AeroGarden Reviews: Best Smart Gardening Systems in 2020

Are you looking for a fool-proof way to grow fresh herbs and vegetables indoors? For those who have experienced the frustration of putting time, money, and effort into their plants only to see that they don’t make it, an AeroGarden system may be for you. 

These smart gardening machines provide the nutrients, light, and space that your plants need to grow with minimal effort. They can be placed in any location, automatically time the light, and some can even be set on vacation mode when you’re away, 

The following AeroGarden reviews consider and examine the level of maintenance, ease of use, durability, and value of each soil for succulents in the reviews below. Here is a quick link to each product before we get started:

*If you’re in a hurry, I’d recommend the AeroGarden Black Harvest as the best one. This system is the perfect compromise in size, value, and yield, and has many helpful settings that allow you to automate the growing process. 

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All About Aerogardens

AeroGarden Reviews

What is an Aerogarden?

An AeroGarden is a hydroponic plant-growing system that is foolproof, soil-free, and a perfect solution for those who need an easy and low-maintenance indoor garden. Each machine comes with a reservoir for water and plant food, an area for seeds and an attached grow light. This form of hydroponics is known as aeroponics: the process of growing plants in a nutrient-rich water-misted environment without the use of soil.

AeroGrow was founded by Michael Bissonnette in July 2002 and currently offers 33 different models at different price points and consumer benefits for a variety of indoor gardeners. There are more than 150 Seed Pod Kits available to choose from, providing a variety of plants and produce to growers. 

How do I use an AeroGarden System? 

AeroGardens are incredibly easy to set up. Take your seed pods and drop them into the machine. Then fill the bowl with water and plant food, and plug in the light fixture. These lights will provide your plants with the full spectrum of light, allowing them to grow quickly even in a dark environment. 

The lighting system is on an automatic timer, so you won’t have to worry about remembering to turn it on and off. The built-in control panel will also remind you to add more water and plant food when necessary. 

What seeds can I use in an Aerogarden?

AeroGardens offers several Seed Pod Kits that are guaranteed by the manufacturer to germinate. These pods are clean, soil-free, and maintain consistent growing conditions that support the plants. Many of the seeds used in the pods are heirloom varieties and are sourced organically when possible. Aerogarden never uses GMO seeds. 

AeroGarden Seed Pods come with a grow dome, grow label, grow sponge made of sphagnum peat, seeds, and a grow basket. 

There are several themed pods that can be purchased for the Aerogarden, and if you have your own seeds to use, you can purchase a Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit as well. Here are some options:

Frequently Asked Questions

When Can I Begin Harvesting?

Each plant will have a unique harvest time, however, plants can be pruned and harvested as early as 3 weeks. Lettuce takes about 3 weeks to grow. Herbs will take about 4. Green beans take about 5 weeks, and cherry tomatoes can take up to 12 weeks.

Regular pruning of your plants will help them grow, so make sure to read about the specific pruning requirements of each plant you intend to grow.

How Much Energy Does the AeroGarden Use?

The manufacture has estimated the following wattages and electricity costs for their main units:

  • AeroGarden XL Farm: 126 Watts, $7.30 per month
  • AeroGarden Bounty: 48 Watts, $2.78 per month
  • AeroGarden Harvest: 23 Watts, $1.33 per month
  • AeroGarden Sprout: 13 Watts, $0.75 per month

What Water Types Are Good for AeroGardening?

If you have any issues with your plants growing or excessive yellowing, it may be because you are using “hard” water. This means that your tap water is alkaline and may not be the correct pH needed for your system and plants. 

Distilled water is a great solution if your water is too hard and mineral-rich for your system. However, most tap water is fine for use in the AeroGarden. 

How Long Can I Leave My System Unattended?

Younger gardens can be left unattended for longer than more full and mature gardens. A newly planted garden can be safely left alone for up to 2 weeks. Certain models have vacation settings. Selecting this mode will tell the machine to use its water more efficiently so it won’t run out while you’re away.

How Long Will The Plants Live?

Vegetable Kits: 4 months of continuous harvests

Salad Greens: 3 months of continuous harvests

Herb Kits: 3 months of continuous harvests

Flower Kits: blooms for 4 months

AeroGarden Sprout LED

This garden is perfect for those who want a small herbal garden that can fit in even the most compact of spaces, at 5” x 11”. It has room for three plants to grow at once and includes a 10-watt LED light that will provide a full-spectrum experience with a minimal electric bill addition. The extendable lamp arm reaches up to 10” above the plants, so this is the maximum height allowable with this unit. 

This kit comes with three herb pods (Genovese Basil, Curly Parsley, and Dill) and a 3-ounce bottle of nutrients. It’s incredibly easy to clean and one of the most manageable AeroGrow gardens available, making it a great option for a beginner. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Small and can fit anywhere
  • Perfect for growing herbs
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning
Cons
  • Not large enough to grow vegetables, best for herbs

AeroGarden Black Bounty Basic 

This larger garden is great for a variety of large vegetable harvests such as tomatoes, peppers, herbs, salads, and more. The cordless extendable lamp arm can reach up to 24”, providing plenty of room for your plants to grow. 

