Especially now that I'm in my early 20s trying to take care of my health a little more, I've always had this on-going fantasy of eating home-grown foods in my little garden. But here's the thing: I don't have a space big enough for a garden, and I neither have the time nor knowledge to tend for my imaginary plants.
Does this sound like you, too?
Introducing the AeroGarden
With AeroGarden, gardening has never been this simple. All you need to do is to plant your seeds of choice and watch them grow! You can mount them in places as small as a countertop or even in a small corner of your room. I always find it amusing whenever I see little sprouts turn into actual vegetables, it’s a tiny surprise for myself every time I visit the kitchen. I can even grow some roses even if they’re out of season!
A Smart Garden-to-Table Companion: AeroGarden Overview
Before going into more detail on what I think of the AeroGarden (Spoiler: I love it), here’s a quick definition of the AeroGarden. It’s a non-traditional form of gardening that uses hydroponics, which is a growing technology that doesn’t use soil, to grow plants outward into the airspace before directing them down to a highly-oxygenated nutrient solution. Instead of relying on soil for nutrients, plants grown using AeroGardens gain their nutrients from the air and a nutrient-rich water solution.
Being a nature lover myself, living in a huge city inside my small apartment crushed my hopes of becoming the “plant mom” with a home-grown stash of veggies and fruits – that's until I discovered AeroGarden. You can just put them on your countertop and watch them grow! Now, I no longer have to wait ten more years to purchase a small lot in the suburbs to live my little gardening dream.
With my dilemma on gardening space resolved, the next thing that always held me back in pursuing my love for gardening is how much time and commitment it can take – especially when you’re close to harvesting them. From removing dirt, plucking out weeds, watering them, to even talking to them (yes, I believe that talking to plants help them grow), I was certain that my 9-5 job wouldn’t take any of it. With AeroGarden, however, it makes gardening overtly simple that I sometimes think that it’s too good to be true. The contraption itself tells me when I need to add more water and nutrients, and even mimics sunlight by turning on and off its built-in lights. Just to warn you, though, these lights are intensely bright you can even see them outside. It’s a literal glowing beacon of herbal prosperity, it took quite a bit of adjustment (and serious locational planning) to make it work for my nocturnal-set eyes.
I’m quite impatient myself, which makes me an unlikely candidate for gardening in the get-go. This is why among my favorite features of AeroGarden is how plants grown in here can be harvested five times earlier than those in regular gardens. For example, it only takes around 12 to 14 weeks for a tomato seed to grow into a full-fledged fruit, whereas a regular garden would take more than six months. Almost feels like time travel, but no, that's just how AeroGardens work.
AeroGarden Features at a Glance: What You Can Expect
I’ve always found reviews quite subjective at times, and with such a cool product like AeroGarden, I’d opted to have the fairest review possible. What could be a better way to assess AeroGarden than referencing the company’s claims themselves? Here are my complete, honest thoughts on the product rated from 5 as the highest to 1 as the lowest:
I’ve always liked how AeroGarden almost looks like a safety mushroom for my indoor plants. It mainly consists of a solid container either made from plastic or metal with a fitted sump pump that produces air bubbles. Each seed is then mounted in a flat tray with multiple slots and seed pots in it. The AeroGarden is then sealed with a set of CFL or LED grow lights which makes it look like an oversized reading lamp.
What’s the lacking one point for, though? It’s because of the small watering slot. I had to use bottles with smaller openings (like a wine bottle) and eventually invested in a tiny water pail so I won’t have to deal with the mess in my kitchen later on.
If you’re an experienced gardener unlike me, you’ll find AeroGarden relatively easy to use, almost intuitively. I’m gonna be honest though, I was quite overwhelmed the first time I saw the contraption. Thankfully, everything worked even if I did the steps out of order (I was too excited to even read the manual).
