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The Best AeroGarden for Indoor Growing – Reviews And Buying Guide

Have you ever told someone that you don’t have a green thumb, it’s more like a brown thumb? Growing a garden doesn’t always happen naturally for everyone. You buy the seeds, the soil, and you follow all the directions for region and planting times, but still, if nothing pops up out of the ground or pot, you might be frustrated enough to give up. There’s another way. The AeroGarden could be the solution to all sorts of garden issues. And there’s more than one type, so you should be able to find the one that suits your home, and your needs.

 

 AeroGardens Comparison Chart

MODEL
DETAILS
AeroGarden Ultra (LED)
with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Pod space: 7
Light type: LED
Dimensions: 17.25" W x 11.25" D x 15-34"H
Wattage: 30W
Adjustable lamp arm: 24"
Control panel: LCD screen, touch screen
Warranty: 1 year
Germination: Guaranteed
AeroGarden Bounty
with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Pod space: 9
Light type: LED
Dimensions: 17.25" W x 11.25" D x 15-34" H
Wattage: 45W
Adjustable lamp arm: 24"
Control panel: LCD screen, buttons
Warranty: 1 year
Germination: Guaranteed
AeroGarden Classic 6
with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Pod space: 6
Light type: LED
Dimensions: 16" W x 11" D x 15-21" H
Wattage: 20W
Adjustable lamp arm: 12"
Control panel: Push button
Warranty: 1 year
Germination: Guaranteed
AeroGarden Harvest Elite
with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit Stainless Steel

Pod space: 6
Light type: LED
Dimensions: 10.75" W x 7.5" D x 10.5-17" H
Wattage: 20W
Adjustable lamp arm: 12"
Control panel: LCD, buttons
Warranty: 1 year
Germination: Guaranteed
AeroGarden Sprout LED
with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Pod space: 3
Light type: LED
Dimensions: 5" W x 11" D x 10.5-15.5" H
Wattage: 10W
Adjustable lamp arm: 10"
Control panel: Push button
Warranty: 1 year
Germination: Guaranteed

What is an AeroGarden and How Does an AeroGarden Work?

If you’ve never heard of an AeroGarden, then I salute you for not watching as much television as the rest of us. The commercials were prevalent several years ago, and you’ll still see one every once in awhile. Stay up late enough and you might see the infomercial touting the “world’s first kitchen garden appliance.”

The machine holds pods of seeds and either circulates water up and over the seeds, or the pods are long enough to reach the water in the bottom of the AeroGarden. A light simulates sunlight, so you don’t have to worry about whether your kitchen window is east- or west-facing. Finally, the AeroGarden has reminders that tell you when you need to add nutrients.

When you get down to brass tacks, this is a hydroponic system. That means you don’t have to provide dirt to grow plants. The machine is calibrated to provide the right amount of light at the right times, and alerts to let you know when you need to add more water to the chamber below.
This is essentially a garden in an appliance that is set on easy mode. It uses florescent light bulbs to light your herbs and veggie plants, and it uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb. The AeroGarden is meant to be reused over and over, and it can supply you with herbs, lettuce, or vegetables for months. It’s like a miracle-gro for your kitchen!

How to Use an AeroGarden and Why Would You Want One?

An AeroGarden is an indoor garden, so this makes a great solution if you simply don’t have the space to plant a garden. Another benefit to using an AeroGarden is that you don’t have to concern yourself with seasons, soil type, or timing seeds to sprout, or planting those sprouted plants in a garden bed.

There’s almost no need for you to worry about watering your plants or fertilizing it. You will need to add water and nutrients, but the AeroGarden tells you when to do it. If you’ve had trouble growing herbs and vegetables in the past because you don’t give them the attention they need, the AeroGarden could be a huge benefit to you. Plus, traveling can be tricky because whoever looks after your house would need to water and tend to your garden. The good news is that newly planted herbs and veggies and flowers in your AeroGarden won’t need much attention for the first two weeks.

