Juice Plus Tower Garden Vs. Lettuce Grow Farmstand | In-depth Comparison

In this article, we compare two popular brands of hydroponic gardens: the Juice Plus Tower Garden vs. the Lettuce Grow Farmstand. Fair warning, this is a very long, in-depth comparison. We compare all the nitty-gritty details below, so you can read about all the differences and decide which hydroponic garden is the best fit for you. For each difference we look at, we pick which brand we like better. We then provide our bottom-line recommendation based on our analysis (feel free to skip to the bottom for a sneak peek!).

Here’s a breakdown of each aspect of the systems we’ll be covering in this article:

  • Business Model & Brief History
  • Understanding the Products – Basics of Each System
  • Seeds vs. Seedlings
  • Nutrients
  • Grow Medium
  • Accessories: Indoor Lights, Dolly, Growing Clips, Trellis
  • Aesthetics
  • Set-Up
  • Maintenance
  • Footprint
  • Plastic 
  • Packaging 
  • Price
  • Pay Over Time?
  • Ever Go on Sale?
  • What’s Included
  • User Friendly Website?
  • App?
  • Social Media
  • Customer Support
  • Warranty 
  • Returns
  • Giving Back

For those who aren’t familiar, a hydroponic garden allows you to grow vegetables, herbs and even some fruit without soil. The general process for both is the same – each comes with a water pump and timer, which when plugged in cycles water through the tower and waters the roots of the plants. Nutrients are added to the base of the tower weekly.  Hydroponic gardening has many benefits over traditional gardening and actually uses less water despite the name and process. Hydroponic gardening is also easier than traditional gardening (which we can personally attest to)!

Despite the basic principle being the same, the Juice Plus Tower Garden and Lettuce Grow Farmstand have many differences. Hopefully this comparison will be helpful if you’re trying to decide between the Tower Garden by Juice Plus and the Farmstand from Lettuce Grow.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links.  This website is largely reader-funded through making purchases using affiliate links (at no additional cost to you).  Thank you for your support!

Juice Plus Tower Garden Vs. Lettuce Grow Farmstand

Tower Garden Vs. Farmstand

Business Model & Brief History

Juice Plus Tower Garden: In 2016, Juice Plus, a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that previously only sold supplements, purchased the rights to the Tower Garden and began selling it for home use.

Juice Plus

They now sell two versions of the Tower Garden. One is called the Tower Garden Flex, which can be used outdoors or indoors (with the purchase of additional lights). The other is called the Tower Garden Home which is for indoor use only. We’ll discuss both in this article when comparing it to the Lettuce Grow Farmstand (though the Flex is most comparable to the Farmstand). 

As far as who actually invented the Tower Garden, it appears to be quite controversial.  Juice Plus claims that Tim Blank is the inventor of the Tower Garden. Tim Blank formerly worked in Disney World’s famous Epcot hydroponic garden area and is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Juice Plus.  However, a man by the name of Morris Bryan also claims to be the inventor of the Tower Garden. During our research, we found that both Tim Blank and Morris Bryan were issued patents related to the Tower Garden, and both patents are currently held by Juice Plus (Tower Garden LLC). However, Morris Bryan’s patent was filed first in 2004 and Tim Blank’s patent was filed in 2012. We’re not patent experts, but both patents must have been different enough and have some validity to have been issued and now individually held by Juice Plus.

Morris Bryan
Morris Bryan - the inventor of the Tower Garden?
Tim Blank
Tim Blank - the inventor of the Tower Garden?

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow was founded in 2019 by (the once married couple) Zooey Deschanel and Jacob Pechenik.  Zooey Deschanel is an actress best known for her role in the hit series New Girl.  Jacob Pechenik is a film producer. Lettuce Grow is a direct-to-consumer company. However, they do have a referral program which we will go over more later, that can save both you and a friend money.

Founders of Lettuce Grow
Zooey Deschanel and Jacob Pechenik, photo from the Lettuce Grow website

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand Aside from the controversy surrounding the inventor of the Tower Garden, the fact that Juice Plus is a multi-level marketing company is something we can’t fully get behind. 

Understanding the Products - Basics of Each System

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus offers two main growing systems – the Tower Garden Flex and the Tower Garden Home. The Tower Garden Flex (which came out first) can be used for growing outdoors or indoors, with the purchase of lights (sold separately). The Home is designed specifically for indoor use and includes LED grow lights.

Tower Garden Flex
Tower Garden Flex
Tower Garden Home

The Tower Garden Flex holds up to 20 full size plants out of the box, but also has 3 different “extensions” you can purchase separately:

  1. Extension Kit (holds 8 full plants)
  2. Baby Greens Extension Kit (holds 32 “baby green” plants)
  3. Combo Extension Kit (holds 4 full-sized plants and 16 “baby green” plants)
Tower Garden Extension Kit
Tower Garden Extension Kit
Tower Garden Baby Greens Extension Kit
Tower Garden Baby Greens Extension Kit
Tower Garden Combo Extension Kit
Tower Garden Combo Extension Kit

If you want to grow indoors with the Tower Garden Flex, you need to purchase the LED indoor grow lights. The Tower Garden Home is meant exclusively to be used indoors. The Home holds 16 full-sized plants and 16 smaller “baby green” plants, for a total of 32 plants. You can’t buy any extension kits for the Tower Garden Home. The Home also comes with the LED indoor grow lights. 

So what are the “baby greens” Juice Plus is referring to?

