Being able to grow plants indoors is now easier than ever, especially with all the systems that are now available for purchase. When it comes to leading indoor garden suppliers, AeroGarden is one of the most popular names on the market. What are their products good for and how you can make the best out of them, find out by reading the following review!
Best for larger gardens: The AeroGarden Farm Family
The AeroGarden Farm Family offers a wide range of indoor gardening solutions for people who are serious about plant growth and want large indoor gardens.
Editor’s choice: The AeroGarden Bounty Family
The AeroGarden Bounty Family of indoor gardening solutions is the choice we would recommend to people who want to grow indoor vegetables and fruits while benefiting from all the technology that AeroGarden has to offer.
Best for herbs: The AeroGarden Harvest Family
If you’re serious about growing fresh herbs to spice and flavor your recipes throughout the entire year, the products that are part of the AeroGarden Harvest Family are your best bet.
Most energy-efficient: The AeroGarden Sprout
Depending on your exact energy plan, you can end up paying as little as $1 for the energy costs of running the AeroGarden Sprout for an entire month.
About Hydroponic Gardening
Hydroponic gardening is probably one of the biggest innovations in its industry, as it depicts the ability to grow plants without using soil, but rather a combination of water and nutrients. What’s even more interesting is the fact that plants that are grown using hydroponic systems tend to grow faster compared to the amount of time it takes them to grow outdoors in regular soil, and you can use this gardening method for year-round harvests if you want to.
There are plenty of benefits to hydroponic gardening, such as the fact that they require less space than your average outdoor gardens, don’t use as much water, and the harvest can be more bountiful. If you live in an apartment and don’t have a garden, then it’s surely a method that you have to try out.
So far, so good, but hydroponic gardening has a bunch of different systems, with some of them being more suited for beginners, and the others including more complex mechanisms. Beginners that want to get started about hydroponic growing need to know about the following systems:
The wick system
This is one of the simplest systems for hydroponics, since it doesn’t have any electrical components or moving parts. It won’t work for plants that need a lot of water (such as tomatoes) because these plants will need more nutrients that the wick is capable of absorbing. It is, however, suitable for herbs and microgreens.
The water culture system
Also known as “lettuce raft”, this is another system that’s fairly easy to set up. It uses a Styrofoam platform to place the plants in whilst floating on top of a reservoir filled with water rich in nutrients. It requires additional aeration with a raft system, but it’s the one that’s most efficient for growing leafy vegetables (particularly lettuce). It doesn’t work well for long-lived plants (such as tomatoes).
The ebb and flow system
Also going by the name of “flood and drain system”, ebb and flow refers to flooding the growing medium using water rich in nutrients to later drain it into a reservoir.
The nutrient film technique
By using a water-nutrient solution with a constant looping movement, suspended plant roots will absorb nutrients as the solution flows by. It’s similar to the ebb and flow system, only this time the nutrient solution keeps returning again and again to feed the roots. This system is good for shallow-rooted plants, such as radishes, spinach, or herbs.
Tips for Using an AeroGarden
If you’ve never used an AeroGarden before, some think might seem overwhelming at first, so we’ve decided to put together this list of tips for beginners, so you can see that, once you get the hang of things, these systems are all about the benefits:
- If you notice that your AeroGarden had blinking lights, consider it as a notification to water/feed your plants. When you’re done, press the button to notify the system that the task is complete and wait for it to blink the next time.
- Even if you grow your plants in an AeroGarden, they need regular trimming. You want to avoid the roots from getting overcrowded, but also focus on cutting plants that aren’t healthy. This helps control unnecessary root growth.
- Always choose the types of plants you want to grow based on the size of your AeroGarden. A common mistake is choosing plants that outgrow the height of the AeroGarden.
- Always keep in mind that the plants you grow in an AeroGarden usually grow five times faster compared to the time it takes to grow them outdoors. This will help you plan harvests and know which plants to rely on and when.
