AeroGarden, Black Bounty, garden
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From the manufacturer
AeroGarden Classic 9 Garden, Black
Make any meal gourmet with these classic favorites!
Enjoy fresh herbs all year round with this high output kit of culinary classics. Our Gourmet Herbs Seed Pod Kit comes with everything you need to grow and works in any of our AeroGardens! You'll be running for the recipe books looking for new ways to use your homegrown herbs. With the Gourmet Herbs Seed Pod Kit, you can grow fresh herbs all year round, no matter the season.
Planting with Seed Pods is fun and easy! Just insert the pre-seeded pods in your garden, add water and the plant food. Most plants germinate within 7-14 days, are ready for harvesting in 4-6 weeks, and will keep producing continuous harvests for up to 6 months and longer. Indoor gardening can't get any tastier or simpler!
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AeroGarden Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kits
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Meet the AeroGarden Bounty With gourmet herb seed Pod Kit - grow fresh herbs, vegetables, salad greens, flowers & more. Let your imagination grow wild!
Top reviews from the United States
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The beauty of the AeroGarden is that it can be kept on a countertop and convenient for harvest. On the WIFI version of the AeroGarden, you can download an app on your phone to control it, but, as yet, I haven’t found a use for the app as the digital display on the unit provides all of the necessary controls.
To-date, I have planted the seed pod kits for lettuce, the smoothie kit, the herb kit and the Mighty Might tomatoes with the following results.
1. The lettuce variety – This was the best of the seed kits I tried. A couple of the lettuce varieties germinated much slower than the others and were shaded too much to grow. Of the 9 seed pods, I lost 2 to slow growth. All the other varieties grew very well. Initially, I was harvesting leaves of each plant, but later found that the “haircut” method worked better to keep the lights low enough to promote growth of the shorter plants. For future plantings, I will try the “haircut” method to see if more usable lettuce is produced. At any rate, for a family of 3 we have had numerous salads from one planting of lettuce. I do add other greens that I grow in soil, so the lettuce produced in the AeroGarden is a small part of the greens in our salads.
2. The smoothie kit was a total bust. This kit includes kale, beet greens, and mustard greens. Of the three beet greens, only 1 germinated. The other two were replaced, but only one of the replacements germinated. The one that germinated died off by the time it was 1” tall. The leaves of the remaining beet greens have died off before the got big enough to use. The mustard greens went to seed by the time they were 4” tall, so nothing was usable. At 5”, the kale plants started turning to red, then brown, and dried up. One of the plants rotted at the stem and fell on the floor. Even the young kale leaves were tough and leathery. So, none of this kale was usable. (See update for cause and resolution.)
3. The herb kit that comes with most of the AeroGardens does produce some nice herbs, but the growth of some herbs included quickly shades the smaller varieties. The parsleys and dill do very well, but the kits including thyme, basil, chives, and mint that were quickly shaded because of their low growth habit. I have also found that other than the parsleys and dill, there is not enough produced to be usable.
4. The Mighty Mite tomatoes are a determinate plant meaning that all of the tomatoes are produced at one time rather than spaced over a longer period of time. This variety of tomato is very tart and if not picked at the peak of development becomes mushy. After I planted these tomatoes and they germinated, rather than cut them of as suggested, I pulled all but one plant from each seed pod and transplanted the seedlings in soil. All but one of the 19 seedlings survived, and the tomatoes produced in soil have averaged much larger than the ones in the AeroGarden. I have since called AeroGarden and suggested a different variety of small bush tomatoes they should try that is a stronger bush with sweeter tomatoes.
Setup of this AeroGarden is so easy, and once started, the AeroGarden will let you know when to add nutrients and water, although plant growth is better if you keep the water level up. If the electricity goes off, the AeroGarden will ask you whether the electricity when off or you want to start a new garden. If you select the electricity went off, all of the settings are saved but you need to enter the current time. You don't have to be a botanist or knowledgeable about growing plants to use these gardens. They tell you when to add water and the supplied nutrients. You don't have to worry about produce spoiling before you use it as it is fresh when you are ready to harvest. If you choose to grow lettuce for salads, it just keeps growing as you harvest. This method is so much easier and cleaner than growing in soil as you don't have to worry about over or under watering.