An AeroGarden grows herbs from seed in about four weeks. That means one month after planting the seed pods, you can add fresh herbs to meals anytime. You just snip off what you need, and the herbs keep growing. Some vegetables take a bit longer to get going, such as tomatoes, but once the little red, yellow, and orange fruits start to pop out among the green leaves, you can harvest tomatoes in December, April, or the traditional tomato months of summer.

The Different Types of AeroGarden Options

There are at least a dozen different AeroGarden comparison models, and each one offers different growing space for your plants, and some hold fewer or more pods. Each one can help you grow pretty much whatever you want, but one may be better for herbs, vegetables, or flowers. So determine what are the best things to grow for your needs and then choose a model wisely.

 

This little guy allows you to plant three pods at once, so it’s a small model. You get all of the neat functions of an AeroGarden, such as the automated lights, reminders to add nutrients and water, and a window that lets you see how much water is in the reservoir. The lights are on a rod that slides up and down, and it extends about 10 inches high.

 

You can double the amount of seed pods in this one compared to the Sprout, so you get six spots to plant. The light is a bit more powerful than the one in the Sprout, and the light extends as high as 12 inches, which allows for taller plants. You get the same functions as all the others, such as the reminders and automated lights.

This is the AeroGarden that started it all. The Classic model offers a water level window so you can see how much water the roots are sucking up, but you also have reminders to let you know when you need to add water and nutrients. Like the Harvest, the Classic lights extend 12 inches tall. The biggest difference between this model and the Harvest is the width and depth of the unit – the Classic is a few inches bigger.

The Ultra offers one extra space for another pod, so the total number of seed pods you can plant is seven. This model comes with a stronger light and the light extends up to 2 feet tall, which allows for much taller plants. You get an upgrade on the control panel, which is an LCD screen, and you can customize everything. It’s a few inches wider and deeper than the Classic.

This is a nine-pod grower that includes a 45-watt LED light to grow your plants faster than ever. Like the Ultra, the Bounty includes an LCD control panel to let you choose how your AeroGarden grows your plants. The biggest difference is that the control panel is touch screen rather than using buttons. When it comes to size, it’s identical to the Ultra.

There are many other models, but they’re simply different takes on these models listed here. The newest units offer WiFi control, but that’s about the biggest difference.

How to Choose the Right AeroGarden for You

So, which one is right for you? It comes down to what you want to grow and how much you want to grow. Chances are, you’re going to want more than one AeroGarden, if you have the space for it.

Your Space

An AeroGarden can take up a lot of counter space if you let it. The biggest ones are nearly a foot deep and almost a foot-and-a-half wide. You’ll also need to make sure, if you get the large one, that you have about 2 feet of clearance above the unit.

How Big is Your Family?

If you’re growing a garden for yourself only, then the AeroGarden Sprout could be enough for you. Keep in mind that it’s only three pods’ worth, so you won’t get much variety. If you’re hoping to grow enough tomatoes for a salad almost every night for a family of four, you’re likely going to want to spring for a larger unit.

Do You Want Lots of Variety?

Go for the largest unit that holds nine pods to grow herbs, lettuce, and vegetables. Or you could always pick up more than one to keep herbs and veggies separate.

To really decide which AeroGarden is right for you, read the reviews below. These are the best of the bunch, and there’s one in particular that seems to be the best choice for all garden growers.

Which AeroGarden is Best: The Reviews

AeroGarden Ultra (LED) with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Quick Info

  • Pod space: 7
  • Light type: LED
  • Wattage: 30W
  • Adjustable lamp arm: 24″
  • Control panel: LCD screen, buttons
  • Dimensions: 17.25 W x 11.25 D x 15-34 H inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Germination: Guaranteed

In a way, the AeroGarden Ultra with LED lights is like magic. After placing the pods, adding water and nutrients, and plugging in the machine, it starts working to grow your seeds into seedlings, and then the plants start shooting up like you won’t believe. Within the first few days, you’ll see growth. Depending on what you’re growing, you’ll be able to start harvesting in a few weeks.

This Ultra model is one of the larger units, so you can plant up to seven different types of plant at once. There’s plenty of room for plants to grow tall and wide, so you can have lots to harvest after a month of growth. In fact, many have noted that they had to prune often to keep plants from growing wildly out to the sides or to the top of the light lid.

