How to build your own Aero Garden

Purchasing an AeroGarden can be expensive for many people especially those on a tight budget. But did you know you can make your own using recycled materials?

All it takes is great imagination, using recycled plastic, old sponges, soft drink bottles that we normally throw away, sharp knife and scissors and masking tape.

So, what do I need?

Plastic Storage box 8L/8.4 qt.
I’ve used a plastic storage box

Most of the materials are free. You may need to rummage through the garbage bin. 

Don’t forget to wear some gloves!

You will need a box with a lid. The container needs to hold water and not leak. I’ve used a plastic storage box.

  • Styrofoam box with a lid or some other water-holding container with a lid (this could be free from your nearest fruit and vegetable shop, fishmongers or butchers)
  • You will need to purchase seed pots between four to six would be enough. The pots should have enough drainage holes to allow room for the roots to grow into the tank with nutrient water.
  • Fish Tank pump (look online through eBay, Amazon or buy swap and sell)

Next

  • You will need the styrofoam cooler lid/plastic lid off the box
  • Mark out where you are going to cut your holes/squares
  • Create six/seven holes/square just smaller than the top of the seed pots for the seed pods (similar to the diagram below)
  • Cut an extra hole on top of the Styrofoam lid for the water and nutrients to be inserted
  • Insert the seed pots into the lid, taking care when pushing down until the pot is level with the top.
  • Mix up your dirt-free growing medium. 

This is just a rough draft of my project. I used recycled water bottles. I cut them partway down and positioned them where I want to cut the holes in the lid. This will be 7 hole or 7 square plant pod holders and one hole at the front where you will add water and nutrients.

You may also need a small hole at the back of the lid for your pump wires.

How to make you own dirt-free seed growing medium?

  • Vermiculture
  • Perlite
  • Mix in equal size portions
  • Add to your seed pots
  • Level off.

Liquid Nutrients

Liquid Hydroponic Nutrients purchased from your nearest garden centre or at your online store. Mix the nutrients according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the box or bottle.

Usually, it’s two capfuls to your water reservoir. However, the amount much depends on the size of your water container.

Adding Water

  • Position the box where you want it to be. Just remember that once it’s full of water, it’s best not to move it. 
  • Add water but do not fill right to the top. 
  • Leave enough space to allow the flow of air for the seeds.

Adding the Pump

  • Add the pump into the box. Don’t turn it on just yet.
  • Adjust the pump to the low setting. 
  • Turn on the pump. 
  • You will see the liquid solutions combined with oxygen will begin to encourage root growth.

Insert the seed pots 

Plant 3-4 seeds in each pot and add a little nutrient mixed with water to moisten the medium and to help the seeds sprout.

B08KRX2VTX
AeroGarden Grow Baskets

Replacement Grow Baskets Fit AeroGarens 50 pack can be purchased for Aerogardens from Amazon

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you use the links on this page to make a purchase, I may get a small commission, and you may get a great bargain. It’s a win-win all around. Full Disclosure

Reusing your old seed pod grow baskets

Did you know you can recycle your grow baskets and the dome? Well, you can all you need to buy is the grow sponge, labels and seeds or even use your seeds which will save you a lot of money.

How do we recycle them?

  1. We take the old seed pods out of the baskets very carefully
  2. To do this, we need to cut the roots with scissors so that the old grow sponge can be easily removed
  3. Wash them and the domes in water and vinegar, and this will sterilise the equipment.
  4. Insert the new grow sponges
  5. Add about three seeds and press gently into the sponges
  6. Reinstall your new seedpods into your homemade hydroponic system
  7. Add water and the recommended dosage of nutrients to your water.

How to make your seed pod baskets?

Old garden seedling pot

I have chosen to do a square hole for my Aerogarden project and insert this old seeding pot plant. The seedling pot has holes underneath.

First you will need to wash the containers with water that contains vinegar/bleach. The number of containers depends on how many plants you are going to grow.

Once the containers have been washed you need to make holes in the sides with either a drill that has a large bit, or you could cut out sections on either side so the roots can grow.

Warning: if using a Stanley knife please be careful. My preference is to use the drill.

Now that you have made plenty of holes in the sides you can now add your grow sponges.

What are the grow sponges made from?

Grow sponges that AeroGarden uses made from Sphagnum Peat. But if funds are tight, you can substitute air conditioning sponge seals or foam. You will need them to size.

AeroGarden grow sponges

AeroGarden sponges purchased in packs of 50 from Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you use the links on this page to make a purchase, I may get a small commission, and you may get a great bargain. It’s a win-win all around. Full Disclosure

But If you don’t like the idea of using peat, you could use rock wool, which is chalk and rock, 1-inch starter cubes. 

Rockwool breaks down easily and can get into your pump.

You could try this little experiment for fun!

2-3 Nylon mesh sponges from the supermarket

  • Cut open at one end 
  • Remove the sponge
  • Keep the mesh
  • Cut the sponges into strips about 1 ¼ inch wide
  • You could get 3 strips out of one sponge
  • They are also re-usable
  • Wash them thoroughly and pull he roots and stems out of them
  • Roll each piece of sponge and push them into your littleAeroGarden plastic baskets.
  • Plant the seeds about 2-3 into the sponge using a toothpick and add a little nutrient water on top to moisten the sponge
  • Add water and nutrients about 2 capfuls to the receptacle
  • Insert seed pods
  • Turn on your LED light
  • Turn on the pump
  • Watch them sprout

Can I use regular seeds in my aero garden

Yes! You can use the seeds that you have saved or purchased from the garden centre.

Making your own Domes

Homemade domes

The domes I made from recycled clear plastic bottles. The dome covers the seed pod and acts as a greenhouse. In this photo, I used the top part of a water bottle, but you can also cut the bottom part off as well as I have done here in this photo.

bottom of a juice bottle

This part of the dome is from the bottom of small juice bottle.

They both need to be tall enough for the seedlings to grow above the lid until the first true leaves form. Then the lid can be removed.

grow basket with a homemade dome

The bottle sits perfectly in top of the homemade grow basket that contains the peat and seed.

homemade aero garden

This is a rough idea of how the homemade system will look

LED Grow Lights

You can either set up your homemade Aero garden in a sunny position, but if that is not possible, you can buy grow lights to stand over the box. 

LED lights are low wattage and low heat; as such, they don’t draw a great deal of electricity.

Another Alternative is to make your own LED Lights

1 large recycled coffee can 

1 sizeable empty tub of margarine (container)

1 pack of two stick-on LED night lights

1 roll of duct tape

Spare batteries for the night lights

To see how to make this up to go to “The Garden is Illegal.”

Conclusion

Now we have our own built your AeroGarden hydroponic system made from recycled scraps from around your home. You can now check your system every day to see how your seeds are growing.

If you find any other recycled materials that have worked for you, I would love to here from you.

All the best.

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Yvonne
Yvonne’s fairy godmother

Benefits and Use of Basil

`King of Herbs’ or `herb of poverty’. Ocimum basilicum is the botanical name for Basil. Its roots are steeped in history, tradition and modern-day usage. It’s a sun-loving herb that grows well outside and indoors in your AeroGarden under LED lights that reflect artificial sunlight!

Basil has many benefits and uses it is a widely used herb in kitchens around the globe, making it one of the most popular plant to cook with because it has an aromatic plant that is used in salads or Italian sauces. Basil has nutritional value, and this interesting plant has a deep history that stretches back thousands of years.

Description

Basil Plant
Basil Plant

Genus Name: Ocimum basilicum

Plant Type: Annual herb

Flower colour: White

Propagation: by seed

Leaves: round, pointed

Origin of Basil?