Baby greens are leafy greens that taste best when harvested at a few weeks old; hence the name, baby greens. They are often more dense in nutritional value. Tower Garden recommends these plants for the “Baby Greens” ports: Kale, Arugula, Mild mix, Spicy mix, Red-veined Sorrel, Garnet red Amaranth, Ruby red orach Amaranth, Scarlet frills mustard, Stir fry mix, Wrinkled crinkled cress, Salanova lettuce, most salad mixes, and most spicy green mixes.

The “baby greens” extension also looks and acts differently than the rest of the Tower Garden. It doesn’t hold the “net pots”; instead the rockwool (the Juice Plus growing medium – more on this later) gets placed directly into the ports. The ports are also much closer together than the rest of the tower. On the plus side, you can grow a lot more in less space, but on the downside, there is less space for each plant.

For some history, Juice Plus originally introduced this in 2018 as the “Micro Greens” extension for growing micro greens, but re-branded to encompass a larger variety of plants, the baby greens. We do agree that growing baby greens is much better, however, this has caused much confusion, even amongst Tower Garden owners.

Some limitations worth mentioning (for the Tower Garden FLEX only):

  1. You can only get one extension kit. If you want multiple, it requires upgrading to a stronger water pump.
  2. If growing indoors, the LED lights aren’t long enough for the Tower Garden with extensions. This is a common complaint among owners.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: The Lettuce Grow Farmstand comes in 5 sizes: 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36 plants.

 

The Lettuce Grow Farmstand in the various sizes available
The Lettuce Grow Farmstand in the various sizes available

If you want to grow indoors with the Lettuce Grow Farmstand, it’s recommended to purchase the LED indoor growing lights called “Glow Rings”.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand with Glow Rings
24 Plant Lettuce Grow Farmstand with Glow Rings

If you buy one of the smaller sizes of The Farmstand, you can buy extension kits up the the max of 36 plants. They offer both single or double extension kits. The single extension kits hold 6 plants and the double extension kits hold 12 plants. You can also purchase the Glow Rings separately if you decide to add these later or add levels to your Farmstand.

The Farmstand single extension kit
The Farmstand single extension kit
Glow Rings Extension Kit
Single Glow Ring Extension

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand As far as the simplicity of each vertical garden system, the Lettuce Grow Farmstand is much easier to understand (and explain to others). This reason alone could make it a better fit for a beginner. The array of Tower Garden towers and extra attachments is much more complicated to navigate. The Tower Garden Home is a more streamlined product, but it does come with its own limitations, like the fact it can’t be used outside.

Seeds vs. Seedlings

Juice Plus Tower Garden: When you buy the Tower Garden (either the Flex or Home), it comes with a variety of seeds. You do not get to choose what seeds you get. You also get a tray of rockwool cubes, which is Juice Plus’ growing medium, and a bag of vermiculite, which is sprinkled over top of the seeds.

Juice Plus Tower Garden Starter Seeds
Juice Plus Tower Garden Starter Seeds

You must germinate the seeds before putting them in the Tower Garden. It’s a bit of a process and takes 1-3 weeks before transferring into the Tower Garden. The rockwool is placed into the Tower Garden pots (called “net pots”), which is then placed into the Tower Garden. For the “baby green” section of the Tower Garden Home, or if you have the “baby greens” extension kit on your Tower Garden Flex, the rockwool cubes go directly into the ports. Below is a screenshot from the Tower Garden Home Growing Guide that shows the process.

Tower Garden Process of Germinating Seeds

To buy additional seeds for your Tower Garden, you need to go to an outside source. You can buy additional growing medium (the rockwool) through Juice Plus. A package of 98 rockwool cubes cost $19. You can also buy seedlings from a third party vendor if you don’t want to start with seeds and germinate them yourself (though you will still be provided the set of starter seeds and rockwool with the purchase of the Tower Garden). To make this process easier, Tower Garden has a list of approved vendors that sell seedlings that will work with the Tower Garden.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: When you buy the Lettuce Grow Farmstand, you can also buy your seedlings through Lettuce Grow. Lettuce Grow offers a variety of seedlings to choose from (based on your specific location & whether you’re growing indoors or out, as well as what plants are in season). Each seedling costs $2. Below is a screenshot showing some of the options (currently available at the time of this article):

Variety of Seedlings from Lettuce Grow
Variety of Seedlings from Lettuce Grow

Lettuce Grow will ship your seedlings a few days after your Farmstand so you have time to get it set up. You then place the seedlings into the pots or grow cups that come with The Farmstand, and then place the pots in The Farmstand.

Lettuce Grow Seedling

The seedlings bought through Lettuce Grow also come with guidance on where best to place each seedling on The Farmstand (for instance, top, bottom, anywhere, shade tolerant etc). Similar to the Tower Garden, you are not limited to using the plants Lettuce Grow provides. You can also buy seeds and a growing medium, germinate them yourself and then transfer to the Lettuce Grow Farmstand. You could also buy seedlings from a third party vendor.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand Starting with seedlings vs. seeds is a major difference between the two brands of vertical gardens. We personally prefer starting with seedlings for a variety of reasons. It’s a much shorter and simpler process. You do not need to find space in your home to germinate a tray of seeds indoors. You will also have a greater chance of success if you start with seedlings. Similar to traditional gardening, not all seeds will take and actually germinate into a plant. Starting with seedlings also makes the timespan shorter for when you can harvest and enjoy your veggies/herbs/fruits. Of course, with both growing systems, you are not limited to using what the company provides. However, the intended use of the Tower Garden is to start with the seeds.

