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Aerogarden reviews?

l
lilinjun Mar 21, 2007 01:26 PM

Has anyone purchased an Aerogarden and been completely happy with it? I'm looking to invest in one, but the $150 price tag and several reviews on Amazon's site are holding me back...

(I searched on CH's site, but it looks like previous posts related to this topic were deleted)

  1. j
    JoLi Mar 22, 2007 06:30 AM

    I have one, and I like it. It's very low-maintenance and it does provide lots of herbs after about 6 weeks. I live in Manhattan with a small kitchen and this has come in quite handy. My one gripe is taht I haven't been able to grow chives very successfully. Customer Service has been very nice about it though, sending me free kits.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JoLi
      c
      challenger451 Apr 23, 2009 08:34 AM

      Has anyone used rockwool instead of the foam for their Aerogarden. It's a lot cheaper, but I wondered if it might cause the pump some problems?

      1. re: JoLi
        e
        ehdrive May 16, 2010 03:27 PM

        I thought I was going to have trouble with a seed kit I purchased. They took a bit longer to germinate than expected and I later noticed the seeds were 2 years old. They eventually sprouted and are going strong. Looking forward to trying my own seeds after this batch is finished. There's a wiki that lists seeds that work and don't work. http://aerogardeners.wikia.com

      2. m
        MandM Mar 22, 2007 10:20 AM

        I have one for over a year. Right now I have peppers and we have picked up so many, and the plants looks very nice.

        1. leanneabe Mar 22, 2007 11:59 AM

          To those that have one, does it only work with the seed kits you buy from Aerogarden? Is there a way to start plants from seeds you already have? Do you have to do all herbs or all veggies, or can you do a couple of herbs, a pepper plant, and lettuce?

          I've seen it on the websites for Bed, Bath & Beyond and Linens 'n Things, so I wonder if you could use a 20% off coupon for this? I have to say, I'm very intrigued by it since it's highly unlikely that I'll go construct my own hydroponic indoor system.

          11 Replies
          1. re: leanneabe
            j
            JoLi Mar 22, 2007 01:23 PM

            To answer some of your questions:

            I think it would only work with the kits they provide, something about the way the plants they select to grow together work better together. But then, I don't see a problem in trying one from each kit. I do know taht in the herb kit, each herb has to be placed exaclty where marked (I think so that other herbs don't overshadow some).

            Don't think you can grow other seeds, since they are all pre-seeded in the spongy like material.

            1. re: JoLi
              xnyorkr Mar 22, 2007 01:31 PM

              I asked the sales person at SLT the same question -- can I used my own seeds? He said no, that they have to be special seeds for hydroponic gardens. I'm not sure what that means.

              1. re: xnyorkr
                leanneabe Mar 22, 2007 03:04 PM

                That totally sounds like a sales answer, like he either didn't know what he was talking about or couldn't endorse using anything other than the seed pods.

                I found a review at RainyDayMagazine (http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM20...) where they cleaned up the unit after harvesting and it looks like you might be able to reuse the pods if you could find a suitable spongy material to germinate the seed. Maybe other seeds won't have the success rate as the Aerogarden-tested ones, but it could work.

                I'm getting kind of excited to try this. I have a gift card to LNT... if it turns out I can also use a 20% coupon, I'm buying one!

                1. re: leanneabe
                  l
                  LabRat Jun 8, 2007 07:05 AM

                  The pods probably just have rock wool in them. You can pick that up at any hydroponics shop or probably even at a home depot type place.

                  1. re: LabRat
                    jayt90 Mar 2, 2008 09:56 AM

                    The material is foam rubber, not rock wool.

                    My herb kit is now two weeks old, and I can assess its early successes and failure. All the sprouts are up, the best growth from dill, thyme, basil, and chives. Mint and parsley are slower, to be expected. Purple basil is close to dead. Four sprouts came up, slowly, but two died quickly, and two, possibly three more were obstructed by the plastic spanner/wafer cover. There is one left.

                    I use a cooler room, about 60-65F, but this seems to be OK.

                    I removed all the spanner (wafer type) covers, and found that several, four out of seven pods, were obstructing and holding back sprouts. Removing the lids should be no problem but we'll see.

                    The poor performance of purple basil looks like damping off, and obstruction of growth. I'll get that pod replaced.

                    Next installment, I hope to have photos.

                    1. re: jayt90
                      jgg13 Mar 28, 2008 02:19 PM

                      We started ours about 5 weeks ago (but had the cilantro pod, not the thyme). As others have reported, the basils came up first and the cilantro last. 5 weeks in and the basils are growing well, the dill and chives have really started to take off. Mint was a slow grower but has rivaled the others as of the last week. The parsley & cilantro are both still quite sad.

                      We still have the lights in the lower position as we keep trimming the fast growers in hopes that the slow growers will catch up a bit before we raise it.

                      1. re: jayt90
                        tzakiel Feb 27, 2010 01:10 PM

                        Actually it's peat I believe.

                  2. re: xnyorkr
                    m
                    mymymichl Mar 15, 2009 11:46 AM

                    The answer they gave you is bull. A seed is a seed.

                2. re: leanneabe
                  t
                  tommie Mar 23, 2007 07:48 AM

                  You can buy their "Master Gardener's Kit", which lets you use your own seeds and they give you the nutrients and everything. However, I've seen people use their own seeds, nutrients, and materials in it with success, you just have to know what you're doing.

                  Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/aerogarden/

                  They also have a lot of new seed kits coming out and a new AeroGarden Pro version, which will grow plants even faster and bigger I think.

