Hydroponic systems are a popular way to sustainably grow fruits and veggies inside your home without having to worry about light, water, or even soil.
Regardless of if you live in a 500-square-foot apartment or a 4-bedroom house, you can grow food in your home using hydroponics.
Lettuce Grow is an upcoming brand dedicated to bringing hydroponics to every household – keep reading our ultimate review of their luxurious Farmstand system to see if it’s worth buying.
What is Lettuce Grow?
They’re on a mission to provide a more sustainable and easier way for everyone to grow their own food.
The Farmstand is self-watering, soil-free, self-fertilizing, and takes up a mere 4 square feet. Basically, no matter how lazy you are or how small of a space you have, you can grow a bountiful garden.
Their system allows gardeners to grow plants either outside with the right conditions, or grow them inside with the Glow Rings add-on.
How it Works
Plants need water, sunlight, air circulation, and nutrients to grow. In a traditional garden, plants seek out nutrients from the soil.
In hydroponics, these same nutrients are delivered straight to the roots of the plants rather than them soaking up nutrients from the soil. And for those growing indoors, grow lights simulates the sunshine.
This saves space and a significant amount of water.
A regular garden uses around 20 gallons of water per plant, whereas the Farmstand uses less than 1 gallon per plant.
To get your garden started, you’ll also need to purchase some seedlings on their website for $2.50 a piece. They offer 200+ varieties of seedlings, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.
That said, many grow their own seedlings as well.
The benefit of buying their seedlings is that you get a headstart and will be able to harvest your garden about 3 weeks faster. If you grow from seed, it will take longer.
That said, purchasing their seedlings is that it’s more expensive. A large pack of seeds will typically cost anywhere from $1–$3 depending on where you buy, whereas their pre-started plants are $2.50 apiece.
If you do decide to grow your own seedlings, you can’t use real soil.
You’ll need a medium that works well with hydroponics – regular soil will fall into the system and clog it.
What if your Farmstand doesn’t end up being the best system for you?
It would suck to be out of luck since you’re spending hundreds of dollars on this system, so luckily, Lettuce Grow understands this.
They offer a generous 90-day return policy, but you do need to use their prepaid shipping label and pay a $50 return shipping fee.
They also state that you may be subject to extra shipping fees if you use a different box than the original box your Farmstand came in, so make sure you save the box!
They also state the following about the return condition:
“If any part is missing or returned in damaged condition, or otherwise has signs of abuse, Lettuce Grow reserves the right to refuse a refund or to charge additional restocking fees . . .”
To start a return, simply contact them by phone or email to get it started.
Lettuce Grow Customer Experiences
This all sounds great, but what do real customers think?
Like many other brands, reviews on the Lettuce Grow website are fantastic. That said, sometimes brands only like to showcase their best reviews, so we also searched elsewhere.
After reviewing feedback for the brand across multiple sites, we found the following most common points of feedback from a large number of customers:
- Looks like a futuristic art piece in your home
- Holds 12+ plants without taking up much space
- Waters plants by itself
- Great for apartment living
- Only takes a few minutes to maintain every week
- You can purchase extra levels and lights if you decide you want more plants
- Grows plants quickly with less water consumption and no soil
- The indoor system can grow plants in climates that normally couldn’t grow well
- Can grow herbs, veggies, fruits, and even flowers
- Expensive, need to use for a while to get your money’s worth
- Farmstand doesn’t come with any seedlings, which are an extra cost
- Pricey to purchase refill plants (however, there are DIY options)
- Pricey to purchase additional nutrients and pH down
- The pH down they provide isn’t the best and is pricey, but there are alternative options
- Plants could die quickly if you have any power outages
- Battery on indoor lights gets very hot
- Many people experience seedlings they purchase from Lettuce Grow being infested with pests (mine were infested with fungus gnats), but you can start your own seeds if you’re worried about this.
My Lettuce Grow Farmstand Review
Aside from seeing what other shoppers think, I had to try out this gorgeous system myself.
I had known about The Farmstand for quite some time and was debating between it and the Gardyn system, but I was very hesitant to spend $700+ on either system that might not work out.
