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 I can do with this and learn how to use it. Well, the great news is you don’t have to be a skilled gardener to use one! Aero gardening for beginners will introduce you to the wonderful world of AeroGardens.
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”.
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.
Unpacking your new AeroGarden
The next step is to unpacked your AeroGarden seed pod kit. It should contain
- Seed pods
- 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.
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.
Growing your herbs for cooking, are much tastier and appealing then shop bought because they are fresh.
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.
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
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?
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.