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Wondering what the buzz is about Aerogarden? Well, cooking with fresh herbs is a delicious way to add flavor and excitement to your meals. So after buying an Aerogarden online and enjoying fresh herbs on demand, I put together an Aerogarden grow guide for beginners to indoor herb gardens. It’s all here!
What’s an Aerogarden??
AeroGarden is a company seeing a lot of buzz lately. Online they offer machines that hold various amounts of herbs, tomato plants, edible flowers, and peppers.
How big are Aerogardens?
What equipment do you need for Aerogardens?
When you buy a kit, it comes with everything you need. All you need to do is put the seed pot kits, water, and plant food in the Aerogarden. And then theoretically your fresh herbs will grow in no time. In addition, you might want to buy a pair of small herb shears to enjoy your bounty.
What has really excited Chef Hubs and myself about the AeroGarden is it provides an easy way to essentially have a rapid-growing herb garden year-round!
However, even their solution isn’t just magic and that’s why you’ve landed on this AeroGarden grow guide to help make sure everything grows the way you’re looking for. The steps to get started aren’t especially hard but can admittedly be intimidating if you’re just starting off.
First, we’ll review the basics of how to get started, and then go over some frequently asked questions! Without further delay, let’s get into some AeroGarden advice!
The AeroGarden Grow Guide Basics
The first step to growing herbs (and plenty of other plants) the AeroGarden way is choosing one of the AeroGarden garden models.
If you’re just starting off, you might want to try the Bounty Basic or a model from their slightly smaller Harvest line. This will keep things affordable but still allow you to grow 9 (in the case of the Bounty Basic) or 6 (in the case of the Harvest line) pods at a time.
However, you can also choose either the Bounty or Bounty Elite if you feel like purchasing a more feature-rich model. The Bounty Elite especially has some attractive features, including a full-color touchscreen and strong 50W LED grow light.
What size Aerogarden is best?
It can be difficult to choose how many pods you wish to grow in your Aerogarden. All the models we named can handle up to 9 pods, although you don’t necessarily have to use all 9 slots.
The reason for this recommendation is pretty straightforward. Plants still take time to grow so it just makes sense from an efficiency standpoint. Is an AeroGarden worth it if you only grow a few plants every few weeks or months?
Take a look at the kits they have on offer and take your pick! They even sell veggie and herb kits so you can always be prepared in the kitchen. Fill your garden up and have a steady supply of greens to keep you going.
How Does AeroGarden Work Without Sun?
This is the sort of question that could take a long time to answer if we wanted to be completely thorough, but we will focus on highlights here.
While we tend to think plants need dirt and sun, that isn’t completely true. They need nutrients (which they mostly pull from the soil) and UV rays (which the sun provides).
So long as you can get a plant these nutrients and light in the proper measures, you’re most of the way to get it to grow. This is what the AeroGarden machines allow a person to do, with the fact you keep the machine indoors meaning seasonal weather becomes a non-issue.
Does the Aerogarden use soil?
No. Soil isn’t generally involved in the Aerogarden herb system (which is one of the main selling points). Instead, the seeds sit in special sponges that soak up a nutrient mix the pods either come with or which you can buy separately. Whether you need to purchase your own nutrient mixture depends on the exact option seeding option you’ve gone with.
How does the Aerogarden use hydroponics?
It may seem like a cop-out but then you mostly just need to follow the guide that was provided with your AeroGarden. One of the primary selling points of these gardens is ease of use.
For beginners, just make sure you keep the water levels high enough and that you regularly clean your garden.
If you want to get more advanced, you can start experimenting with trimming to help improve yield of herbs, but this won’t really be immediately necessary.
More Aerogarden FAQ
I don’t mean to overcomplicate this, but I had a lot of questions going into owning an Aerogarden. So I want to answer them all for you. If you’re like me, all of the above is great but you likely still have questions. Let’s go through some of the most common questions and things to know before buying an Aerogarden.
Does AeroGarden Work Well?
The short answer is yes. Personally, I was so impressed by the first month of my Aerogarden Harvest herbs, I bought a couple more units!
The devices aren’t magic; you still have to use them logically and make sure the plants are getting the resources they need. But if you use your AeroGarden grower and pods as intended, you can indeed grow the pods year-round indoors.
All you need to do is pay attention to the information your machine and the guide it comes with provide. Set up correctly, you can grow your seed kits with very little maintenance. It may well be the easiest indoor garden solution available on the market right now.
It needs to be emphasized that these really are excellent places for a beginner to enter the world of gardening. They’re very easy to use and do most of the hard work for you. The barrier to entry is also not especially high.
What Grows Best in AeroGardens?
AeroGarden’s products make it fairly easy to grow most herbs and veggies that don’t require large amounts of space. You can even grow cucumbers! While you’re welcome to experiment, we recommend using their pre-packaged pods at first for ease of entry.
For the curious, try going over reviews to see what other people have thought of their products. This can give you a good idea of some of their pods that people’s gardens have responded especially well to.
The Final Verdict: Is AeroGarden Worth It?
Whether an AeroGarden is worth it to you really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for an easy indoor garden solution, it almost certainly is. With a barrier to entry sitting around 100 to 300 dollars depending on your chosen model, it is certainly worth checking out if you’re curious.
It allows you to grow herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and more. It doesn’t require nearly the skill or attention something like an outdoor garden does. And moreover, the plants genuinely do grow fast in the carefully maintained, nutrient-rich environment the AeroGarden provides.
The perfect condiment makes the meal
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a true believer in pairing the perfect condiment with a meal to make it feel “complete”. For real — I’ll order a dish at a restaurant just because I’m excited to try the sauce or dressing.
Here are some of my favorite kitchen supplies for making sauces on the fly:
- Shun chef’s knife
- Nice olive oil
- A finishing salt, like Jacobsen’s black garlic sea salt
- Bamboo cutting boards
- Pyrex glass mixing bowls with lids
- Aerogarden for having fresh herbs on hand
- Mini mason jars for storing dressings in the fridge
Delicious ways to cook with herbs
- Cilantro jalapeno ranch sauce
- Cilantro lime dressing
- Fresh Italian basil topped homemade pizza
- Tortellini pasta salad with cilantro
- Sautéed mushrooms with thyme
- Sautéed garlic dill carrots
- Thai basil stir fry with frozen vegetables
- Chicken breast sous vide marinades
- Steak sous vide marinades
My new cookbook is available! Check out The Home Chef’s Sous Vide Cookbook.