Root: The Bigger Countertop Hydro Garden

The latest news in indoor garden systems is the arrival of Root, a smart phone interactive micro hydroponic garden that will interest those who find that gadgets like the Aerogarden as simply too small. After all, should you have to buy two of them to be able to grow enough on the counter top? That’s certainly not compact anymore.

Root could change that problem with one unit. It gives you space to grow 16 plants in one system, on a single small footprint. Not only that, but it looks like they all have more space to spread out too than with in all the other counter-sized hydroponic gardens. Like many of the newer systems that have launched in the past couple of years, this one also allows you to monitor it with an app on your mobile. It wasn’t designed to sit under a cabinet, standing 26″ tall, but it would be perfect on your kitchen island. And while the system’s footprint is just 12 inches wide, you will need to allow more area than that to allow for plant growth around the tower.

Root: New Micro Hydroponic GardenCurrently this all organic hydro garden from Ohneka Farms is in the crowdfunding stage on Indiegogo, and they’ve got 8 more days to raise the money needed to go into production. While there are already a number of options on the market, I can see where this one fills a niche for those who want to grow more plants. And it’s built to allow you to do your indoor gardening in a lot of other spots around the house than on the counter top or a table – something you wouldn’t want to try with the Aerogarden. Root’s construction is more suited to placement in the corner of the laundry room, an empty spot in the garage, or tucked away in a closet.

Since it uses only 40 watts of electricity a month to run, and illuminate, you know it’s outfitted with LEDs in the light dome. That all sounds awesome, and this is sufficient light for greens and some herbs, but don’t count on it supporting a healthy crop of tomatoes, peppers, or woody herbs. These plants all require full summer sun to produce robust, healthy plant,s and ultimately, deliver a great harvest. They also require the high temperature of sultry days too, which means you need more heat than most homes in cold climates have in winter, which means you need a grow box or closed grow room like a closet to control their environment better. Finally, plants like the tomatoes and jalapenos most people want to grow need a lot more light energy only available from powerful grow lights like HID, plasma, or induction fixtures. The same goes for woody herbs. While they list that these heat-seeking, sun lovers as perfectly suited for the Root system, it is questionable that you would enjoy an efficient such crop based on experience and hydro industry knowledge. Studying all images online of the system filled with lush plants, nothing but lettuces, leaf vegetables, and soft-stemmed herbs are growing in it.

Root Smartphone Control AppIt looks like a great indoor salad garden, or one that will supply you with a consistent supply of lovely fresh herbs year around. To learn more, visit the Roots campaign page at Indiegogo. Naturally, you can jump in and become an early adopter there too. Once they have begun production, purchasing a Root system will carry a price tag of $299. Right now you can reserve one complete with the start-up kit at a $60 savings during their crowdfunding campaign, and there’s an option for getting 2 systems if you want even more growing space. Better hurry though, it ends on December 18th.

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Tammy Clayton

Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine

Tammy has been immersed in the world of plants and growing since her first job as an assistant weeder at the tender age of 8. Heavily influenced by a former life as a landscape designer and nursery owner, she swears good looking plants follow her home.