                  Cheers

                  1. re: leanneabe
                    s
                    safeproduce Dec 21, 2007 06:17 PM

                    I have purchased eight units. I bought them after the spinch scare as I thought I'd grow my own. I took out the seeds in the pods and replaced them with spinich seeds. This did not work, they sprouted and then died. I asked aerogrow CS about it and they said they also tried spinich unsuccessfully. I am growing snap peas, green beans, tomatoes, pepers, Romain lettuce, salad greens, and the herbs, all successfully. These all work excellent as long as one remembers to "Be the Bee", I do it with a cutip and just swab from flower to flower and get great results. I love these things, but you are limited in what will grow in them. I am going to try yellow squash which they say they have not tried, but with as many units as I have all in one room, I believe they will work. (This is because squash has runners that will need the light from the other units.) They have a new product out which is a seed starter, it replaces the 7 pod tray and starts 70 seeds at one time. The spinich started, so I can start it in a unit then transplant it this spring. I'm going to start my whole (outdoor) garden this way this year. Nothing tastes as good, and is as safe as produce you grow yourself. I'll post again when I see how my squash does in the aerogarden. P.S. BB&B as well as L'nT will honor the coupon for these, mine did.

                    1. re: safeproduce
                      s
                      sayuri Feb 22, 2009 12:03 PM

                      How did the seed starter kit work out for you?

                  2. wenster Mar 22, 2007 01:40 PM

                    I received an Aerogarden for Christmas, and the giver also received one as well. Both of us have had good luck with the herbs, although my chives seem to be battling it out with the much stronger, heartier basil plants. It is actually ridiculously easy, and I say that as one who has been known to be a plant killer. I recently relocated into a much smaller apartment space, so it's been a great way to get fresh herbs in a small area. Side note- if you do have a small area like myself, just know that the light bulbs are very, very bright!!!!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: wenster
                      xnyorkr Mar 23, 2007 06:49 AM

                      Do you periodically have to re-plant the herbs? i.e., do they die off and need replacing? Or do they just keep growing as you keep picking?

                      1. re: xnyorkr
                        t
                        tommie Mar 23, 2007 08:03 AM

                        They'll keep growing as long as you keep refilling the reservoir with a gallon of water and a couple of nutrient tablets when it tells you to, which is about every 2 weeks.

                        1. re: xnyorkr
                          wenster Mar 23, 2007 05:10 PM

                          No- I haven't had to replant anything. So far, they just keep growing and growing and growing- quickly, I might add. The basil does tend to go a little nuts, as well as the dill, so I end up harvesting more of these two herbs versus the others.

                        2. re: wenster
                          jgg13 Dec 11, 2007 11:12 AM

                          A lot of complaints I saw on Amazon (that weren't related to the pump) was the brightness level of this thing. How bright is "bright"? Is it brighter than a normally lit room? Could it light a room by itself?

                          1. re: jgg13
                            danhole Dec 11, 2007 12:00 PM

                            It is really bright. Almost as bright as a normally lit room, depending on where you put it. I have it by my kitchen table, and I could read the paper with the light from the Aero, but still need to turn on the overhead for my comfort. But it does have a timing system, so you can set it to come on when the sun comes up and turn off at night.

                            1. re: danhole
                              jgg13 Dec 11, 2007 12:39 PM

                              Thanks. Given my apt configuration, the brightness I could see being a real issue - particularly with it being the more caustic flourescent type lighting I'm guessing.

                              Does it take well to moving around (suppose it gets annoying where it is)?

                              and/or

                              Does it have requirements as to where it needs to be? (iow: gets stuck in a closet or something like that ... assume decent airflow)

                        3. l
                          lilinjun Mar 22, 2007 04:12 PM

                          About 3/4 of the reviews that I've read on Amazon were from people that had problems with the pump either breaking down or never working. Regardless, every person said that the customer service sent them a new one and they still rated the product well.

                          Any problems with this? Is the unit noisy? Does it really provide sufficient herbs to use on a regular basis?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lilinjun
                            t
                            tommie Mar 23, 2007 08:02 AM

                            When the reservoir is closed and you're up next to it you can't hear anything, but if it's open and your ear is next to it you can hear the water falling off the roots back into the reservoir below.

                            The seed packs are $20. We've had ours for almost 4 months now and I don't know when we'll stop harvesting, I want to start a new seed pack already. They look and smell better than what you'd see at a supermarket.

                            It only uses 50W of electricity, stays on for I think 16 hours a day on the herbs setting.

                            Since it's indoors, you'll want to keep the air circulated around the plants and give them a nice little breeze so they stay strong and healthy, so I'd add a little fan next to them on a low or medium setting.

                          2. leanneabe Apr 20, 2007 04:20 PM

                            After reading replies in this thread and also finding some photo reviews (where they documented the growing process through 4 weeks), I decided to take the plunge and buy an Aerogarden. I went through Linens 'n Things to use a gift card and their 20% coupon (had to order it online).

                            It really is easy to set up and get going. I'm curious what's in their nutrient tablets, as a read a site where the plants didn't do so well with Miracle Gro subbed in. The herbs started to sprout right in their window, with the exception of the cilantro. I wrote an e-mail to Aerogrow and, while it took them almost a week, they responded that they have been receiving a lot of comments on the cilantro and have decided to replace it with thyme. So they are sending me a thyme seed pod to replace the failed cilantro. This seems to make a good argument that you might not have great success using your own seeds in the aeroponic environment, but I'll still give it shot once these herbs are done.

                            It's only been 3 weeks, so none of the herbs are harvestable yet. The basil plants were the first to sprout, but the chives are the fastest-growing. Dill and mint are trailing behind the basil, with parsley last of all (discounting the non-sprouting cilantro).

                            I've also placed some peat pots around the perimeter of the Aerogarden, hoping the excess light might benefit my seedlings that are going in the garden later. I also have a grow light set up over our bar, which seems to be helping the seedlings mature more than the leftover light from the Aerogarden.

                            My unit isn't loud at all. The only time I know the pump is running is if it's totally quiet and I hear the quiet trickly of water from the roots to the water surface. It is very bright, though! I set it up in the kitchen (where else would you put herbs?) and it doesn't bother us throughout the night.

