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Save Money With An Aerogarden

Updated on August 7, 2013

I love my aerogardens. They take care of the part of the gardening that I'm terrible at. Whenever I try to grow anything in dirt...nothing happens. I've found aerogardens to be nearly foolproof! Follow the instructions and you get your plants.

I love growing some of my own produce at home. Particularly basil! Basil grows really well in the aerogarden and is very expensive at the grocery store.

The only issue I have is needing to buy the seed kits to go with the aerogarden, but I found out that there are other ways!

I LOVE my aerogarden. - I've had at least one aerogarden for the last seven years.

It makes growing food in an apartment (and for someone with no gardening talent at all) so super easy. Can't recommend it highly enough!

Is it really cost effective to be buying the $20 seed kits?

Actually, probably yes!

Once a garden starts producing, the plants are usually harvest-able for about four months. $20 for four months of produce is not too bad!

But keep reading, because there are even cheaper ways to use your aerogarden!

AeroGarden Salsa Garden Seed Pod Kit
AeroGarden Salsa Garden Seed Pod Kit

Tomatoes and peppers together!

 
AeroGarden Chili Pepper Seed Pod Kit (7-Pod)
AeroGarden Chili Pepper Seed Pod Kit (7-Pod)

Watch out for the super hot ones! I burned my face cooking with them!

 

But you do have other options when it comes to seeds.

Once you have the seed baskets and grow domes that will come with your aerogarden, you can replace the grow sponges.

You can buy packs of just grow sponges or you can save even more money by using other materials!

I used a regular kitchen sponge last time I planted my aerogarden. I cut the sponge into rectangles that would fit in my seed baskets and poked seeds down into them.

Kitchen sponge as grow sponge

Kitchen sponge as grow sponge
Kitchen sponge as grow sponge

Here are seeds I have grown in my aerogardens:

What about the electricity you use leaving those lights on?

Is is cost effective to use the electricity to run it?

It is an energy efficient system. The FAQs at Aerogarden.com have a calculation you can do to figure out how much energy you'll be using (depending on the light cycle for what you're growing):

How much will the AeroGarden raise my electric bill?

I have to say that I did not see any noticeable increase in my energy bill when I started using aerogardens. It has definitely been worth it for me growing my own food.

You will probably still need to buy the lights

The Aerogarden lights have proprietary ways of attaching to the hood, so you have to be careful to get the right model.

However, there is a tutorial for how to change the hood to accept regular CFL bulbs. This would make the supplies to run the aerogarden even cheaper. I haven't tried it yet because I am not an electrician and I don't want to hurt myself or damage my garden!

But you could also try modifying it to take regular CFL bulbs...

One Warning - As much as I love Aerogarden 6 and 7, I have never had any luck with Aerogarden 3

They are so adorable and seem like a great solution to grow small amounts of things (I do not need six basil plants! Those things are prolific).

But I bought one and I never got things to grow well. It was so small that roots would get tangled in the pump or something else would always go wrong. I thought maybe planting just one single plant in it might work, but I ended up giving mine to Goodwill instead.

Some people love these, but they aren't for me. Both of mine are Aerogarden 7s

What can you grow?

There are a ton of different kind of plants you can grow hydroponically.

The seed kits are made with the plants that are the easiest to grow, things like:

*Tomatoes

*Lettuce

*Chili Peppers

*Basil

*Flowers

But people have experimented with growing much more:

*Strawberries

*Cucumbers

And just about any plant that doesn't grow underground!

Growing "outside the box"

If you need help

Here are some resources to turn to if you have any trouble with your garden

You can get an aerogarden from eBay - But be very careful.

I recently thought I would save money by buying a second aerogarden on ebay.

It came without a pump. The place in the back where the pump goes was completely empty!

I cannot see how that could happen without someone being deceitful, but when I wrote to the seller he told me that it never had a pump and why would I think it should have one? I sent him the link to a copy of the set up manual for the aerogarden where it talks about how the pump works.

Reluctantly he sent me $15 for a replacement pump, but it still didn't work. There were connecting components missing.

Now, the machine does still grow things, but not nearly as well as it would with a working pump (maybe the reason why the seller was selling?)

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    • RuthMadison profile image
      Author

      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      @inkymama: They really are great!

    • inkymama profile image

      inkymama 4 years ago

      I need to pick up one of these-- having it inside would increase it's chance of survival at my house!

    • RuthMadison profile image
      Author

      RuthMadison 4 years ago

      @Vikk Simmons: Herbs work fantastic in the aerogarden, just the little one I have trouble with. But if you get the 6 or 7 with the herb kit, you'll have more basil than you know what to do with!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

      This is interesting, although it's a shame the herb one doesn't perform that well. May look into this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is very cool! I've never heard of this type of gardening. It might be fun to try out. Thanks!