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Today’s post is in response to a question we’ve come across numerous times recently, from our audience and around the internet in general; what is (and what are some of the best) indoor non-hydroponic starter herb garden kits?
And, apparently, what a good question it is indeed! Even Google currently lacks search results with great answers that aren’t either sponsored, too short, or sales-pitchey (which is why we decided to step in and take the task on).
Read on below and explore what exactly indoor non-hydroponic starter herb garden kits are, what they come with, and why you should be interested in them if you are beginning your journey into indoor gardening!
What is an Indoor Non-Hydroponic Starter Herb Garden?
Indoor non-hydroponic start herb gardens are just what they sound like; indoor herb gardens are for starters that are also non-hydroponic.
Kits are widely available on the internet, including everything you need to start up your own indoor non-hydroponic herb garden.
But, all kits are not created equal. Some come with seeds and containers only, while others include growing mediums, lights, plant markers, and more.
That’s why learning all about them, before attempting to pick one out, is the surest way to make a well-informed decision as to which starter herb garden is right for your non-hydroponic indoor growing operation!
Who Are Indoor Starter Garden Kits for?
Indoor starter gardens, despite their name, are not just for “starters”, rather the kit itself provides everything you need to start a garden.
In other words, indoor start garden kits are for gardeners of all skill levels, including people with little to no experience growing things.
Why Are Herbal Garden Kits so Popular?
Herbal garden kits, particularly, are popular because they are easy to start, care for, and harvest. Even more, anyone that cooks can put to use some of the herbs they grow as kitchen ingredients or even earn a bit of cash from their crops like mint.
Another reason they are popular is that herbs are much shorter than other plants and do well in small spaces (like kitchen windows and window boxes).
What Kind of Lights Come with Starter Gardens?
Start gardens sometimes come with lights, and sometimes don’t. When kits do come with lights, they are typically some sort of LED plant lights. The lights may be on a tripod, strip-style, or come with a hanging LED grow light ratchet harness.
Read our review on the SF1000 grow light, if you want our recommendation on a great starter light for an indoor garden of any kind.
What Comes with an Indoor Non-Hydroponic Starter Herb Garden Kit?
Before you can pick the right non-hydroponic indoor start herb garden for yourself, you need to understand exactly what comes with the various kits out there.
Below, we list all of the most significant parts of a good starter herb garden kits:
Seeds are a staple item for starting gardens of any kind. Herb garden kits tend to come with a decent variety of seed types. Usually, there is enough to grow anywhere from 6 to 20 different kinds of plants.
Containers are another of the most important items to look for in a garden kit, of any kind. With no containers, it isn’t much of an actual garden kit, is it? We most certainly advise skipping over kits that lack containers.
3. Soil or Growing Medium
The best kits also include some sort of growing medium or seed starter plugs. Garden kits that lack soil, peat pellets, or some other form of growing medium are often not worth the money. You will need to make additional purchases with kits like these before you can get started with your garden.
4. Plant Markers
Plant markers, stickers, signs, or labels, whatever you want to call them, are another common item in indoor non-hydroponic herbal garden kits. That said, they are extra, and shouldn’t be expected with the least expensive and most basic kits. It’s ok though, because, DIY plant markers are really really easy to make.
5. Planting Fork
A planting fork, or a similar tool, is always included with genuine premium garden starter kits of any sort. Herb gardens often include them because herbs are more often started from seeds than almost any other type of plant. If the kit you like doesn’t come with one, however, it isn’t a deal breaker. Just don’t forget to order one at the same time (so they will arrive around the same time).
Lights are the most expensive component in most gardening kits, period. The better the lights, and the more of them, the higher the cost of the kit is. Kits without lights are much cheaper, anywhere from $50 to $500 cheaper, to be precise.
That said, buying lights individually is also expensive, so if you don’t have any, and you want lights for your garden, look for a starter kit that includes them. That way you get the best deal. Besides, you can always buy more lights at a later date.
How to Pick the Best Indoor Herb Garden for Your Home
Now that you know what to look for in the best indoor non-hydroponic herb garden start kits, with and without lights, there are a few questions you should ask yourself, before going forward with your decision-making:
How Much Space do You Have?
The amount of space you have inside your home (or wherever you plan on setting up your indoor garden) is crucial. This one factor has more to do with what you should and shouldn’t attempt, indoor herb garden-wise.
A standard indoor herb garden, however, may be as little space as a coffee table top, or as much room as a walk-in closet.
How Much Garden Knowledge do You Have?
What do you know about gardening? Do you know how much water things take? How much light do plants need? What about fertilizer and plant food? Do you know the difference between mulch and compost?
Before choosing a kit, ordering it, and setting up your new garden, make sure you know what you are getting into. Otherwise, you’re going to be herbless, and out of pocket to boot.
Lights: To be or not to be?
After you’ve decided how much space can be dedicated to your garden, as well as brushed up on your general gardening knowledge, it’s time to make an important decision: lights or no lights, that is the question.
So… to be, or not to be? Only you and your gardening space can decide that.
For example, if there are plenty of windows and daylight, you may not need lights at all. If the room has walls with no windows, you have no choice but set up and use lights.