Basil originated in India and was later introduced to Italy, including other Mediterranean countries. There is another plant In Hindi known as the “Sacred Basil” called tulsi. 

Its botanical name Ocimum basilicum has two parts. The first part of the name is said to be linked to Greek mythology warrior named Ocimus. The second part basilicum, is a Greek name “basileus, which means “kingly”. Hence the name “king of herbs” or “royal herb”. The Romans named is basiliscus because if you ate the basil leaves, it would protect you from the fire breathing dragon known as the basilisk.

From its original home in India, Basil eventually found its way around the world to places such as:

  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Thailand
  • England 16th Century
  • North America

Basil Herb Garden Varieties

There are many varieties of Basil that are used in cooking and today we have a good range available from the common green leaf to the red, opal or purple varieties.

Thai Basil
Thai Basil
  • Arostotle Basil
  • `African Blue’ basil      
  • Greek basil
  • `Boxwood’ Basil
  • Cardinal basil
  • `Cinnamon’ basil
  • `Magical Michael’ basil
  • `Greek column’ basil
  • ‘Mrs Burns’ Lemon basil
  • Napolitano basil
  • ‘Osmin’ basil
  • ‘Pesto Party’ basil
  • ‘Purple Ruffles’ basil
  • ‘Red Rubin’ basil
  • `Serrata basil’
  • ‘Spicy Globe’ basil
  • ‘Sweet Thai’ Basil
  • Spicy bush basil
  • Sweet basil, Ocimium bacilicum, related to basilico genovese
  • Holy Basil
  • Lemon Basil
  • `Siam Queen’ basil

What makes Basil so popular in cooking?

It’s in the flavour

  • Spicy, 
  • Peppery
  • Hint of Clove and
  • Mint

which gives it a pungent and sweet aroma.

What does Basil work best with?

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes, sauces
  • Pasta dishes

Historical, traditional and modern-day use of basil.

Basil has a deep history not only in food but in other areas such as

  • Embalming bodies in Egypt
  • Preserving bodies in Egypt
  • Mourning in Greece
  • Ayurveda a traditional medicinal
  • Folklore
  • Gift
  • Religious holidays
  • Perfumes
  • Incense
  • Herbal remedies
  • Antidote
  • Snake bites
  • Provider strength
  • Provide protection
  • Cheers the spirit
  • Clears the brain

Basil was once thought to be poisonous and yet in history it has been a symbol of love or hate.

My Aero Gardening is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

Can Basil be used in Medicine?

It is believed that the properties of basil plants are potentially high in antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial. The nutritional benefits of basil are rich in anti-oxidants. There have been claims that Basil is an anti-cancer and anti-viral property, but there is no factual evidence that any of this is correct.

Besides the claims, many people believe Basil is a remedy for many health issues: 

  • Digestion
  • Headaches
  • Colds
  • Memory
  • Illness
  • Anxiety
  • Sickness
  • High cholesterol
  • Cuts burns

What are the Nutritional Benefits of eating Basil?

Basil has a good source of vitamins and minerals to support growth, development and maintain our immune system, including regulating blood pressure, brain and nerve function, muscle, heart and nerve function and for keeping bones strong and healthy.

  • Manganese has 10%
  • Basil is high in vitamin K
  • Copper 9%
  • Vitamin A 6%
  • Vitamin C 5%
  • Calcium 4%
  • Folate 4%
  • Iron 4%
  • Omega 3 fats 3%
  • Magnesium 3%

Is eating basils seeds okay?

Are basil seeds okay to eat? Yes they are and if you soak them in water they become gelatinous. and can be added to drinks and used as a thickener for soups. Claims are made that eating basil seeds have health benefits:

  • Regulate blood sugar
  • help with digestion
  • suppress appetite control
  • Respiratory Aid
  • Relieve stress
  • skin treatment
  • Lower cholesterol
  • bladder infections
  • vaginal infections

Uses of Basil within the home

Many chefs and home cooks prefer to use fresh basil in cooking, therefore you will find them in Italian recipies:

  • Tomato sauces
  • Pesto
  • Vinegars
  • Oils
  • Salads
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Basil in Aromatherapy 
  • Basil essential oil
  • Cleaning products
  • Basil olive oil

Drying fresh Basil leaves

Basil is at its best when used fresh in cooking but when we have an abundance of beautiful fresh leaves it’s good to be able to store them so they can be used in the offseason. It’s another fun activity to do which is cost-effective. This is great! 

There are a few ways this can be achieved:

  • Drying basil in a microwave
  • Drying Basil in an oven
  • Drying Basil in a Dehydrator
  • Freezing

If using a dehydrator the hot, dry air removes water from inside the herb to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Dehydrating basil will keep for longer periods of time quickly. When you are dehydrating Basil, it can look darker in colour and smell more fragrant. I can hear you saying Oh no! Rest assured your home-dried basil will be nothing like the commercially bought product from the supermarket.

It will taste better and have no additives or preservatives. 

Once the Basil is dried you can store it in a small airtight container and keep in the dark place such as your pantry cupboard. Remember to label the contents and add the date of preparation. Your herbs will keep for a long time.

Dehydrated Basil is very safe if you follow the directions that come with your hydrator.

Storing basil leaves

Basil can also be stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 months. Steps to lock in the fresh flavour. 

  • Wash basil in cold water
  • Drop into boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute. 
  • Remove with a slotted spoon. 
  • Transfer to a bowl of ice
  • Chill for a few seconds
  • Blot herbs dry with a clean tea towel
  • Spread herbs onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or baking paper
  • Freeze for approximately one hour
  • Transfer to freezer containers and label with name and date

Conclusion

Origins of basil is well-known in history, folklore and mythology. Many varieties are available around the world and what makes this plant the `King of Herbs’ is its flavour which works extremely well with ingredients found in Italian, Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. 

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Yvonne
Yvonne’s fairy godmother

Led Lights for my AeroGarden

When I first received my indoor AeroGardening system, I found an information leaflet inside the package about LED lights.

My unit has a built-in timer that I set to provide plants with an optimum amount of artificial sunlight.

Once the AeroGarden unit is plugged into the wall, then you press the light button and the LED lights, also known as grow lights will come.

Leaflet

The leaflet contains some important information about the LED Lights optimum lighting for plants, for instance, plants need to get the right amount of light and turning LED light on or off makes no difference so long as they get the recommended light hours for optimum growth.

I noticed that the information on the AeroGarden pamphlet provides no details on how long the LED Lights last or when to replace them, and when I need to change them where do I buy replacements. Therefore, it is worth considering before purchasing a harvest garden to view the lifespan of the bulbs and where to buy replacements.

What is LED Light?

AeroGarden Harvest Elite Led LIghts
LED Light taken while lights are off.
Photographer: Yvonne Bray

LED is short for Light-emitting diodes that provide a full spectrum of light designed to mimic a ray of natural light for the plants. A LED light is the complete fixture, and it can contain one or more LED bulbs that make light. There are screws under the hood, that allows the plate to be replaced. Before doing this make sure the power is unplugged from the wall.

Do LED lights use a lot of electricity?

The answer is no. LED lights have low wattage and produce low heat.

How much light do plants require?

AeroGardens come in various sizes, and they all have different rating for the LED light array. The details below were on my information leaflet for an AeroGarden Harvest Elite.

LED lights imitate light spectrum similar to that of the sun.  To have the lights come on and turn off at the same time every day, you will need to set the timer for the number of hours for your Plants. The number of optimum daylight depends on the type of plants you are growing. Hour requirements include

  • 15.5 for Flowers
  • 16 for vegetables
  • 16.5 for salads
  • 17 for Herbs

Adjusting the clock timer can be done when you want the lights to come on is done through the touch button and scroll down or up. The best amount of light depends on the type of plant you are trying to grow.

