Gardening is a joy, whether it's growing your own veggies or maintaining a pristine arrangement of floriferous borders, but for many of us, it's either too time-consuming or too space-hungry to manage. If you’ve ever felt that niggling desire to grow your own food, but not known where to start, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve been playing with the Garden Gizmo for a few months now, and it's a truly spectacular bit of kit, seemingly able to handle herbs and microgreens on a scale that, in theory, should require three or four times the space it takes up.
So, follow our review guide to this brilliantly handy bit of kit, which truly is a great garden gizmo and really earns its name.
What is the Garden Gizmo?
The Garden Gizmo is a clever, self-contained indoor hydro garden, primarily designed for cultivating kitchen herbs. With six compact growing pods, each connected to a reservoir of clean water below, it’s easy to get started.
As well as being a mini hydroponic garden, it has a simple adjustable grow light, so even in south-facing kitchens, you can grow everything you need to flavour your cooking.
The unit itself is really neatly designed, with slightly curved corners that soften its look, and the grow light has a bright but kind-on-the-eyes glow that doubles up as ambient light in the evening if you want.
About the Garden Gizmo Brand
Garden Gizmo are a husband and wife team, based near Perth, and while they didn’t set out with global ambitions, they’ve created something so neat, clean and simple that there’s not much chance it won’t go that way.
For now, they ship to Australia, and their straightforward garden gizmo is their only product, meaning customer care is easy, straightforward, and human.
In terms of what they offer that’s different from other kitchen herb gardens, that’s really quite easy: Garden Gizmo is a brand based on simplicity: simple design; simple to use; simple to grow; and a simple interface to top it off.
For example we’ve used tons of these kitchen herb gardens, some with clunky screens, and others with over-the-top apps, which are upgraded by phone updates. Keeping the interface simple, and clear, as Garden Gizmo has, means you’ll always know just what to do, and when.
How Does the Garden Gizmo Work?
The Garden Gizmo works using a scaled-back hydroponic system. Using a simple coco coir and perlite mix for the starter pods, it's easy to germinate seedlings, and quick too.
After that, the reservoir does most of the work, as roots feed out of the slits in the pods, and trail into the water.
For woody herbs, you can buy a pre-mixed fertiliser from Garden Gizmo, but most hydroponic A&B nutrient mixes will work too. For soft herbs like basil, chives, or even lettuce, they will technically grow in water alone, so you can wing it and go nutrient-less if you like (but for better flavour, do consider adding nutrients to your shopping list).
The UV grow light is set on an adjustable rung, meaning you can keep it low down to seedlings, and slide it up as your herbs grow taller and taller.
What Can You Grow Using the Garden Gizmo Indoor Hydro Garden?
The Garden Gismo is designed to grow herbs, but it’s great for cut-and-come-again salad crops like oakleaf lettuce.
If you’re confident enough, you could try growing strawberries too, but for new gardeners, or anyone who’s not confident in their own green thumb, maybe start out by looking at their range of seeds - all of which are tried and tested with the Garden Gizmo, and all will work perfectly with the kit supplied in their Essentials Pack.
What Do You Get in the Package?
The essentials pack comes with a twelve-month warranty, 250ml of nutrients to get you started, and enough growing medium for a few rounds of growing too.
The unit itself needs some assembly, but it's intuitive to get going, with 6 pods and domes to fit into the lid (the domes are used as covers for any unused pods if you’re not using them all).
Once filled, the power adapter fits Australian plugs, and you’re good to go.
Also included in the package:
- Seed tweezers: Ideal for fiddly work, or gently moving young plants away from one another)
- Plant markers: Especially handy for unfamiliar gardeners when seedlings are starting to emerge, so you don’t forget what you planted.
- 24w, 84 LED, 4000k grow light: Perfect for all stages of growth
Self-watering grow deck: The most important bit! (required no assembly, and is easy to use, fill, and clean.
How to Use the Garden Gizmo Indoor Hydro Garden
It's super easy to use the Garden Gizmo hydro garden. To help you out, we gave it a go and kept track of the process. But in very basic terms, you open the pack, you fill the pods, add the water, sow the seeds and switch it on.
That really is it. It’s designed with non-gardeners in mind, so there’s no green-thumbed trickery going on, just a plain, simple, garden tool.
Garden Gizmo Frequently Asked Questions
What seeds can I sow in my Garden Gizmo?
You can sow any seeds you like in the Garden Gizmo, but smaller plants make for an easier experience. For more advanced gardeners, why not try starting large veggies like tomatoes or courgettes, and potting them when the Garden Gizmo has done its work?
Can I grow flowers in the Garden Gizmo?
You can grow most annual flowers in the garden gizmo, which could be a stunning feature in any kitchen, but stick to low-growing or trailing plants like petunias or lobelia for the best effect.
Can I grow root veggies in my Garden Gizmo?
The Garden gizmo isn't suitable for root vegetables but can be used to germinate seeds. Beetroot, carrot, and onion seeds can all be sown in the garden gizmo before transplanting out into the garden.
Why doesn’t the Garden Gizmo have a pump?
Many indoor hydroponic kits come with a pump, but they are noisy and don’t add to the health of smaller systems like this. To make the Garden Gizmo more accessible, and nicer to be around, the designers removed noisy pumps and kept it simple.
There are many types of growing kits available in Australia so be sure to check out our list of the best ones which we've tried and tested for you to choose from:
Enjoy Fresh Produce with the Help of a Garden Gizmo Indoor Hydro Garden
If you’re considering adding a Garden Gizmo to your home, it’s well worth it. It’s a brilliant little piece of kit that can turn anyone into a gardener and what’s more, you’re supporting an Australian-grown business, and backing innovative design too.
There are bigger hydroponic systems for more advanced growers but for anyone just getting started, or even if you want to add more growing space to an existing kitchen garden, the Garden Gizmo really is worth the money.