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What is the Aerogarden?
In the 1990’s, I remember going to Epcot Center and seeing a tour which included an entire garden they grew using hydroponic technology–gardening without soil (and the things that come with soil, such as bugs, disease, and pollution). I remember being amazed at seeing all the vegetables and fruits they were growing.
Little did I know that just 10 years later, I’d have a hydroponic garden sitting in my own apartment!
The Aerogarden gives you the ability to use hydroponics in your own kitchen. I love to cook, but one thing I always seem to need is fresh herbs. I have no outdoor space to grow a garden. At the supermarket, I can pay $2 for a package of parsley. I’ll use two tablespoons and throw out the rest.
I decided to buy an Aerogarden a few years ago. It came, as it still does now, with a free herb garden kit, which includes Italian Basil, Purple Basil, Chives, Parsley, Cilantro (or Thyme), Mint, and Dill. Within months, I harvested enough herbs to cook delicious lentil soup (parsley), fresh corn chowder (Italian basil, chives) using my own vegetable stock (parsley), Margherita pizza (Italian basil), fresh tomatoes, and basil (Italian basil, purple basil), baked potatoes with chives (chives), authentic chocolate chip mint ice cream (mint), and roasted vegetables (dill), Thai basil chicken (basil) and lots and lots of pesto (basil).
I was so thrilled with the Aerogarden that I decided to purchase three more! You can follow my Aerogarden adventures in this session.
Having followed Aerogarden and AeroGrow (the company that makes Aerogardens) for several years, one thing their marketing department seems to always be struggling with is how to name their different units. I mean, who has the time and patience to figure out what the heck an Aerogarden Classic Elite Deluxe Pro Veggie 6 Extra Plus Garden is?
Never fear–below, I’ve written the names and descriptions of each of the current models, along with a link directly to the Aerogarden Store where you can buy one for yourself and dive into the world of hydroponics…
Aerogardens for Growing Herbs
Also called the Original AeroGarden, AeroGarden Classic
This is the unit that started it all. It comes in black (pictured), White, or Silver to coordinate with your kitchen appliances.
The saying “just add water” applies here. Everything else is included: seven seed pods, the sunlight (provided through two flourescent bulbs and a timer system), the plant food (provided through a supply of nutrient-rich tablets), and even a recipe book for cooking with your herbs. You’ll just have to spend about 5 minutes a month taking care of it, and enjoying harvest after harvest of crops.
You can buy other seed kits for plants that grow to a maximum of about 21 inches before being harvested, including basil, lettuce, gourmet herbs, chili peppers, and cherry tomatoes.
This unit weighs about 15 pounds, and takes up counter space of 18.5 inches (length) x 10 inches (width) x 15-21 inches (height).
WHO SHOULD GET IT: Those who just want to grow herbs or small plants and don’t need the advanced user-friendly interface of the Aerogarden Ultra.
AeroGarden 3 – Black (3 Pod)
If you’re really constrained for space or only need a few herbs from time to time, the AeroGarden 3 is a unit that uses only three pods and is about the size of a coffee maker. The unit comes in black, and also in a ton of other colors, including Blue, Pink, Yellow, Lime, Red, or shaped like a LadyBug.
It comes with seed pods for basil, thyme, and chives, is about the size of a coffee maker, and is as cute as a button to boot. It’s 9.5 inches long and 11 inches wide, with a height of 14 inches.
WHO SHOULD GET IT: Those who only need one or two types of herbs, don’t have a lot of room in their kitchen, or have a young person in your life they want to teach about gardening (and get them to grow you a ton of fresh herbs!), all for less than the price of a video game.
Aerogardens for Growing Vegetables
formerly Aerogarden Deluxe, VeggiePro, Aerogarden Elite 6 Plus
This model of the AeroGarden is for serious indoor gardeners. It uses three deluxe full-spectrum growth bulbs and is larger than the classic AeroGarden unit, measuring 18 inches by 10.5 inches, with a height of anywhere from 16.5 to 34 inches!
The larger height means this unit can accomodate full-size crops, including full-size heirloom tomatoes, mega cherry tomatoes (included), or sweet bell peppers, all available for purchase at the AeroGarden store. You can even grow regular AeroGarden herb or flower pods and yield many more crops due to the much taller height and the improved lighting.
WHO SHOULD GET IT: Anyone who wants to grow big, rich herbs and vegetables indoors.
This is the newest and in my opinion the best of the best AeroGarden ever–and this is from someone who’s owned six different AeroGardens in my day. You can read my in-depth review of my Ultra’s unboxing on the blog. Bottom line, it goes back to supporting seven seed pods, expands vertically to the same reach as the Aerogarden Extra, has improved lighting and better oxygenation and germination, and has a fantastically designed control panel that makes all the things that were complicated (and annoying) about the AeroGarden in the past ridiculously simple. This is one I’d highly recommend.
WHO SHOULD GET IT: Anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of keeping track of feedings and waterings, and who wants to grow the biggest, richest herbs and vegetables indoors.
nt), and roasted vegetables (dill), thai basil chicken (basil) and lots and lots of pesto (basil).
I was so thrilled with the Aerogarden that I decided to purchase three more! You can find my aerogarden adventure in this session.
No matter what kind of cuisine you cook, Aerogarden has great kits! Most of them will be able to be harvested as early as 3 week, and last for at least 4-5 months.
Each kit costs about $20 each, and pay for themselves after the first two harvests (the same amount of fresh herbs you can get in just one harvest costs anywhere from $5-10 in a supermarket). The toughest part will be deciding which kit to grow!
Herbs and Veggies
- Grow Anything 1-Season Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Crazy Catnip Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Fresh Tea Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Gourmet Herb Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- International Basil Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Italian Herb Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Pesto Basil Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Cherry Tomato Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Chili Pepper Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Salsa Garden Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Mixed Romaine Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Salad Greens Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Cascading Petunias Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)
- Lots of Lavender (6/7-Pod)
- Mountain Meadow Seed Kit (6/7-Pod)