Can you burn plants with LED lights?

If you are using other types of lights, such as incandescent, fluorescent or HID lights, some of these lights use bulbs that get quite hot. But fluorescents produce the least amount of heat. Care needs to be taken as bulb lights can cook your crops in a close compact high-density system. Even though the light is an essential factor in growing your herbs or other plants, it can also be the cause of some other issues. LED lights do produce some heat, but do not cause a problem which makes them convenient in smaller AeroGarden units. Therefore, it’s essential to keep the lights at the correct distance from the plants, for LED lights about 4-5 inches above the top of the plant.

Read the guidelines provided with your AeroGarden as each unit is different from each other. They have various sizes of LED bulbs that directs light downward, which can make a difference in how your plants grow.

When do I need to change the LED light? 

When your light indicator is blinking, it does not necessarily mean you have to change your lights until individual diodes start to fail. If your LED lights are flashing, then I would suggest contacting Amazon and arrange to have the unit replaced or request a refund if it is a recent purchase. Check your warranty for details.

How long do the LED Lights last?

According to the manufacturer’s information, you will need to replace the lights after six months. Still, many users of AeroGarden units believe this is not so, and have used them much longer. The suggestion is if the lights are still working and your machine says to replace them, this could mean that your lights could be set to bulb and not LED and that you can ignore the message and reset it to LED. 

LEDs have a longer lifespan, and you should only need to replace the whole light dome because you cannot replace the diodes individually.  Diodes have a lifespan of 2 to 4 years. Just press and release the Reset button to turn off the reminder. As more diodes begin to burn out, you will need to replace the whole dome. 

What colour LED lights are best for Seedlings and plants growth?

Lead lights of an AeroGarden Harvest Elite
AeroGarden Harvest Elite LED Lights.
Photographer Yvonne Bray

LED lights are designed using diodes, to produce wavelengths of light. Grow lights have been tested by NASA to grow food in space for extraterrestrial colonisation. NASA’s finding showed plants are affected by red, green, and blue lights. That affects root formation, plant growth and flowering.

  • Red light between (630 t 660 nm) is ideal for the growth of plant stems, plant leaves, and regulates flowering, dormancy periods and seed germination. 
  • Blue light (400-520 nm) should be mixed with another spectrum to prevent stunt of growth in plants due to overexposure to light. Glow in the blue range also affects the chlorophyll content present in the plant as well as leaf thickness,
  • Green Light (500-600 nm) penetrates through thick upper growth and supports the leaves below. The green in the Harvest Elite is very pale and looks yellow
  • Far Red light (720-740 nm) can also pass through the thick upper canopy to support the growth of leaves located on the plants. Exposure to light reduces the time a plant needs to flower. Another benefit of far-red light tends to produce larger leaves when exposed to this light in the spectrum.

Where can I buy replacement LED lights for my AeroGarden?

When the grow lights have burned out where can I buy replacement LED lights for my unit?

It’s best to buy them from verified suppliers who carry the AeroGarden range or the manufacturers.

Amazon stock a wide range of alternative Grow lights

Affiliate Disclosure:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you use the links on this page to make a purchase, I may get a small commission and you may get a great bargain. It’s a win-win all around. Full Disclosure

B0042VK80KAeroGarden Replacement Grow Lights
B0752CL6KJPhlizon Newest 600W LED Plant Grow Light, with Thermometer Humidity Monitor, with Adjustable Rope, Full Spectrum Double Switch Plant Light for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower- 600W(10W Leds 60Pcs)
B08CHC8L1SGrow Light for Indoor Plants – Upgraded Version 80 LED Lamps Red Blue Spectrum, 3/9/12H Timer, 3 Lighting Modes, 9 Dimmable Levels, Adjustable Gooseneck, 4 Head LED Plant Grow Light
B083LD91WPGrow Lights LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants Clips Upgraded Version Grow Light Three Heads Grow Plant Lights Grow Lamp 30W with Timer 10 Dimmable 60 Full Spectrum Bulbs with Desk Clip On
B08292TCTYVIPARSPECTRA Newest Dimmable 1000W LED Grow Light, with Bloom and Veg Dimmer, Dual Chips Full Spectrum LED Grow Lamp for Hydroponic Indoor Plants Veg and Flower(10W LEDs 100Pcs) 
B075SSV6C1Phlizon Newest 1200W High Power Series Plant LED Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Double Chips Full Spectrum Grow Lamp for Indoor Plant
B07BDCW21ZVIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light, Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower
B078SQNLYX100W LED Grow Light Bulbs Full Spectrum,150 LEDs Indoor Plant Growing Lights Lamp for Vegetable Greenhouse Hydroponic, E26 Indoor Grow Light AC 85~265V

Conclusion

As discussed, the LED Lights vary between different models, and the amount of light will vary for a range of plants. It’s essential to adjust the light hood as the plants grow so as not to burn the plants. Changing the Led lights will only need replacing when all the diodes burn out or after 3 to 4 years. The colour combination in LED lights is vital for the healthy growth of plants. However, suppose you are unsure about the grow lights that are attached to your unit. In that case, it’s probably best to contact the manufacturer to seek further advice because various models are different from each other.

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Yvonne
Yvonne’s fairy godmother

Growing Lettuce Indoors in Water

The ability to grow lettuce indoors in water is a fantastic activity for the whole family! It provides a sense of achievement when using leftover lettuce crowns and roots in a jar of water to extend the life of the plant. Another alternative for growing salad leaves is to plant the seed in a hydroponic system or use seed pods in an AeroGarden unit.

Regrowing lettuce

As I was growing up, Mum used to keep the lettuce crowns for me to grow in water. Lettuces in those days were not the fancy type we get in today’s market. It was just standard lettuce purchased at the markets and some used to have roots still attached that were not cut off.

Mum would pull the centre out of the lettuce, and she never used a knife; instead, she would grab and twist and out came the middle part. I used to get a jar and add water halfway up and place the roots and stem inside the jam jar. I would put it on the windowsill where the sun could provide lighting. The lettuce would grow from the top. Mum or Dad would let me know when to change the water. 

I often had half a dozen jars sitting along the windowsill, and Mum would pick at the lettuce when the leaves grew and put them on sandwiches or in a salad. Growing lettuce from scraps would save my Mum money as the food budget was very tight when I was young, food was not wasted in those days.

Some scrap lettuces produced leaves, others did not do so good. Sometimes they would bolt and flower when they did this, Dad would gather the seed from them, saved them and planted them in his greenhouse during winter, ready for spring planting.

As a child, I loved this indoor activity, and I’m sure other children would love it too!

So, what type of lettuce leftover are best suited to grow in a jar?

I would experiment with a variety of your favourite lettuces. What works for some people may not work for others. The success rate depends on the time of year and the temperature within your home.

Another great activity to include is to measure the leaves to see how fast they are growing each day. Children will love it!

Seed either collected from your garden or bought from a garden centre

So, you have decided to grow lettuce from seed without dirt. Lettuces can be grown outdoors, but there are some pros and cons to successfully grown lettuce.

ProsCons
Easy to growNeeds full sun in winter
Lovely homegrown tasteNeeds shade during summer
Requires low lightNeeds lots of moisture
Coole temperaturehates hot weather
fast growingcan bolt to seed before harvest
Ideal for hydroponics or Aerogardensrequires room temperature of about 20-25 degrees Celsius
Ready for harvest between 30-60 dayscan be susceptible to caterpillers and bugs when plants are under stress.

