While AeroGarden has plenty of deserved fame in the world of hydroponics, we should also consider looking for AeroGarden alternatives and give them a chance.
I think this search for hydroponic indoor gardens that are manufactured by other manufacturers other than AeroGarden is going to surprise you and you’ll be able to discover a whole new world.
I also covered a lot of these models in my recommendations for the best hydroponic systems for beginners.
Of course, I must confess that one of my favorite AeroGarden alternatives remains the Kratky method with mason jars.
The disadvantage with the Kratky method is that we have to build everything ourselves but we can obtain fantastic results. We have to get the large mouth mason jars, the growing medium (hydroton and rockwool cubes for seedlings), the grow lights, and the hydroponic nutrient solution. It can be great if you are into that sort of thing.
On the other hand, all the other hydroponic indoor gardens that I’ll review here won’t necessitate too much work besides assembling the whole system.
Some will also require us to buy the nutrient solution, while others will include the necessary quantity for a first crop.
And, of course, none will come with the seeds so we have to buy those, depending on what we want to grow.
if you’re interested in AeroGarden still, check out my recommendations for the best AeroGarden for growing tomatoes.
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AeroGarden Alternatives Reviews
I’ve always called the indoor gardens from iDoo the cheap alternatives to AeroGarden
If you’re looking for alternatives because you think that AeroGarden systems are too expensive, then iDoo can serve as a very good alternative for growers on a budget. Or for beginners who aren’t too sure about hydroponics and want to experiment with something more affordable.
On the other hand, the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System is a fantastically expensive hydroponic system that is the best alternative for those who want to grow a big number of plants at the same time. This type of vertical construction allows for growing a larger number of plants.
The AeroGarden Farm 24Plus has 24 pods, while this Aerospring has 27 pods. Well, the Aerospring is also significantly more expensive.
In case you decide to stick to AeroGarden and forget about looking for any alternatives, my top picks from this brand are: AeroGarden Harvest Elite (herbs, leafy greens, strawberries) and AeroGarden Bounty (can also grow cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes).
1. iDoo Hydroponics Growing System 12 Pods: One of the Cheapest AeroGarden Alternatives
If you’re on a budget for various reasons, I totally recommend checking out the iDoo Hydroponics Growing System 12 Pods.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that is even more competent than AeroGarden systems, then I recommend the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System that I will review just below.
This YouTube video presents a comparison between iDOO and AeroGarden. However, I should mention that you shouldn’t turn on the system without water in the reservoir because it can damage the water pump.
For the price, we get a pretty complete system:
- reservoir – good size with a 4.5 L capacity
- 12 pods – we can grow 12 plants at the same time but it’s better to grow 8 or so at the same time if you want to allow them enough space
- we can grow plants that grow as tall as 11.02 inches (lettuce, leafy greens, herbs, and strawberries but no taller plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers)
- 50pcs growth sponges (growing medium) – it’s made of biology peat (peat moss), which is a good growing medium
- the grow sponges will be fitted into baskets that also have domes for the germination period (the domes are kept on until leaves start to appear)
- grow lights
- water pump, which is an awesome feature
- there’s an alarm to let you know when the water is low
- nutrient solution included
- no seeds
It’s amazing that we only have to buy the seeds and we’re good to go. I totally appreciated what the iDoo Hydroponics Growing System 12 Pods offers.
I love the inclusion of the nutrient solution for the first crop. Check out my recommendations for the best hydroponic nutrients if you want to see what you should buy for future crops.
I also like that we get 50pcs growth sponges. Once you’re done with these, you’ll easily find iDOO Replacement Grow Sponges. You’ll have to pay about $30 for a bag of 60.
The water pump is another component that I truly appreciate.
And we get an alarm for when the water is low. I appreciate that because we don’t have to always check up on the water + nutrients level.
The grow lights are very nice, as well.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the iDoo Hydroponics Growing System 12 Pods restricts what we can grow.
We can only grow plants that grow as tall as 11.02 inches. So, no tomatoes or cucumbers or big plants like that.
Where to Buy?
2. iDoo 20 Pods Indoor Hydroponics Growing System
While they share the same components, leaving people only to buy seeds for the plants they intend to grow, there is one big difference that sets this 20 pods iDOO system apart from the cheaper one that comes with 12 pods.
It allows us to grow plants that grow as tall as 26.77 inches. Thus, this one is bigger both in the number of pods it comes with and in the size of the plants we can grow.
Besides strawberries, lettuce, leafy greens, and herbs, we can also grow taller plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants.
The grow lights are also more powerful to accommodate the growth of bigger plants. We get 34-watt LED lights.
We get 60 growth sponges and nutrient solution so once you have the seeds we can try it out.
You only need to add nutrient solution to the water when the seedlings grow true leaves. Until then, germinate the seeds in just water. That applies for all systems.
Where to Buy?
3. Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System: One of the Biggest AeroGarden Alternatives
When it comes to hydroponic indoor gardens, this one from Aerospring is among the most expensive. And very interesting if you’re truly passionate about hydroponics and have a generous budget.
It’s absolutely not an AeroGarden alternative for everyone. But it might interest some of you. It’s one of the best hydroponic towers at the moment.
