Grow Hydroponic Crops On Your Desk With These NASA-Inspired Planters

Hydroponics, or growing plants using nothing but water, light, and air, has been hailed as the future of farming–on Earth and also in space, where size and weight are severely constrained. But hydroponic systems often require pumps, tubes, wires, and near-constant oversight, which might be feasible for researchers and scientific experiments, but not necessarily you and your home.

That’s why the Los Angeles-based startup Future Farms designed a hydroponic pot–called the Spacepot–that eliminates the need for all that equipment. You simply add a combination of water and nutrients to the Spacepot, put your seed (any kind of seed will do, but leafy herbs and lettuces are ideal for this method) into a “growpod” where it can germinate, and wait for your plant to grow. All you have to do is refill the plant nutrients every two weeks. After five weeks or so, you’ll have a plant on your hands.

[Photo: courtesy Future Farms]
This is called the Kratky method–and it’s the simplest way to grow plants hydroponically. The Spacepot simplifies the Kratky method even further, removing any possible confusion for those of us without green thumbs with their simple three-step process. Perhaps because of that, the pot itself looks remarkably normal–save for the orange acrylic casing, which gives it a vaguely futuristic appearance and highlights the system within.

NASA has long been researching how to use hydroponics to grow food for astronauts in space, and the Spacepot’s name is a not-so-subtle reference to the pioneering work the agency has done. With a pot this clever, you’ll never kill your Earthling plants again. Spacepots are on sale online for $49, with extra Growpods for $10.KS