                            I think the best benefit to this system is the lack of bugs. It seems that no matter what peat mixture, potting soil, seed starting mix I use, tiny little annoying bugs always show up from my plants. So, all plants get moved outside and I'm left squishing small flies/bugs as I see them. No bugs from the Aerogarden (and I've been moving my seedlings outside before I see any bugs from them) which means I can grow plants and not worry about it!

                            I certainly don't know if this thing is a must-buy, since it's pretty expensive, but it does work, it's not a gimmick, and it is pretty cool. I think if you can afford to splurge a little, it's not a waste.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: leanneabe
                              j
                              JoLi Apr 23, 2007 08:07 AM

                              I've had no problems with cilantro, but my chives are sooo slow growin, I htink I have 5 branches sticking out now (Been growing for 3 months now). maybe I'll replace the chives with thyme.

                              1. re: leanneabe
                                m
                                mymymichl Mar 15, 2009 11:53 AM

                                About them bugs: You can sterilize your soil in the oven at 250f, which will kill bug eggs. Please don't over cook the soil.

                                Chives grow in outdoor opts or windowsills. You need a gangster to kill chives. They are the most hardy, well worth keeping.

                              2. d
                                dasgeh Jun 7, 2007 03:40 PM

                                I just bought the aerogarden, so I can't review the performance, but I wanted to let y'all know that if you call the 800 number from the site, they'll throw in all kinds of freebies, if you ask. It seems to be the same price everywhere, so why not get the 2 extra seed kits and some more cutting boards.

                                1. carpjm Jun 17, 2007 10:10 PM

                                  I have had mine now for 2 months and love it. Now problems, the basil is growing like crazy, I can't even use it all up!! I have attached a pic of mine. More pics at my site at www.theworldaccordingtocarp.com

                                   
                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: carpjm
                                    leanneabe Jun 19, 2007 12:46 PM

                                    My basil (green and purple) are growing nicely, too. They'd probably gorw better if the dill wasn't hogging the space and light! The mint has really taken off, too. The thyme is just sad and not doing very well. Chives are tall, but not thick or plentiful. I think if I were to start over, I'd do basil and mint and move the dill to the outside edge. Maybe try a lettuce or two.

                                    The tomatoes and peppers intrigue me... I have to say I'm really enjoying this Aerogarden!

                                  2. danhole Jun 22, 2007 12:54 PM

                                    I got one about a month ago, the herb package. The basils are taking off like wildfire, but the cilantro didn't sprout at all. The chives are okay, but the dill, mint and parsley are punt. The a couple days ago it started making this grinding noise that is driving us crazy. I call the 800 number and she was very helpful, talking me through a few things to check, which were all fine. I held the phone close to the machine and she said the pump was out. Bottom line is that I get a new pump, a whole new seed kit, and it will cost me nothing! That makes me very happy.

                                    My daughter has had one for 3 months and is keeping all of us supplied with fresh herbs! That's why she bought me one. I'm a little disappointed, but happy with the customer service I got.

                                    1. l
                                      lizaw Aug 29, 2007 09:19 AM

                                      I've had mine for going on 3 weeks. Every herb sprouted within the expected time, with the exception of the parsley -- it was a day late. I just love the thing. It reminds me of kindergarten when we planted birdseed in half egg shells and kept them on the window sill. You just had to check yours every day. The only problem I forsee is that I will have a hard time harvesting leaves because the plants are so darn cute and my maternal instincts kick in.

                                      1. leanneabe Aug 29, 2007 12:16 PM

                                        So, it's been about 5 months now and my basil is still hanging in there. It's not growing as profusely as it used to in the beginning. The dill finally died and started rotting and the chives have seemed to be on the way out, too. The mint was doing well, but then it started drying out and died. Never did get the cilantro or thyme up and running.

                                        I enjoyed it while it was growing, but now that I only have 2 small basil plants (and no more "food pellets"), it's lost its appeal. I was looking forward to growing cherry tomatoes in it, but the plant in the outside garden is doing so well I don't see the need.

                                        There's a possibility more basil will get started, but there's also the equal possibility that I'll just drain the Aerogarden and store it in the garage for a while.

                                        http://threedogkitchen.com

                                        1. a
                                          Anton Galano Sep 14, 2007 06:46 PM

                                          I bought one 4 months ago and i wish I had not. So far it has been all disapointments. One herb (dill) did not germinate at all. The parsely failed to grow more than an inch and eventually died. Chives managed to grow 7 stems but remained sick looking unable to stay erect. The mint grew with long stems and small leaves, also unable to stay erect. Only the basils thrived. Then a week ago the piump stopped wotking. And now the mints are brown tipped, the chives are nearly dead and the basils are curled and brown tipped.

                                          Even when nothing goes wrong, $150.00 price is exorbitant. And when guaranteed results do not materialize, it is even more expensive. Honestly, how much fresh herbs can you buy with $150.00? Just buy your herbs when you need them and forget this very expensive gizmo.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Anton Galano
                                            danhole Sep 16, 2007 10:30 AM

                                            Call them and complain! I did and I got a new pump and new herbs to grow at no cost. Also you really have to keep the basil in check so the others can get some light to grow.

                                          2. m
                                            malibumike Sep 16, 2007 12:23 PM

                                            I've had one for about 4 months and it works great, you can use your own seeds(they have the master gardener kit where you can plant your own seeds) but you have to make sure the're the right ones, for instance you should buy cluster tomato seeds not beefsteak type. One thing that nobody mentioned and is not mentioned in the literature is that in a hydroponic system you need to change the water. Most hydroponic growers recommend a change every 2 weeks, I think you could go 4 weeks in this system. I measured the ph after about 2 months and it was around 5.2 this is too acidic it should be around 6.5 or so, also the parts per million of salts etc. was off the top of my meter around 3900 ppm. So yes you should definitely change the water, I think you could siphon it off with a small aquarium hose of if careful you could lift the tank out and pour out the water.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: malibumike
                                              danhole Sep 17, 2007 09:26 AM

                                              Would you change the water before you add the new nutrients? I have to keep adding water to mine - it's hot here - so, in essence, am I changing the water when I do that? It's a good tip. Thanks.

