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How to Grow a Garden in Your Kitchen

Indoor garden kits bring fresh produce to your fingertips all year long.

By Carly Scholl

Even the most gifted green thumbs know that gardens often struggle to survive a Sonoran summer and crops lovingly cared for all winter and spring are lost to the scorching sun. But for avid plant-lovers, cultivating fresh produce indoors and year-round is as easy as the simple touch of a button.

Over the last decade, indoor agriculture has gained momentum as a top home trend thanks to new technological developments and increased demand from consumers who are discovering the value of fresh, organic, sustainable produce made easy. From small startup brands that take inspiration from NASA in the development of their grow kits to worldwide appliance giants, everyone is getting in on the trend.

Here are a few of our favorite indoor growing systems that can help you beat the summer slump—or simply embrace a new, high-tech way of gardening all year long.

The Integrated Garden

Taking the concept of in-home growing systems to an elevated level, global companies big and small are introducing indoor garden appliances to the market. At the annual Consumer Electronics Show in
Las Vegas this past January, LG and Samsung revealed their urban gardening concepts, which are projected to become available to consumers later this year. Both designs resemble sleek columnar refrigerators but actually grow a multitude of fresh produce inside using complex smart technologies.

Also debuting earlier this year at Las Vegas’ Kitchen and Bath Industry Show was the Kitchen Garden by Natufia. “The health aspect of the Kitchen Garden was very important to me,” says Gregory Lu, co-founder of the company. “When I started working on this design, I learned so much about pesticides and herbicides, and it really scared me to think about what we’re ingesting along with our produce.” In addition to the health benefits of Natufia’s organic, non-GMO seeds, Lu also notes the advantage of having a year-round harvest. “Arizona has a beautiful winter season, but it can be hard to grow plants in the summer,” he says. “I wanted to make something that allowed people to have autonomy over their food and not have their gardens dictated by the weather.”

Comprising a food-grade stainless steel frame, specially designed LED lighting and a hinged door fitted with tinted glass so you can watch your seeds sprout in real time, Natufia’s Kitchen Garden boasts the ability to maintain the perfect light, temperature, water and pH levels to ensure the optimal health for plants. Thirty-two ceramic cups are fitted in rows, each of which can be planted with a different flower, leafy vegetable or herb from Natufia’s selection of non-GMO seeds. And because the unit, which measures 83″H by 23″D by 23″W, operates similarly to other household appliances, it can be integrated into any kitchen design that has the space. $12,800 (

The Moveable Feast

If your kitchen can’t fit a whole new appliance, opt for a free-standing grow system that allows you to choose where you want your garden to flourish. Aeroponic and hydroponic designs are ideal, as they nurture plants in air or water environments, respectively, and without the use of soil. These innovative structures can cultivate plenty of produce on their own and are fascinating to watch, making them perfect for families with curious kids.

Above Measuring 58″H by 24″ in diameter, the Tower Garden Home is made from USDA-approved plastic and has 32 pockets staggered from top to bottom that can grow individual plants aeroponically. Included in the set are a variety of seeds, seed-starting supplies, LED grow lights, a specially blended plant food, pH test kit and all the necessary equipment for circulating water through the system. Set on casters, the structure can easily be moved from room to room. $970 ( Left Equipped with “Kelby,” a virtual assistant that manages all growing conditions of your plants, the Gardyn tower is a fully automated grow kit that features cameras, sensors, LED lights and app connectivity so that you can ensure a bountiful harvest every step of the way. The structure measures 64″H by 24″W by 12″D and comes with 30 individual planting cubes and an assortment of organic seeds, such as jalapenos, arugula and morning glory, so you can begin growing right away. $899 (

The Countertop Comrade

For the homeowner without much space to spare—or the conservative type who doesn’t need a whole garden’s worth of greens for every meal—a compact countertop grow kit is the perfect option. Set one in your kitchen, living room or even master bathroom for a touch of biophilic harmony, and witness your minigarden flourish with little to no maintenance.

The hydroponic Bounty Elite Artisan, which features a glazed ceramic water bowl, touchscreen commands, LED lights and space to cultivate nine different plants, is a top-rated system. $460 (

Inspired by NASA’s antigravity research, the Rotofarm by Bace is a countertop grow system that uses rotary hydroponics to grow nearly 5 feet of produce, rotating 360 degrees every 46 minutes to relieve growth-restricting gravitational force on the plants. The app-controlled, anodized aluminum design measures 28″H by 15″W and can grow everything from edible flowers to herbs to leafy greens. Available for preorder. (


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