There is room to grow up to 9 plants in this system and it comes with a Gourmet Herb Seed Pot Kit that contains 2 Genovese basil pods, a Thai basil pod, curly parsley, Italian parsley, thyme, chives, dill, and mint. It Also includes plant food, as well as a food trellis to keep your larger crops stable. 

A nice technical upgrade in this unit is the “Vacation Mode”, where with the click of a button, your plant cycles will be automated for a few days. This setting is also more efficient and the machine uses 50% less water during this time. Another useful upgrade is the adjustable LED brightness and the “Sunrise/Sunset” mode. You can tell the system to slowly raise the wattage of the lights in the morning and to lower them at night. 

The design is sleeker and more modern than the previous version, so it will look good in any room you choose to place it in. 

Most Plants Possible in a Compact Unit

Pros
  • Large unit perfect for a diversity of plants
  • Best Touchscreen
  • Vacation and sunrise/sunset modes
Cons
  • May be too large for some homes
  • Occasional pump malfunctioning

AeroGarden Black Harvest

This AeroGarden System provides the perfect balance of size, value, and features. With this unit, you can experiment beyond herbs, without needing the largest system that may take up a lot of space in your home. This unit can grow 6 plants at a time, up to 12” tall. 

This system comes with a 6 pod gourmet herb seed kit that includes Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, and mint. It also comes with 3 ounces of plant food, which is plenty enough for a full season of growth. 

A simplified LED control panel makes daily maintenance of your plants easy. There is an “add plant food” light, “add water” light, and an on/off switch. Customers report this product as being high-tech without the confusion that normally comes with technological products. 

Best Balance of Value, Size, & Yield

Pros
  • Large amount of plants in a compact size
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean & maintain
Cons
  • Light is very bright
  • 6 plants will grow very densely together, make sure to prune.

AeroGarden XL Farm

The AeroGarden XL Farm is the largest possible unit in the AeroGarden brand. This unit, unlike others, is a standalone unit that is best for a home with a large amount of growing space. It’s also perfect for growing in a garage or shed that has good ventilation. 

The XL Farm allows you to grow up to 24 plants at once. It comes with two 60-watt energy-efficient LED lights that are adjustable, allowing you to grow smaller plants on one side, and larger plants on the other, while having the lights appropriately distanced from the plant. 

This device comes with wifi capability, which allows you to control this unit easily and remotely, as well as check on your plants. For those who have an Alexa speaker, the XL Farm can be easily connected to this device for a streamlined service. 

Larger plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, have been reported to produce over 200 days straight. This is likely due to the ample space available for the plants to grow in. 

If you want to replace most of your grocery vegetable purchases or want a harvest large enough for a whole family year-round, this is your best bet. The XL-farm is a great solution for the indoor gardener who wants serious yields.

Best System For The Serious Indoor Farmer

Pros
  • Largest unit that can grow up to 24 plants at once
  • WiFi enabled
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Two adjustable lights
  • Standalone unit
Cons
  • Not a desktop unit
  • May be too large for most spaces
  • Doesn’t work great with tap water: Use filtered or distilled water if possible

Click and Grow Smart Garden 3

AeroGarden has been the main name in smart hydroponic gardening. However, as technology has advanced, several other companies have begun to produce high-quality aeroponic machines. 

Click and Grow makes one of the most popular systems available, the Click and Grow Smart Garden 3. This system, similar to the AeroGarden Sprout, is highly compact and can grow three plants at a time, making it perfect for any room of any size. 

This system comes with three LED lights in one rectangular lamp that are placed directly over each plant. There is a plastic kit that allows you to extend the lamp higher than previous designs, which allows for larger plants to be grown. 

One advantage the Smart Garden 3 has over the AeroGrow systems is that it is completely silent, for those who are uncomfortable with the slight noise made by the aeration tubes in other products in this article. 

The kit comes with basil pods to get you started, and there are over 50 pre-seeded plant pod options available, allowing you to grow and experiment with a large range of crops. 

This unit is simply designed with clear instructions, making this kit accessible to beginners, children, and those with very little time to learn and maintain a new system. Because of its ease of use and small portable size, this aeroponic machine is a great gift. 

Best AeroGarden Alternative

Pros
  • Small size that can fit anywhere
  • Three focused LED lights for each plant
  • Over 50 seed pod options
  • Adjustable lamp height
Cons
  • Pods can be expensive to replace
  • Not good for growing larger vegetables

Summary

There has definitely been on overall improvement in the world of aeroponic gardening. Over the past decade, these systems have added energy-efficient lighting, powerful automation, modern LED displays, and even WiFi functionality.

At the same time, they are simple, minimal, and focus on what matters: Growing herbs, vegetables, and flowers quickly and effortlessly. 

Investing in an Aerogarden system may be that needed step to get rid of your brown thumb and become an indoor gardening guru!

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