This Hydroponic Garden System Solves Your Small-Space Problems With Great Design

Want to grow your own veggies and herbs but are short on space, sunlight or patience — or all three? The Farmstand from Lettuce Grow will have you growing your own in no time.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
October 21, 2020

Photo by: Lettuce Grow

Lettuce Grow

I practically live for gardening puns these days, so when someone asks if I want to test out a hydroponic garden system called Lettuce Grow, my answer is obviously yes. It also helps that the Lettuce Grow company was co-founded by Zooey Deschanel, who can always pick up my mood via New Girl reruns and also happens to love food gardening and to be a special friend of ours here at HGTV. But puns and personalities aside, the real reason I’m recommending Lettuce Grow is because this thing works — like, really works.

What is Hydroponic Gardening?

Lettuce Grow’s signature product, The Farmstand, is a self-watering, self-fertilizing hydroponic setup. I’ve shared info about how hydroponic gardening works before when testing tabletop hydroponic systems, but here, again, are the basics: Plants grow in water instead of soil, nutrients are delivered via fertilizer in recirculating water and grow lights simulate sunlight when growing indoors.

While gardening hydroponically removes some of the things I value most about gardening — like being outdoors, getting dirty and getting exercise — it also solves some major barriers keeping people from gardening, including lack of outdoor space, space in general and that ever-elusive resource: time. I’m a big advocate for consumer-friendly hydroponic vegetable gardening for these reasons. After all, as Lettuce Grow explains in their mission, it’s all about getting people growing — for their own health and the health of the environment.

The Farmstand: Form and Function

Photo by: Lettuce Grow

Lettuce Grow

The Farmstand starts with a 3-foot-8-inch-tall base that holds water and a pump, with a hole for adding water and fertilizer and testing pH. You then add layers for planting six plants at a time. The entry-level option starts with 12 plants (4-foot-3-inch), then you can build up to 18, 24, 30 or 36 plants (six-foot-1-inch). As you can tell from the dimensions, the Farmstead is big. I was honestly surprised how big it was even though the dimensions are listed smack dab in the center of the website.

With The Farmstand being quite large and involving plumbing, at first I was intimidated by the assembly, but it was remarkably easy when following the well-written instructions to the letter. I felt pretty proud of myself for putting it together before I’d even planted or grown anything from it.

With its large size, it’s definitely a statement piece, but thankfully, it’s really good-looking. All-white, it looks very modern, and the curvaceous build gives it a space-age quality. It’s just plain cool. And as the plants grow, it becomes a living sculpture that’s definitely worth showing off.

What Can You Grow?

Photo by: Lettuce Grow

Lettuce Grow

You can take a quiz on the website to get a personalized seedling plan based on where you’re growing (indoor, outdoor, shady, sunny, etc.) and where you live (your growing zone). I’m using the 24-plant system indoors, and I let Lettuce Grow pick the pre-sprouted, ready-to-plant seedlings for me from among their 200+ plants.

Indoors, the options vary variety-wise (they offer some really lovely and tasty varieties) but are mostly lettuce, greens and herbs — all things easier to grow indoors. If you’re growing outdoors and in warm weather, the offering expands to include peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, beans and more. I personally would love to see a pumpkin (which they offer!) growing out of this thing. They even include some edible flowers in the mix, including nasturtium and calendula.

Is It Worth the Price?

I’m gonna say yes. At $348 for the base model (12 plants), it sounds like a lot, but when you add up the costs for a 4x4 raised bed and soil to fill it, plus plants, it’s about on-par with the initial setup cost for a small outdoor garden. The Glow Rings (new in the product line and currently available for pre-order) are an add-on that’s necessary when growing indoors. They start at $200 for the 12-plant unit, making an initial setup cost for indoor growing $548. Again, sounds like a lot — but if you regularly buy fresh herbs and vegetables (and you should), the cost-savings add up quickly. There’s also the timely factor of these herbs and vegetables being right at your fingertips, as opposed to at the grocery, which is an extra consideration when you’re rationing trips to the grocery or when you’re short on time.

If you have limited space outdoors, like a sunny deck but no actual ground, The Farmstand alone is ideal, and you can skip the Glow Rings. If you have a similar space but it’s shady, the Glow Rings will make it work. If you don’t have outdoor space, or if you garden outdoors spring through fall but want to keep growing through winter, as I do, The Farmstand solves your problem. While the majority of photos I see on the Lettuce Grow Instagram community show outdoor growing situations, which is great, I really think that, with the new Glow Rings, it’s an ideal system for growing indoors. I look forward to seeing more pics of indoor gardens like mine popping up in my feed through winter.

Next Up

This Tabletop Hydroponic Garden Is Totally Worth the Price

We tested this indoor herb garden at the office and now it’s our favorite coworker.

3 Tabletop Hydroponic Kits for Growing Herbs and Veggies at Home

No garden? No problem. Try growing your own food right on your kitchen countertop with systems that require little space, time or maintenance.

HGTV Fans Can’t Stop Buying These 10 Products on Amazon

From top-rated vacuums to label makers, these are a few of the top-selling Amazon products purchased by HGTV fans in 2019. Bonus: most of them are on sale right now!

How to Make a Hydroponic Garden in a Jar

This handy setup lets you grow herbs in a glass jar while providing plants with proper drainage and you with a low-maintenance watering routine.

Our Favorite Pots and Planters for Every Budget

Perk up your patio and indoor space no matter your budget with these stylish planters and pots.

Joanna Gaines Is Releasing a Children's Book This Month

In 'We Are the Gardeners', out March 26, Joanna and her kids chronicle the adventures of starting their own family garden.

The 10 Best Kits + Tools to Get Kids Hooked on Gardening

Foster an interest in both indoor and outdoor gardening with these educational hands-on kits and kid-sized tools.

Prep Garden Soil Like Martha Stewart With This 3-Tool Digging Set

Including a garden spade, transplanting spade and gardening fork, this essential set gives you the right tools to nurture your garden from the ground up.

The Hori-Hori Knife Martha Stewart Uses in 'Martha Knows Best'

Featured in Martha Knows Best, the hori-hori, also known as a Japanese soil knife, is the must-have multi-tool for gardeners everywhere. Just like its namesake, Martha's version is both strong and pretty.

A Self-Propelled Mower That Transforms Your Backyard in Minutes & 11 Other Outdoor Essentials at Walmart

These are the outdoor must-haves from Walmart that will keep your patio, lawn and garden thriving.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

What's New in Outdoors

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.