space shuttle Atlantis

Growing Plants in Space: Astronaut Gardening at Home

Space!! Space is cool. But growing plants in space?? NASA has worked to grow plants in many ways: hydroponics, aeroponics, and different growing mediums. This will appeal to your STEM science space-loving kids – and maybe entice the less enthusiastic about gardening to try it out as astronauts do!

There are some really interesting articles about growing plants in space. Here’s one with videos of astronauts growing greens and eating lettuce for the first time in space. Maybe this will help get your kids to eat their veggies and grow some, too!

Did you know? NASA is researching how gardening 
helps astronauts deal with loneliness.

Growing Plants in Space with Hydroponics in the Home

It’s actually surprisingly easy and typically grows five times faster than in soil. While it’s not quite the same as getting your hands in the dirt or getting outside, it is a way to try and get kids excited about gardening.

All you need is a tabletop kit, which doesn’t take much counter space. And, no mess.


There are many on the market, but we did some ‘weeding’ to help you out:


Table Top: AeroGarden Basic

  • They have been making these for 15 years
  • Comes with non-GMO pre-seeded pods with a 100% Germination guarantee
  • Pods are made with pure Canadian Sphagnum moss
  • Comes with liquid plant fertilizer, full year supply, contains no pesticides or herbicides
  • Non-GMO and natural

  • Different kit options, including heirloom salad seed
  • Grows up to 9 plants
  • Height up to 24″ (most are shorter)
  • It has a vacation mode to save water
  • The sunrise/sunset mode to allow mimicking of sunlight
  • 30-watt LED lights
  • Full spectrum lights
  • Auto timers, various settings
  • Wifi connect
  • Reminders (via Wi-Fi connection) to fertilize
  • Large water bowl to allow fewer refills
  • Comes with a little trellis
  • You can also seed your own using refill pods (pods and included fertilizer) or buy another pre-seeded pod kit like gourmet herbs.

Larger Yield: AeroGarden Farm

  • Fully customizable LED lights
  • Available in different sizes
  • Full spectrum lights
  • 60 WATT LED
  • 36″ of growth height
  • It reminds you to water and when to add plant food
  • Touch screen control panel

  • Wifi connection, even to Alexa
  • Includes 24 pods of heirloom greens, non-GMO herbs, and greens
  • Two 3oz bottles of our patented, all-natural Plant Nutrients (enough for a full season of growth). All natural, non-GMO
Moistenland Hydroponics Growing System,Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit w/LED Grow Light,Plant Germination Kits 12 Plant Pots for Home Kitchen Gardening (12 Pots)

Tabletop: Moistenland Starter Kit

  • It is less expensive than the AeroGarden, but it still has good reviews
  • 12 Growing pods spaces
  • It comes with 12 planting seed pods made of Biochar Mud, non-toxic
  • Auto lights turn off after 16 hours of use and turn back on after 8 hours of rest
  • 22-watt LED light
  • Full spectrum growing lights
  • Adjustable to 12″

You are All Set FOr Space Gardening!

After buying the kit, it seems pretty much pop the pods in, water, and let them grow. A little programming may be required, but it seems pretty straightforward from the reviews.

We would be curious to hear any feedback if you try hydroponic growing! Send us an email if you have any thoughts.

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This made us laugh. Hydroponics and astronauts combined? Tempting.

There’s also a night light – hydroponics, light and astronauts combined

Gimmicky, yes, but.. still want one. It’s still for plants, after all, right??

Spaceship Dollhouse

Dollhouses encourage a wide range of skills, including STEM.

For more information on skill targeting, look at Why Dollhouses for Kids?

For tips and suggestions on selecting a dollhouse and why, see the article Dollhouse Kits for Kids

Meccano Space Quest Set

STEM for 8+ Check out Building STEM with Meccano

These sets are seriously cool and specifically designed to target the highly sought-after STEM-related skills.

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