- Tap water isn’t always the best solution for an AeroGarden harvest. You know the water quality is poor if you notice brown or yellow leaves on your plants. However, AeroGarden’s liquid nutrients can help with hard water, making it more suitable for seeds and plants.
- AeroGardens can get dirty too, so you have to ensure proper maintenance. When your plants grow, evaporated nutrients will start leaving residue, plant pieces, mineral deposits, and other things that shouldn’t be there. Change the water every few weeks to avoid mineral deposits. The top of your AeroGarden needs to be wiped once a week as well, in order to prevent dust and grime build-up. Don’t leave any dead plants where they’re not supposed to be.
- Even plants that are grown in an AeroGarden need proper support depending on their variety. Plants like tomatoes or peas will end up being crushed under their own weight if they don’t have proper support. These support systems also help with air circulation and prevent the bottom side of the plant from being suffocated.
The Best Aerogarden Reviews
People that are really serious about indoor gardening and want to be able to grow multiple plants at once are going to love the Farm Family line of products. You can find indoor gardens with 12 or 24 pods, depending on how invested you are in this new hobby. For the sake of showing you just what these products can do, let’s take a look at the “head of the family”, which is the Farm 24XL model.
This allows you to grow up to 24 plants using a smart system with a bunch of characteristics some people never thought were possible in a compact product. It comes with separate controls for the left and right sides of the garden, a quick-button touch system for dimming or brightening the lights, a progress bar that will show you the stage of growth for your plants, and even a three-level water alert.
The Bounty family comes with 9 pods and 4 different models to choose from, offering you a practical solution that’s focused on helping plants thrive with minimal effort on your behalf. One of the line’s most interesting models is the Bounty Elite Artisan, with powerful 50W grow lights for full spectrum, a glazed ceramic bowl with two finishes, the possibility to dim the lights at the level of your choice, a high-resolution touch-screen display, and Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can monitor the device using your Amazon Echo.
AeroGarden’s Harvest line of indoor plant growing solutions currently features five different models to choose from, each with a bunch of unique characteristics that offer consumers a wider range of products. For instance, there is the Harvest Elite Slim, with an ultra-thin grow light hood, a vacation mode (to keep your plants healthy even while you’re away), an easy-to-use and elegantly designed control panel, an extendable arm lamp, and other useful features.
The Harvest Elite 360 stands out thanks to its stainless steel design and silver finish, but also offers a bunch of other features to look forward to, such as the round compact shape, the soil-free pre-seeded pods, or the sleek LCD control panel.
If you decide to take a look into the AeroGarden Sprout, you are going to find everything you need for those of you that are on a budget, have limited space, or don’t plan on growing too many plants at once. It has a modern design that you’re used to seeing in this company’s products by now, offering 10 inches of growth height for a variety of different plants. It has an ultra-thin grow light hood with full-spectrum LED lights. The controls are simple to use and very intuitive, located on the top of the light hood for easy access. The grow light hood is equipped with 60 LED bulbs that are designed to offer similar lighting conditions to those found outside, so that your plants can thrive no matter the indoor conditions.
AeroGarden Seed Kits
AeroGarden has you covered when it comes to seed kits as well, offering you a variety of options that we want to cover. For instance, you have the Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit, which allows you to plant the seeds of your choice without any headaches. The kit includes three grow sponges, three grow domes, three grow baskets, and three labels, plus a 3-ounce bottle of the company’s Specially Formulated Liquid Plant Food. Note that it doesn’t include the actual seeds.
Of course, there are a bunch of kits available that contain the actual plant seeds you might be thinking of growing. You can opt between pesto basil seed kits, red heirloom cherry tomatoes, italian herbs, chili peppers, mixed romaine seed kits, and others. You can choose from their flowers selection, including petunias, lavender, and others.