If you are growing seed in a hydroponic system you would need to sow 5 to 10 seeds per seedling cube and plant about 7 inches apart for larger lettuces.

If you are planting varieties of loose lettuce leaves plant about 3-10 in each pot, and as they grow, you can harvest back to 1-2 plants to maturity.

NOTE: Root systems of lettuces are relatively shallow and require lots of water.

Mixed Lettuce Leaves

AeroGarden Seed Pods

If you have an AeroGarden system, you can grow lettuce using the seed pods that come in a kit. You can grow lettuces all year round, indoors, under grow lights.

Lettuces are ready to harvest in about four weeks and can last between 3 to 4 months, depending on variety, and how fast they grow.

Homegrown lettuce is tastier than commercially grown. It’s grown organically without pesticides and is a non-GMO product. I often hear on the television news that someone has become sick from eating salad greens and spinach that have E.Coli infection.

E.coli is contamination it can come from organic and non-organic farms that have bird and cow waste contaminating the produce. 

Contamination of salad leaves will make us very sick, and we can get urinary tract infections and diarrhea, in extreme cases, death.

Therefore, it is essential to wash your lettuces even if they have been grown on organic farms. But growing your own indoors away from birds and cows, you have a less likely chance of having your salad greens infected

What are the best salad greens to grow in my AeroGarden?

The best varieties of salad greens to grow in the AeroGraden  Is the red/leaf, Mixed Romaine and butterhead.

Heirloom Salad Greens: Black Seeded Simpson, Deer Tongue, Firecracker, Marvel of 4 seasons, Rouge d Hiver and Parris Island.

When you get your AeroGarden lettuce pods, there are some tips and tricks to successful lettuces:

  • Keep the position of the grow lights between 4 to 6 inches above the plant growth
  • Don’t let the lettuce leaves touch the grow lights

Lettuce is one of the most successful plants to grow, and you could try the “grow anything kit” and use your seeds to experiment.

How do I Prune lettuce?

Pruning your lettuce plant is what you need to do to boost growth and increase your yield.

  1. Harvest 3 weeks after seeds have been planted
  2. Pick lettuce 2-3 times a week
  3. What should I use to remove the leaves: scissors, pruning shears, or use your fingers to pinch off at the base of the plant
  4. Make the cut 1-2 inches from the top of lettuce, don’t cut off more than 1/3 leave 2/3 of the plant
  5. To allow more light between plants cut off the leaves close to the base of the stem
  6. Keep you grow lights low to produce more leaves

In conclusion

Growing lettuce from scraps, seeds or seed pods can yield an abundance of lettuce leaves to add them to your favourite salads or sandwiches. Experimenting is a great activity to get your children involved to see nature at work and eat what they have grown.

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

All the Best

Yvonne

What Plants can I grow in my AeroGarden

I often read comments in the reviews asking: What type of plants can I grow in my AeroGarden?, or What plants grow well in an AeroGarden? Many say Lettuce and Basil are the easiest to grow, and they are the best.

Growing your plants at home in an AeroGarden is easy to do, and it is a healthier alternative to commercially grown produce. Did you know that plants grown in an AeroGarden in water and nutrients are higher in minerals and vitamins? I wonder if growing them in water dirt-free makes them more nutritious.

Homegrown produce nourishes our bodies and provides high nutrients that we need to function and support good health.

I have found growing my plants at home is easy to do and is a much healthier alternative than cultivating them in the dirt. Homegrown produce nourishes our bodies and provides higher nutrients that support our health.

Below I have compiled a list of plants that can be grown successfully in your AeroGarden. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment. There may be some plants not listed here that you may have tried yourselves. If so, please add some to the comments below would be lovely.

AeroGarden Harvest Elite

Grow anything

Grow anything kits are a great way to experiment with a range of plants for your AeroGarden.  Some plants may be too big, but they can still be grown and transferred to a pot for outside or put in your vegetable patch. There is more variety, Easy to maintain, add a lovely touch of lush green growth. The downside is labelling may have to be trimmed because the dome may not fit over the seed pod properly. The kit can be expensive. 

Tomatoes

Grow your tomatoes indoors that are non-hybrid and non-GMO Seeds! Yes, there is a range of varieties out there. They do need to be small tomatoes unless you have an AeroGarden farm unit that can take larger plants; otherwise, you could struggle with the weight of the tomato from a standard size tomato plant.

Growing tomatoes all year round, even in winter seem impossible, but it’s not. You would need to check at your nearest stockist to find which plants are ideal for growing in indoors in your AeroGarden unit. Growing your non-hybrid heirloom tomatoes, and non-GMO Seeds is a much healthier alternative to commercially grown produce. Choose the smallest plant seeds. Tomatoes grown in water are full of flavour, produce lots of tomatoes

Varieties of tomatoes that are suitable for growing in your AeroGarden that are full of flavour, produce lots of tomatoes for up to six months and they are ideal for children’s lunch boxes or salads.

Red HeirloomMight Mini Cherry TomatiesTiny Tim
Orange Hat TomatoesGolden Cherry Heirloom TomatoesMicro-Tom Tomatoes
Green Greape Organic TomatoesYellow pear tomatoGreen Zebra
Principe BorheseWild Sweetie

Best Flowers for an Aerogarden

A variety of flowers can be grown indoors that have bright colours to cheer up your home in the middle of winter and are purchased as Seed Pod kits. The benefits of growing flowers indoors include colour, natural, fast growth rate, have their own formula. Flowering can last longer than stated on the label. Some seeds could take longer to sprout as stated on the pod.

PetuniasColeusLavender
PansiesWildflowersMountain Meadow
Rainbow fire celosia

Pansies provide a variety of colours, but you will need to purchase them as seeds from your nearest garden centre and place them in your seed pods.

Wild Flowers can be purchased at some specialist places such as the Diggers Club in South Australia. Depending on the counties and states you will need to check to see availability for your area.

Mountain Meadow flowers are purchased online in Seed Pod kits, through Amazon.

Petunias are a trendy plant that is often seen planted in hanging baskets and hung at the entrance as décor to homes, hotels, and pubs to name a few places. They can be grown in your AeroGarden all year round or transplanted in spring as the weather warms up. They are known to provide lots of positive energy and is bought as a Seed Pod.

Rainbow fire celosia This plant may have to be transplanted to pots as they grow very tall. They can be purchased in seed pod kits and have no perfume. Your flowers will bloom for up to 7 months; for some, it could be longer. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other varieties of flowers.

Best Vegetables for your AeroGarden

Mini PeppersHungarian Sweet PeppersTom Thumb Peas
Bok ChoyCelerySpinach

Best Salad Leaves for the AeroGarden

Salad Leaves have a great growth rate, easy to care for, guaranteed seed germination, high-quality seeds, NON-GMO, comes with its own patented unique nutrient formula. Ideal for growing in all AeroGarden systems. Sometimes the labels on the seed pods need to be cut to size so the dome can cover the pod.

Salad GreensRomaine MixCos Lettuce
MustardCollardsBeets Greens

Best Herbs for an AeroGarden

Herbs don’t require any chemicals, contain minerals for high-level priority optimum growth rate, soil-free seeds, natural, non-GMO. Some seeds have a low germination rate.