You will end up paying more up-front for the LED lighting top, but it will be worth it on the electricity you’ll save. The AeroGarden is likely to be on anywhere from 12 to 24 hours per day, depending on the cycle your plants are in. Regular lights eat up more energy than LEDs, so it’s to be expected. The LCD screen displays all the information you need about your plants and how they should be faring. It lets you know when you should water, add nutrients, or harvest. One issue you may encounter is that the screen is incredibly bright, and there’s no way to adjust the level of brightness.

This indoor garden appliance looks great on any countertop, but the plastic parts seem a bit flimsy, so handle it with care. This Ultra unit comes with an herb seed pod kit and a bottle of nutrients, so all you need to do is add water.

Pros

  • Quiet pump
  • Inexpensive to run
  • Looks great
  • Grows plants quickly

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Plastic seems flimsy
  • LCD screen is bright
Z

Best Suited For

If you’re looking for a large unit to grow up to seven different varieties of plants, the AeroGarden Ultra could be a good choice – plus, you’ll save money in the long run having the LED lights.

AeroGarden Bounty with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Quick Info

  • Pod space: 9
  • Light type: LED
  • Wattage: 45W
  • Adjustable lamp arm: 24″
  • Control panel: LCD screen, touch screen
  • Dimensions: 17.25 W x 11.25 D x 15-34H inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Germination: Guaranteed

A hydroponic countertop garden grower like the AeroGarden Bounty is a fun way to make sure you eat your vegetables. As with any AeroGarden model, it’s a mess-free process. You simply plant the seed pods in each little pod hole, and then add water and nutrients, then wait for seeds to turn to seedlings, and start sprouting up. For example, if you choose to plant the herbs that are included with this model, you should see little herbs sprouting up out of the holes before the end of the first week, and by week five, you’ll have enough herbs to harvest for pretty much anything you want to make – pesto, anyone?

Unlike most other AeroGarden models, the Bounty has a touchscreen LCD display, which is easy to use, and it allows you to customize the settings to your preference. The LED lights automatically turn on and off to give your plants the optimum amount of light needed to help them grow strong and quickly. Plus, LED lights are much more energy-efficient than incandescent or fluorescent. This means it’s a more eco-conscious choice, and you’ll save money on your electricity bill.

Although the people at AeroGarden say you can grow anything in this unit, you’re going to have space issues with something like zucchini or watermelon. If you keep it to plants such as lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, and strawberries, though, you should have fantastic results.

Perhaps the best part about this AeroGarden Bounty is that it offers nine different pod spots for you to grow even more plants. The size of the unit is the same as the seven-pod models, so you can still fit it in the same space. Plus, this is so easy to use that you don’t need to have any gardening experience to be successful in growing your own indoor salad. By the time everything reaches maturity, you’ll likely have enough lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs to make a side salad a day for yourself, at least.

Pros

  • Includes nine pod spots
  • Touchscreen LCD display
  • Comes with seed kit
  • Grows plants quicker than ever

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Water alarm isn’t accurate
  • No water window
Z

Best Suited For

For the most variety, you may want to choose the AeroGarden Bounty, which offers you nine pod spots for growing herbs and vegetables.

AeroGarden Classic 6 with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Quick Info

  • Pod space: 6
  • Light type: LED
  • Wattage: 20W
  • Adjustable lamp arm: 12″
  • Control panel: Push button
  • Dimensions: 16 W x 11 D x 15-21 H inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Germination: Guaranteed

Aside from being effective, the AeroGarden Classic 6 is also perhaps the best size for those who want to grow a little bit of everything. You get six pod spots in this unit, which is plenty of room for you to try out a variety of herbs or different types of lettuce. It has a smaller footprint than some of the larger AeroGarden countertop gardens, but it’s still a good size to handle all the growth you should see.

Just like any other AeroGarden unit, you simply add seed pods, water and nutrients, and then get it started. The control panel is easy to use with its few options – you just select the appropriate program for what you’re growing (vegetables, salad greens, herbs, flowers, etc.) and let it do its thing. The lights will automatically turn off or on, depending on the setting.