Although the initial cost of the AeroGardens and pods are on the high side as compared to buying the veggies and herbs in store, I like that I can harvest them as I need them. I can't tell you how many times my husband as bought fresh herbs or lettuce that most or all was moldy by the time I wanted to use them. I know it may take a while to reach a break even point, but I am totally enjoying harvesting fresh lettuce for salads and fresh herbs when I need them in recipes. I don't think of growing veggies and herbs in the AeroGardens so much as a financial savings, but the convenience of harvesting fresh produce as I need it and knowing how it was grown.
I have included a few pictures of my AeroGardens as well as pictures of my shelves that I grow veggies under lights. I do like the AeroGardens for growing some things, but also prefer growing under lights when I want quantity. More recently, I have tried growing watercress in the AeroGarden and this seems to be working so far as watercress is a semi-aquatic plant.
Whether you have one of these AeroGardens or not, I want to share one point of maintenance and possible reason for growing problems that is not documented by AeroGarden. In cleaning this AeroGarden for the next planting, I found that roots from the previous planting had grown into the top of the AeroGarden preventing the water circulation in most of the pod holders. I got as much of the roots out of the spouts that I could, but still water was not flowing from 4 of the water spouts. After wasting an entire evening trying to clear out the roots in the water circulation system, my husband found a post in a blog that told how to get the roots out of the system. On the underside of the planting deck there are 6 tabs - one on each end and two on the front and back. By pushing each of these tabs to the outside, the top of the deck is released and the roots can be easily removed from the watering system. In my opinion, this is something that AeroGarden should include in their maintenance instructions. This problem is also the reason that I lost most of the plantings in that AeroGarden. Some of the plants weren't getting enough water, so they they dried up and died. On the new AeroGardens, I also don't like that you can't see the water level except for what can be seen in the small compartment for adding water. On the older AeroGardens, you could easily see if the water level was up to the gauge in the middle of the water container.
I had to add one more update for the Mighty Mite tomatoes which are shown in the last picture. These tomatoes were started 143 days ago and are still flowering and producing new tomatoes. Although I had initially thought these were a determinant variety, they have proven to be indeterminate as they continue to produce. Honestly, we can't use these tomatoes as fast in salads as they are producing. I may have to harvest them before the spoil and freeze them for use in cooking.
My final post to this review is to explain the benefits and downsides of the unit or any other AeroGarden for that matter. These units are good for the beginner that doesn't have much experience with indoor growing or those that don't have much space to devote to it. Most of the plants provided in the grow kits will grow fine initially, but the AeroGardens don't provide the space they need for mature growth. These units are good for starting plants that you plan to move to pots or gardens as they get larger, but you must provide the specific plant what it needs until it grows roots suited to soil. Vegetables such as tomatoes or green peppers can be started in an AeroGarden, but the vegetables produced will not be of the quality that you can grow in soil and a larger space. The same holds true for most of the herbs such as basil, chives, thyme, etc. In order for most of these to be useful, they must be large plants that could not be grown in the space of an AeroGarden. The tomatoes I grew in the AeroGarden were very small and tart. The same plants move to flats in soil produced tomatoes that were well over 3 times larger and sweet. About the only thing you can grow in an AeroGarden that remains productive and grows successfully is some varieties of lettuce. Other than some lettuces, most plants will need to be transplanted to soils for successful growing. The last picture is of a tomato plant I transplanted from the AeroGarden into soil and grew it under plant lights. Not only is the plant much larger, but the tomatoes are as well. The tomatoes grown in soil are sweet as the ones grown in the AeroGarden are tart.
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1. The light is going to run 17 hours a day for the herb garden so have it somewhere that is away from sleep areas.