                                              1. re: danhole
                                                m
                                                malibumike Sep 17, 2007 11:19 AM

                                                Yes definately change the water before you add new nutes. It is the nitrogen salts and others that build up from the continuous addition of nutes. Good Luck

                                                1. re: malibumike
                                                  danhole Sep 17, 2007 12:47 PM

                                                  Should I wash it out as well?

                                                  I am happy with mine. I have fresh herbs to use when I cook dinner, and I know they aren't exposed to pesticides, or bug ridden. I love it!

                                                  1. re: danhole
                                                    m
                                                    malibumike Sep 18, 2007 02:16 PM

                                                    I believe you only need to wash it out when you replant the whole thing.. Wash with a very dilute solution of bleach.

                                            2. s
                                              sww Nov 14, 2007 05:06 PM

                                              Hi- i am interested to see if anyone has grown lettuce--most people are reporting the herb results.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: sww
                                                s
                                                sskbreed Nov 22, 2007 06:54 AM

                                                hi. me too. i am going to ask for one for christmas with the lettuce. i am planning to skip the herbs and go right to the lettuce.

                                                1. re: sww
                                                  k
                                                  katherine52478 Jun 11, 2008 04:44 PM

                                                  We bought the Aerogarden for my mother for mother's day. we planted 2 mesclun, 2 salad greens, 1 romaine, 1 baby greens and 1 arugula (all from the salad kit). it has been 4 weeks and the mesclun, salad greens and romaine are growing like crazy! the baby greens didn't take and the arugula died off once the other lettuces grew since they blocked the light, but with all the other growth, we don't miss them at all. the lettuce tastes great and it is so easy. it is totally worth it to have fresh lettuce whenever you like!

                                                2. r
                                                  rierie1974 Nov 24, 2007 08:09 AM

                                                  Does anyone know what the temp should be around the aerogarden? I'm thinking about putting it in my basement and it's kind of cool down there right now.

                                                  1. h
                                                    hollerhither Dec 11, 2007 01:01 PM

                                                    I guess I was an early adopter -- I've had mine for almost a year and a half. The chives don't seem to last too long, but everything else has been great. Periodic replantings and cleaning out the bowl is important. Basil is definitely the hardiest. It's important to follow the instructions re trimming down the most aggressive plants so the others get enough light to grow. I've only done the herbs, but I have a lettuce kit sitting around, at some point maybe I'll give that a shot.

                                                    1. m
                                                      malibumike Dec 11, 2007 02:24 PM

                                                      Has anybody tried the New Aerogarden the arm goes up twice as high and has 3 new bulbs that are supposed to give out twich the lumens of the standard model. It is called the Aerogarden Pro 200 and is 199.95

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: malibumike
                                                        ChowFun_derek Dec 15, 2007 11:31 AM

                                                        ...and a microprocessor!!!

                                                        here's a link!!!

                                                        http://www.aerogardendirect.com/promo...

                                                      2. e
                                                        exvaxman Dec 23, 2007 03:48 PM

                                                        I have two. Probably one of the Amazon posts was mine over the dead pump.
                                                        Easy to set up and use, works well, but you can build your own very cheaply. Hit a hydroponics shop for the seed material, ($12 for a lifetime), a package of plastic tubing ($5), a water pump ($10), plastic cups, and a styrofoam cooler (heavy duty). Use a heat knife to cut holes into the styrofoam to hold the cups. Put holes in the cups for drainage and holes in the side of the cups to thread the tubing through. Grow lights are whatever you want to use - I have a couple of large bathrooms that are all flourscent and I have grow lights in there for all of the lighting. Doesn't look pretty, but works just as well and for far cheaper.

                                                        1. l
                                                          LabRat Jan 2, 2008 10:26 AM

                                                          My parents bought me one of these for Christmas at Bed Bath and Beyond. They used a 20% off cupon that BB&B accepted even though AeroGrow products are specifically excluded in the cupon's fine print. Easy way to knock the price down to $120. I am a little concerned about how old the seed pods included in the kit actually are since there was a mail-in offer packed with the unit that expired in June 2007, but I've heard the AeroGrow will replace non-germinating seed pods with little hassle.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: LabRat
                                                            leanneabe Jan 2, 2008 11:45 AM

                                                            AeroGrow is very good at replacing seed pods. I had a cilantro pod that never germinated, sent them an e-mail, and got a new cilantro pod plus a thyme pod. They said they were having problems with cilantro and were going to start switching it for thyme, so they sent me both!

                                                          2. z
                                                            zendi Jan 10, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                            I have had mine about 4 weeks. It is growing very well and I will be able to start to harvest soon.I enjoy watching it grow. No problems yet! It does light for 17 hours,but it is in my dining room so it brightens that room up.The aerogrow website offers a good amount of alternative growing kits,even a miniture rose garden.I have purchased an additional mexican herb kit.I enjoy watching it grow ands it is a very attractive unit.I would recommend it, and have purchased one for my mother.Its nice to have fresh organic herbs growing in the winter in my own home.

                                                            1. s
                                                              saluki Jan 21, 2008 11:11 AM

                                                              HSN has something they are calling
                                                              Ultimate Kitchen Gardener
                                                              Item: 277-932
                                                              It looks identical at a much better price--flex play and no shipping--I think because MLK day. I bought one myself yesterday.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: saluki
                                                                l
                                                                LabRat Jan 21, 2008 11:47 AM

                                                                AeroGrow holds the trademark for "Ultimate Kitchen Gardener", so either they are trying to stop another company from selling a knock-off, or more likely they manufacture both brands. In any event, from the limited information I can find it seems like the only differences are six seed pods in the UKG vs. 7 in the AeroGarden and the UKG uses a bubbler to move water vs. a water pump in the AeroGarden.

