Innovative Indoor Gardens Slideshow
April 9, 2013
Home Aquaponics Garden
This self-sustainable system uses waste from a pet fish as fertilizer for plants; the roots then filter the water, which drips back down for the fish.
Price: $60, plus price of fish and fish food
Pros: Well-styled and designed, plus negates the need for smelly compost or fertilizer.
Cons: The high price point, plus you need to like fish. Shipping won’t start until the end of this month.
These adorable eggs are made of porous ceramic, which we imagine allows proper drainage, plus they come with a terra cotta dripping tray. According to the site, plants can grow for five months in an Eggling, before you must transfer them directly to soil.
Price: Mint, $9.99 on Amazon
Pros: Bonus points for being adorable.
Cons: "Eggshell gardening is really a cute craft project versus a functional gardening project," Pennington says. Translation: You don't get much bang for your buck.
Mushroom Kit From Back to the Roots
This ready-to-grow kit simply requires you to cut an X in a bag, soak the bag in water, and then let it sit around, misting it twice a day, until the oyster mushrooms are ready to harvest. No need to hide it in a dark corner; oyster mushrooms actually prefer a little indirect light, Back to the Roots representative Megan Yarnall says.
Pros: At least two crops are guaranteed, if not more, and it seems relatively foolproof.
Cons: Mushroom lovers only.
These hanging planters (most made of ceramic, but cheaper plastic versions are available) are designed to have plants grow upside down, which purportedly allows water to go directly to the roots.
Price: Starts at $17.95
Pros: You save counter space and earn cool points.
Cons: Pricier versions give you better designs, but is it worth it for a couple of strawberries? Also, reaching up to fill the water reservoir must be annoying for the under-6-feet population.
Garden in a Bag
Follow the instructions, water regularly, and add a little fertilizer every now and then to keep the plant going. Once it gets too big, remove the plant from the bag and put it in a real pot.
Price: $9 per bag
Pros: It looks super cute on a desk or windowsill, and if it dies, it's an easy cleanup.
Cons: We foresee some drainage issues.
These high-tech gardening pods provide automatic water and supplementary lights, making them self-contained gardening units for the lazy. Plug it in, fill it up with water every now and then, and occasionally put in some nutrient tablets for almost failsafe gardening.
Price: Starts at $89.95
Pros: "It's a lighter medium, so you don't have to lug soil around," Pennington points out. So if you live on a fifth-floor walk-up perhaps you should consider investing in this.
Cons: $89.95 will only get you three pods for planting (so, three bunches of basil, or any other plant). Do the math.