Soil, Leca, or Alternative Growing Medium?
The type of growing medium that you want to use, and that a gardening kit comes with is incredibly important.
That said if you are paying attention, and everything is good to go with the kit you want to buy, except the growing medium, it is not exactly a deal breaker.
You can easily order some extra growing medium such as peat or coco coir at the same time you place the order for the herb garden kit itself.
Containers, Shelves, and Room for Expansion?
One of the most overlooked aspects of starter kits for herb gardens is the containers, shelves, and ability or room to expand the indoor growing operation if you so choose to do so in the future.
Does the kit include shelving? If no, can you afford to purchase some or repurpose an old shelf? Do you even need shelving? Only you can answer these questions and make the right buying decision.
Likewise, if you plan on starting small, learning, and then expanding, you may want to consider buying a kit that is easy to add to later on.
Is a Kit Right for You?
If you are scratching your head and tapping your foot right about now, wondering about more than one answer to the questions above you may benefit from asking yourself one last question before moving on to the kits we’ve listed below: is an indoor non-hydroponic starter herb garden kit really for you?
Or would you do better off simply buying each piece individually and starting from there? Only you know the answer, and only if you take the time to think things out and do the math.
Indoor Non-Hydroponic Starter Herb Garden Kits (with and without lights)
We’ve gathered four indoor non-hydroponic start herb garden kits that we think are a step above the rest.
They are the:
Below, we break each one down, including what comes with the kit, what we like about it, and who/what the kit is best for (in our opinion):
Our Pick for Best Overall Indoor Herb Garden: Spade to Fork Kit
The spade to fork kit is our top pick for overall best kit. It is an indoor herb garden that comes with everything you need to get started, period. The only thing this kit doesn’t include is a watering can (which no kits include, that we are aware of).
You can grow up to half a dozen types of herbs at one time, and you can get started the minute you open the package.
Growing medium, containers, seeds, planting tool, and instructions are all part of this indoor herbal gardening non-hydroponic kit.
What we like: the kit is made for gardeners of all skill levels and includes everything but lights.
Who/what this kit is best for: this kit is perfect for gifts, teaching kids, and growing herbs for use in the kitchen as we as starting herbs for outdoors.
Our Pick for Window Herb Gardens: Planters’ Choice Kit
The Planters’ Choice kit is our pick for the best window herb garden kit. It is non-hydroponic and includes 3 more types of herbs than our top pick, and sturdy containers.
The kit also comes with seeds and plant markers as well, so you don’t get your herbs mixed up before they are big enough to identify more easily.
This garden is made for skill levels of all sorts, including complete beginners and advanced botanists alike.
What we like: literally anyone with a sunny windowsill or table in front of a window that receives plenty of light throughout the day can make the most of this kit, with little effort on their part.
Who/what this kit is best for: this kit is for people looking to supplement kitchen herbs with their own homegrown supply, as well as though who want to add a bit of greenery to the aesthetics of their home.
Our Pick for Indoor Herb Garden Kits With Lights: Vegepod
The Vegepod is our top pick for indoor herb garden kits with lights. It is also our pick for expandable indoor garden kits as well. More or less, this kit is a baby version of what indoor commercial gardeners use to grow certain crops.
Vegepod garden kits work for much larger plants like tomatoes and cucumbers as well as smaller plants like herbs.
What we like: we like that this kit comes with an actual grow tent, and lights, as well as a basin-style bottom. It is by far one of the most professional-like quality kits on the market.
Who/what this kit is best for: anyone who wants to start with an herb garden and possibly expand to growing other fruits or vegetables would do well to consider this kit (or a DIY set up with grow tent).
Our Pick for Gift Indoor Herb Garden Kit: HOME GROWN
This particular indoor herb garden kit is absolutely adorable. The crisp clean white color pots and the vivid green herbs make for a lovely dash of aesthic charm in any room of the house with a window. The kit makes a wonderful gift for people interested in gardening, piddling around the kitchen, or both.
What we like: this kit includes sleek containers, and everything else needed to get started with a basic indoor herb garden, including seeds and instructions.
Who/what this kit is best for: this kit is best for growing on a window sill, or adding a bit of greenery to the kitchen more so than harvesting decent crops.
A Final Word About Indoor Non-Hydroponic Starter Herb Garden Kits
Now that you know all about indoor non-hydroponic starter herb garden kits, you should be able to make the most well-informed decision about which one is right for you (or if you should go the DIY route instead).
We strongly suggest going the DIY route, and buying the things you need from the local community (and meeting other gardeners while doing so).
But, if you don’t have the time, or can’t easily get to the local gardening center to buy supplies, ordering an indoor starter kit herb garden may be the best option for you.
You may always want to consider learning about home hydroponics, semi-ponics, or building a DIY system if you are open to alternative gardening methods.
Do you know about a great starter kit type garden for our audience that’s interested in starting an indoor herb garden?
Or would you prefer a DIY setup, and if so, what sort? Let us know in the comment section below! Thanks for reading.
Suggested Reading: What is the Difference Between Gardening and Farming
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