ThymeCurly ParsleyDill
MintCilantroThai Basil
Genovese BasilChivesMarjoram
SageOreganoTarragon

International Range

Gourmet HerbsTuscan Italian HerbsSouth of the Border Herbs
Pesto BasilInternational herbs kitsCustomer herb kits

Fruit

Strawberries

Conclusion

My post provided an overview of the best plants to grow in your AeroGarden. The possibilities are endless if you wish to experiment with a variety of plants, including salad greens, tomatoes, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

If you have considered growing plants in your aero garden, let the unit do all the work. All you have to do is add water and nutrients that your plants require for healthy growth; check your flowers daily and remove dead flowers, rotten leaves, as soon as possible and doing some light pruning will help to keep your plants in an excellent compact shape.

If the dead parts of plants are not removed, there is a possibility of bacteria or parasite spread onto the other, healthy plants.

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Yvonne

AeroGarden Seed Pods

Seed Pods grown in an AeroGarden is more popular today than it has ever been since its introduction.

As the years go by, we see, food prices increase. Fresh food has become expensive, globally. Weather can ruin a crop within minutes. Too much rain, not enough rain, drought and fire make the demand for the supply of fresh produce more difficult.

Will we see food prices come down? Not likely, prices for fresh produce continues to rise. We find many families are buying less at the supermarket because they are cutting costs.

Gardening at home indoors gives control back to the families. They either have an AeroGarden, or they have made their own out of Styrofoam packaging or some other material that they have recycled.

Growing your herbs and vegetables is higher in nutrients when grown in water and adding plant food. The benefits are eating high nutrient food throughout the year that is enjoyed by the whole family.

Seed Pods
AeroGarden Seed Pods

What is contained in the Seed Pod?

The seed pod kits contains:

  • Plastic basket, white
  • Grow sponge (sphagnum moss)
  • Seeds
  • Grow label on top of baskets
  • The clear plastic dome on the right
  • Included in the kit is the bottle of nutrients

How do the Seed Pods work?

The grow baskets contain the growing sponge and seed together, including the paper labels and the little plastic clear domes that act as a miniature greenhouse. Condensation forms on the dome, this process is quite normal as it provides an ambient climate for the little seeds.

The seed Pods come into contact with water and nutrients, which then starts the activation process of the seed. You may see signs of sprouts growing from day 4. See Project Journal for more information on seeds growing in the AeroGarden.

Once the plant starts to grow towards the dome, you can then remove the dome. After you take them off, it is best to clean them with water and vinegar. Once dried, put them into a container so as not to lose them.

Also, the labels will need removing before the plants get too big and unable to slide them over the plant. Otherwise, if you forget to remove them, you will have to cut the labels in half with scissors causing damage. However, you could make new labels out of paper.

Can seed Pods be reused?

Yes. Seed Pods can be reused, except for the grow sponge.

  • Plastic baskets
  • Labels made of paper
  • Plastic Domes

All three are reusable.

As the grow baskets become worn, you will need to replace them. Buying baskets through Amazon could save you some money or purchase seed pod.

Replacing parts for the AeroGarden is costly and saving money these days is on everyone’s mind, it’s so important the more we can save the cheaper it is to grow your own. Be on the lookout for generic empty pods and use your seeds. It’s a more inexpensive way of buying refills for your AeroGarden.

Another suggestion is to purchase untreated grow sponges. One sponge makes three pods. You just cut the sponge into thirds, roll them up and put them into your grow basket

Non-reusable parts

Grow sponges will need to be purchased and replaced. However, if peat moss is not available, you could use an alternative type made from Coco Coir, a biodegradable product. They fit perfectly in you grow baskets.

If you are looking to buy cheaper products such as generic pods you would need to be on the lookout for them and use you own seeds.

Another suggestion idea is to purchase untreated grow sponges. Apparently one sponge fills three pods. What you need to do is cut the sponge into thirds, roll them up and put them into your seed basket.

There may come a time when you need to replace your grow baskets because of what and tear. You should be able to purchase them through Amazon, local shop or AeroGarden Centre.

To remove the plants from the pods:

You will need scissors or pruning shears to cut away roots, remove branches and stems.

Cut the roots with scissors, take care as roots entwine around each other as they grow. You may have to use pruning shears to cut branches and stems. Take care not to damage the plastic parts of your basket when cutting away the roots and remove the old sponge slowly.

If you have some trouble removing the roots gently, you may have to twist slightly or wriggle them around a bit or try cutting away some more of the roots. Do not use force.

Clean the unit and pods

Once the harvest has finished and you are ready to plant new seeds, you will need to take out your pods very carefully, so as not to damage the baskets.

Sanitising your AeroGarden unit and seed Baskets is essential to prevent root pathogens and the spread of bacteria.

All you need to do is

1. Dry the aero garden after removing the old plants

2. Fill with either water and chlorine bleach or use white vinegar. Vinegar is a preferred method as bleach can create an allergic reaction in some people

3. You will need to turn on the power and let the pump run for five minutes.

4. After step 3, empty the water from the container

5. Repeat the process with just water to remove any left-over residue of bleach or vinegar

6. When cleaning your seed baskets, make sure there are no more roots remaining.

Water and Nutrients

Before planting your new seeds, it is best to check that you have enough liquid nutrients for the first two weeks. Otherwise, I would not recommend planting your seeds or adding water until you have nutrients to add to the unit.

Reuse your seed Pods

1. Insert new sponge in the plastic basket and gently insert them and push down. Ensure you have the broader part of the sponge at the top. New grow sponges are purchasable through Amazon

2. Insert seeds (you can use your own saved seeds or buy them from a plant shop. If you decide to purchase seeds from the plant shop, check to see they are suitable. For example, buy tiny tomatoes and not the big ones, small lettuces. Herbs are fine.

  • If you are growing bigger plants such as tomatoes, then you will only need three seeds in a single pod
  • If you are growing smaller seeds, then you can plant about six seeds per pod

How do I reinstall the Seed Pods?

You will need to make sure the seed pods are placed inside the slots and push them in until you hear a click sound. Next, you will place your labels over the top and place the plastic domes on the top. Again, you should get here a click sound.

Conclusion

Saving money is a dream for most of us, growing our food in the AeroGarden makes it possible to provide the family with nutritional herbs and vegetables throughout the year. It’s more convenient, time-saving, fresh produce, nutritional value and the possibilities are endless.

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Yvonne

Project Journal: Growing Herbs indoors using the AeroGarden Elite


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap. but by the seeds that you plant” by Robert Louis Stevenson

I thought this quote fit my Project Journal on growing plants indoors using my AeroGarden Elite. Growing plants indoors in my AeroGarden is a passion of mine, and I would like to encourage others to discover the pleasure and the benefits of growing your own indoors.

I’ve been gardening for some time now and as I get older I can use the AeroGarden indoors all year round to grow beautiful fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers.

Before Planting the Seed Pods

Seeds Pods, Nutrients and Domes
Seed Pods, Nutrients and domes
AeroGarden Seed Pod Kit
AeroGarden Seed Pod Kit, Herbs

According to the package the assumption is the seeds will sprout within the time frame as quoted on each label.

When planting seeds outdoors, you don’t get to see the seeds sprout. The stages of a plants growth bring pleasure and a sense of achievement when they become fully grown, and ready to pick fresh to your cooking or plate.

I have chosen the AeroGarden Herb Seed Pods, they include.

  • Genovese Basil
  • Thai Basil
  • Curly leaf Parsley
  • Dill
  • Thyme and
  • Mint

Day 1

16 Oct 2020

I decided to start recording how my herb garden grows! I cleaned my unit and planted my seed pods. Then I checked to see if everything is in working order. Lights are working check, everything nice and clean, check, the pump is working check at first I thought it wasn’t. But it is, set the clock check.

