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Aerogarden reviews?

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...

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  1. 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.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JoLi

      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

        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. 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. 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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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.

                  2. re: xnyorkr

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

                2. re: leanneabe

                  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

                    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

                      How did the seed starter kit work out for you?

                  2. 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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                          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

                            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

                              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. 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

                            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.