AeroGarden Grow Lights
When it comes to what AeroGarden has to offer in terms of grow lights, the option might be a little limited, but there are still some high-quality options to choose from. You have your 12 and 20W LED grow lights, a 45 W LED grow light panel, and a bunch of grow light bulb packs to choose from.
Now, it’s important for you to know that there are many types of grow lights available, each with their own characteristics:
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID): These lights have a gas-filled tube that allows electricity to pass through.
- HPS: They have strong orange and red hues and are typically recommended for plants that are in the flowering stage.
- MH: Suitable for the vegetative phase of plants as it has stronger blue hues.
- Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH): These lights have a ceramic tube with broader light spectrum range and can easily serve as a single-light solution.
- Fluorescent: Fluorescent lights aren’t as bright as HID lights, making them more suitable for seed starting. Fluorescent lights are either CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) or tube-style lights. The former category depicts lights with twisted bulbs, while tube-style lights are available in a tubular shape.
- LED: This is the newest type of grow light available and it is now considered the best type of grow light out there for a bunch of reasons. LED bulbs are energy-efficient, have built-in cooling mechanisms that prevent them from heating up to excessive temperatures. Since they emit way less heat, you can place them closer to plants without worrying about high temperature implications. They also have long lifespans, with an average of 50,000 hours.
While LED lights are the go-to choice for a lot of indoor gardens, there is always the matter of how to choose the light that’s right for you, so the following steps might be able to help you out if you’re facing this dilemma:
- Consider the location where your indoor garden will be placed, because that will determine its lighting requirements. If you select a spot with no natural light, you want to choose grow lights with full-cycle lighting.
- Different types of lights offer different levels of heat output, and we all know that heat can make or break a plant’s ability to thrive in a certain environment. Some indoors plants like cooler environments (like lettuce), while tropical plants love higher temperatures. However, opting for lights that emit a lot of heat automatically implies that the plant shouldn’t be too close to the light (once again, this is why LED grow lights are the best solution).
- There is always the matter of how much money you have to spend. Small bulbs are less expensive, but they aren’t always the best solution. LED lights are an amazing long term investment but have a higher upfront cost.
- You will often come across the term spectrum in the description of grow lights, and you have to know what it depicts. The easiest explanation is that some bulbs filter out spectrum lights to give your plant just what it needs at a specific stage of the plant’s growth. All grow lights need to specify this bit of information on their packaging so you’ll know which one to choose. For instance, a 2700K bulb isn’t powerful enough to grow vegetables all the way through, but it works as an initial light for flowers.
What is an Aerogarden?
AeroGarden is a brand that supplies all the needed tools and systems so that you can set up your own indoor garden and grow beautiful plants with bountiful harvests.
Is the AeroGarden worth it?
One of the best things about AeroGarden is that it supplies systems for pretty much any type of budget. If you want something that is low-maintenance and doesn’t occupy a lot of space, then you can find products to match that criteria. If you live in an apartment and don’t have an outdoor garden to work with, then an AeroGarden is worth it. Also, if you want to be able to grow plants five times faster, an AeroGarden is worth it.
How much does it cost to run an AeroGarden?
It really depends on the type of AeroGarden model we’re talking about. The AeroGarden Farm uses about 126 watts on average, so it would cost $7.30 per month (more or less). The most energy-efficient AeroGarden is the Sprout which consumes about 13 watts and costs an average of $0.75 per month.
What can you grow with an AeroGarden?
As the kind folks over at AeroGarden stated: “Just about anything that grows above the ground can be planted in an AeroGarden.”
Can you grow fruit in an AeroGarden?
Yes, you can grow fruits in an AeroGarden, even tomatoes and strawberries!
As you can see, AeroGarden is a brand that you can fully trust when it comes to your indoor gardening needs. They offer a wide selection of systems that meets the needs of different consumers, but also sells seeds and other tools needed to have a beautiful indoor garden. The most important thing to remember is that there are differences between each of these systems, so what works for you might not work for another gardening enthusiast.