AeroGarden - Home Aeroponic Garden
AeroGarden - Aeroponic garden
The AeroGarden, developed by AeroGrow International brings NASA aeroponic technology to any home gardener. This truly is the easiest way to consistently grow a variety of organic greens in any room (or closet) of your house, NO GREEN THUMB REQUIRED.
We have had our AeroGarden for 5 months now. We first planted the Gourmet Herb Kit and enjoyed the herb bounty for nearly 4 months. Unfortunately, I never took any pictures of the herbs life cycle. Five weeks ago we planted a salad green garden and I have done some minor documentation, as you can see below.
There are several basic steps to get the AeroGarden up and running. Out of the box, there are 2 fluorescent grow bulbs that are included. These use standard lightbulb connections and screw into the bottom of the lamp hood. The lamp hood is height adjustable and gets raised as the plants grow. To begin a garden, the lamp hood has to be in the lowest position.
The coolest thing about the AeroGarden is that you can put it ANYWHERE, and the garden will grow. You will have to water it regularly, but it would grow just as well in your bedroom closet or behind your refrigerator. We've got ours setup in our bathroom for now.
Planting your garden/seed pods
Planting the Aerogarden is simple, clean, and dirt-free. Each garden kit comes with seven small seedpods. The seedpod is a small plastic cup that holds cylindrical sponge. Several little seeds are tucked into the sponge when they arrive. Sealed on top is the paper label that displays what type of plant will grow from the pod. The label is printed on a heavy cardstock and actually helps support and direct the plant as it grows.
The each pod gets inserted into seven special holes on the grow surface. The grow surface is a sophisticated lid that sits on top of the AeroGarden base. On the bottom side of the grow surface runs seven water channels that deliver a constant flow of oxygenated water to each of the seed pods.
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Feeding the AeroGarden
Next, fill up the bowl of the AeroGarden base with water. I haven't measured how much water it holds, but I would guess it to be around 1 gallon. Plug the Aerogarden into a 110V outlet and the water pump kicks into action. The water pump at the back of the bowl directs water up the main channel and into the 7 seed pod watering channels. The "Smart Garden Control Panel" starts to blink with options. Here you can see the various garden options available. Each option has a different program, specific to the garden type. I think we will try the Japanese Herb garden next!
Last, you add 2 Growing Nutrient Tablets into the bowl of recirculating water. The growing nutrients have all the necessary minerals and nutrients to make the garden grow. This is the essence of hydroponic gardening. The tablets slowly dissolve (usually in a couple of days) and enrich the water, making it the ideal food for the garden.
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more pictures below
Hydroponics vs. Aeroponics
Aeroponics is a more sophisticated technique of Hydroponic gardening. The main difference is in how the plant receives its food. Aeroponics involves oxygenating and targeting fortified water directly to the root system as fog or sprayed water. Whereas in hydroponics, the plants are grown over enriched water, allowing the roots to drink from below. Think of hydroponics like floating on an inflatable raft in a swimming pool while aeroponics is like getting sprayed with a garden hose.
The AeroGarden uses a simplified aeroponics method. The nutrient rich water is continuously pumped over the roots allowing it to grow much faster than traditional methods. NASA has developed more sophisticated aeroponic methods where small particle foggers and spray nozzles deliver a much richer nutrient solution that gets readily absorbed by the plant roots.
I think the AeroGarden is one of the coolest garden products ever created. I wish I had 5 of them, spread all over the house. In fact, I just ate a delicious sandwich that had 4 fresh salad leaves on it. Yummmmm! Both gardens that we have grown so far have exceeded expectations. The Gourmet Herb garden was nice, but not all the herbs grew as robust as the basil. If you love basil, get the international basil garden. So far, I am really enjoying the salad greens garden. After 3 weeks, the greens grow from seed to edible salad. The taste is great and there is no need to wash anything, it's all organic. I will enjoy this product for many more growing seasons!
I will continue to update this hubpage as I grow more gardens and get better at writing product reviews!