Okay, if you’ve got a gorgeous flourishing garden and regularly prepare feasts of fresh, lovingly grown vegetables, I’m jealous. Even in the sunny climes of LA, I find it hard to keep herbs alive (the irony is that here, they seem to need water every two seconds or they combust from all the heat… or is that just my excuse for killing every herb plant I bring home?)
Clearly, when it comes to growing our own food, some of us need a little more help. Maybe you’ve got the opposite of a green thumb; maybe you live in a tiny city apartment with tricky sunlight.
Whatever the reason, there are now tech solutions to a problem that, at first glance, may seem slightly anathema to tech solutions. (Farming and gardening are actually super technical processes, even if you’re going about them organically with little more than sun, seed, and soil.)
Ready to give your at-home herb and veggie cultivation a major upgrade? Check out these cool solutions, below.
The SproutsIO countertop microgarden is probably the most efficient at-home gardening system you can use. You don’t need sunlight or soil, just water and an outlet. The system utilizes hydroponic growing technology usually used in large greenhouse farm settings, and it even comes with an app that allows you to monitor your plants and predict yields. It’s relatively small so you won’t get a ton of produce out of it at a time, but the plants do grow fast.
Seedsheet makes “roll-out gardens” that are made of dissolvable seed pods arranged in a weed-blocking sheet. You arrange the sheet on top of a container filled with soil, or on a raised garden bed outside (depending on your space!). They also make an cute indoor kit you can use right in your kitchen. The coolest part? You can choose sheets that are pre-seeded for specific purposes, like “Grow Your Own Caprese,” which will grow everything you need to make the popular salad (except the cheese!) in one container, or my personal favorite, the “Taco Kit“.
Back to the Roots Water Garden
Alright, this one requires also being open to adopting a new pet, but fish don’t require much caretaking, especially when they’re in a self-cleaning tank. Seriously, you won’t ever need to scrub the sides of the Back to the Roots’ Water Garden because the closed loop aquaponic system uses the fish waste to fertilize the herbs and microgreens that are growing on top, and the plants clean the water. Wheatgrass grows especially well in this set-up if you’re someone who likes to throw it in juices or smoothies.
The Range Rover of herb growers, the Urban Cultivator smart indoor garden fits year-round organic microgreens, herbs and veggies in a wine-fridge-sized appliance. It costs a pretty penny ($2,499), so it’s a pretty big commitment, but the speed and volume are unparalleled: Microgreens are ready to be eating within just one week of planting. Plus you can eat them right after you snip— which means they’re fresher than anything you can get at the supermarket. I like that you can install it under your kitchen counters, or use it as a freestanding unit with a butcher-block top.
Have you tried any techy growing solutions? If so, tell me about how they worked in the comments below!