10 November 2022

Gardyn 2.0 Review

Gardyn Review

Overall I am happy with the Gardyn indoor hydroponic growing system. I am partially through season two of growing with my Gardyn 2.0 unit and wanted to write up a more detailed review. I feel like the Gardyn has struck a pretty good balance on a DIY vs all-included system. I wish it were a bit more DIY, and I shy away from the yearly subscriptions, which I will explain later. The system grows a good amount of plants, works well year-round, is relatively clean, and, honestly, is very pleasing to look at. I almost wish I had a better space to keep it more in view (My setup is in the back of the unfinished basement). I researched several options and I am happy with where I landed. Suppose you want a more DIY experience and control to expand and modify the system over time. In that case, this isn’t the right setup for you, but if you want a super easy-to-maintain garden supplying you with fresh herbs, lettuces, and small veggies, you won’t be disappointed.

I am sharing out my gardyn affiliate link and if anyone wants to buy one, feel free to use it, or feel free to ignore it. It can save you a bit on a purchase, and I can get a few months of subscription for free.

Pros and Cons

At a glance, these are the points that stand out as I reflect on my experience using the Gardyn 2.0 over the last 18 months.

Gardyn with the kids


  • easy to maintain
  • fresh greens all the time
  • holds up great with travel. We have left the gardyn for a week at a time, often and without issue.
  • I love having a new, one-month-old, and 2-month-old variety of my favorite plants
  • The cameras are kind of silly and fun to check in on plants while traveling
  • Access to replacement parts, extra food, plants, etc, all via the store
  • Replacement of failed ycubes is nice and easy
  • fun activity with the kids
    • they love to harvest and eat lettuce right as it grows
    • planting and helping with the baby plant nursery is always fun
    • they help with the watering by refilling the tank
  • Easy to DIY hack:
    • I often make my own ycubes
    • I have extra grow lights near it to help some plants grow and to continually prep nursery
    • I surrounded with Highly Reflective Mylar Films, 82x 47Inch, Metallized Foil Covering Sheet, to increase light efficiency
    • one can add a watering line or extended tank


  • harder to clean and needs more frequent cleaning than I expected
  • upfront cost is still pretty high
  • The subscription model
    • it is always trying to push memberships
    • The membership isn’t beneficial (the AI reminders aren’t worth a monthly fee)
    • you definitely don’t need 10 ycubes a month once you have built up a good collection of plants
    • it is just far too expensive

Gardyn Tips

Some tips based on how I use my gardyn.

How I use the Gardyn

I use my gardyn for about 9 months a year. I have too much outdoor gardening going on in the summer months and don’t really need or want to deal with the gardyn for those peak summer months. I really enjoy doting on my basement garden in the winter. I enjoy learning new salads and recipes to help cook up and eat through the abundance of whatever I am growing any given month. I also time my monthly subscription having a few months at the start of each new growing season to help me kick off the next growing year with a fun collection of plants before going more fully DIY.

How I Gardyn

DIY Pods with Purchased Seeds

I bought cheap seed packs, and standard grow cubes, and I recycle the plastic part of the ycubes. This way, I can make my own cubes avoiding the $5 per cube cost for non-members. I have had great success getting basically any lettuce and many herbs growing with this DIY method.

Plant Cycling

I try to plant a few basils every few weeks when I first get the garden going… That way, I always have mature basil plants and some younger, more baby plants at any give time. I can grab a few leaves or if one is starting to bolt, I can cut the whole thing down and make pesto. This same technic works well for things that bolt, like cilantro as well.

Plants and Seeds

I am happy with the selection of plants that Gardyn sells

  • Liked
    • Celery (it doesn’t go big… but the greens are great in soups, stalks in stir fry, and to add crunch to a salad)
    • All the Basils, I think that I go 80% Genovese 20% Thai basil. This mix is what makes my pesto so good
    • All the lettuces, the Swiss Chard is exceptionally colorful and fun
    • All the Kales
    • Most Herbs, I particularly like Chives, Cilantro, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, and Rosemary
  • OK
    • Cherry Tomatoes, it amuses the kids, and they eat them right off the vine, but they never get big or sweet
    • Peppers, they are small but are still lovely to have around to throw in a salad or recipe to add a few fresh veggies
    • Mint, it grows fine. It even flourishes, but I don’t know what to do with it.
  • Disliked
    • Snap Peas
    • Mini Strawberries also grow very large and basically produced very little… The kids did kind of like them though
    • Green Beans, any of the beans… They grow huge and drop leaves all over the floor… I got maybe 10 beans
    • Eggplants… Fine, I’m not too fond of eggplant, but my wife and kids do… It never produced anything one could eat)
    • Flowers, Can’t eat them, not interested ;)

What Does and Doesn’t Work?

The results for different folks will vary given the natural climate (sunlight, humidity, heat). I have had great luck with all the greens and done OK with a few smaller peppers. I have generally been disappointed or unimpressed with most of the vegetables. The pea pods/beans end up growing and shedding a lot of leaves and becoming hard to grow anything else near, but they barely produce any vegetables. The baby strawberries were cute but so small and infrequent that it was just more of a game for my kids to find and eat them and then complain they were too sour. The cherry tomatoes are similarly too small and sour, so my kids aren’t that into them. Other than all the lettuces that grow great, many of the herbs were a hit as well. I loved having thyme, cilantro, chives, and basil to add to any fresh recipes. Mint grows well, but I never really know what to do with it.

A timeline or usage

  • setup with free month and initial first 30 cubes
  • ending membership with many pods, I find I can grow and harvest most far longer than they indicated
  • buying pods at non-member cost
  • cleanings
  • learning how to recycle and reuse pods
  • yearly shutdown during summer
  • yearly deep clean… It was really worth taking the whole thing apart and deep-cleaning EVERYTHING
  • restart monthly membership to get new cubes
  • restarting Gardyn nursery in early fall
  • as I wrap up my final outdoor harvests, I already have a bounty of greens in the basement to lift my spirits.

Final Thoughts

I enjoy my odd basement gardening hobby and all the home cooking it inspires. A large photo gallery of my gardyn in action hopefully gives a good idea of what you can expect if you decide you want some more plants in your life.

Gardyn Gallery