Nutrients

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus provides their own brand of nutrients called the Mineral Blend. It’s a liquid nutrient that comes in two parts – A & B. Per the Juice Plus website, here are the instructions: “In general, you should mix 20 mL of Mineral Blend A and 20 mL of Mineral Blend B with each gallon of water you add to your Tower  Garden reservoir. But there are a couple of exceptions:

  • For a Tower Garden full of small seedlings, use half-strength nutrients (i.e., 10 mL of A and 10 mL of B per gallon of water). After about three weeks, you can increase the solution to full-strength.
  • During hot months—when the water evaporates from the reservoir more quickly—use half-strength nutrients (or add full-strength  every other time you fill the reservoir).”

The Juice Plus Tower Garden Mineral Blend comes with the purchase of any Tower Garden (1 qt each). When you run out, you can buy more from their website for $60 total (1 gallon of each). Shipping costs are pretty high (likely due to the fact it’s liquid/heavy). There are also shipping restrictions to certain areas.

Juice Plus Tower Garden Nutrients
The Juice Plus Tower Garden Nutrients

The proprietary blend of nutrients require special handling (directions say to wear gloves!) and contains the Prop 65 Warning (This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm).

You must wear gloves when handling the Juice Plus Tower Garden nutrients

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow provides an off-the-shelf brand of nutrients called Jack’s Nutrients in special Lettuce Grow packaging. It’s in the form of small pellets and comes in two parts – A & B.

The nutrients come with the purchase of the Lettuce Grow Farmstand and can be purchased separately when you run out for $28. However, you can also buy the same nutrients from other suppliers. Many buy in bulk from Amazon, as it comes out cheaper. The nutrients that come with The Farmstand also come with a 1 tsp scoop – don’t throw this away as future nutrients don’t come with the scoop.

Lettuce Grow provides the weekly number of scoops you need to add based on whether you’re growing indoors or out, your climate and your number of plants. You mix in each nutrient separately (many choose to dissolve in water first before adding to The Farmstand). 

Jack’s Nutrients, the nutrients used for the Lettuce Grow Farmstand, do not contain the Prop 65 Warning nor require special handling (i.e. gloves). Per Lettuce Grow, “We are proud to say that everything we do is California Prop 65 compliant which we believe is the highest standard when it comes to hydroponic food production. It means that there are absolutely no substances that will leach out of the Farmstand material to cause any known harm. Those same standards also apply to all of the Lettuce Grow products – packaging, nutrients, etc. – that come in contact with your Farmstand, its plants, and the water.”

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand Lettuce Grow is the clear winner in our eyes when it comes to the nutrients they use for the Farmstand compared to the Juice Plus Tower Garden. The process of adding the nutrients is much simpler. No need to measure out nutrients per gallon of water. Instead, simply add the recommended number of scoops once a week (the amount of water you add to the Farmstand is irrelevant). Additionally, no need to wear gloves or be concerned about the cancer-causing chemicals. Finally, the price of the Lettuce Grow nutrients is much cheaper (including shipping) – likely due in part that it’s a commercially available product. P.S. You can use the Jack’s Nutrients in the Juice Plus Tower Garden and vice versa.

Grow Medium

Juice Plus Tower Garden: The Tower Garden comes with rockwool as the growing medium. As mentioned above, you put the seeds in the rockwool to germinate, then place the rockwool into the “net pots” and then into the Tower Garden (or directly in the Tower Garden for the “Baby Greens” ports). Rockwool is also known as mineral wool or stone wool. OMRI, a non-profit organization with the mission to support organic integrity, has deemed rockwool to be synthetic and thus prohibited for use in organic agriculture. Because rockwool is synthetic, it is not compostable.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Seedlings bought through Lettuce Grow come in sustainably sourced peat moss and coco coir.  It can be composted after harvesting.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand We like that the Lettuce Grow growing medium is not only sustainably sourced, but compostable. We wish the Juice Plus Tower Garden used a more environmentally-friendly material. For those who want to germinate seeds (either for the Tower Garden or Farmstand), we recommend Root Riot as a grow medium, which is made of peat moss and fully biodegradable and compostable. 

The Tower Garden Rockwool vs. The Farmstand PeatMoss/Coco Coir

Organic?

Juice Plus Tower Garden: The variety seeds that come with the Tower Garden are not organic. As mentioned above, the growing medium Tower Garden uses (rockwool), is synthetic and can not be used for organic gardening purposes. For this reason, the Juice Plus Tower Garden is not good for growing organic produce straight out of the box.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: The seedlings you buy through Lettuce Grow for The Farmstand are organic (with the current exception of mint and strawberries – per the website, “Due to current supply constraints, our mint and strawberry seedlings are the only exceptions, and we are actively working towards providing organic options for these as well.”). The seedlings are also non-GMO. Additionally, the grow medium Lettuce Grow uses is suitable for organic gardening.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand

Accessories: Indoor Lights, Dolly, Growing Clips, Trellis

Indoor Lights

Juice Plus Tower Garden: The Juice Plus Tower Garden has LED lights that can be used for indoor growing. The lights are made up of 4 vertical strips that attach at the top of the stand. The lights come with the purchase of the Tower Garden Home system (which is meant only for indoor growing). The lights cost $300 if you want to add them to the Tower Garden FLEX system.