One day while browsing through FB Marketplace, I spotted a Lettuce Grow Farmstand and jumped on it. They wanted $350 for the Farmstand that holds 24 plants, including the Glow Rings (this full setup costs $899 full price).
I ordered some seedlings and they came just a couple of days later. I ultimately wanted to grow my own seeds, but I was new to gardening and didn’t want to be discouraged, so I started off with the purchased seedlings.
The initial setup wasn’t too hard. Lettuce Grow made it much easier with their quick setup videos, so thankfully I didn’t have to watch an overwhelming 45-minute video before getting started.
I thought the nutrients and pH checking would be confusing, but they make that pretty easy as well.
Since I live in an apartment, the most difficult part was actually filling my Farmstand with water.
I took my kitchen faucet and pointed it towards the hole (aka made a mess), so I actually purchased this makeshift hose attachment to use in the future. Plus, it takes a while to fill up, so your arm will get tired if you have to hold the faucet the entire time.
I’d also *highly* recommend purchasing the dolly add-on upfront if you plan to be moving the Farmstand around. When filled with water, it’s extremely heavy and could splash everywhere if you fill it high enough and try to move it. I couldn’t move it myself even when it was half full of water.
When I first set it up, I didn’t realize how important the dolly would be. I ended up purchasing the dolly after I set up the system, which I don’t recommend doing because it’s extremely difficult to get the Lettuce Grow onto the dolly once there’s water in it. I waited until the water was fairly low and it was still pretty tough, even with two people.
I chose to buy their brand of dolly since it matches the Farmstand and I’m all about aesthetics, but any 24-inch dolly should work as long as it can support heavy weight.
They advertise only 5 minutes per week of maintenance, including adding water and fertilizer.
I’d say this is pretty accurate!
As long as you have a hose (or hose attachment for your sink), filling up the water should be quick and so should adding the nutrients. I purchased this Rinseroo hose attachment to make it easier to fill up since I live in an apartment.
I do find myself checking the pH more frequently just because I want to make sure everything is all good, but this takes less than a minute.
Also, towards the end of my plant cycles, I had a few recurring issues with my pH, which required a few extra minutes of weekly maintenance until I figured out the issue.
My pH was often too high and I would have to add a lot of the pH down powder. Even after adding a ton of pH down to get it to the correct levels, the pH would be too high again within a couple of days (sometimes as soon as the following day).
I posted this issue in the Lettuce Grow Community Facebook group and many people responded recommending this brand of pH down instead. It worked like a charm – I no longer had to check my pH daily and add a ton of expensive pH down.
The only downside is this stuff comes in a huge jug for around $30 and you only need to use a little bit every so often, so now I have a huge jug of it that takes up a lot of space. But, luckily I won’t have to keep spending money on the pH-down powder that Lettuce Grow sells.
I absolutely love the Facebook group, it’s so helpful. There are over 19k members and a ton of people that are ready to help in case you have issues.
Other than the pH issues I had for a week or so, the system is extremely easy to manage. I even ended up planning a last-minute trip where I was away from home for 8 days and was worried the plants might start dying, but I came back and it was still doing well.
I’ll be honest, the running water noise is pretty loud. Some people complain about it, while others (including myself) find it relaxing. To me, it sounds like a nice indoor fountain.
That said, if you live in a super small space like a studio apartment, the noise might get bothersome when you’re trying to sleep or have a phone call.
If you’re placing your Farmstand indoors, the water should run for 15 minutes straight once an hour. Outdoor uses vary depending on the weather.
Now, does this thing actually grow fruit and veggies?
After setting up, I was surprised (and excited) by how quickly most of my plants grew!
They were noticeably larger after just a few days, and most of them continued to grow larger and larger, with mostly healthy leaves. Some outside leaves started dying on the greens, but this seems to be normal and people recommend harvesting from the outside because of this.
My herbs like mint, thyme, and parsley grew like crazy. Thyme especially – I dried it out and I have enough thyme to last a lifetime. Almost all of my leafy greens did great as well, but my kale didn’t do as well (I think it was more sensitive to pH issues I had).
I thought I ordered Curly Kale, but I ended up with a Lacianto kale and some random Mustard Greens that weren’t even kale and were super spicy.