Check out this YouTube video if you want a short visual introduction of this Aerospring hydroponic system.
There are a lot of components that make up the Aerospring 27-Plant Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System:
- grow tent that is made from Oxford D600 tent material with highly reflective white interior panels for greater growth
- hexagon shape for maximum light exposure
- 6 x 23W foldable tri-band LED bars – full spectrum lights covering 400-700nm
- strong, mobile wheelbase
- 27 grow cups – the grow cups are reusable once we disinfect them
- 27 Grodan rockwool cubes – grow cups designed for Grodan rockwool cubes but you can also use other grow media like coco coir
- 1.5 Syncra Silent 23W submersible pump
- 20 inch power cable for the water pump
- exhaust fan
- 2 smart WiFi
- digital hydrometer
- 1L set Aerospring Hexagrow (A&B) nutrients
- no seeds
Everything is impressive about this Aerospring Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System.
The manufacturer thought of everything and they used high quality components to create this growing system.
I’m impressed with the quality of the grow tent and I’m just as impressed with the grow lights and the water pump.
Plus, I like that we get hydroponic nutrients for the first crop. After you run out, you can use whatever brand you like, including the AeroGarden Liquid Nutrients.
Given that it comes with a 20 gallon container and 27 pods, the Aerospring Vertical Hydroponic Indoor Growing System is among the biggest we could find.
Not even the indoor gardens from AeroGarden are as versatile. Their pods and overall size of their systems, even for the AeroGarden Farm 24Plus which is the biggest and most expensive model from this manufacturer, is a lot more restrictive.
So, while I can definitely say that this Aerospring is one of the best AeroGarden alternatives, I am also aware that the price for it is its biggest con. If you’re looking for affordable alternatives, check out the systems from iDoo and Moistenland.
Where to Buy?
4. Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System 12 pods
Another hydroponic indoor garden similar to what iDoo offers is this one from Moistenland. The price is under $100, as well. So it’s another cheap alternative if you want to keep spending down.
You’ll quickly see that the Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System 12 pods is very similar to the iDoo Hydroponics Growing System 12 Pods. They even come with the same number of pods and even their prices are almost the same.
Well, the Moistenland container is green and the iDOO comes with a black container. So I guess we found a notable difference.
- 12 pods
- 22W LED grow light panel, which is not very powerful but good enough for a system of this size
- 16H on, 8H off automatic mechanism for the lights
- we can only grow plants that grow up to 11 inches in height (herbs, lettuce, leafy greens and even strawberries)
- water pump makes the water flow around in the reservoir
- it only comes with 12 growth sponges/baskets/domes so you only get one crop, after that you’ll have to buy new ones
- 4L reservoir
- no hydroponic nutrient solution is included
- and no seeds
The difference is that the Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System 12 pods doesn’t come with nutrient solution. You’ll have to buy that.
And it only comes with 12 growth sponges, which is a slight con. They could have even included more.
Plus, it’s a small system that mainly works for growing lettuce, leafy greens, herbs, and strawberries. Small plants that grow up to 11 inches in height.
Where to Buy?
5. Hydrofarm Root Spa Deep Water Culture Bucket System
It’s actually great for those who want to grow in a deep water culture system but don’t actually want to build one themselves.
We can actually choose from 3 different sizes. What changes is the number of 5 gallon buckets will be included.
DWC can be built either with 5 gallon buckets or with plastic storage containers.
This one from Hydrofarm is built with 5 gallon buckets and I actually like that quite a lot. The configuration is simple so there won’t be many components that you have to figure out. I would say that it can work for beginners, as well.
The three sizes we can choose from are:
- 5 gal bucket system – this one only comes with one bucket and, of course, is the cheapest option but it severely limits what we can grow but it can be a nice option if you’re not sure that the DWC configuration will work for you
- deep water system – it includes 4 buckets and the price is just under $150
- 5 gal 8 bucket system – if your budget is close to $200 and you have space for 8 buckets somewhere in your home, this is the one I would actually recommend checking out
Besides the 5 gallon buckets, the Hydrofarm Root Spa Deep Water Culture Bucket System comes with:
- 8 inch bucket basket – we don’t get any growing medium for the baskets so I recommend buying hydroton (expanded clay aggregate) and rockwool cubes for starting the seedlings
- multi-output air pump
- multi-purpose air hose assembly
- 0.5 inch elbow fitting
- 0.5 inch grommet fitting
- 0.25 inch black tubing
- no hydroponic nutrient solution and no seeds
The manufacturer mentions that we have no need for air stones. So you don’t need to buy those.
We get the necessary components for assembling a DWC with 4 or 8 buckets. Including a very large grow basket that will allow us to grow very large plants.
We’re not restricted in what we can grow, as it happens with smaller indoor gardens. Well, you can’t grow hydroponic potatoes but I wouldn’t recommend trying to grow potatoes with hydroponics anyway.
What we don’t get with the Hydrofarm Root Spa Deep Water Culture Bucket System is the growing medium and, just as important, the hydroponic nutrient solution. You’ll have to buy those. And seeds.
Where to Buy?
All in all, the Hydrofarm Root Spa Deep Water Culture Bucket System is one of the most interesting AeroGarden alternatives but it requires more involvement, it takes up a lot more space but it can be a nice system to experiment with.