The indoor grow lights on the Tower Garden Flex
The indoor grow lights on the Tower Garden Flex
The indoor grow lights on the Tower Garden Home
The indoor grow lights on the Tower Garden Home

One benefit of the Juice Plus Tower Garden lights is that they are adjustable – you can move them closer or farther away from the plants. One disadvantage of the Juice Plus Tower Garden lights is that they aren’t full spectrum. This is why their website states “We do not recommend growing fruiting or flowering plants (ex. tomatoes) with grow lights.” This warning is currently only shows when you go to purchase the lights separately, and not on the Tower Garden Home, so some people may be in for a disappointment if they go to buy the Tower Garden Home without realizing this. If you do want to grow fruiting or flowering plants indoors, Juice Plus has recommended that you add red lights. However, for most, this additional step seems far too complicated and there are no easy ways to “add red lights”. Another flaw of the Juice Plus Tower Garden lights is that they aren’t long enough on the Flex model to accommodate any extensions. This is a major complaint amongst owners. One final thing to note is that the Juice Plus Tower Garden lights contain the Prop 65 warning.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: The Lettuce Grow Farmstand has full spectrum LED lights that can be used for indoor growing. The lights are called “Glow Rings” and are made up of rings that sit between each level of The Farmstand.

The price of the Glow Rings depend on how many you buy: for the 12 plant Farmstand you need 2 Glow Rings at a cost of $200; for the 18 plant Farmstand, 3 Glow Rings at $275; for the 24 plant Farmstand, 4 Glow Rings at $350; for the 30 plant Farmstand, 5 Glow Rings at $425 and for the 36 plant Farmstand, 6 Glow Rings at $500. You can also buy 1 Glow Ring for $100. Unlike the Juice Plus indoor lights, the Lettuce Grow Glow Rings are not adjustable. Lettuce Grow recommends harvesting plants before they touch the lights. One benefit of the Lettuce Grow Glow Rings over the Tower Garden lights is that they are full spectrum, meaning they can be used to successfully grow flowering and fruiting plants indoors. The Lettuce Grow Rings also more evenly reach the plants due to their circular nature.

Here, you can see the red lights on The Farmstand Glow Rings
Here, you can see the red lights on The Farmstand Glow Rings

Similar to the Juice Plus Tower Garden, the Lettuce Grow Glow RIngs also contain the Prop 65 warning, but they provide additional details, stating “All materials that come into contact with water or plants are FDA food grade and Prop 65 compliant, however, certain internal electrical components require the Prop 65 warning”.

Winner: It Depends This is a tough call, as both have major pros and cons. This comes down to personal preference. It really comes down to what your priority is. Are you wanting to grow flowering and fruiting plants? Or would you rather have adjustable lights? Though both lights look different, both have a modern, futuristic feel (which we personally like). 

Dolly

Juice Plus Tower Garden: The Tower Garden Flex has an optional dolly you can purchase for $90. Juice Plus states this is good for moving around your Flex and reducing heat transferred from the ground in hot weather. The Tower Garden Home has built-in wheels, so does not require a dolly.

Juice Plus Tower Garden Dolly

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow sells a dolly you can purchase for $55.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand The optional dolly is cheaper from Lettuce Grow. There aren’t any major complaints about the function of either dolly. There are also a variety of dollies you can purchase from a third party vendor for either the Tower Garden or Farmstand. A dolly is recommended if you need to rotate or move your growing system. It’s not recommended you move either once they are full of water without a dolly.

Growing Clips

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Since the release of the Tower Gardens, Juice Plus came out with “Growing Clips” that can replace the use of the pots that the plants sit in (or “net pots”). Per the Juice Plus website, “Just like Net Pots, Growing Clips hold plants in place while allowing their roots to grow freely inside your Tower Garden. The difference is that Growing Clips (and the plants they hold) may be removed with less effort. Note: Tower Garden Growing Clips are designed for leafy greens and herbs. They are not suitable for flowering plants with large root systems, such as tomatoes and squash. For these plants, you should use Net Pots instead.” You can buy 30 Growing Clips for $19.

Juice Plus Tower Garden Growing Clips

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow doesn’t offer anything similar to the Juice Plus Growing clips. 

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand Though The Farmstand doesn’t have a Growing Clip alternative, we selected them as the winner because they don’t need the alternative. Many Juice Plus Tower Garden owners complain that the pots (or “net pots”) are extremely difficult to remove. Based on that feedback, it appears that Juice Plus came out with a better alternative. However, this is one more thing you have to buy separately and it isn’t even recommended for all plants, adding to the complication of these systems. The Lettuce Grow cups are known to be much easier to remove.

Trellis

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus sells a trellis called a Support Cage that can be bought separately for the Tower Garden Flex. It’s important to note that this is not compatible with the Tower Garden Home and there is no similar product. The Support Cage sells for $85. The purpose of the Support Cage is to support vining and heavy plants like squash, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Tower Garden Trellis
Tower Garden Trellis

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow does not offer any type of trellis product. Instead, they recommend you buy an eye bolt (20 in. # 20 thread), screw it into the top of your Farmstand, tie  garden twine to it and the base of your plant, and then twirl the plant around the twine. This encourages the plant to grow upward and helps support heavy and vining plants. Lettuce Grow Farmstand owners have come up with multiple other creative ways to trellis vining plants. Many have complained of plants getting too heavy and either breaking at the base or the cups falling out of the growing ports if they are not trellised in some way. The Lettuce Grow Farmstand not having any type of trellis system is definitely a major downside.

Winner: Juice Plus Tower Garden The Support Cage is a huge win for the Tower Garden (Flex). Unfortunately, the Tower Garden Home doesn’t have something similar, likely due to the fact it’s not recommended to grow flowering or fruiting plants because of the lights. Lettuce Grow gets some points for having the systems in place (i.e. the screw hole at the top of The Farmstand) so owners can DIY a trellis, but it would much be preferred if they created and sold a trellis system instead.

