Product Review: The Aero Grow Aero Garden

Grow Your Own Fresh Herbs, Vegetables, Salad Greens, Flowers and More with Your Indoor Aero Garden

I've always enjoyed growing fresh herbs, but because of the layout of my apartment, I only have a balcony that receives a limited amount of sunlight in which to grow them. So it was with great joy that I received the Aero Grow Aero Garden as a birthday present and recently began using it to grow an assortment of herbs. The Aero Grow Aero Garden is a small unit about the size of a standard microwave oven that allows you to grow a variety of herbs within your own home, regardless of available sunlight.

Aside from herbs, the Aero Grow Aero Garden also lets you grow items such as cherry tomatoes, chili peppers, strawberries, salad greens, flowers, and more. A recently released Master Gardener Kit enables you to grow a variety of vegetables including eggplant, green beans and spinach.

Before launching into the Aero Garden Review, a little background:

How does it work?
The Aero Grow Aero Garden used a hooded lighting system to provide seedlings and growing herbs and plants with 16 hours of light, using energy efficient bulbs. A computerized system regulates the lighting, the water distribution, and the addition of vital organic nutrients essential for growth.

Seeds for herbs, vegetables, or flowers come in a kit containing small pods. Each pod contains the seeds of a specific herb or vegetable. The pods are inserted into the base of the unit, and a small plastic hood (referred to as a Bio-dome) is placed over the top of the pod. The hood will remain in place until you begin to see growth. A notation on each pod lets you know when growth should begin.

The pod acts as sort of a greenhouse, while beneath the base, the roots of each plant are suspended in the air in an enclosed growing chamber. This chamber, filled bi-weekly with water, acts as a humidity-rich, highly oxygenated growing chamber to help herbs and plants grow speedily. This method is known as Aeroponics, in which the roots of plants are suspended in the air and bathed with an ideal level of water and nutrients, and is proven to be more efficient than growing plants in soil.

An indicator on the Aero-Grow Aero Garden lets you know when to add water and nutrients, and in a few short weeks, you are ready to harvest your herbs or enjoy fresh vegetables!

Aero Garden Review
Setting Up the Aero Grow Aero Garden.
Judging by the initial size of the box, it may seem as if the Aero Grow Aer Garden is quite large, but it actually only measures about 16" long by 10.5" wide by 21" high when the lamp is fully extended to its highest setting. If you have a decent amount of counter space in your kitchen it should fit comfortably. I currently have my Aero Grow Aero Garden sitting in the corner of my living room.

Setting up the unit was rather easy. It consists of a support base and a main base that is positioned on top of that. The main base is where you will insert your seed pods and add water. After putting the two energy efficient bulbs in the lamp section, you attach the lamp section to the base, and basically you are done. It only took a manner of minutes, and then I was ready to decide what types of herbs I wanted to grow.

Growing fresh herbs
After filling the unit with water as instructed, I checked out my seed kits. The unit itself came with a Gourmet Herb kit, and I had received an additional International Basil seed kit. The Gourmet Herb kit came with Parsley, Chives, Italian Basil, Red Rubin Basil, Dill, Mint and Cilantro. Instead of the Red Rubin Basil, I decided to use Thai Basil, available in the International Basil seed kit.

I inserted the pods into their respective sections on the base, covered them with the bio-domes, and proceeded to fill the base with water as instructed. I also added two nutrient tablets. The nutrients included with the seed kits are organic tablets consisting of seaweed and vital mineral salts, as well as a pH buffer, so using tap water is perfectly fine. There are no pesticides or herbicides used in the nutrients or on the seed pods. After the adding the first pair of nutrient tablets, the computerized panel with instruct you to follow up with more tablets and water about every two weeks, until the tablets are used up. Then you will just be required to add water.

Most of the seed kits available for the Aero Grow Aero Garden specify that you will be able to begin your harvest in abut 4 weeks, and plants will last about 4-6 months, depending upon what you are growing, before you need to begin growing fresh seed kits again. I first saw the basil growing within three days, just as their pod details had said. The remainder of the herbs also followed suit, beginning to grow within the time period indicated on their pods.

After two weeks there was substantial growth, and I had to raise the lamp hood to the next notch. A series of notches allow you to raise the lamp hood of the Aero Grow Aero Garden to accommodate more room for growing herbs and vegetables. A very informative booklet comes with each seed kit and provides important information and photographs on how best to care for your plants and how to properly snip and harvest herbs, vegetables and other plants, as well as a detailed troubleshooting guide.

Closing out my Aero Garden review, I found the Aero Grow Aero Garden extremely easy to use, and after its initial set up it requires virtually no maintenance. The light can be bright, so that may bother some people, but as I have it tucked into a corner, I don't find it very obtrusive. The unit itself uses only the same amount of energy as a 60-watt light bulb. The energy saving bulbs themselves are full-spectrum compact fluorescent bulbs. The unit makes no noise except when first turned on. I noticed a somewhat earthy organic smell during the first two days when the unit was on, I attribute this to either the nutrients dissolving or the aeroponic chamber developing in the base.

If you would like to grow both vegetables and herbs, or other combinations of plants, Aero Grow discourages you from doing so in the same unit, as each seed kit contains their own specially formulated nutrients and the computer system on the Aero Garden is programmed to regulate specific cycles according to what you are growing. You would need another Aero Grow Aero Garden to grow different types of plants.

The Aero Grow Aero Garden costs about $150 depending where you purchase it, and is available in black or white. The majority of the seed pod kits cost about $19.95, with a select few a little higher. Packs of additional nutrient tables are also available to help extend the life of your garden, costing about $10.00 for 12 tablets.

The Aero Grow website contains additional information as well as more accessories for the Aero Grow Aero Garden, and a more in depth Aero Garden review of the process involved in using the Aero Garden, plus various recipes.  You can buy this product from Amazon