Interested in vegetable gardening, even after the weather turns cold? Or maybe, instead, you’re exploring options for growing fresh food in your condo or apartment? Either way, this ranking of the best hydroponic systems for vegetables is a great place to start. With any one of the kits from our ranking, you’ll be enjoying fresh lettuce all year long, and many have automatic features, meaning they’re easier to use than ever before — no horticulture degree (or pitchforks) required.
Our Top Picks
Our reviews of the best hydroponic systems for vegetables are just beginning to sprout.
|Best Overall: AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden.|
Experienced gardeners agree: The Aerogarden is high tech and simple to use.
|Runner-Up: Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System.|
Green thumbs love the Moistenland growing system, especially for cherry tomatoes and lettuce.
|Deluxe Pick: Gardyn Home Indoor Vertical Garden.|
Compact, easy to use, and simple to set up, the Garden Home makes the best deluxe hydroponic system for vegetables.
|Budget Pick: Back to the Roots Water Garden.|
Growing vegetables indoors shouldn’t have to cost a lot, choose Back to the Roots Water Garden instead.
|Large-Capacity System: VIVOSUN Hydroponic Grow Kit.|
Got a lot of mouths to feed? Try VIVOSUN for large capacity indoor vegetable growing.
|Easy-Set-Up: iDOO Hydroponic Growing System.|
If you’re a gardener not an IT professional, the easiest to use hydroponic system comes from iDOO.
A Closer Look: 6 Best Hydroponic System for Vegetables
Let’s put some root down. Here’s a closer look at what we liked about the hydroponic systems in our ranking.
1. AeroGarden Harvest Hydroponic Garden
The best hydroponic system for vegetables overall.
Brand: AeroGarden | Kit: 6-Pod Hard Seed | Light: Full-Spectrum 20-Watt LED | Features: Watering & Food Reminders | Price: 💰💰
Up first in our ranking of the best hydroponic systems for growing vegetables is the Black Harvest indoor hydroponic garden from AeroGarden. With six, non-GMO seed pods included with purchase — like dill, parsley, and mint — the kit is fun and easy to use. Using 20-watt LED grow lights, it also offers features like water and food reminders, with a user-friendly control panel.
Otherwise, the grow light arm extends as your herbs and vegetables flourish. Maybe best of all, the lights turn off and on automatically, so it’s all pretty set-it-and-forget-it once it’s up and running, giving you one less thing to worry about when you’re out of town. Experienced gardeners love how the AeroGarden gives them the opportunity to grow and care for veggies all winter long, and overall, the kit is simple to assemble. You’ll see green sprouts in no time,
- Runs quietly
- Water tight after two leak tests
- Mechanically and electronically sound
- Some flickering lights reported
- The light is very bright — plan accordingly
Note from the Editor
AeroGarden is our family favorite brand for growing delicious herbs and veggies year-round!
2. Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System
Our runner-up pick for best hydroponic system.
Brand: Moistenland | Kit: 12 Planting Pods | Light: 23-Watt LED | Features: Air & Water Circulation | Price: 💰💰
Runner-up in our list of the best hydroponic systems for growing vegetables indoors comes from Moistenland, this time with twelve planting pods included with purchase. We especially like that the pods are biodegradable, and that there’s a built-in air and water circulation system, recreating as closely as possible the breeze and natural water flow plants would experience growing outdoors.
It’s important to note the kit doesn’t include any seeds at all, just pods, but this keeps your options open for many different gardening experiences. Otherwise, there are two growing modes, we learned: One for fruit and one for vegetables, but the kit is also a great choice if all you’re looking to do is grow some herbs. Using Moistenland, Gardeners had good luck growing both sweet and hot peppers ,and the wood accents fit in nicely with all sorts of decor.
- Useful timer for fan and lights
- Good for lettuce and cherry tomatoes
- Sold with tags to mark which veggies which
- Instructions could be better
- Some water pump durability issues
- Some say the pods don’t fit quite right
3. Gardyn Home Indoor Vertical Hydroponic System
The best deluxe hydroponic system for vegetables.
Brand: Gardyn | Kit: 30 Plant Spaces | Lights: Wifi Enabled | Features: Self-Watering | Price: 💰💰💰💰
If you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, or if you’re looking for ultimate indoor hydroponic experience, check out the vertical, smart growing system from Gardyn. This system is Wi Fi enabled, and often referred to as “hybriponic.” What that means is Gardyn combines the best aspects of hydroponic and aeroponic gardening into one easy to use kit, growing up to thirty large plants at a time using innovative “yCubes.”