Aesthetics

Juice Plus Tower Garden: The Juice Plus Tower Gardens have a futuristic look, more so with the lights! Some people may prefer the base of the Flex, as it’s more muted than the stark white.

Tower Garden Flex
Tower Garden Home

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: We would describe the Lettuce Grow Farmstand as bright, modern and futuristic. 

Winner: It depends Aesthetics are a very personal preference. Both have a futuristic look in our mind and will definitely be a conversation starter!

Set-Up

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Both the Tower Garden Home and Tower Garden Flex require the use of wingnuts and washers to assemble. The Tower Garden Home requires a screwdriver during assembly. The assembly process has been described as cumbersome and confusing by some people, with the instruction manual not providing enough clarity. Luckily, there are some third-party videos online that many find useful.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: There are no tools needed with the assembly of the Lettuce Grow Farmstand. Everything twists and snaps into place. The assembly process has been described as simple and easy by most people.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand After seeing the process of building both the Lettuce Grow Farmstand and Juice Plus Tower Gardens, it’s clear that The Farmstand has a much simpler set-up process.

Maintenance

Juice Plus Farmstand:

  • Daily: Check water levels and add water as needed along with nutrients.
  • Weekly: Check the pH weekly after refilling. Adjust as needed using pH down or up. Trim roots as needed to keep away from the pump.
  • Monthly: Clean shower cap holes with toothpick (this is located at the top and distributes water). You must also clean the pump filter monthly by unplugging, removing from the reservoir and running the filter under water.
  • Semiannually: Deep clean – Remove all plants, disassemble the tower and clean with soapy water.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand:

  • Daily: No daily maintenance.
  • Weekly: Check water levels and add as needed. Add nutrients. Check pH and adjust as needed. Trim roots as needed.
  • Quarterly: Deep clean – Remove all plants, disassemble the tower and clean with soapy water.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand The filter and water diffuser of the Lettuce Grow Farmstand do not need monthly cleaning like the Juice Plus Tower Garden does. Even though the deep clean is recommended quarterly for the Lettuce Grow as opposed to semiannually, this is a much easier feat due to the how each tower is constructed. We would rather do a deep clean quarterly to avoid having to clean a pump filter and water diffuser (i.e “shower head”) monthly.

Footprint

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus states that each model of the Tower Garden takes up less than 3 square feet. The Flex is 2.5’ in diameter while the Home is slightly smaller at 2’ in diameter. It’s recommended you have a 3’ x 3’ space for growing.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: The Lettuce Grow Farmstand measures 1’10” in diameter. It’s recommended that for outdoor growing, you have a 2’ x 2’ space and for indoor growing, you have a 3’ x 3’ space.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand The Lettuce Grow Farmstand technically has a smaller footprint (though the recommended space for growing indoors is the same – so this is a close call).

Plastic

Juice Plus Tower Garden: From the Juice Plus website, the “Tower Garden is made from UV-stabilized, BPA-free, food-grade plastic. The high-quality plastic resins we use are compliant with both U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines for food contact and European guidelines for Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances.”  The Juice Plus Tower Garden plastic is sourced from China.  

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: The Lettuce Grow Farmstands are made from ocean-bound milk jugs. What exactly are ocean-bound milk jugs? We were curious about this ourselves and found that “OceanBound Plastic is made from recycled plastic collected from at-risk areas and is designed to stop plastic from reaching beaches and waterways, where it would otherwise become marine debris.” The plastic that makes up the Farmstand is BPA-free, FDA food grade and CA Prop 65 compliant. The plastic used in the Lettuce Grow Farmstand is sourced from the United States. The plastic is also recyclable once it reaches the end of its lifespan

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand 

Packaging

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus makes no claims about the recyclability of their packaging on their website.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: The packaging of the Lettuce Grow Farmstand is 100% recyclable. 

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand

Price

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Below is a table summarizing the different Tower Garden options and pricing. We also breakdown the “price per plant” for comparison purposes:

Juice Plus System

Price

Number of Plants

Price Per Plant

Outdoors Only

   

Tower Garden Flex

$620

20

$31

Tower Garden Flex + Extension Kit

$709 

($620 + $89 extension kit)

28 

(20 + 8 full sized)

$25.32

Tower Garden Flex + Baby Greens Extension Kit

$728

($620 + $108 extension kit)

52 

(20 + 32 “baby greens”)

$14

Tower Garden Flex + Combo Extension Kit

$719

($620 + $99 extension kit)

40 

(20 + 4 full sized plants + 16 “baby greens”)

$17.98

Indoors

   

Tower Garden Flex + Lights

$920 

($620 + $300 indoor lights)

20

$46

Tower Garden Flex + Extension Kit + Lights**

$1,009

($620 + $89 extension kit + 300 lights)

28 

(20 + 8 full sized plants)

$36.04

Tower Garden Flex + Baby Greens Extension Kit + Lights**

$1,028

($620 + $108 extension kit + 300 lights)

52 

(20 + 32 “baby greens”)

$19.77

Tower Garden Flex + Combo Extension Kit + Lights**

$1,019

($620 + $99 extension kit + $300 lights)

40 

(20 + 4 full sized plants + 16 “baby greens”)

$25.48

Tower Garden Home

$970

32 

(16 full sized plants + 16 “baby greens”)

$30.31

**People often complain that the lights do not reach all plants on the Flex when extensions are added. This is something to consider before purchasing this option.

