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This blog is a wonderful outlet for me to chit chat with ya’ll all about fashion, beauty, homemaking and business as a mother.
But I have many passions outside of these topics too. For instance, did ya’ll know that I’m formally trained as an epidemiologist? I mention it from time to time on the internet, but staying up to date on the latest literature is a huge part of my life, even though I’m not actively working in the field anymore.
Another huge passion of mine? Cultivating and farming my own food.
I’ve been interested in food production and home gardening methods since my first year away at university.
Back then (and honestly, up until just a few years ago), we didn’t really have the space to garden out in a yard, so I learned how to grow things in containers very well.
I was very much interested in hydroponic and aquaponic systems at the time. But I felt intimidated with the different set up’s and just didn’t have the time to DIY it. Several companies a this time had come out with pre built system, but as a college student, I didn’t really have to funds to invest in those.
Fast forward to February 2020, Stephen and I are settled down into what we suspect will be our forever home, our second baby is on the way and I placed our order for our first Aerogarden.
And now in 2021, we have a total of 14 that are running and growing food for us year around.
So, it’s a safe bet to say that I like this set up–a lot.
What is an Aerogarden?
An Aerogarden is a hydroponic system growing system, in which the plant is suspended in ‘air’ and water + nutrients are either misted or flow over their roots. This coupled with optimal LED lighting gives the plants the best set up to flourish.
There are several systems on the market nowadays that can do this. However, I find that Aerogrden is the most straight forward to set up, is generally cheaper and takes up less space (though because of this, you normally can’t plant as much in them as other systems).
Aerogardens come in a range of sizes; from countertop models with 3 pods slots to floor models with 24 pod slots. The gardens themselves start at $99. However they are always going on sale, and I got my ‘Sprouts’ (the 3 pod models) for less than half that during sales.
All models come with seed pods to get you started (generally either herbs, or lettuce greens ) but you have the option to either buy other seed pods or to use your own (this is the route I generally go).
Interested in growing indoors year around? Shop Aerograden products using Rakuten and earn between 1%-10% cash back on your purchase. Plus new users receive bonus $30 cash back!
What I grow in my Aerogarden
While our Aerogardens are not a replacement for outdoor/soil based gardening, it certainly allows us to grow a large variety of things. So much so, that now I prioritize all my outdoor gardening to things that cannot be grown in the Aerogranden first, expanding the variety of crops I can grow for any season.
So what can I grow in my Aerogardens?
Starting off with the basics, just about any herb or green can be grown in the Aerogarden.
Currently, I’m growing these herbs:
- Thai and Genova Basil
- Curley Parsley
And these greens:
- Aerogarden’s salad mix
- Dino Kale
- Random kale mix
- Ruby and Rainbow Chard
- Beet greens
- Collard greens
- Pak Choy
- Bok Choy
The Aerogardens can also grow a whole host of vegetables too. The vegetables that I’m currently growing are:
- A mix of tomatoes
- A mix of peppers
- Fairy Eggplants
- Thumbelina carrots
- Mini melons
- Bush beans
Besides the corn (this is my first go at trying this but I have seen other successfully grow this in their bigger systems) the rest grow wonderfully in the Aerogardens. I know many will probably be surprised to hear about the root veggies doing well in the gardens, but so long as you pull their bulbs up to sit and grow above the sponges (beside the carrots, they will grow under), they grow very fast in the Aerogardens.
And of course flowers grow well in the Aerogardens too. This is my first time growing flowers, and I’m slowly working things out. But thus far, things are going okay. Flowers that I’m currently growing are:
- Snap Dragonns
Planted from Seed
The majority of what I’m growing is planted from seeds that I’ve bought or collected myself and I’m super proud of that.
While Aerograden does offer a decent selection of pre pod-ed seeds to choose from, they don’t really give you much information on what those seeds are exactly and I’m not certain that they are all organic either. And while a lot of the hype around organic produce is marketing, the main reason why I garden is to know exactly what I’m eating and putting into our bodies.
With Aerograden’s grow your own kits, and other similar (and more eco friendly) products on the market, it is really easy to plant whatever you want and ensure that you can grow organically (if that’s what you’re looking to do) and grow exactly what you want.
Issue with the Company
With all my post, I do like to be completely honest with my experiences and share anything that may make you hesitant as a consumer–beacause I would want to know that before making a major or even minor purchase.
I still believe that Aerograden is probably your best bet if you are looking for an easy, automated way to get into hydro/aeroponics.
The vast majority of their systems are ‘plug N’ play’ so there is no complicated set up and they are often cheaper than the other main competitors (though their are now even cheaper options available on Amazon that could work out even better).
I like their systems a lot. But they aren’t always consistent.
Twice now I’ve ordered products from them off their main site, waited months for their arrival and then have them cancel t he order on me.
I’ve also had a few issues and had to return 3 units that I’ve purchased from their Amazon store. So there can be some quality issues at times.
That said, Aerograden has always made it easy to return or exchange/ and problem unit I received, so I have little issue with that.
It can be VERY frustrating to wait months for something that just won’t arrive though, so I recommend purchasing their products from companies such as BestBuy, Kohl’s and Macy’s who are much better at only selling what is currently in stock at the moment. I have never had an issue when purchasing through these companies.
Garden Year Round
Despite any drawbacks this company has, If you like gardening, then I encourage you to invest in at least on of these hydroponic systems–If not Aerogarden, then any other one that catches your fancy on the market.
Being super pregnant and exhausted for most of this growing season, I would have missed out on growing some of my favorite things if I wasn’t Aerograden allowing me to grow my favorite things indoors.
And with our weather being extremely cold this past winter and now pushing 100+ degrees, being able to have better control over climate inside has really made a difference. I have been able to harvest about 8-9 meals a week from my indoor garden conspired to my outdoor garden which is struggling with the heat and my current lack of ability to nurture them throughout the day.
Plus having fresh produce like tomatoes and peppers to make nice warm chillies and soups in the cold of winter was such a wonderful experience that I’m happy I can enjoy with my family.
The best thing is that getting one of these systems is feasible for most people. They are expensive, but they also go on sale all the time. Time your purchase right and you can get a 3 pod model for $50, or a 6 pod model for $80.
And get added savings when you shop with Rakuten, which normally give you an added 3% cash back on all Aerogaden purchase via their site. If you want to avoid their site, but still get some cash back, Rakuten also works with Amazon, BestBuy, Macy’s and Kohl’s as well.
Do you garden indoors or are you considering it? let me know what you’re growing/thinking about growing down below!