This indoor “smart” garden requires no growing skills. It is almost entirely automated.
That said, AeroGarden costs about $150.
That would buy a lot of fresh herbs over the course of three or four months, the amount of time a typical AeroGarden crop produces.
After the first crop, new seed kits can be bought for $20 each.
The AeroGarden became widely available this fall, so here’s our analysis after a six-week test.
The machine will automatically set a timer depending on the type of plant you are planting.
For example, herbs require 17 hours of sunlight per day. You’ll be notified if your plant needs more water or nutrients.
You’ll begin to see sprouts soon enough, as most seeds germinate in between 5 and 15 days. This sounds like an incredible gift idea. This is a great gift idea for a gift guide.
Warning: The LED light of 20 watts is extremely bright. You can clearly see it from the street. It is a bright beacon of herbal prosperity that I enjoy, but it would be a nuisance in a studio.
AeroGarden has allowed me to grow many herbs, but some are better than others. Mint is my playground bully.
It grows so tall and thick that it blocks out all light. My star pupil, however, is the chive. They shoot straight up.
They can be snipped to your liking and will miraculously grow back in a matter of days. They can grow quite tall because the light is adjustable.
My plants have grown to eight inches in length and are much more nutritious than those you can buy at the grocery store. You can see, everything I make now is covered with chives.
Genovese basil and Thai basil grow exceptionally well, but they require more frequent pruning.
What To Grow In AeroGarden
You can grow a good amount of basil each week if you can keep up with the trimming. This is enough to make enough pesto to have on hand.
What can be grown: Seed kits include herbs, lettuces, cherry tomatoes, and chile peppers.
A free herb seed kit comes with each garden.
How it works: Seeds come in pre-planted plugs. Lights blink every two weeks when it is time to water or add prepackaged organic nutrients.
Leave town for two weeks, and the garden will be fine without you. A reservoir of water bathes the root area, and the grow light turns on and off automatically.
How long until dinner? The folks at AeroGrow International say you can begin harvesting lettuce and basil in three weeks; other herbs in five weeks; hot peppers and cherry tomatoes in 10 to 12 weeks.
In our six-week test of sage, parsley, thyme, and oregano, the plants were too small to allow harvesting of more than a couple of leaves of each plant.
Where do you put it? It is 16 inches long and 10 inches wide. The height changes from 15 to 21 inches as the light on top is raised to accommodate growing plants. It may not go under your kitchen cabinets.