Lettuce Garden Farmstand: Below is a table summarizing the different Farmstand options and pricing. We also breakdown the “price per plant” for comparison purposes:

Lettuce Grow System

Price

Number of Plants

Price Per Plant

Outdoors

   

12 Plant Size

$348

12

$29

18 Plants Size

$424

18

$23.56

24 Plant Size

$499

24

$20.79

30 Plant Size

$574

30 

$19.13

36 Plant Size

$649

36

$18.03

Indoors (includes Glow RIngs)

   

12 Plant Size

$548

12

$45.67

18 Plants Size

$699

18

$38.83

24 Plant Size

$849

24

$35.38

30 Plant Size

$999

30 

$33.30

36 Plant Size

$1,149

36

$31.92

Winner: It depends Since there’s no apple-to-apple comparison between the Juice Plus Tower Garden and Lettuce Grow Farmstand, it’s hard to compare the two on price. There are so many various configurations (more-so with the Tower Garden). One is not always cheaper than the other. One may be a better value depending on the configuration you’re looking out. This is why we included the price per plant. Keep in mind this is the price per plant before the purchase of the actual plant. The price per plant is also assuming that the Tower Garden’s full-sized plants are worth the same as the baby greens, but we realize that some people may not value these in the same manner.

Below are some comparisons we made showing that the Tower Garden and the Lettuce Grow are better values in different scenarios:

Outdoors or Indoors

Tower Garden Price Per Plant

Lettuce Grow Price Per Plant

Cheaper?

Outdoors

Tower Garden Flex – 20 plants for $31 ea.

18 plants for $23.56 ea. or 24 plants for $20.79 ea.

Lettuce Grow

Outdoors

Tower Garden Flex + Combo Extension Kit – 40 plants for $17.98 ea.

36 plants for $18.03 ea.

Tower Garden

Indoors

Tower Garden Flex + Lights – 20 plants for $46 ea.

18 plants for $38.83 ea. or 24 plants for $35.38 ea.

Lettuce Grow

Indoors

Tower Garden Home – 32 plants for $30.31 ea.

30 plants for $33.30

Tower Garden

*When comparing the Juice Plus Tower Garden Home against the Lettuce Grow Farmstand, keep in mind that the Tower Garden Home cannot be used outdoors while the Lettuce Grow Farmstand can. If you plan on growing solely indoors, this won’t be an issue, but some people may want to move it outdoors seasonally (or have the option to), so we wanted to mention it.

**We did not utilize the Tower Garden Flex + attachments + lights for any of our comparisons based on the feedback that the lights do not reach the entire length of the Flex with attachments. Just because you can buy this, doesn’t mean you should.

If you want to maximize the number of plants, the best option from these two systems is the Tower Garden Flex + Baby Greens Extension for a total of 52 plants. You can also add the lights to grow indoors, just be aware they won’t each the length of the entire tower.

If you want to minimize the number of plants or minimize your total cost, the best option from these two systems is the Lettuce Grow Farmstand of 12 plants (outdoors will be the cheapest vs. indoors). This is a good option for those on a budget  or those wanting dip their toes in the hydroponic growing world. You can always add extensions later up to 36 plants.

Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about price is the cost associated with long-term maintenance. As mentioned earlier, the seedlings are pricier with the Farmstand than starting with seeds with the Tower Garden (though you can buy seeds via a third-party for your Farmstand). The nutrients are more expensive with the Tower Garden than the Farmstand. Overall, the price of maintaining the Tower Garden is more than the price of maintaining the Lettuce Grow Farmstand.

Pay Over Time?

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus has a pay-over time feature where they split the total price of the Tower Garden into 12 equal payments. Any additional accessories also qualify for the pay-over-time feature. You do not need to apply or run your credit to qualify.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow partners with affirm, which offers a pay-overt-time feature. Affirm offers monthly payments over 3, 6, or 12 months. It says checking availability won’t affect your credit score. Per the website, “Rates are between 0–30% APR. A down payment may be required. Subject to eligibility check and approval. Payment options depend on your purchase amount. Estimated payment amount excludes taxes and shipping fees. Actual terms may vary.”

Winner: Juice Plus Tower Garden 

Ever Go On Sale?

Juice Plus Tower Garden: The Tower Gardens never go on sale. If you ever come in contact with an independent sales rep (through the Facebook group, for instance), they will give you the start-your-own business, MLM pitch, where you can sign up to be a distributor and “save money” on your Tower Garden this way.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow does occasionally run sales on their Farmstands. In previous years, sales have fallen on Black Friday and Fourth of July for instance. We’ve also seen ads with special sale codes come up on our Facebook feed. Make sure to follow Lettuce Grow on Facebook and/or sign up for e-mails to keep up to date on any sales. 

There is also a referral program where a friend can share a special code with you which gets you $50 off your purchase (and in return, they get a $25 credit). Be sure to join the Lettuce Grow Community Group on Facebook and you’re sure to make many new friends who are willing to share their referral code with you.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand We like the Lettuce Grow refer-a-friend program that allows happy customers to reap benefits from sharing about The Farmstand, while also offering a discounted price to those interested. We don’t like the MLM tactic where you go to buy a product then are offered a job in order to get a discount on the product. 