The indoor gardening system is also self-watering with programmable lighting, requiring minimal maintenance once it’s up and running. It’s also really compact for the capacity, according to reports, and inserting the cubes is as easy as plugging in a lamp, we learned, The Gardyn app comes with an app assistant named Kirby, handling most of the difficult gardening decisions, meaning the Gardyn is an especially good choice for beginners.
- Easily customized
- Useful automated functions
- Great for fresh food in winter
- Will drain some energy
- App requires membership
- Not everyone agrees it’s easy to set up
4. Back to the Roots Water Garden
The best budget hydroponic system.
Brand: Back to the Roots | Kit: 3-Gallon Tank/Fish Fertilizer | Light: 0 | Features: STEM Curriculum | Price: 💰💰
Not only is the next product in our ranking the best budget choice for growing hydroponic vegetables indoors in the wintertime, it’s also fun for all ages — a 3-gallon fish tank that uses the waste product produced by fish to fertilize succulents and greens — what’s not to like? There’s even some STEM curriculum included with purchase, along with organic microseeds, growstones, coupons for fish, for fish food, and for De-chlor fish tank cleaner.
Those who’ve tried Back to the Roots for a family project or for small space gardening call it easy to set up with an instructional brochure. Seeds like wheat grass and radish microgreens grow quickly from the three trays included with purchase, we learned. And once it’s all set up and some actual fish are added to the mix, an actual ecosystem develops: feed fish, fish feed plants, and so on. A few things to note, however, include algae growth when left in direct sunlight for too long, and the pump is a bit noisy, some say.
- Wonderful, well-executed idea
- Submersible light can be added
- Generates some nice white noise
- Can get moldy
- Requires weekly cleaning
- For best results, soak seeds first
5. VIVOSUN Hydroponic Grow Kit
The best large capacity hydroponic system for gardening.
Brand: VIVOSUN | Kit: 90 Plant Sites | Light: Not Included | Features: Timed Water Circulation System | Price: 💰💰💰
The absolute largest capacity hydroponic system for growing vegetables in our ranking, however, is the hydroponic grow kit from VIVOSUN. With room for up to ninety plants, VIVOSUN offers eco-friendly soilless cultivation, growing lettuce, celery, and bell peppers — or maybe just flowers or some other kinds of plants — using the nutrient film technique, doubling yields with less water and in less space.
Conveniently, the water pump runs on a timer, operating for about five minutes every half an hour. Otherwise, the kit is very easy to use for beginners, according to reports. What the kit does not include, however, are grow lights and a nutrient reservoir, so you’ll have to pick those up separately. It does remain leak free, and a good choice for small kitchens — a great, high-capacity choice for beginners at a price that can’t be beat, based on feedback.
- Grows great lettuce
- Pieces fit together easily
- Good for zucchini and strawberries
- Some leaking reported
- Some extra supplies required
- Instructions missing some important info
6. iDOO Hydroponic Growing System
The easiest to set up hydroponic system.
Brand: iDOO | Kit: 1 Plants | Light: 22-Watt LED | Features: 2 Growing Modes | Price: 💰💰
Because you’re interested in hydroponic gardening at home and not becoming an actual farmer, we picked the iDOO hydroponic system as the easiest to set up and use in our ranking. Most have the germination kit up and running in only three steps, with two growing modes offering fruits and vegetables what they need to flourish, while also accommodating flowers, or whatever other kinds of plants you’d like to try.
No matter what you’re growing, though, the 4.5 liter water tank offers what most greens need to sprout in only a matter of weeks. And most essential functions are otherwise automated with the iDOO system, including self-watering. It’s also super quiet, meaning it would even work well in a bedroom, and those who’ve tried it comment on the new water-level viewing window, making it even easier to know when it’s time for a refill. The two handles also make it easier to move, we learned.
- Simplified settings
- Automatic lighting
- Brighter lights than previous versions
- No cable management system
- Quiet? That’s debatable, some say
- Lights don’t get high enough for some
At Shelf, we have mastered the process of product roundup. The author of this article spent hours researching the best hydroponic systems for vegetable gardens. They examined over 30 products from the top brands, and read through user reviews to find the cream of the crop. The top 6 options were chosen for our curated list. If we missed one of your favorites leave a comment below!