                                                                1. re: LabRat
                                                                  s
                                                                  saluki Jan 21, 2008 02:39 PM

                                                                  Using a water bubbler could be a plus since I've read on Amazon that people seem to have no end of problem with the pumps unless they trim the roots because they are clogging the pump.

                                                                  1. re: saluki
                                                                    l
                                                                    LabRat Jan 22, 2008 06:54 AM

                                                                    The downsides I can foresee with the bubbler would be the noise of the pump, the wearable parts in the pump that would need to be replaced eventually (flappers and diaphragms) and the mineral deposits that would form in the air diffusers over time. Shouldn't be any more difficult to maintain than an aquarium with an air-lift UG filter though and replacement parts for the bubbler would be readily available at any pet shop.

                                                              2. r
                                                                robin_vice Jan 21, 2008 04:18 PM

                                                                It seems to me (being a professional gardener) that a lot of complaints about the way certain herbs grow come from simply not understanding the nature of the herbs. (Something a layman isn't expected to know...)

                                                                Cilantro is famously hard to grow, so if they really are getting ready to replace those seeds with something else, I'm not surprised (though disappointed...love cilantro). Thyme is a woody plant, which takes longer to grow. Basil is aggressive and takes over other plants that grow near it. It's an odd grouping of plants to try and grow together. Explaining their natures would help consumers.

                                                                Nonetheless, I think I might get one. Chicago has long winters...and herbs or tomato's would be a great thing to access year round.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: robin_vice
                                                                  a
                                                                  acorn1963 Feb 1, 2008 10:28 AM

                                                                  Thanks for everybody's comments. I just ordered one and am anxious to try it.
                                                                  I may have missed it here, but I heard that AeroGrow now sells seedless inserts where you can add your own seeds. Does anybody know this to be true? Thanks.

                                                                  1. re: acorn1963
                                                                    l
                                                                    LabRat Feb 1, 2008 10:57 AM

                                                                    Yes, they are called "Master Gerdener" kits. I think I saw one at Bed Bath and Beyond a few weeks ago. If you check on-line you can find several sites that describe making your own seed pods for a fraction of the cost, that is what I am going to try once my herbs have died out.

                                                                2. c
                                                                  carole1 Feb 6, 2008 12:10 PM

                                                                  I have been very satisfied with the results of my aerogarden. I'm on week six and have started to harvest herbs. I must confess as I look out my kitchen window at over a foot of snow and white-out conditions--it's a real treat to have an inside garden during a Chicago winter. Check out more photos at http://garden-goddess.blogspot.com.

                                                                   
                                                                  1. h
                                                                    herbguy Feb 7, 2008 06:47 PM

                                                                    We've had an Aerogarden since May and just love it. The tomatoes turned out great. It was then put away for a few weeks, but we've brought it back out to try the garden herbs set. Have had it going about 4 weeks now. We'll be documenting progress at http://www.herbgardentips.com/categor....

                                                                    I did have to call customer service because the chives pod had parsley, and the cilantro had purple basil. Customer support was very helpful, and will be sending an oregano, and chives pod.

                                                                    I've been taking pictures and video for fun and will be posting those... along with shots of herbs from our outside garden. When the foot of snow disappears!

                                                                    1. m
                                                                      morwen Feb 28, 2008 07:07 AM

                                                                      I admit when I first saw an aerogarden I thought they were really cool but the pricetag was awfully high. I've been growing herbs indoors on a shelf through the winter with no fuss and no problems and it cost me all of $20 for a grow light and lamp. In the fall I dig up the herbs I want from my garden, pot them in potting soil in small containers, bring them in and put them on a tray to catch water under the lamp. I water them regularly but I don't fertilize them and they are fine. Come spring they get replanted in the outdoor herb garden. So other than the "gee whiz" factor what's the advantage of an aerogarden that would make me want to plow that much money for the planter and refill packets into it? I just don't see how I could ever recoup the initial investment and cost of new seed kits.

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: morwen
                                                                        ChowFun_derek Feb 28, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                        "In the fall I dig up the herbs I want from my garden, pot them in potting soil in small containers, bring them in and put them on a tray to catch water under the lamp. I water them regularly but I don't fertilize them and they are fine. Come spring they get replanted in the outdoor herb garden" you answered your own question...you may enjoy all of this...but Aerogarden is for the "lazy" or people with time management issues..the thing even "waters" itself! Adds fertilizer automatically etc etc.......WOW!

                                                                        1. re: ChowFun_derek
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                                                                          hollerhither Feb 28, 2008 09:18 AM

                                                                          Erm, aside from laziness or time management issues, it's also good for people cursed with "black thumb." (Ahem.)

                                                                          1. re: hollerhither
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                                                                            LabRat Feb 28, 2008 11:54 AM

                                                                            I have done the pots under a grow-light before and now have an AeroGarden. The AeroGarden allows me to grow more herbs in a smaller space without all the clutter of a bunch of pots sitting under a grow-light. I get to harvest a variety of fresh herbs at least once a week that taste much better then the refrigerated ones at the supermarket. My wife is happy with the lack of clutter. Seeing as how I live in a big city and have no suitable place to plant an herb garden outdoors, I foresee running this thing year round.

                                                                          2. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                                            m
                                                                            morwen Feb 28, 2008 09:58 AM

                                                                            I wouldn't say I "enjoy" it but my herb garden is all perennials, it doesn't need to be weeded thanks to black plastic and mulch the first year, The only maintanece I do on it is to trim herbs for use and drying. I sure wouldn't say I have a green thumb because herbs are just "weeds with manners". When I didn't have garden space they thrived in pots on my porch. I just have a hard time justifying $2/pk for several packs containing a couple sprigs per week/ $150 +$20 per seed kit a couple times a year vs herbs in a garden or pots with an initial cost of under $50 and the half hour of labor twice a year to bring them in or out of doors.