What’s Included

Juice Plus Tower Garden

Tower Garden Flex

  • Vertical, aeroponics Tower Garden
  • A variety of starter seeds
  • Seed starting supplies, including germination tray, 20 rockwool cubes, vermiculite and net pots
  • Pump, timer and drain tube
  • Tower Garden Mineral Blend plant food (1 qt. each) and measuring cup*
    (Shipping restrictions in HI and PR require special handling of liquids)
  • pH test kit and one bottle each of pH adjusters**
    (Shipping restrictions in HI and PR require special handling of liquids)

    *Tower Garden Mineral Blend is only available in gallon containers in Hawaii and must be purchased separately. Please call Tower Garden Customer Care at 1-866-235-0414 for more details and ordering instructions.

    **Tower Garden Mineral Blend & pH adjusters will not ship with your growing unit in Puerto Rico. Customers will be contacted separately to confirm delivery of liquids. Please call Tower Garden Customer Care at 1-866-235-0414 for more details and ordering instructions.

Tower Garden Home

  • LED grow lights
  • A variety of starter seeds.
  • Seed starting supplies, including germination tray, rockwool cubes, vermiculite and net pots
  • Babygreens extension kit
  • Pump, timer, drain tube and water monitor
  • Tower Garden Mineral Blend plant food (1 qt. each) and measuring cup*
    (Shipping restrictions in HI and PR require special handling of liquids)
  • pH test kit and one bottle each of pH up/down adjusters**
    (Shipping restrictions in HI and PR require special handling of liquids)

Lettuce Grow Farmstand:

  • Farmstand with grow cups
  • Water pump, power cord and timer
  • Nutrients (with scoops)
  • pH Testing Kit and  pH Down (with scoop)
  • Extra seedling grow cups, stir stick and a sticker

Winner: Juice Plus Tower Garden This one is a close call, but the Juice Plus Tower Garden truly comes with everything in the box you need to get started. With Lettuce Grow, you have to purchase the seedlings separately. Another difference you’ll notice is that with the Juice Plus Tower Garden you get both pH up down and pH up adjusters, whereas with the Lettuce Grow Farmstand, you only get pH down. This is a moot point for us though, as many people will never need pH up. On one hand, it’s nice to have on hand just in case, but on the other hand, it seems wasteful since the majority of people will never need it. It seems especially wasteful, since one hack used by many to raise the ph is to simply add baking soda to the water, a multi purpose product that many people already have on hand. Another difference is that the Tower Garden Home comes with a water monitor, whereas the Lettuce Grow Farmstand does not. This is another moot point for us and can actually be seen as a negative for the Tower Garden. The Lettuce Grow Farmstand holds 20 gallons of water whereas the Tower Garden Home only hold 13 gallons. Because the Tower Garden Home holds almost less than half the water, it’s critical that you monitor the water levels and add water frequently (in many cases, more than weekly).

User Friendly Website?

Winner: Lettuce Grow We found the Lettuce Grow website to be much easier to navigate than the Juice Plus Tower Garden website. Lettuce Grow provides the information in a more straight-forward fashion. We also found several typos and links to removed videos on the Juice Plus Tower Garden website. Also, the prices in the Growing Guide found in the FAQ section are different from the prices on the website (i.e. $60 for the Support Cage in the Growing Guide & $85 on the website). Juice Plus could also make improvements to their website in terms of picture quality of the various products.

Here’s a screenshot from both the Tower Garden Growing Guide (found in the FAQ section) and the website showing the different prices. The Growing Guide is clearly outdated:

Prices from the "Growing Guide"
Prices from the "Growing Guide"
Prices from the Website
Prices from the Website

App?

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus does not have a phone app for the Tower Garden.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow does have a phone app. It in no way controls the Farmstand. With the app, you can get weekly reminders to add water and nutrients, as well as see the recommended nutrient dosage (which is customized to you based on your location, number of plants and if you’re growing indoors or out). With the app, you can also watch helpful videos and buy more supplies or seedlings. The app also has a “Plant ID” feature where you can take a picture of your plants and it can help identify which plant it is.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand

The Lettuce Grow app has a plant identifier!
The Lettuce Grow app has a plant identifier!

Social Media

Juice Plus Tower Garden:

Instagram: @towergardenofficial currently has ~1800 posts with 42k followers (as of the August 2021)

Facebook: The Company page, “Tower Garden”, has 69k likes. There is also a company-sponsored and endorsed community Facebook group, “Tower to Table #TowerGarden”, that has 25k members.

We noticed that there are no “formal” company representatives that actively participate in the group, but due to the nature of it being an MLM, many of the people who own Tower Gardens also sell them and are independent consultants of Juice Plus. When we requested to join the group, some of the questions to join were “Do you already have a company partner that you are working with? If  yes, who? Are you a company sponsor?” Also due to the nature of it being an MLM, you’ll notice that there is no talk of competitor products (i.e. the Lettuce Grow Farmstand or even alternate nutrients). When people do express concerns or frustrations over the nutrients for instance, responses often include “trust the nutrients” and the Tower Garden nutrients are the best. No one offers solutions outside the Juice Plus Tower Garden line of products. Part of this is because of the MLM culture where sellers are taught not to speak negatively of the products they sell. This is also part of the group rules: “alternatives to Tower Branded products may not be shared“. Because of this, you won’t find any discussion comparing the Tower Garden vs. Lettuce Grow Farmstand.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand:

Instagram: @lettucegrow currently has ~500 posts with 235k followers 

Facebook: The Company page, “Lettuce Grow”, has 21k likes. There is also a company-sponsored community Facebook group, “Lettuce Grow Community Group”, that has 12.7k members.

