Large Vegepod with stand review, and $41 and $162 alternatives from Rural King

Building the $749 large Vegepod with stand was NOT fun. There are tons of parts and a lot of fitting and securing. It was worth it once it was done and it is warrantied for 10 years so the time and energy investment will pay off, but plan on a few hours getting it set up before you even add anything to the bed.

Here is the stand after assembly.

The bed with the watering wells at the bottom.

The bed on the stand. Make the sure the stand is as close to perfectly level as you can get it.

Filling the bottom with coarse perlite or vermiculite is recommended.


Using raised bed mix is essential for the Vegepod to perform its best.

I used Coast of Maine Organic Raise Bed Mix, on sale from a local garden supply and greenhouse. Looks has it has lots of good stuff in it!

I put on the cover and connected it to a water supply to finish the job.

Now there is a mix of transplanted and newly germinated plants in the Vegepod, provided with a great growing environment and protected from deer, and to a lesser extent, insect pests. I run the integrated sprinkler for two minutes every morning. Drain holes prevent overwatering once the wicking reservoirs are full. According to Vegepod, these reservoirs can allow you to go without watering for several weeks once the roots establish to the level of the water.

A few notes:

  • The sprinkler system does not provide even watering coverage at the edges, and it is difficult to aim the sprays. The far end also seems to get more water and higher pressure than the end closer to the hose. You likely won’t have plants at the edges so it is not critical and water will eventually fill the reservoirs at the bottom, but I sometimes use a watering can to touch up and completely moisten the soil.
  • A hothouse cover is available for the Vegepod and may be my next purchase for the system. Things are growing well, but I have a small greenhouse I installed a week after the Vegepod and my plants there seem to be doing even better than the Vegepod plants. I chalk this up to the extra warmth in the greenhouse. When I open the door I get a blast of heat and humidity from it.
  • Some Vegepod owners open the cover for a few hours during the day to allow access to pollinators, but the manufacturer says this is not usually necessary as most plants will self-pollinate or be pollinated by the wind. I have seen some bees trying to get in there! I have started opening it a bit during the day as some pollinator access certainly can’t hurt.

This is the inside of my $41 greenhouse from Rural King, purchased for zucchini and indeterminate tomatoes. (Indeterminate tomatoes can be grown the Vegepod, but will need to be cut back from time to time.) I also have a few peppers in there now, as well. It is also keeping my plants safe from the deer and I am seeing amazing growth in it, even better than the Vegepod. As you can see it is not particularly strongly constructed given the zipper seam on the right broke within a week, and the shelves inside are flimsy and must be doubled up to hold even a small pot, but it’s a lot cheaper than the Vegepod and will also keep your plants safe from deer. You will need to get pots and stands for it, and the lack of self-watering means you have to tend to it a bit more, but the value proposition is hard to ignore. You do not get as much area to plant with, but if you just want to grow some tomatoes I think you will be really happy with it.

I could not find my $41 greenhouse on the Rural website, but I did find a much larger version for $163. You may be able to find it in-store, and Lowe’s sells similar models on their showroom floor as well.