One thing I love about my AeroGarden Elite is the pump. I often read comments in reviews saying their pumps are quite nosy. I must be lucky because I hear a slight trickle of water when the pump comes on, and it lasts about five minutes.

Everything is now set to go!

Day 2

17 October 2020

Lights are working well; the pump is still operating quietly. Seed Pods look okay. I see there is some condensation forming inside the domes. When the seeds begin to sprout, I will take some photos and upload them to the daily diary.

Day 3

18 October 2020

Not much is happening at the moment. everything appears to be in order. Mary, Mary quite contrary. How does your AeroGarden plants grow?

Day 4

19 October 2020

Aerogarden Genovese Basil Sprout
Genovese Basil

When I woke up this morning at 6 am, I went to check on my seeds to see how things were. At first, I thought I saw a speck of growth but wasn’t quite sure. Upon closer investigation, I found a tiny seed sprouting; it was the Genovese Basil. I took a photo, but when I went and had a look, I could barely see the sprout.

I went off to work and came home at 4:30 pm to find the Genovese Basil had sprouted. Yippeee! I’m so happy to see my project work for this blog.

I hope you enjoyed reading my article. If you have any questions or wish to share information on this topic, please leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you.

Day 5

Thai Basil seed sprouting

20 October 2020

After I finished work, I went and checked on the plants. I noticed a little sprout growing in the Thai Basil Pod. What I was looking at was the seed’s embryo. Also known as seed leaves that provide nutrients to the seedling until the true leaves are seen. I took the photo, and I know it’s not very clear, but you can see the little sprout starting to grow and from what I assume is that the estimated number of days for the seeds to take is proving correct.

Day 6

21 October 2020

The Genovese Basil is much more distinct now. I can see two Cotyledons, known as the first leaves to emerge from the seed pods. I wasn’t going to take a photo because I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I changed my mind.

In comparison to the image above on the 19th of October, we can see there has been improved growth, and the leaves look quite healthy. It won’t be long before it emerges above the label.

In my mind can taste the basil in the pesto and smell the aroma.

Day 7

22 October 2020

The Genovese Basil is starting to grow over the top of the seed pod, the Thai Basil now has its first leaves, and dill has shot through quite quickly. I didn’t see it yesterday, but today I’m amazed at how quick it has grown.

Genovese Basil
Dill
Thai Basil

Day 8

23 Octobert 2020

Not much is happening since I took the photos yesterday. I’m waiting for them to get bigger. Dill is doing really well, and Curly Parsley is taking longer than the 6 days. Thai Basil is doing very well; it has grown a little bit more. Mint is still a spec. Thyme does not seem to be sprouting at all, and the Genovese Basil is doing really well.

Day 9

24 October 2020

AeroGarden Day 9

Well, some of the plants are growing quite good. We can see the Genovese Basil growing larger up in the back right-hand corner. On the Opposite side is the Dill, thin spindly stalk and leaf. In the centre is the. Thai Basil and Mint and in the front is Curly Parsley not doing very well and Thyme also not doing very well, and these two could be slow to sprout.

Day 12

27 October 2020

I decided to give the herbs a miss for a couple of days to see how much the herbs progress in growth. As can be seen the Dill in the far top left corner is doing well and so is the Basil at top right. Thai Basil and mint are coming along nicely in the centre, but Curly Parsley and Thyme are not doing very well.

Day 14

29 October 2020

Okay, now we can see some improvement in the growth. The three herbs have now got their second leaves. Basil looks bushy, Dill in the left corner is getting taller. Thai Basil is starting to look good, and mint is slow.

When I looked inside the pod where the curly parsley is there it looks like something is happening, but it’s not very clear, and there is no sign of the Thyme growing at all.

Day 16

31 October 2020

Yesterday I said I thought I say some activity in the curly parsley. Well, there is, today there is a tiny little seedling. I’ll take a photo when it pops its leaves to the top.

I’m disappointed in the Thyme it should have sprouted before the Curly Parsley. The AeroGarden alarm said I needed to add more food. So I added the recommended 2 caps to the water. I then pressed the button and the pump resumed to mix the water and nutrients together. It was so easy.

Day 17

1 November 2020

Herbs growing in an AeroGrden
Herbs: Top row Dill, Basil, Middle Row: Thai Basil, Mint, Front Row: Curly Parsley and Thyme
Thyme is very slow, should have sprouted by now
Curly Parsley is now a seedling

From the photographs there is some noticeable growth when compared with photos taken a few days earlier. I am still disappointed in the Thyme. I am going to give it another two weeks.

Day 18

2 November 2020

Everything is coming along really well in the growth of the herbs, with one exception to the Thyme. I had a look at my Helpful Garden Tips guide put out by AeroGarden and found snippet on the seeds. Each plant is unique, and can grow differently. Some can take unto a month to sprout and others can sprout very quickly and grow fast in a short period of time.

They say Basil has a very fast growth rate but I have found that Dill is proving this wrong for me at the moment, and yes plants do have different not thrive as well.

Day 22

6 November 2020

AeroGarden Harvest Elite, day 22. plants are starting to grow.

I let a few days go by hoping that the Thyme may have sprouted by now, but sadly not. I’ll wait until end of November before I ditch it.

We are going to have to lovely herbs for Christmas. Dill is taking off fast than the Basil, both look very healthy. Thai Basil, mint and Curly parsley, still small but doing great.

I’ll take another photo in a week so you can see how the plants are going.

Day 34

18 November 2020

Below are healthy roots of the Dill, Thai Basil and Basil. Parsley and Mint are quite slow growing but both are doing very well. I am disappointed in the Thyme, it hasn’t sprouted at all!

Healthy Roots of herb plants
Beautiful healthy homegrown herbs in the AeroGarden Harvest 360
Beautiful healthy homegrown herbs in the AeroGarden Harvest 360

The roots got a straight hair cut today because I was worried they would get tangled up on the pump.

Beautiful healthy looking herbs now ready to be harvested and eaten.

Final Thoughts

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Best wishes

AeroGarden Harvest Elite Review

My AeroGarden Harvest Elite

Have you ever thought about purchasing an AeroGarden Harvest Elite? Well, I did buy one. I have been using it within the home to grow fresh herbs, lettuces, and tomatoes.

Amazon Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you use the links on this page to make a purchase, I will get a small commission, and you may get a great bargain. It’s a win-win all around. The information and opinions are mine and are not representative of the companies that create these products. My reviews are based on my personal experience and research. Read the full disclosure here

2020 is a year we will all remember, the year of the pandemic, where many of us faced lockdown and still are. We were unable to go shopping for electrical goods and furnishings because the shops remained closed for months. We relied on buying directly from the Internet. Many supplies to the supermarkets slowed down because drivers could not either cross the borders or their place of work shut down. Many People started working from home.

Families who had their own AeroGardens found they were able to grow their own tomatoes, herbs, lettuces and pick them fresh from their own kitchen.

If this is this your first time considering buying an AeroGarden Harvest Elite let’s take a look at what it is all about.

My in-home garden unit is AeroGarden Harvest Elite six pod system, located in my kitchen, where I grow fresh herbs and vegetables throughout the year. The most wonderful thing is the ability always to have fresh herbs and vegetables grown in the kitchen, even during winter!

What are the details found on the product packaging?

The box that the AeroGarden was packed in has a great deal of information located outside the packaging’s surface.

Contact Times

At times we may have issues, and we often need to ask questions, or we are not sure where to start; however, AeroGarden is there to help and can is contactable at: Customer Support Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm MT. USA: 1-800-476-9669. Canada: 1-800-611-9058. Email: CustomerService@AeroGrow.com (ideal for those who do not live in the USA or Canada). Website: AeroGarden.com

Notice

On the side of the box, you will find a notice saying Please DO NOT return your AeroGarden to your store or website of purchase. The best thing to do in this case is to ring or contact AeroGarden. Their website also has further information regarding Shipping policy and Returns policy.

Newsletters

Their website also has a Newsletter that you can receive once you have provided an email address to them. This daily, weekly, or monthly news will keep one up to date on specials and has access to their blogs,

Warranty

Their one-year warranty covers a wide range of replacement parts, including seed pods. They are happy to replace any Seed Pods that have not germinated after 21 days.

Exclusive Offers

AeroGarden provides discounts on Seed Pod kits, accessories, and even your next AeroGarden system! Discount offers also advertised on their website.

Latest News and Notes:

Be the first to know and sign up for the AeroGarden newsletter on their latest specials and innovations.

Seed Pods

To start planning which herbs, vegetables, or flowers to plant AeroGarden has a variety of Seed Pods to help you make an informed decision on what to plant next time. Try growing your favourite lettuces or tomatoes.

Seed Pod Kit

Depending on which Seed Pod kit you have chosen, the box contains a list of Seed Pods included. For instance, when I received my herb kit, it contained six free delicious herbs:

  • Thyme
  • Curly Parsley
  • Dill
  • Genovese Basil
  • Mint and 
  • Thai Basil

All the Seed Pods were guaranteed to be Non-GMO, and you can choose from over 70 varieties, or grow your favourites.

Electrical Ratings

Australian Power Regulator Plugpack
PowerTech Plus Switchmode Regulated Plugpack

The box also provides electrical ratings for USA and Canada (located on the underside of the box)

  • Garden Input: 12Vdc 2SA
  • Adaptor Input: 100-240 Vac 50/60 Hz
  • Adaptor output: 12 Vdc 2.5A

 If you purchased your AeroGarden from Amazon and you live overseas for example Australia, you may need to buy a power Plugpack, or something similar, that can adapt the power between the USA and Australia.

My reason for saying this is because I bought the AeroGarden kit and found I had to have a power plug adaptor. I did have one in my drawer but found, but it was a ten amp and not a twelve. We managed to purchase one from the electronics shop not far from where we live.

Miracle Grow Aerogrow Liquid Plant Food 

AeroGarden recommends using their special fertiliser to give your plants an extra boost that water alone cannot provide. Some fertilisers may not be well balanced, and thankfully we can purchase the product from Amazon. However, if you live in a different country, like Australia, you may have to purchase the AeroGarden Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit (6-Pod) that contains the fertiliser. One of Amazon.com.au’s products online for Australia is the Amgrow Harvest Liquid Fertiliser.

If you are not sure which liquid plant food to buy check for the recommended balance required:

AeroGarden Liquid Plant Food
AeroGarden Liquid Plant Food
  • N-P-K 4-3-6, 3 Fl oz (85 g)
  • Total Nitrogen (N) 4.0%, 1.0 % AmmoniaCal Nitrogen; 3.0% Nitrate Nitrogen
  • Available Phosphate 3% (P2 O5)
  • Soluble Potash 6% (K2O)
  • Calcium (Ca) 1.0%
  • Magnesium (Mg) 0.5% 0.5% water – Soluble Magnesium (Mg)

Derived from: Potassium Nitrate, Calcium Nitrate, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Ammonium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate.

For further information regarding the contents and levels of metals in the Aerogrow Liquid Plant Food is available on the Internet at http://www.aapfco.org/metals.htm

This fertiliser is classified as a low-analysis in Mississippi.

How do the Seeds in the Seed Pods grow?

Seed Pod Ingredients include Sphagnum Peat Moss 

The seeds are inserted in the seed pods and immersed in water and nutrients. There’s no soil, therefore no mess! You just drop them in and watch them grow.

How long does it take for the plants to grow?

AeroGarden Seed Pod Kit
AeroGarden Seed Pod Kit

The length of time it takes for the plants to grow is dependent on the type of seed you are trying to grow which could take longer than a week to start sprouting

  • Week 1 Seeds should begin to sprout
  • Week 3 Plants should be growing bigger and look healthy
  • Week 5 Plants should be ready for harvest.

As an example, I received some herb pods and on the top of each pod is a guide that provides a growth indication:

Genovese Basil will sprout within 6-12 Days and is a tall plant so that I will place this at the back of my Aerogarden.

  • Thyme sprouts within 7-14 Days and is a short plant that I will plant at the front
  • Mint sprouts within 6 to 10 days are medium height so I will plant that one in the middle row
  • Thai Basil takes between 4-7 Days to sprout and is a tall plant so I will plant at the back
  • Curley Parsley takes 8-21 days to sprout and is a short plant so that I will put that at the front
  • Dill takes 10-21 Days and is a tall plant so I will plant on edge closest to the back.

LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are energy efficient that deliver the perfect spectrum for faster growth a bigger harvest.

The lights are automatic, they turn on and off, and they also deliver the right amount of light for your plan’s needs.

Automatic Reminder

The AeroGarden system has an automatic reminder that tells you when to add water. It will also tell you when to add food.

If you use the special liquid plant food made by AeroGrow, your plant will be strong and healthy.

Summary

I hope my blog encouraged you to buy the AeroGarden Elite. With a little bit of knowledge and some practice, you’ll be a master AeroGardner in no time. It’s a wonderful technology that keeps you wanting to experiment more with different seeds. It’s a great pastime for everyone to enjoy!

Remember to check your power if you live outside of USA and Canada, you may need to buy a power converter. Check your garden each day and some plants tend to grow very quickly and will require pruning. Trimming you plant will obviously be done when cooking dinner!

Mine is all set up and ready to go! To read the progress on my project, read my Project Diary!

AeroGarden Harvest Elite all set up and ready to go!

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Best wishes

AeroGardening tips and tricks

While your plants are growing, we often have questions that we would like answered; this ensures that we are comfortable with our plant’s health and growth.