The Lettuce Grow Community group has dedicated company “Lettuce Grow Farmstand Techs” that are active to help answer questions. Unlike the Tower Garden group, there are multiple posts comparing The Farmstand and other products (like the Tower Garden). Posts are not censored just because it’s a Lettuce Grow sponsored group. Due to the fact it’s not an MLM, people are more likely to speak their minds about the product and any problems they are having. We like the open dialogue that this allows and being able to speak freely on the products, both the good and bad. You will find multiple posts discussing the Tower Garden vs. Lettuce Grow Farmstand. 

Another thing that’s beneficial about the Lettuce Grow Community group on Facebook is that most people are growing the same variety of plants bought from Lettuce Grow. This commonality makes asking and answering questions easier compared to the Tower Garden, where everyone sources their own seeds.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand Both companies are active on Instagram and Facebook. We especially like the Facebook community groups where you can ask questions and share with others who have the same product. However, we don’t like how censored the Tower Garden group is. This is likely due in part to the fact that the Juice Plus Tower Gardens are sold via MLM. We recommend joining the community Facebook group before buying either the Tower Garden or Farmstand, as both are a wealth of knowledge and information – or join both if you’re trying to decide which one to get.

Customer Support

Juice Plus Tower Garden: From the website: “You can reach our Customer Care team from 8 am–5 pm CT, Mon.–Fri. Dial 866-235-0414, follow prompts to select your language, then 1 for customer, and 2 for Tower Garden. Alternatively, send us an email using the form below, or connect with us on social media.” Due to the nature of the Juice Plus Tower Garden being an MLM, many of the “customer support” comes from independent sales consultants. Because of this, the experience will vary (i.e. approach, level of pushiness, the accuracy of the information, etc.). We talked to multiple “distributors” for the company and had such differing experiences with each, as well as received contradicting information.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: The Lettuce Grow Customer Care team is available via phone M-F from 8am-8pm PT, via chat 7 days a week 8am-8pm PT, or via e-mail or online form. You can also book a virtual consultation, where one of their expert growers will meet with you via a private video conference and answer any questions. Lettuce Grow is known for having great customer service. They are also known for comping customers if any of the seedlings don’t survive shipping. Lettuce Grow Farmstand Techs are also active in the company-sponsored Facebook group (more on that below) to answer questions.

Winner: Lettuce Grow Farmstand The Lettuce Grow Farmstand has an edge when it comes to customer service due to their live chat and virtual consultation they offer. They also have an edge due to their consistent approach considering their business set-up, as opposed to Juice Plus Tower Garden which operates mostly via independent sales consultants. 

Warranty

Juice Plus Tower Garden: Juice Plus offers a five-year limited warranty on the Core Plastic Components, where they will repair or replace any defective original core plastic component, which are the Nutrient Reservoir, Reservoir Lid, Access Port Lid, Tower Sections, Shower Cap and Shower Cap Lid.

All other components are covered by a 1-year warranty, including LED Grow lights.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow offers a 1 year warranty for electrical parts and 3 years for non-electrical parts, that the Farmstand will materially perform in accordance with the Lettuce Grow assembly and growing guides, and covered components of the Farmstand will be free of material defects or malfunctions during normal use in accordance with the Documentation. This Limited Warranty only applies to the non-commercial use of the Farmstand. 

The Glow Rings are covered by a 3 year warranty.

Click here to read the details behind the Lettuce Grow warranty.

Winner: It depends As with any warranty, there is always fine print, but on the surface, it appears that Juice Plus has a longer warranty on the Tower Garden, but in terms of the grow lights, Lettuce Grow has a longer warranty.

Returns

Juice Plus Tower Garden: You can return your Tower Garden within 90 date of the sale date, minus a $50 return fee.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: You can return your Lettuce Grow Farmstand within 90 days of the of the sale date, minus a $50 return fee. The Farmstand must be retuned in the original packaging or additional charges may apply. The Glow Rings can also be returned within the same time frame, but with a $25 return fee.

Click here to read the details behind the Lettuce Grow return policy.

Winner: Tied We like that you can try out either product and return it within 90 days  

Giving Back

Juice Plus Tower Garden: We couldn’t find any programs or initiatives where Juice Plus gives back to schools or deserving communities. In fact, Juice Plus seems more interested in selling Tower Gardens to schools as part of their business model.

Lettuce Grow Farmstand: Lettuce Grow has a “Grow and Give Back” program. The Grow and Give Back program partners with the Whole Kids Foundation and schools, nonprofits, and community organizations to grant one Farmstand for every 10 sold. How it works: If you want to contribute to a Farmstand donation, let them know which school you’d like to donate to, and they’ll generate a code to use at checkout on any future purchases. Use and share this code with friends and family. For every 10 Farmstands purchased using that code, your school of choice will receive one Farmstand plus 6 months of seedling deliveries.

Winner: Tied We’ll call this one tied because we’re not impressed with either company in terms of their efforts to give back. Juice Plus doesn’t have anything in place and the Lettuce Grow program isn’t as generous as it portrays at first glance due to the complicated steps required by the customer for the company to donate a Farmstand. 

Final Thoughts | Our Top Pick

OUR PICK: The Lettuce Grow Farmstand

After comparing the Tower Garden vs. The Farmstand, our top pick and recommendation would be the Lettuce Grow Farmstand.

In most categories we looked at, the Lettuce Grow Farmstand is the clear winner in our eyes. There were some instances where the Juice Plus Tower Garden was tied or better, but when we take all information into account, we think the Lettuce Grow Farmstand is the better pick for most people. This is especially true for beginner gardeners.

Thanks for reading!

Juice Plus Tower Garden Vs. Lettuce Grow Farmstand
Juice Plus Tower Garden Vs. Lettuce Grow Farmstand

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