2. The water pump circulates water to the pods and there is a trickling water sound associated with that.
3. At the end of the season I rinsed it out and stored it. This caused a problem for second season as roots had infiltrated several areas and needed to be removed.
4. The impeller on the pump was stuck at the start of season 2. I ended up pulling the pump out and giving it a rap with a screwdriver handle while it was plugged in. This got it going. At the end of the season I am going to clean it and spritz it with silicone spray in hopes of avoiding this.
5. Get it running well and only then insert your pods. Make sure the pump is running and each pod location has water running to it. You can adjust the water volume up and down by accessing the pump and using the adjustment on the pump.
Update 2/19 - 1 week in..
8 out of 9 plants have germinated and are growing nicely. I planted 7 pods from the Salad greens kit I ordered and 2 Genovese Basil that came with the Garden. Most of the salad by afternoon of day two was already noticeably growing and now at 1 week is already about 1" tall. The basil says its a 6 day germination but at day 4 already had a sprout and now at day 7 is about half inch tall already. The one Basil pod shows no life yet, but will give it till the end of its "germination" period which I think is 21 days before I loose hope and move onto something else. So far I have followed the directions and haven't done anything different to the program. The next cycle of plants I grow I might add air stones or run the pump longer cycles, but seeing as this is my first time using an Aerogarden, no experimentation yet! My 6 year old daughter runs over to the garden every morning and night after school to check on the plants, it is fun to see how quickly they grow!
1 month in 3/14/16
The last couple of weeks I have harvested from my 5 salad pods about 5 large side salads worth per week. So for me, my wife, and 6 yo daughter we've been able to each have two salads per week. I also have more dill than I can use right now from the one pod of dill I planted. I planted two pods of basil one is still very small with about 4-5 leaves and hardly any roots, the other has about 20 leaves and extensive roots. One salad pod I planted never developed anything and I will have to contact aerogarden and see how their warranty program works. I have some other plants sitting on my counter soaking up some of the residual excess light and they seem to be doing well. It amazes me how fast everything grows, very noticeable difference from morning to night. The photo I uploaded is from week 3 after I harvested a bag of lettuce and reduced the plants by almost half.
Top reviews from other countries
i love these things. after receiving my first one, i quickly bought a 2nd, and am planning to buy more one i get these ones going. they are smaller than i thought they would be from the pics but both fit on top of my fridge so it works out great. setup is as easy as it gets, after simple assembly of sticking lights on a rod, you plug it in, use the touch screen and tell it what seed pack you planted, schedule when you want the lights on/off, add water, stick in the seed pods and done. you can set what time of day you want it to alert you about water levels and nutrients. you can also set it up manually instead of selecting one of the seed pod pack options.
after 20 days or so you can start harvesting basil, most other will sprout in 1 month but not all harvestable then. you're going to need fine tip pruners, and start early and prune often. the basil definitely wants to take over and its huge leaves will shadow the other later sprouting plants. another thing you should pick up is a shiny mylar space blanket and tape it to the lights like a curtain to keep light on the plants. if you want to go all out, pick up a cheap aerator for a fish tank for $12 to keep the water aerated.
im really liking the dill, its great to pick the dill fresh and toss it on some fish. after a month im harvesting basil every 2-3 days, more than $5 worth and more than i need, im giving a lot of it away off just 1 garden. im harvesting the dill every 5 days at the moment. if you buy a lot of fresh herbs, or would if it wasn't so expensive, this thing will produce enough herbs to pay for itself in less than 5 months, at grocery store prices, not including cost of water, power and gardening labour. im really liking them and once i drop the herbs i don't want and get the ones i do, and get the 2nd one set up with cherry tomatoes and the hottest peppers on earth, ill be making my own pesto and salsa fresh as needed.
Reviewed in Canada on June 5, 2017
Reviewed in Canada on March 25, 2016
I added a bubbler to my setup, made a huge difference and the aerogarden has holes specifically for this.
It beeps when the water's low or when it time to add nutrients.
The most surprising thing was how responsive and helpful the onscreen menu is, it's fast and very helpful for first time growers.