things that need to be done regularly:
- Water needs to be added to the water reservoir. Caring for the water tank is easy with the app's dedicated tank care section. Find out exactly how many gallons of water needs to be added and when the tank needs to be refreshed.
To add water to the unit, I use a 1/2 gallon clean plastic milk carton and dissolve plant food in the water as recommended. Then, remove the wood lid on the tank and pour in the water.
It's that simple.
- Gardyn also recommends cleaning out the tank on a monthly basis
- Want to emphasize that it’s really important to thin your seedlings to 1 healthy sprout
- Regularly check up on the plants to harvest leaves and fruits
- If a plant is blocking another plant's light, reposition the plants
- Trim roots and make sure aggressive roots aren't growing into the pipes
- Manually pollinate plants by hand such as tomatoes and peppers.
Can you use your own seeds?
You might be wondering if you can grow your own seed for the Gardyn device.
Yes, you can start your own plants from seeds.
While Gardyn offers a wide variety of plants, there may be different plants you want to grow. There are thousands of exciting varieties to experiment with from seed companies, such as Burpee, Gurney's, Ferry-Morse and others.
It's important when choosing a variety to consider the matured plant size.
Gardyn offers empty yCubes (link below) that you can put seeds into.
But a more frugal way to start your own plants is to reuse the plastic yCube housing and purchase the growth medium used to grow the plants which is 1.2 inch hydroponic rockwool squares (link below).
To start your own plants from seeds, pull back a little of the rockwool, place a few seeds under the surface then cover them back up. If you have already put plant food in your Gardyn system, you’ll need to place them in a shallow to-go container filled with plain water.
After the seeds sprout and have their first true leaves, remove the rockwool from a yCube you have already grown in once and insert the new seed spout.
how fast do the Plants Grow?
Did my starter kit yCube seeds sprout? The answer is "yes". All my yCubes sprouted.
After two months of plant growth, I have been harvesting greens for sandwiches and salads.
The tomato plant has flowers.
Pepper plants are growing nicely.
Herbs are ready to use.
What's with the Cameras?
There are two stationary cameras on the light posts, pointed at the plants, to monitor your plants 24/7, along with taking still photos every 30 minutes.
The idea is that, if you need some customer service help, a human can see recent photos of your plants for reference. And the Kelby smart assistant can use the cameras to detect some basic aspects of plant health.
The cameras can be deactivated in settings.
Pros and Cons of Gardyn
- Access to the freshest, tastiest, and most nutritious food year-round
- Grows 30 plants in a small space
- Consumes less water than traditional agriculture
- No soil involved so just cut & eat without even washing
- Food is pesticide-free
- Recycles Water
- No weeding necessary like conventional outdoor gardening
- Does not require sunlight
- Constant monitoring with subscription(i.e., through the camera system, in-app device control, or Kelby™).
- Gardyn system costly
- Gardyn system can be challenging to set up initially
- Cleaning it is cumbersome
- Membership can be pricey
- Shipping is only available in the U.S.
- Accessories like the Trellis & yCube Caps & Algae Covers are expensive
Consumers can purchase their Gardyn on the official website. Below are links to the Gardyn systems and accessories.
The Gardyn is by far the most advanced smart indoor garden system. I’m eager to learn more in the coming week and will keep you all updated on how the plants grow along with tutorials on how to use the system.
If you are looking for more economical options for trellis and yCube covers, click the link!
I hope you enjoyed learning about the Gardyn hydroponic vertical gardening system. If you have any questions, contact me.
Until the next time,
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
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