Product Profile: AeroGarden

I’ve had this post in my “drafts” file for awhile, but when I mentioned my AeroGarden in a recent post, one reader asked me to write more.  So, I bumped it to the head of the cue!

A few years back I was watching the Today show and they were doing a segment about unique holiday gifts.  One of the featured items was the AeroGarden.  Being an avid cook who LOVES fresh herbs, I decided I needed to have this new toy.  Naturally, because it was featured on a popular television show, they were back ordered almost immediately, but eventually, mine arrived. 

The AeroGarden is a practically self-sufficient countertop garden, and perfect for those of us with black thumbs.  The gardens use “aeroponic” technology to grow the plants (from which you can choose herbs, flowers, some veggies, etc).  This simply means there is no soil, which means no mess.   

The garden comes with a base, which gets filled with water.  The cover of the base has a number of holes (3-7 depending on the size garden you buy), into which you drop special seed pods.  It also has its own full-spectrum grow lights, which are programmed to go on and off automatically (17 hours on, 7 off).  Once you get it set up, all you need to do is wait for your garden to grow!  A little red light indicates when you need to add water (which isn’t terribly often), and another red light tells you when to drop in the included mineral tablets (once every 2 weeks).   In my experience, the herbs start sprouting within a couple weeks, and are ready to start harvesting in about a month.  I’ve had continuous growth for almost six months, so that is a lot of fresh herbs!  Once they stop growing, you just pull them out, clean out the base, and start over again. 

My only beef with the whole thing was that for years the herbs came in themed “kits”, and there were always a couple selections within the kit that I could do without.  Well, I’m happy to say that they listened to customer feedback (including mine!) and now you may customize your own seed kit.  Choose only what you like.   It will cost you $5 extra for this luxury (the custom kits are $25 vs. $20 for the pre-selected ones), but I think it is well worth it, considering how many herbs I wasted because I didn’t like them.

This indoor garden pretty much fool-proof.  I love having fresh herbs at my disposal whenever I want them.   I will say that I’ve had better luck with some herbs than others.  The Genovese Basil is fantastic, but skip the Globe Basil (tiny leaves).  Go for the flat leaf parsley rather than the curly.  The cilantro is nice, but my first seed pod never sprouted (AeroGarden replaced it at no charge, and admitted they’d had a few problems with the cilantro).  I didn’t care for the oregano but liked the chives.   I tend to use basil, chives, parsley and sage most frequently, so those will be what I choose for my next planting.

Easy, clean, no green thumb required.

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2 Responses to “Product Profile: AeroGarden”

  1. Donna Says:

    Thanks for your review! One question: How much energy (electricity) would you say this dandy uses? Did you notice a change in your bill once you got it? I have no clue about these grow lights and how much energy they use.

  2. Tracy Says:

    It is hard to say. Our electric bill is higher this winter, but I’m not sure if I can necessarily attribute it to the Aerogarden. The rates have gone up too—so I’d have to see if our usage is also up (but again, can’t say with 100% certainty that it isn’t from something else).

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