I’m not going to lie. The Lettuce Grow hydroponic farm stand is pricey and you’ll have to grow lots of veggies, herbs, and flowers on it in order to make sense of the price. However, hands-on, this is the EASIEST and fastest way to grow your own produce. The nutrient and consistent water schedule juices up the plants and because everything is off-ground and running on a hydroponic water system, everything is CLEAN. However, you should also be warned about the cons before making such a big investment with a cringey pricetag!
When I was growing veggies and herbs in my ground-level veggie box, I’d lose at least half of my plants within the first week to bugs and critters. Now I have close to a 100% plant success rate and it’s really made a
lazy better gardener.
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I can order everything online and my cute little starter plugs come via FedEx a few days later. The Lettuce Grow Farmstand website also sells plants by season so you don’t have to worry about choosing the wrong plants.
If you live in a cold climate where your growing season is shorter, you can order UV lights (yeah, more $$) and grow everything inside. If I had a massive kitchen, I swear I’d have several of these hydroponic towers growing all the time!
Fewer Bugs. Yes, bugs can still land and populate on my plants, but having everything elevated reduces the number of little beasties considerably.
You can grow a variety of things – veggies, herbs, edible flowers…all at the same time in the same spot. Smaller plants go on top, larger ones on the bottom. But more on that later (below as a Con). The plants are super producers and I’m always shocked at how much I get from each plant. I think without the bugs and by also maximizing the water and nutrients, the plants perform like little rock stars.
Harvesting from the Hydroponic Farm Stand on a daily basis is probably the most rewarding part of this system. Even if I’m just harvesting some varieties of lettuce for a dinner salad, it’s just all so exciting. Seriously! I grew this!
Finally, this hydroponic system gives me a nutrient schedule to follow. Plants can’t grow on water alone so every week I add the nutrient powders to the water in the base. I also have to re-up the water as it evaporates and is sucked up by growing plants! Our city water is VERY high in acid, so I also do a quick little test to bring the acidity down. Actually, I used to test but after several months of ‘working on your farm stand’, you sort of get the gist and know how much to add. It’s really no big deal.
The water goes up to the top via the pump and trickles down to the plants for 15-minute increments during the day. I find the sound VERY soothing. It’s like a waterfall sound effect and I actually notice when it’s off now because I can hear my neighbors, construction, cars, yuck…life out there. I LOVE the water sounds. A big pro for me. I know, weird.
Cost. It’s ‘spensive. If you love the idea of growing your own food and don’t feel like making your own crazy big system with tube piping and tubs, just buy it. Treat yourself. To save on cost, consider just buying a FEW hydroponic plant levels. When I purchased mine, I sort of went nuts and bought FIVE levels. Each level accommodates 6 plants. This means I can grow 30 plants at any given time, which honestly is too much. I say start out with 12 plants (2 levels) and then you can ALWAYS add more later!
After doing this for well over a year now, I realize that I did not need this many levels. It’s too much and the plants will end up crowding each other. Ok, so now for some cons..
It’s SO fun to select plants and tuck them into their little pod container thingies when they arrive. However, it’s like a puzzle and you have to consider how the plant will grow (up or down) and how big will it get. Herbs are typically best on top because they are smaller and most grow up. However, some like oregano and thyme can get drapey and hang down. I have some old-timers in there from seasons ago that are getting pretty big. Lettuces are great in the center because they just get fluffy and big, but don’t hang down.
Plants like zucchini and tomatoes have to go on the bottom because they get BIG. Make sure to space the larger and eventually heavier ones out by a couple of pod holes. I will now pop a pepper or two between the zucchinis because they can grow between the giant leaves and still thrive. DO NOT, I repeat, buy more than 2 zucchini plants and 2 tomato plants. They will just get too big and crowd each other. I am actually having a lot of success right now with just ONE cherry tomato plant and one zucchini as each is a big producer.
Some plants need space to trail. Mini-cucumbers can long and need somewhere to go, otherwise, you’ll have cucumbers growing on the ground. I am using an outdoor bench to feed the lengthy SUPER producer of Persian Cucumbers.
Herbs will often start to flower out before some of your veggies are growing. Herbs like cilantro flame out fast. It’s great until it’s not. There may be a way to trim the cilantro and parsley plants before they flower out, but that type of farming is above my pay grade.
& FINALLY, Price. I’m bringing up price again because you have to buy your little seedlings through the Lettuce Grow website. The seedling prices are pretty good, but you will need to re-up on the plant food and that’s where it can add up quickly.
As a test, (and because I ran out), I used some regular organic vegetable garden fertilizer in the water. This is NOT approved and it may even junk up the pump at the bottom, but it did work and it kept my plants happy in a pinch.
Final con, and I’m really just being picky, but after everything is done growing you have to take it apart and clean it. I usually do this on my lawn as it can be a bit messy ripping out the established roots on the inside. However, when all is said and done, I can clean it and have it refilling again in about 15 minutes.
Lettuce Grow does offer a 90 day FREE Trial + financing at 0% and $34 a month, so that helps make this system much more affordable.
Thanks for reading my review and please reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions! If you do want to purchase one, please use my link as I get a small affiliate fee and that helps support my website.