I decided to write an iDoo Hydroponics Growing System Review for you and share my experiences. I’ll continue to update this post as time goes on as well as additional content about each type of plant that I grow.
Before we get started, this is the exact hydroponic garden I purchased. It will open in a second window if you want to leave it open for reference while you read.
Since purchasing, I’ve received quite a few questions so this article is a bit lengthy as I’ve tried to answer them all. You’ll also find a video at the bottom of this post.
I hope you find this iDOO hydroponics review helpful. I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. If you find this review helpful, you can purchase your hydroponic garden using any of the links in this post.
You can view my go-to hydroponic growing sponges, machine, and other items on my Amazon Storefront.
I also have a video further down in this post that you will likely find helpful when reviewing the iDoo 12pods hydroponics growing system.
iDoo Indoor LED Hydroponic System
I wasn’t sure if this hobby would last for me so I figured I could upgrade to a different model later if I got into it.
When choosing a system, I chose from $50- $100 hydroponic gardens with the highest reviews which gave me the confidence of purchasing an item that was fulfilled by Amazon. The garden met the minimum purchase for free shipping and that’s always a plus!
If you’re willing to spend a little more on a hydroponic grow system, here’s an example of a large hydroponic garden for indoors.
The biggest differences I found with these more gardens are the adjustable light features allowing growing up to 36″ whereas my unit only has about 12″ maximum. This is something to think about if you want to grow plants indoors.
I ultimately purchased the Amazon iDOO hydroponic growing system called “iDOO 12Pods Hydroponics Growing System, Indoor Herb Garden with Grow Light, Plants Germination Kit Built-in Fan, Automatic Timer, Up to 11.3″ mainly due to the price, but I also liked the compact size. It stays on my kitchen counter.
Even though I read that it’s almost impossible to grow 12 plants in a 12-plant system, I still chose it so I would have the option to start more plants from seed and then transplant them outside if I want.
The iDOO hydroponic system is compact so why not have the option, right? I quickly found that the plants needed to be moved around based on their different growth stages so I’m glad I chose this indoor hydroponic garden.
iDOO Hydroponic Indoor Garden System How To Use
The iDoo hydroponics growing system instructions were very clear. The assembly and set-up were quite easy and the instructions were good.
Everything snaps together with absolutely no tools necessary. It came with everything you need to get started except seeds.
Unpack the system and remove the white tray with holes and you’ll find everything inside. The pump is already installed and you don’t need to do anything with it.
The power adaptor has a black piece of plastic on the end of the cord and it matches up with a black square in the light. The pump plugs into the light on the other side, closest to the pump.
The pole that holds the light snaps in. Just gently work it in until it hits the bottom with the wheel height adjustment facing the wall.
The light snaps right in on top of that in the oval groove. Add 4 L of water. There’s a gauge on the front which makes this easy. I like the larger water tank capacity. I add water less often than I do with my Aerogarden Harvest.
Make sure the little plastic plug in the back is secure. When you clean the system, you’ll hold it over the sink and pull that drain plug then replace it to refill.
They send an extra one so look for it in one of the envelopes. Add the nutrients per the product specifications.
NEVER pick up the system without holding your finger over the plug to hold it in. It popped out on me once. I don’t use the plug so I’ve taped mine on using strong tape.
You can plug the unit in once the water and nutrients are added and the two cords are plugged into the light. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Put the white tray with holes on top of the unit.
Put a seed in the tiny hole in the top of the brown growing sponge and then put the sponge in the white basket and place it in an empty spot in the white tray.
PRO TIP: For very tiny seeds, dip a toothpick or skewer in clean water, touch a seed with the toothpick to pick it up, then place the seed into the growing sponge.
Put a clear plastic lid over the top and leave that in place until you see green leaves sprout.
Select one of the two grow modes on the top of the control panel to start the light cycle for either growing fresh veggies or fruits/flowers.
Sprouting can happen in as little as 2 days but some seeds take longer. Save the clear plastic lids for the next planting.
iDOO Seed Pods – Do You Need Them?
Nope! I bought seeds from a hardware store, planted them, and had success with everything I bought.
If you’re searching for iDOO hydroponic growing seeds, they have them, but you don’t necessarily need to buy them.
When I bought my first hydroponic garden, I added a fresh herbs starter kit just to get me going.
If I had this to do over again, I would just purchase exactly what I wanted to grow. I didn’t have success with everything that came with the herb starter kit.
I replanted some of the seeds and had success on the second try except cilantro. Maybe I just needed to wait longer. I’m not very patient.
The seeds I bought from the store are:
- Red cherry tomatoes – 2 days to sprout
- Orange cherry tomatoes – 2 days to sprout
- Mixed lettuce seeds – 3 days to sprout
- Sweet Banana Peppers – 4 days to sprout
- Sweet Peppers – 4 days to sprout
Hydroponic Seed Sprouting
I’m updating this post due to some very good questions I received regarding what the seeds should look like when they sprout.