Faster Harvest Time
AeroGarden claims to harvest their water-grown plants five times faster than their soil-grown counterparts. Aside from faster harvest time, another thing I liked about AeroGarden is their wide range of plants, some of which include the following:
- Flowers such as lavender, lilies, petunias, and roses
- Herbs such as basil, dill, and oregano
- Leafy green veggies such as broccoli, kale, and lettuce
- Veggies such as tomatoes and peppers
I’m gonna be honest though, growing herbs and produce indoors with AeroGarden can be quite expensive compared to other methods of indoor and outdoor gardening. But given my unhealthy love for tomatoes, going as far as craving for them in the middle of the winter, this indoor garden is a lifesaver. The tomatoes I had were really plump and delicious, just a little smaller in size.
Where’s the missing one point, you ask? The starter pack that comes with the unit has a limited selection of seeds, and some can be quite a waste of space inside the AeroGarden. If you only opt to buy only flowers or herbs, per se, you have to purchase a separate pod kit – which can add up in the long run.
Need I say more? Since AeroGarden provides an almost perfect growing condition for plants, you don’t need to worry about herbicides and pesticides sneaking in your produce. They also don’t offer Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) seeds, which means that everything you’ll harvest from the AeroGarden is 100% natural and organic. Since it’s usually very rare to find organic produce where I live, having an organic indoor garden within my reach is a huge upgrade to my journey towards healthier living.
AeroGarden is the prime example of a "plant to plate" produce, you can have your fruits and veggies ready within a few steps away. As a busy office worker myself, the automated features of the AeroGarden saved me the hassle of keeping my plants away from dirt, weeds, and insects. It automatically tells me when I need to add more water and nutrients to my plants – even turning its automated grow lights on and off to mimic sunlight!
While AeroGarden ticks almost all boxes in terms of convenience, there’s one thing I found a little troublesome – pruning. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to grow Thai basil and Genovese. As long as you’re keen enough to keep up with the pruning, you’re guaranteed to have a fresh bunch of herbs every week.
Here’s a bulleted list of AeroGarden’s pros and cons for those looking for a quick overview of what to expect:
- Modern, sleek design
- Faster harvest time – five times faster than traditional gardens
- Everything is automated
- Safe from pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs
- Fresh plant to plate produce
- Low-maintenance yet aesthetically-pleasing
- Includes a starter kit
- Perfect for smaller indoor spaces
- Water slot is too small
- More expensive than other outdoor and indoor methods
- Pruning can be quite demanding
- Grow lights are too bright
- The free starter kit has limited options
I know, you might have seen a great variety of AeroGardens in the market that it can get quite overwhelming. Here are my top three picks from the same AeroGarden brand that I wish I’d known sooner:
AeroGarden Black Harvest Indoor
AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor
AeroGarden Harvest Elite 360
Number of Pods
AeroGarden Black Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden
The cheapest among the bunch, this is also among the smallest and most “traditional” form of AeroGarden out of my three alternatives. While it almost works the same as the others, its push-button adds a tactile experience to its users, while its dimmer grow lights and fewer plant pods may work for those who want to keep their AeroGardens low-key.
AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden, Black
This is by far the priciest among the three I've recommended, and for all the best reasons. It comes with a touch screen control panel for a completely sleek look, and you can grow as many as 9 plant pods upon installation! The downside, it is recommended for those with slightly bigger spaces and who are less sensitive to light.
AeroGarden Harvest Elite 360 - Stainless Steel
If the look of stainless steel entices you, then you might want to check out AeroGarden’s Harvest Elite 360. It almost looks and works the same as the AeroGarden Black Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden, only with a different finish and a different display type. Harvest Elite 360 works with an LCD Screen which offers great visibility and a sophisticated look.
Living in a big city with such a small space, it has never come to me that I can have my very own indoor garden right in the comfort of my home. That is until I met AeroGarden and its wide range of aeroponics gardens perfect for aspiring plant moms and dads like me. Watch your sprouts grow into beautiful flowers and healthy produce through AeroGardens – all with minimal effort.