                                                                          3. re: morwen
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                                                                            Hungry Celeste Feb 28, 2008 10:49 AM

                                                                            My thoughts exactly....go to a decent garden center, buy a grow light and some terra cotta pots & soil mix. Will cost a fraction of the Aerogarden. Is there no end to the plastic contraptions people will buy? How long will this thing last before it, too, ends up in the landfill? It is the ultimate irony to me that folks will pay money for a contraption that does what sun, soil, and air do for free! (Highrise apartment dwellers & the snow-bound are excused from parts of the previous rant.)

                                                                            1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                                                              m
                                                                              morwen Feb 28, 2008 11:55 AM

                                                                              ummm...I was both before I bought my house and I still had fresh homegrown herbs (still am snowbound)

                                                                              1. re: morwen
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                                                                                hollerhither Mar 1, 2008 06:59 AM

                                                                                DITTO. And I've had mine for more than two years, still going strong on original bulbs, although I have changed out the seed packets a couple of times. I certainly have no intention of putting it in a landfill!

                                                                          4. s
                                                                            Shazam Feb 28, 2008 06:03 PM

                                                                            In regards to growing tomatoes with this thing, you guys should try out Red Robin tomatoes. They grow a foot high and are perfect for this machine.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Shazam
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                                                                              KLJennings Feb 29, 2008 07:30 PM

                                                                              Has anyone owned the Classic Aerogarden and the Aerogarden Pro? Is the Pro worth the price difference?

                                                                              1. re: KLJennings
                                                                                jayt90 Mar 1, 2008 01:04 PM

                                                                                $150 is all they are getting from me, and I consider it a valuable learning tool, but that's all. My sprouts are up (they supplied thyme rather than cilantro, and it is doing well.) As soon as the pods are established, I am going to embed a few Red Robin, and poblano seeds in pods that have a bit of extra room. These are vines, and I can train them to the edges, and provide similar light with $15 table lamps from Costco. The bulbs are the same output, but a different base.
                                                                                If it works out, I'll post some photos.

                                                                                $50. extra for the Pro gets one extra bulb (26watts) and a more sophisticated micro-controller to fine tune the light and fertilizer (but not the temperature) to provide "up to 50% more growth" which realistically might only be 25%. I'll pass on this.

                                                                            2. d
                                                                              desertwitch Mar 11, 2008 02:46 PM

                                                                              Have any Aerogarden users tried planting catnip yet? Having fresh catnip year-round for my "kids" is the main reason I bought this thing, though I'm sure I'll enjoy the herb sampler.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: desertwitch
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                                                                                LabRat Mar 12, 2008 06:06 AM

                                                                                Thought about it, but I can foresee coming home one day to find everything stripped from the AeroGarden and a bunch of stoned cats laying around it.

                                                                                1. re: LabRat
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                                                                                  hollerhither Mar 12, 2008 01:55 PM

                                                                                  LOL!!!

                                                                                  1. re: hollerhither
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                                                                                    fsval Mar 17, 2008 12:08 PM

                                                                                    Wasn't there a special where you can pay the AeroGarden monthly? (49.99/month)

                                                                                    I remember watching this special online, but forgot to write down the number. I found a website that has it but it doesn't have a 1-800 number. The official Aerogarden website doesn't offer this price (total set 149).

                                                                              2. jayt90 Mar 17, 2008 04:22 PM

                                                                                After one month, my herbs are growing well, except purple basil, which died from a damping off fungus.
                                                                                I pulled the lid off, cleaned the foam rubber seed carrier, and planted a dozen tomato seeds, cherry, and brandywine. The latter will go outside later. This was really easy and I'll do more seeds when the original 6 herbs expire. If the foam is root-bound it can be replaced with a dense pillow foam. I will see how this works out and report.

                                                                                1. e
                                                                                  Emma47 Mar 22, 2008 04:10 PM

                                                                                  I have two Aerogardens. I used the first one for herbs - my favorite is the Italian herbs because the Italian parsley is so much better than the curly and grew better two. I used the second garden for salad greens, which did great although they didn't last as long as the herbs. Now that garden is planted with cherry tomatoes, which are growing well. I'm expecting tomatoes in a month. As a frustrated former gardener living in a high rise with not a speck of ground, the Aerogardens are fulfilling that need I have to grow food. And year around, too.

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                                                                                    pouja Mar 25, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                                                    I have been wanting an Aerogarden since I first saw them 2 years ago. The main reason I want one is that for whatever bad luck (hurricanes, jobs, school) I have moved several times to various parts of the country for the past 9 years. It is a lot of work to put in a garden and not know if you will be there the following year to see the next year's crop. I have done it several times already, it's depressing, so I just don't grow anything anymore. In addition to living in climates that aren't stable enough to grow plants year-round (hot weather kills most herbs).

                                                                                    But here comes the AeroGarden. It's expensive, and I already know how hydroponics works, so is the price really worth the convience? I priced hydroponics kits about 10 years ago and they were pricey then too, although this takes the cake in cost. How can I justify that? If I knew I could definatly use my own seeds, then I might be able to justify a one-time purchase, but $20 every couple of months plus bulbs which are supposed to be replaced every 6 months? That's an expensive toy to me.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pouja
                                                                                      jayt90 Mar 25, 2008 11:09 AM

                                                                                      If you know hydroponics, why not make your own kit. Seed packages and fertilizers (they use 10-20-20) are inexpensive, and you can use daylight table lamps (as little as $15, with 4- finger 26 watt bulbs) which appear to have the same light as my Aerogarden. You can get growing tips from the Aero site.

                                                                                      When I expand my garden, it will be a kit, plus the knowledge I gained from Aero.

                                                                                      1. re: pouja
                                                                                        m
                                                                                        malibumike Mar 25, 2008 01:21 PM

                                                                                        The Aerogarden is a good piece of equipment. I use it for starting seeds or clones but if you want any good sized tomatoes lets say, you should think about getting a full sized hydroponic/aeroponic system, say 10 gallon. If you are lucky and you have a large south facing window(northern hemisphere) you would not need the expense of auxiliary lighting.