My only failure was strawberries, which I figured wouldn’t grow well indoors but gave a shot anyways. They grew extremely slowly and I never got any fruits, even when I cut off the runners. I’m guessing it wasn’t warm enough.
One pretty big downside was that my starter plants arrived infested with fungus gnats. These aren’t a huge deal and they refunded my order when I reached out to their customer service team.
Lettuce Grow recommends putting Mosquito Bits in the water to get rid of fungus gnats, which I’m sure is safe, but I was hesitant to put potentially harmful chemicals into foods that I was going to be eating. I simply used some neem oil and sticky traps and they seemed like they disappeared!
Regardless, fungus gnats are harmless to plants and just look like little fruit flies that mind their own business, so I barely noticed them. They do multiply quickly if you don’t start trying to get rid of them.
My biggest disappointment was that almost all of the lettuce I grew wasn’t very crunchy (and most of my Farmstand was various types of lettuce because I love salads). My romaine was the crispiest but still wasn’t comparable to crispy grocery store lettuce.
I also discovered that you should place a fan towards your plants if you’re growing lettuce indoors and want it to be as crispy as possible. Wind makes the leaves stronger and crispier, but they don’t naturally get this when growing indoors.
My stand is still going strong with the same plants at 3 months. I plan to do a full reset ASAP (they recommend doing so every 3-4 months), but I still have greens to eat and am trying to eat them all!
The Lettuce Grow app is also very helpful. It reminds you about adding nutrients, when your plants are ready to start harvesting, helps identify your plants, and gives overall tips.
Is it Worth it?
Although I did get it at a discounted price on Facebook Marketplace, I still think it would be worth it if I were to purchase it at full price.
It looks like an art piece in my apartment and almost everything I’ve tried has grown beautifully. I absolutely love being able to pick fresh fruits and vegetables and bring them right to the kitchen to cook.
Aside from a few small learning curves, the Farmstand is very easy to manage and I’d recommend it, especially for those who struggle with gardening.
It’s beyond easy to manage and even easy to troubleshoot since their team is extremely helpful, not to mention the Facebook group has a ton of Farmstand owners who are quick to help their fellow gardeners.
That said, if you’re not big on aesthetics like I am, there are definitely cheaper hydroponic systems you can opt for. Many people even build their own high-yield hydroponic systems for cheap!
And if you’re unsure, you might want to start with a small tabletop system like the Aerogarden to get a feel for hydroponics.
- Glow Ring lights are very bright, but turn off at night
- Fairly loud running water noise, reminds me of an indoor water fountain (some people dislike the noise)
- Easy setup and 5-minute weekly maintenance as long as there are no issues
- You can always add more levels to the Farmstand, so you could start with a smaller model and add on if needed
- Lettuce needs wind to be crispy, so you should add a fan if growing indoors to simulate wind
- I grew mostly lettuce and herbs, ended up with too much to eat myself
- Many people have issues with their Lettuce Grow starts being infested with pests
- They recommended quarterly resets where you remove plants and clean out the system
- Customer service is excellent
- Facebook group is extremely helpful for tips and help with any issues
Overall, if you’re on the fence about the Farmstand and love it because it looks like an art piece plus saves a ton of space, I’d recommend investing in it.
I absolutely love mine! As someone who lives in an apartment and can’t have a full garden, I love being able to grow my own food extremely easily without worrying about a lack of space or clashing with my modern decor.
It truly only takes a few minutes to maintain every week unless you have issues with pH, but even this issue only takes a few extra minutes to solve.
That said, if you’re not overly excited about how it looks or the space-saving design, I wouldn’t recommend breaking the bank on this system. There are cheaper hydroponic system alternatives if you just want to grow some food in your house.
For example, this system is less than $200 and features 108 plant sites. It comes with a water pump, so all you need to buy is the grow lights if you’re using it indoors and the nutrient solution to put in the water.
Also, don’t be afraid to search for one on Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp – I found an amazing deal! If you do this, make sure it comes with all the little parts.
Lettuce Grow Alternatives
Not convinced about the Lettuce Grow Farmstand? Check out these alternatives that you might like better: