Aerogarden Reviews and Buying Guide
There’s a growing wave of indoor gardeners and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that people are trying to eat healthier these days.
We’ve all been bombarded with advertisements telling us that modern consumer culture has been making us increasingly obese and it has medical professionals concerned. This isn’t just a plug for the health food industry though – we really are living through a bit of an epidemic and if we’re going to turn things around we need to try something new such as growing our own healthy alternatives in our own homes.
The traditional method is to just grow some veggies and herbs in pots that we can easily move in and out of the house depending on the weather. This works well, but it does require a great deal of vigilance on the home owner’s part.
If cool fall nights hit and you forget about those plants out on the patio you may end up losing all of the work you’ve done to cultivate those plants. That would be more than a little frustrating.
Some manufactures have come up with a potentially better solution – indoor gardens. These are self-contained units that have everything your plants need to succeed inside your home without ever having to worry about the need to move them outside.
Some of the most popular choices in this product category are the various different Aerogardens produced by the company Miracle-Gro. These are generally considered to be the cream of the crop for indoor gardening kits and for good reason – they provide great conditions for getting the most out of your plants.
Below you’ll find a handy buying guide if you’re considering buying an aerogarden, along with reviews of 5 of our favorites.
Perhaps the biggest thing that attracts most people that are interested in purchasing an Aerogarden is its compacts size. These miniature gardens will easily fit on most countertops and that makes them ideal for urban living.
If you live in a small apartment, or you just don’t have a lot of extra counter space to spare these products are ideal. They do the job without intruding on your life a whole lot, leaving your counters free for other food preparation activities or any other kind of family activities that take place in the kitchen.
Everything You Need in One Box
The other thing that’s great about these little green contraptions is that everything you need comes in one box. You don’t have to worry about finding the right pots, buying seeds, figuring out which artificial lighting you’ll need, or when to bath your plants in light – everything you need is already in the box. That’s the whole idea behind the Aerogarden. They’re meant to provide amateur gardeners with the tools they need to start growing their own herbs and veggies right away.
We’ve already mentioned that Aerogardens come equipped with preinstalled artificial lighting, but it’s worth going over this point again. Plants cannot grow without adequate light and these little miracle gardens make sure your plants have all of the light they need to grow and thrive. They generally come with LED lights, which are the most popular choice among indoor gardeners these days. It’s a nice feature to have.
What makes the Aerogardens work so well is that they’re an entirely self-contained and self-sufficient garden set up. Yes, you do need to add water and the occasional boost of fertilizer, but they’re much less labor intensive than other alternatives. Gardening may be a rewarding hobby – it just isn’t an easy one.
Traditional gardening requires a lot of patience and a significant commitment in time. The various Aerogard models on the market eliminate most of the extra work you’d normally need to put into such a project. That’s a major relief for those that don’t see themselves as gardener of the year material.
There are some Aerogarden models that provide you with a ton of automatic features and digital displays that you manipulate a lot of their settings. This is truly bringing indoor gardening into the 21st century and has the potential to make it much more appealing to the wider population. While this may not seal the deal for everyone, it is an attractive feature that’s a hallmark of most Aerogarden models.
What could be simpler than pulling your own miniature garden out of a box, plugging it in, adding some seeds and water and sitting back and relaxing? Okay it may be slightly more complicated than that, but not by much.
Setting up an Aerogarden is about as easy as it gets and it’s another one of its major attractions to the growing number of health conscious consumers out there. They may not have convinced everyone yet, but they’re heading in the right direction.
Limited Growing Height
If there’s one minor disappointment with Aerogardens it’s that the height of your plants is quite limited. These indoor gardens typically sit in a pot with artificial lamps just a few inches above them.
They’re probably not very good for growing something like lemongrass which has been known to grow as high as 5 feet tall. That’s the type of thing you’ll want to keep in traditional pots – they can be grown indoors, just not in an Aerogarden.
Aerogarden Ultra with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
The Aerogarden Ultra with Herb Seed Pod Kit is an excellent indoor garden for your kitchen. With space to grow up to 7 plants at one time you can grow lots of your favorite vegetables, or a bunch of one particular herb.
It has a front facing display that helps you keep track of when it’s time to add water or fertilizer and it can even be used to automatically control when to shine the light down on your plants. This isn’t the most affordable Aerogarden model on the market at more than $200, but it is arguably the best.
It includes a herb seed kit to get you started with some of the most popular herb choices and it’s easy to set up. You can’t grow huge plants in this self-contained garden, but they can be up to 2 feet tall as the light is adjustable to give your plants the room they need to grow.
There’s no need to add soil either – just some water and a little Miracle-Gro plant food of course! The lighting is LED and it offers the complete spectrum of light for your plants. At 17.25 x 11.25 inches it won’t hog all of your counter space either so you can pretty much place it wherever you like.
Aerogarden Sprout with Gourmet Seed Pod Kit
For those that want to give an Aerogarden a try, but aren’t willing to shell out a couple of hundred backs in the process there are options. The Aerogarden Sprout is a great entry level model that offers a lot of the great features that Aerogarden has become known for. You can still grow your plants without any soil and the light is adjustable to allow your plants room to grow.
You can only grow three plants at a time though which is somewhat limiting, but may be fine if you’re just looking to grow a couple of your favorite herbs. One of the most attractive features of this product is its price – it typically retails for less than $75.
The light included with this miniature garden kit does offer full spectrum coverage to encourage plant growth. They can also be set to turn on and off automatically to simulate the cycle of the sun. The control panel also offers helpful reminders telling you when it’s time to add nutrients.
Essentially it does most things that the more expensive models do it just holds fewer plants. It’s a great option if you want to get your feet wet with gardening before jumping in with both feet.
Aerogarden Classic 6
As the name suggests the Aerogarden Classic 6 is an upgrade on one of the companies first ever models. This is a great little hydroponic unit that will help you get started with your own home garden.
In this model you can grow up to 6 plants at a time so it is quite versatile. It’s also equipped with the familiar Aerogarden control panel that allows you to keep track of when it’s time to add nutrients and these are included.
The control panel can also be used to set the artificial LED grow lights on a timed cycle for optimal growth – this one retail for around $150 which isn’t too bad.
The lighting is adjustable to allow your plants some room to expand and it does provide a full spectrum of colors. It pumps out about 20 watts of power, which is more than adequate.
Along with plant nutrients you also get a full package of herb seeds to get you started which includes basil, parsley, thyme, and mint. Of course you aren’t limited to growing the herbs they provide you – if you prefer you can grow vegetables, or even flowers in this Aerogarden. Pretty much anything you can grow in soil you can grow in this garden.
Aerogarden Harvest with Gourmet Seed Pod Kit
Another great mid-priced Aerogarden is the Harvest. This unit has the common features that other Aerogardens are equipped with. It’s a fully hydroponic unit which circulates air and water over the roots of your plants – no soil required. It only takes a few days for the seeds to begin to germinate and normally you can harvest your plants in just a few weeks.
The Harvest also comes with a built-in 20 watt LED lighting system which is adjustable up to 12 inches to give your plants some elbow room when they need it. You can purchase this model for a little over $150.
You can grow up to 6 plants in the Harvest and the seeds for your favorite herbs are also include to get started. It’s a year round gardening solution that eliminates the worry of trying to grow your own fresh veggies and herbs in a cold northern climate.
This one’s a real nice space saver as well measuring 9.29 x 12.01 inches. It’s smaller than your typical toaster and can provide you with a lot healthier food to eat than the bagel you might be tempted to make in that toaster. If you prefer you can keep your toaster and find another spot for your Aerogarden Harvest.
Aerogarden Bounty with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
There are a few words in the English language that typically invoke thoughts of plentiful amounts of food for the table and two of them are bounty and harvest. It’s probably not surprising then that these are the names of two of Aerogarden’s most popular models as well.
The Aerogarden Bounty is the luxury car in the product lineup. This model can hold up to 9 plants at a time and all of the herbs you need to get started are included.
As with other Aerogardens this unit does have built-in lighting that’s adjustable up to 24 inches to allow room for growth and also includes powerful 45 watt LED bulbs.This model is a little pricey at almost $300, but it’s packed full of features.
The control panel on this garden is the most advanced yet featuring a full color touchscreen. IT reminds you when it’s time to add water, when it’s time to feed your plant nutrients, and it even provides you with helpful gardening tips to get you gardening like a pro.
The lighting also operates on a timed scheduled of optimal performance as well. If you’re willing to spend a little extra this is definitely the best choice of any Aerogarden on the market today.
Making the Right Choice
With so many different Aerogardens to choose from your decision will likely depend on a few of things: how much you’re willing to pay, how many plants you want to grow, and how much space you have available.
All of the products we’ve reviewed in this article are great choices and there’s something for all budgets and gardening needs. If you’ve been thinking about gardening indoors this is definitely the way to go.