                                                                                      2. c
                                                                                        chlywill Apr 20, 2008 04:27 PM

                                                                                        I purchased a classic aerogarden a month ago. The lights would not operate correctly...the customer service was helpful and we tried to reset the system..they ended up sending me a new baseplate. It works fine now. I purchased an aerogarden pro 200. My beans sprouted in 36 hours I was amazed...then this weekend I smelled something burning and came out to find smoke coming out of the lamp hood. Needless to say this causes me alot of concern...it's one thing to have a computer chip glitch...another to have a fire hazard. I love the idea of having my kitchen garden(I live in an apartment)...the concept is great but I think the product needs some work.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: chlywill
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                                                                                          hollerhither Apr 20, 2008 06:15 PM

                                                                                          Yikes! It sounds like you may have a lemon. Make them take it back, and at least replace it with an entire new unit. I haven't had any problems like you've described.

                                                                                          1. re: chlywill
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                                                                                            royalsmom2 Apr 24, 2008 11:27 PM

                                                                                            I have been reading blogs about this aerogarden all evening and on just about every web site. I wanted to purchase the pro 200, but, needed more info on it. With it having 3 bulbs and everyone saying how bright it was, I wondered about it possiblly catching on or starting a fire. With it having to be left on for 17 hours a day unsupervised and having to be in a separate room because of the brightness of the unit. It would seem likely to be a potential fire hazard. Thank you CHLYWILL. You just made my discission a lot easier. It sounded like it would be a lot of fun for me and my children, but, not worth the risk.

                                                                                            1. re: royalsmom2
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                                                                                              walker Apr 29, 2008 01:20 AM

                                                                                              I ordered this one from Aerogarden. When it arrived, 2 parts were loose and I couldn't figure out where they went, called the 800 #, they were very helpful. So, I've had it about 2 weeks and I'm not worried about a fire. I have it timed to go on at 6am, off at 10pm -- it's in my dining room, no problem. I planted cherry tomatoes and Japanese cukes (found 3 different pkgs of seeds at Berkeley Horticulture and couldn't choose just one so I've planted one of each). (These cukes cost me $1.50 each at the only store I can find them in SF) Right now, I'm wondering how long I must have this toy in order to break even, wonder if each cuke I produce will cost me $10 or something. Anyway, it's fun for now -- the directions are pretty good, I'll have to learn how to prune later -- will just have to look at the pics and try to do my best.

                                                                                              1. re: royalsmom2
                                                                                                jayt90 Apr 29, 2008 06:08 PM

                                                                                                Each bulb runs at 26 watts, and has a heavy ceramic base. There is not much heat, and you can touch the bulb without getting burned. Mine has been running as it is supposed to since March, and the plants are doing well. I have had lots of fresh mint, thyme, basil, parsley and dill when I need it, and soon fresh tomatoes and small cukes for fridge pickles.

                                                                                                1. re: jayt90
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                                                                                                  walker Apr 29, 2008 06:50 PM

                                                                                                  What model do you own? I have the one with 3 lights that can adjust upward -- for growing your own seeds. They recommend using only 3 slots. I'm using 4, 1 for cherry tomatoes, and 1 each of the 3 different Japanese cucumber seeds. Do you think it will get too crowded?

                                                                                                  1. re: walker
                                                                                                    jayt90 Apr 29, 2008 07:07 PM

                                                                                                    Mine is the original, two lamps. I use all 7, and trim each plant mostly from the bottom. I pulled the plastic cover off each seed pod to give the seeds lots of space, and to give me room to insert new seeds, such as cukes. When those vin es start to grow rapidly, I'll trail them around the platform and curtail the big leaves.

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                                                                                              orl_foodie May 1, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                                                              I enjoyed this thread, thanks for all the replies. I had originally tossed the idea of getting an Aerogarden after the reviews on Amazon.com, but I am looking for something to put in my new kitchen and was just planning on putting in a portable terranium, but after everyone's opinions here, I think I'll get an Aerogarden and try it out for myself instead. I am just never happy with the limp refrigerated herbs at the grocery store and I can never seem to get herbs in plain planters to live for very long.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: orl_foodie
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                                                                                                walker May 1, 2008 11:01 AM

                                                                                                I'm really enjoying watching the progress; would be even better if I had little kids in the house to watch it -- I invite the kids next door to see it. Maybe I'll get one for herbs, next. Remember to use the coupons and get it at Bed Bath & Beyond -- they take even expired coupons. I had to get mine from Aerogarden since I got the kind where you can plant your own seeds.

                                                                                              2. d
                                                                                                darbensblue Jun 16, 2008 12:26 AM

                                                                                                I have one and completely happy with it. It grows many of my plants twice as fast. I once did a grow journal and noticed that compared to dirt the AeroGarden finished growing the plants almost 20 days faster than that grown in dirt.

                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                  Mottster Jun 28, 2008 09:15 AM

                                                                                                  We've had our AeroGarden Classic for just over a month now and have had great success. Since I and my wife have been enjoying our AeroGarden so much, that we are writing a daily blog about our experience.

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                                                                                                    feistyfoodie Dec 15, 2008 06:21 PM

                                                                                                    So I've been wondering about this myself. Seems like a lot of people are happy with it and grow lots of herbs with it. My question is a little odd I guess? I have basil plants that grow very well on my windowsill in its own pot. Plus I really want tomatoes and then a couple of random herbs. Can I "mix and match" the pods? I'd read somewhere that the lighting "cycles" are optimized for each grow kit, but the grow kits don't seem to have a mix of tomatoes or veggies + herbs, it's herbs OR lettuce OR tomatoes... anyone know the answer to this or have experience mixing and matching? Thanks in advance :)

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: feistyfoodie
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                                                                                                      LabRat Dec 16, 2008 04:46 AM

                                                                                                      You should be able to mix and match as long as you consider how each type of plant grows and place it in the Aerogarden to avoid shading. It may be necessary to leave some of the ports empty around plants that need lots of space.

