Look, I’m a fan of any hobby that provides you with something to eat!
Whether it’s indoor hydroponics, or outdoor gardening… I’m in!
But how about this: we scale our ambitions down a little and combine the two into a mini, hassle-free, and great looking kitchen countertop garden.
The herb gardens selected for this article have to meet the following conditions:
- They have to weigh less than 8 pounds.
- They have to cost less than $100. There’s simply no reason to bust the bank growing herbs. Even the automated growing kits listed below cost less than $100. Oh, and yes they still work remarkably well.
- They have to look good. This is arbitrary of course but half the fun of an indoor herb garden is the aesthetic appreciation.
- They must yield at least 3 herbs for each planting phase. For this reason, most selections on this list are ‘kits’.
I’m going to have fun with this list and include some ‘standard’ seed starting kits, with a few distinctive hydroponic ones.
Alright, let’s get into it!
1. AeroGarden Harvest
It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of the AeroGarden lineup. They offer four families of hydroponic (the Sprout, the Harvest, the Bounty, and the Farm) automated grow kits.
Now, you can grow more than just herbs with the Harvest and the Harvest is actually not their smallest herb kit – that would be the AeroGarden Sprout – but I’ve always preferred the Harvest for 4 main reasons:
- It’s available with both the 360, circular design and the boxy traditional design seen above.
- It offers 6 planting pods – which means you can grow 6 plants at one time – which is twice the number of pods that the Sprout offers.
- It equips a more powerful 20 watt grow light for speedy plant growth.
- It’s small: 9″ wide and weighs under 6 pounds.
We ran a speed test for a previous article and found that the Harvest yields herbs ready for harvest in roughly 34 days after planting.
2. Click and Grow Smart Garden 3
Click and Grow can be seen as AeroGarden’s main rival in the hydroponic, smart garden business.
This Smart Garden 3 is their smallest kit.
It comes ready with three planting pods and includes basil seeds to get you started.
These systems are truly easy to operate. You insert the capsules, add water, plug it in, and just like that you’re officially a hydroponic gardener.
The Smart Garden 3 weighs about half of the AeroGarden Harvest, coming in at a little under 4 pounds.
And of course, Click and Grow offers over 50 varieties of seed pods including a ‘grow anything’ pod.
Check it out, maybe you’ll get as much enjoyment out of it as I have.
3. VegeBox Herb Garden Kit
The VegeBox offers 9 planting pods in a relatively modern case.
It has an adjustable lamp, it weighs roughly 3 pounds, and is available with a smart LED control system.
So, all in all, this is just another nifty automated hydroponic garden.
4. GrowLED LED Indoor Garden
This kit is excellent for growing micro-greens and small herbs like mint along with succulents.
I have to admit, the design of this unit isn’t exactly great. It looks sort of clunky and the LED lamp post resembles a paper towel holder but nevertheless, it’s functional and relatively inexpensive.
5. Amazing Creation Windowsill Herb Planter Box
These rectangular self-watering planters have a modern look, are roughly 10 inches long, and have a built-in 2-pot nesting design drainage feature.
The planters also provide plenty of space within the growing reservoir for plant roots to develop.
6. iDOO Hydroponics Growing System
Yes, another hydroponic grow kit.
This iDOO unit is currently the #1 new release on Amazon’s ‘plant germination kit’ category.
It utilizes a double pump nutrient circulation system that runs for 5 minutes and pauses for 30 minutes.
With three smart grow modes optimized for various plants, herbs, and spices, iDOO might become a serious player in the automated hydroponics market within the next few years. Check it out and let us know what you think.
7. Urban Leaf Vegetable Garden Starter Kit
Urbanleaf is a small company producing bottle gardens, seed collections, and soil kits.
This culinary garden kit equips you with everything you need to get growing right away.
It includes basil, parsley, and cilantro seeds. A reusable handcrafted planter made from recycled timber, 3 coconut coir growing disks (my favorite growing grow media), along with bamboo labels.
Urbanleaf products look great, feel sturdy, and are convenient for quick, hassle-free plant growth.
8. Elongated Self Watering Planter Pots Window Box
Another sleek elongated self-watering window planter.
This unit has drain holes at the bottom, comes with 4 coconut coir growing disks, and an easy-to-read water level indicator.
On top of all this, it stores water for up to a week therefore daily watering is not required.
9. MOHENA 10.5 Inch Self Watering Planter Pot Rectangle
You can use this self-watering planter kit indoors or outdoors. It has drainage holes, retains water well, looks sleek, and is constructed from Polypropylene which is arguably the safest material for indoor planters.
10. Nature’s Blossom Herb Garden Seed Starter Kit
This Nature’s Blossom kit offers 4 types of herb seeds to get growing with right away, 4 biodegradable planting pots, compressed soil pellets, and plant labels, along with a nice-looking plant stand.
It also costs less than $30. I think kits like this are ideal for those who are just starting their foray into indoor herb gardening.