If you see a seed start to cover over with white fuzzy mold, my recommendation is to pull it out and start over. When I start a new seed, I just reuse the original sponge.
After a seed has sprouted, you should see a nice stem with green leaves. If a stem starts to look thin or weak, I recommend starting over with a new seed. When you get one like this, you’ll know what I mean, the stem is quite thin in one spot.
Please stay tuned as I have lots of things growing but I want to see successful fruits or vegetables before I write more.
My tomatoes after one month are about 7 – 8 inches tall but I haven’t gotten a tomato yet. I also think I’ll need to move these outdoors as they are getting so big.
I’ll likely leave one inside just to see what happens. I might have to make a trellis of some sort.
Other Things You May Want To Order
Things you may want to purchase more of are the iDoo growing sponges. I don’t buy the same brand. I haven’t had to replace the baskets yet. I’ve been able to reuse them.
You’ll need a new sponge each time you plant something new.
Cleaning the iDOO Hydroponic Growing System and Other Things You Should Know
Is the IDoo hydroponic garden difficult to clean? No. It’s quite easy to clean.
The light and fan come on in intervals. You can turn the fan off if you want to. The light is bright. It’s a combination of blue light and red light, mimicking the sunlight spectrum. It will look a little different depending on which mode you’re using.
I start my system when I leave for work and then every few days I unplug it and do the same. I don’t like the light glowing at night while I’m sleeping. If the light gets off as far as the timing goes, then I just restart it.
If the system gets lower on water, it will make a trickling noise letting you know to add more water. Adding the water will make it run more quietly.
Other than that, you can hear it a bit but it’s very quiet and has a low-noise pump. You can put these in a laundry room or extra bedroom. They aren’t heavy even when full so it’s not hard to carry them to the sink to drain and wash.
I clean mine out about once every 7 – 10 days. I drain and wipe out the tank. I also spray the pump off well and remove any debris that is stuck to it.
I fill the basin with clean water and a Tablespoon or so of bleach and allow the pump to run for about 5 minutes.
I add the white baskets to sterilize them as well. This was not recommended by the manufacturer but I had read about this being a good way to sterilize the unit between plantings.
Dump the bleach and water solution, add fresh water, and allow the unit to run again. Dump and add fresh water once again after the bleach is completely rinsed. Always unplug the unit when there is no water inside then plug it back in when it’s full.
iDOO Hydroponics When To Add Nutrients
Add the iDOO nutrients each time you clean the machine or when you’re adding water.
The formula is 5 milliliters of Nutrient A and 5 milliliters of Nutrient B to 1 liter of water. One liter is about 4 1/4 cups of water. The cap on the nutrients has the measurements on it.
When you’re adding water to the system, you wouldn’t want to dilute the current nutrients in the tank so that’s why it’s so important to add nutrients when you’re adding more water.
I always wait until I need one full liter to make math easier.
I put two tall drinking glasses upside down on my counter and rest the tray with all the plants still in their pods. I just put one glass under each edge and this keeps me from damaging the roots or having to remove the plants from the holes. This works great.
Keep plants with shorter roots closest to the pump. If the roots are getting very long, you can trim them with clean and sterilized scissors.
You’ll see aluminum foil over some of my plant bases. This protects the sponge from light and stops mold from growing on them. In most cases, I was able to let the seed sprout and then put foil around the stem.
I Bought A Second iDOO Indoor Countertop Garden
This hobby has gotten serious and you can now find more hydroponic articles at The Countertop Gardener. For the iDOO Hydroponic Garden review, I’d have to give it 5 stars so far.
For comparison, I did buy an AeroGarden. I chose a model that was similar in price. I’ll have to write a full review of that garden soon, but in short, I like the iDOO better.
I may be adding more units to the garden shed, so I’ll let you know.
In the second unit, I’m growing Dahlias, Zinnias, Poppies, Canterbury Bells, and Hollyhocks. Most of these will be moved outdoors once they get large enough.
Are Hydroponic Gardens Worth It?
I can’t see myself growing food on my counter regularly. This is more of a hobby for me and I’ve found the greatest value in growing flowers. Although, lettuce would be a great thing to grow year-round.
Flowers at a nursery are quite expensive. One small packet of seeds can yield A LOT of plants. I also harvest flower seeds from spent blooms each year.
Are you hydroponic gardening? What’s been your favorite thing to grow? Do you have any other questions about the system that I didn’t cover today?
I’m happy to answer! Just leave a question in the Comments section. I monitor for spam so it may take a day or so for the comment to show. Thanks for visiting. Now I’m off to make some DIY Succulent Kits.