                                                                                                      1. re: LabRat
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                                                                                                        oaktowngirl Dec 16, 2008 07:46 AM

                                                                                                        I have been informed (by my husband, not Aerogarden) that the plant mix is dependent on the nutrient levels. The herbs go together because they have similar nutrition needs, the salad greens, etc. The different types of plants can't be fed differently if they are all in the same boat, so to speak.

                                                                                                    2. Paulustrious Jul 10, 2009 05:56 AM

                                                                                                      I wanted to bump this thread to ask people if they continued to use their aerogarden, or if it was finally laid to rest in the basement of garage before going to yard-sale heaven. I also want to know if it continued to work well after the initial seed pods had expired.

                                                                                                      cf: Flowers for Algernon

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Paulustrious
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                                                                                                        walker Jul 10, 2009 10:47 AM

                                                                                                        I wish I could have bought my model at BB & Beyond so that I could have returned it. The pump stopped working during my second planting. I contacted the co. but so far, all they want is for me to take the pump apart and work on it -- that's not my style. I paid too much for this stuff and really regret buying it.

                                                                                                        1. re: walker
                                                                                                          jayt90 Jul 10, 2009 01:19 PM

                                                                                                          The company replaced two non germinating plugs with no Q's asked. My complaint went by e mail, and they sent replacements by USPS across the border. I was impressed.

                                                                                                        2. re: Paulustrious
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                                                                                                          hollerhither Jul 10, 2009 01:24 PM

                                                                                                          I now have yard space to work with so I won't be using the Aerogarden year-round, but I will start it back up again in the winter for herbs.

                                                                                                          1. re: Paulustrious
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                                                                                                            Mottster Aug 3, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                                                                            Paulustrious - We have been using our Aerogardens going on and off for over a year now. My wife and I have been blogging about our experience with them.. For the link to our blog, check my profile for the link.

                                                                                                            1. re: Mottster
                                                                                                              Paulustrious Aug 3, 2009 07:54 AM

                                                                                                              Thank you. That should be interesting to read about experiences over a period of time.

                                                                                                              1. re: Paulustrious
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                                                                                                                Hungry Celeste Aug 3, 2009 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                I saw several Aerogardens on the final clearance rack at Sur La Table in Clinton Township, MI, last week, if anyone cares.

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                                                                                                            Shellnyce Feb 8, 2010 05:32 AM

                                                                                                            I have had one for about 2 weeks now. I purchased the AeroGarden VeggiePro so I could try to grow tomatoes inside this winter. Here is a link to my review. www.bronxgarden.com

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Shellnyce
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                                                                                                              morwen Feb 8, 2010 05:00 PM

                                                                                                              Oh yeah, your review confirms everything I've heard about AGs but the bag pipe story had my husband and me roaring! We LOVE 'pipes!

                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                              Moochacha Feb 20, 2010 10:06 AM

                                                                                                              I received an Aerogarden as a birthday gift and I love it. I've grown mostly herbs, but did cherry tomatoes, as well. They didn't work quite so well, but that's probably because I didn't use the garden exactly as directed and mixed herb plugs with the cherry tomatoes. That meant I had to use a setting that wasn't ideal growing conditions.
                                                                                                              I CAN say that I've had trouble with the mint this time around. The leaves were really tiny and difficult to use. The first time they were great. I had one herb plug that didn't germinate at all--possibly the seeds were too old or had been damaged by heat or cold before I bought them.
                                                                                                              I now know, too, that I have to be careful when buying the seed kits, because I didn't know there were different sized plugs for different kits (5 vs 7 holes).
                                                                                                              All in all, though, I really love it. There's nothing like having fresh basil for my tomato dishes and fresh mint for my iced tea and mojitos!

                                                                                                              1. tzakiel Feb 20, 2010 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                I bought three classics and a 3-unit wall shelf from AG for a good price (about $215 after bing cashback and a coupon code). It's been fun and everything is growing well. I'm doing regular progress updates/photos on my blog here:

                                                                                                                http://www.jonvandalen.com/lte/?cat=23

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: tzakiel
                                                                                                                  tzakiel Feb 27, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                  I should also point out that you can get the grow plugs, seeds and nutrients from other web sites in cheap bulk quantities, if you do the research. That means the only thing you need to buy from AG is the grow bulbs.

                                                                                                                  1. re: tzakiel
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                                                                                                                    Pattyesq Nov 30, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                    Would you tell us where to purchase cheaper?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pattyesq
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                                                                                                                      sayuri Dec 5, 2013 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                      try amazon.com

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pattyesq
                                                                                                                        Sid Post Dec 10, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                        Any descent nursery that stocks edible plants and seeds.

                                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                                    southern_expat Mar 2, 2010 12:56 AM

                                                                                                                    I LOVE my Aerogarden! I'm growing herbs and they're going like gangbusters. They've been growing for about six weeks and I've harvested basil, chives, mint, parsley, dill, oregano (thyme, not so much, but I have it in the garden and it seems to like being under two feet of snow!). Not a lot of them, mind you - I don't think those who need more than a few tablespoons of herbs at a time would really benefit from it. I cook mostly for myself, though, and it's been really great to prune off the tops (which helps the plants be bushy instead of leggy) and I love having fresh herbs in the dead of winter for salads, scrambled eggs, etc.

                                                                                                                    If you're thinking about ordering one, my advise is to call the 800 number instead of ordering from the website. The model I originally wanted wasn't in stock, and when I pouted about it, they gave me an extra 20 percent off another one and threw in an extra seed kit.

                                                                                                                    There's a good board here http://www.aerogardengrowers.com It's a pretty small forum, but I've gotten tons of tips there.

                                                                                                                    Bottom line: I'm the world's biggest cheapskate, but coveted this appliance for over a year, and I have to say it's lived up to my expectations and was well worth it. If you get one, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have mine!

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                                                                                                                      hrafferty55 Mar 15, 2010 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                      I found one on clearance,for a limited time for 39.95,no postage & handling,with tax it is,51.95

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