The Aero Garden is a cool way to grow herbs, greens, even tomatoes and miniature roses on your countertop all year long.
What is an Areo Garden?
Manufactured by AeroGrow, International, the Aero Garden is a countertop gardening device that uses areoponic technology to grow plants.
That means that the plants are grown without soil and are nourished by the air and water. Nutrients are regularly added to the water to make it an ideal growing environment.
The Aero Garden kit includes a base into which water and nutrients are poured and through which the plants grow, as well as an adjustable set of grow lights that make it possible to grow plants indoors even without a sunny window.
AeroGrow sells seed kits specially designed to work with the kits, which the company says provide 100 percent germination, often within 24 hours of setting them up in the garden.
There are many different available seed kits for the gardens, such as:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chili peppers
- Green beans
- Salsa (tomatoes and peppers)
- Snow peas
- Herbs, including French, Italian, Japanese and international basil packs
- Baby greens
- Mesclun salad mix
- Romaine lettuce
- Flower kits with themes such as English garden, splash of color and scented blooms
- Seed kits designed for cooking specialties such as meats, seafood and soups
- Mini rose plants
Using the Aero Garden
The Aero Garden is relatively easy to use, especially if you are an experienced gardener. To get started growing, just insert the "plug and grow" seed pods into the holes in the base and add water and nutrients. Seeds germinate in as little as 24 hours and flowers may begin to bloom in just a couple of weeks. Some herbs and greens can be ready for harvest in as little as a month.
That's because the Aero Garden provides near-perfect conditions for plants, with their roots growing into the air and water in the basin of the device. It provides 100 percent humidity for the roots and allows plants to grow more quickly than they would in the ground.
The computerized growing system lets you know when you need to add more nutrients and water, and it automatically turns the grow lights on and off as needed, without you even having to program it.
The computer automatically adjusts the water and nutrient levels and light cycles based on what kinds of plants you are growing so you are assured great results with no guesswork (or really any work at all) on your part.
Benefits of Aeroponic Gardening
You might not want to use a device like this year-round if you have plenty of room outside for a vegetable, herb and flower garden. However, it's certainly a good idea for people who want to be able to eat good tomatoes all year or who need to have fresh herbs for cooking within easy reach.
Such a system is also ideal for people who don't have yards or don't want the commitment of a huge backyard garden. It allows you to enjoy fresh produce without the time or effort of traditional gardening.
This product would make a great gift for seniors who can't bend to work in the garden anymore, since it can be tended from a tabletop and isn't very heavy even when full of plants.
They're also great for parents who want to teach their kids about where food comes from and making healthy choices but who don't have the time or inclination to grow a large garden. Because there's so little work involved, the kids can be entrusted to take care of the plants, which ensures they'll want to eat the fruits or their labor.
Growing produce and herbs indoors isn't for everyone. The kit and consumables are more expensive than what you'd pay for other methods to start seeds and grow plants indoors or out. However, if the idea of delicious tomatoes in the dead of winter interests you, it's an option worth checking out.