My Aero Gardening
cherry tomatoes
  • When you have started your new Seed Pod Kit in your AeroGarden unit. Set your light hood/Grow lights to the lowest position.
  • As your plants begin to grow, keep the grow lights about 4-6 inches above the plants. You may have to trim back your tallest plants, so they don’t touch the grow lights. This can be done when you are cooking one of your favourite recipes.
  • Unfortunately, you will need to replace your CFL Grow Lights every 6 months for maximum growth and harvest. Led Grow lights have a life span of three to five years.
  • Don’t be afraid to prune if you want to encourage a healthy harvest prune just above a new leaf set otherwise; plants will grow into each other’s space and block out their light. Trim the leaves back from the sides of the plant.
  • When harvesting your plants, do it frequently and take no more than 1/3 of the plant at a time.
  • You don’t have to wait for the additional water alert to keep the water level near the fill line; add water when it gets below the level.
  • Every month your plants will love to have fresh water and nutrients.
  • When planting different types of seed pods together in one garden, you will need to prune from the top, so the light hood remains the lowest until all the plants are well established.
  • It is recommended that tomatoes and other plants are not mixed because they tend to spread out as they grow, and smaller plants may not get enough light and plant food to grow well with tomatoes.
  • Your plants may have some dead or brown leaves at the lower end of the plant. This is quite normal. All you need to do is remove them with scissors or pinch them off with your fingers.
  • No matter how hard we try, little bugs have a way of finding an entry point into your home. They can enter on the back of our clothes and other plants. If you find some little bugs, turn the unit off and spray under the leaves with water or use your favourite organic pest spray if the pests persist.
  • The Pods may have come into contact with various lettuces, herbs, flowers, or salad greens. People with allergies to plant varieties should use caution.
  • Basil grows much more quickly than chives, parsley, and oregano so will need to be pruned more often to keep it 4-6 inches below the lights
  • when harvesting your plants, remove the whole leaves by cutting the leaf base with scissors and shear or by gently pinching off with your fingers.
  • When planting tomatoes or peppers reach a height of 2 inches, check for additional plants at the base. Use your shears and gently snip the smallest plants at the base of the stem to leave one plant for each. pod
  • Tomatoes and Peppers will need a helping hand to start the pollination process once they flower. With the grow lights on, shake the plants gently from side to side, or you could use a fan placed in front of your garden, or use a small paintbrush, toothbrush to release and spread the pollen from flower to flower.
  • Fruiting commences between 6 to 8 weeks. If they are slow to fruit, they may need fresh water and nutrients.
  • Plants can tend to produce lots of fruit and lean over. If this happens, they will need support with wooden skewers or chopsticks and even an AeroGarden Trellis System of soft plant ties. Take care not to damage the stems, but if this does happen, it will produce more fruit after the plant has been pruned.
  • If growing flowers, once they reach about 2 inches tall, check each Seed Pod to see if there are any multiple plants. Again, as for the tomato plant, you will need to use scissors or shears to gently cut away the smallest plants at the stem’s base, leaving no more than 3 plants in each pod.
  • Remove any dead or wilted blooms often for continued flower production.
  • You will need to allow 3 weeks for your seeds to sprout if you are growing flowers as many of them are slow to germinate. . You will also need to keep your Grow Light Hood low until all plants are well established.
  • The roots of your plants will need to be trimmed back to 2cm above the waterline of the water reservoir; otherwise, the roots could grow into your pump and cause pump failure.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the tips and tricks that can help you while using your AeroGarden.

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Best wishes

Aero Gardening for Beginners

You have been given an AeroGarden as a gift, you look at it, wondering what to say, but in your mind, you think what the heck do I do with this and how do I use it! Well, the great news is you don’t have to be a skilled gardener to use one!

AeroGardens have become very popular as an indoor hydroponic system that is easy to set up and use. Once established and your plants are flourishing you will enjoy the harvest that you have grown, which could be anything that you chose, lettuce, herbs, tomatoes or flowers all year round.

AeroGardens are popular because they occupy a small space in your kitchenette. However, don’t despair if bench space is an issue. I suggest using a small, sturdy table and locate in your living room or dining room, which is preferable to the bedroom. Why? Because if it’s a spare room, then it’s “out of sight out of mind attitude”.

AeroGarden Harvest Elite 6 pods

What do I do?

Your AeroGarden kit comes with instructions on how to assemble the system. Once you have completed the first step and before adding the water, you will need to make sure to check how much water your system needs because they all require various amounts. Also, once you have added the water, it will be heavy.

The next step is to unpacked your AeroGarden seed pod kit. It should contain

  • Seed pods
  • Domes
  • Liquid nutrients
  • Measure cup

Insert the seed pods in the seed slots, press them in until you hear a little snap sound. Then, put your domes on top over the seed pods, these too will have a snap sound. Keep the domes on until the seeds sprout.

Fill the unit with water, add recommended amount of nutrients, plug it in, then press the switch to turn it on and let your system do the rest. Depending on the type of AeroGarden system you’ve received, three pods, six pods or more. Adding water and nutrients will need to be done every couple of weeks, however if you are lucky to have received a unit that has an alerts you that’s even better, just top up with water and nutrients whenever it tells you.

Harvest Time

Your plants should be ready to harvest in a few weeks. Chefs and home cooks will tell you there is no better way to cook than with fresh produce. Fresh food purchased at the supermarket is half-ripe before it reaches the shop. They do this because it is still ripening on the way to the store. Otherwise, herbs, salad greens, fruit and vegetables will not survive transportation.

Problem Seed Pods

If you find some seed pods fail to germinate, your AeroGarden supplier such as Amazon or AeroGaren will replace them free of charge, all you need to do is send them your failed pods back in the post.

Freshly Picked 

Growing your herbs for cooking, are much tastier and appealing then shop bought because they are fresh. 

Suggestion

You could recycle your used pods, so don’t throw them away. Take out the old foam inside the pod, wash all the components before reusing and replace it with a “plant growth medium” used mostly in hydroponic systems use the seed from your garden centre or use your seed savers.

What are these sponges made from?

The sponges used in your seed pod is Pure Sphagnum Peat

How do the plants grow?

Growing plants without dirt is an excellent way for children to learn about the root system of plants. The roots in the AeroGarden are submerged in water for their entire growing life.

Some Terminology

Pod is known as a container, seed pod for herbs, vegetables or flowers

Bottom Pad  contains all the electrical components for the unit and it also has an easy-to-use front control panel

Reservoir holds the water, plants and water aeration components

Adjustable Height

Also known as the top. LED grow lights that will provide your plants with all the lighting needed for proper plant growth and development. As the plants start to grow taller, the lighting will need to be adjusted.

Do I have to prune my plants?

If your plants have grown taller or bushier, you will need to prune them, and this is done at any time.

Can I transplant my plants to the garden?

Yes. After plants have developed a healthy root system, they will need to be hardened off before planting directly into the garden. 

When do I remove the dome?

You can remove the dome when the seedlings start to press against the dome.

What can I grow in my AeroGarden?

You can grow any small-growing flower, herb, vegetables or salad leaves.

When to add the nutrients?

Adding nutrients depends on the number of pods, what you are growing and whether your system tells when to add nutrients.

When do I top up the water?

When the water level appears low, there usually is a cap on the corner of the pod area, you open it and pour water inside and close it afterwards. Replug your system back in and start.

Remember:

Check your screen often to see when it requires more water and other supplements such as nutrients. Some systems will alert you when it is time to add more water.

Which AeroGarden is best for my herbs?

All AeroGarden models are good the herbs it mainly depends on what you wish to grow

When to clean your AeroGarden

Before you start to add new seed, you will need to wash the pods, bowl with vinegar and water to prevent the risk of your crops being destroyed due to root pathogens. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Fill your bowl with water and 1/4 cup of chlorne bleach or 5 cups pf vinegar. Turn the power on and and run the pump or aerator for five minutes. Turn off the power and empty the cleaning solution from the bowl and rinse well. Refill your bowl with clean clear water. Turn power back on and run for another 5 minutes. Turn Power off and empty and rinse once more to remove any residue.
  2. You can put the parts in the dishwasher. Remove the “Fill to here” indicator, clear plastic float, pump filter and pump stem, It’s okay to keep the pump in. Place the bowl and grow deck only in the dishwasher add regular dishwashing detergent and wash on regular cycle. Allow to air dry.

My preference is to do step one so that the tubes and pump get a clean, I’m not too keen on step two because dishwashing block can be highly toxic unless you use an environmentally friendly one.

I’ve found growing fresh food in my AeroGarden provides many benefits especially during the long winter months when we tend to spend a great deal of time indoors, which can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as SAD. As a winter activity, growing plants indoors leads to families bonding, children learn about growing food indoors, and how the plants keep the air clean.

The AeroGarden is ideal for growing fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers all year round in your kitchen. Counter space could be an issue, and if you haven’t enough room, you may need to find an alternative location, preferably near your kitchen.

Replacing parts for your AeroGarden can be costly and much depends on the size of your unit. To save on costs, you could reuse your seed pods.

Your beautiful gift is now assembled and is ready to start producing fresh food.

I hope you enjoyed reading my article. If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Aero Gardening – What is it about.

Best wishes