There’s a reminder on the control panel for when you need to add nutrients, which is helpful, but nothing to let you know to refill the water reservoir. The good news is that there’s a water window, so you can see for yourself whether your AeroGarden Classic needs topping off.

You won’t be able to grow extra-tall plants in this indoor hydroponic garden because the light topper only extends an extra foot tall, but if you’re buying this for its smaller size, you’re likely fine with that. AeroGarden includes an herb seed kit with six different herbs and a bottle of nutrients to get you started. Many people have reported getting defective seeds that don’t sprout, but AeroGarden will send you new ones if you have issues. You may find that the machine is a bit loud and the lights are quite bright, so be sure to choose an out-of-the-way spot for your garden.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Includes herb kit
  • Uses LED lights
  • Has water window

Cons

  • Pump may be loud
  • Seeds sometimes don’t sprout
  • Lights are very bright
Z

Best Suited For

If you have a smaller space, the AeroGarden Classic 6 could be your best bet for growing fresh herbs and vegetables indoors.

AeroGarden Harvest Elite with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit, Stainless Steel

Quick Info

  • Pod space: 6
  • Light type: LED
  • Wattage: 20W
  • Adjustable lamp arm: 12″
  • Control panel: LCD, buttons
  • Dimensions: 10.75 W x 7.5 D x 10.5-17 H inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Germination: Guaranteed

Growing plants and herbs indoors with the AeroGarden Harvest Elite can be quick, easy, and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of space. This model from AeroGarden is significantly smaller than the other models that hold six pods. Granted, you won’t be able to grow your herbs, lettuce, or tomatoes as tall and wide as you could in one of the larger units. In fact, this unit may be too small for your needs.

As with any AeroGarden indoor hydroponic garden-growing appliance, the Harvest Elite is easy to use. Simply load each pod spot with a seed pod, and then add water and nutrients to the bowl underneath. Choose the program that works best for what you’re growing and then wait. You won’t have to wait long. Between the hydroponic method and the LED lights, you should see seedlings in just a few days, and a few inches of growth within a week or two. For herbs, you could be harvesting the leaves within a month or even less.

The LCD display gives you reminders of when you should add water or nutrients. You shouldn’t have to worry about the lights, though, as it’s all automated. The display even has a counter for the number of days since you planted your garden and a countdown for when you’ll need to add nutrients and water again. It’s like having garden training wheels.

If aesthetics is important to you, this AeroGarden should please you. The stainless steel looks great on any countertop, but it’s still plastic. That means it’s still lightweight, while looking stylish. The pump is relatively quiet, so you shouldn’t have a problem there. Many have complained that their units stopped working within months, but there’s a one-year warranty on all AeroGardens, so you should be able to get a replacement or parts repaired, if needed.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Smaller footprint
  • Energy-efficien
  • Reminders for water, nutrients

Cons

  • May be too small
  • “Lemons” seem common
Z

Best Suited For

When you want an indoor garden with lots of variety, but you have very little space on your counters, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite could be your best solution.

AeroGarden Sprout LED with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

Quick Info

  • Pod space: 3
  • Light type: LED
  • Wattage: 10W
  • Adjustable lamp arm: 10″
  • Control panel: Push button
  • Dimensions: 5 W x 11 D x 10.5-15.5 H inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Germination: Guaranteed

The AeroGarden Sprout is the smallest unit available, and it’s also the most affordable. This little guy only allows you to plant up to three different plants at a time, but if that’s all you need, it could be a good addition to your kitchen. The LED lights are lower-powered than the other models, but 10-watt bulbs should be enough to grow herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, and other plants rapidly.

You get a gourmet herb seed pod kit with this unit, so you’re able to get started using your AeroGarden Sprout right away. Just drop the seed pods into the unit, add nutrients and water, and choose the right setting on the machine. A day later, you should see little seedlings or even sprouts coming out the top of the pod spots.

There is a reminder on the display to add nutrients by way of a little light that, well, lights up. As far as knowing when to add water, you’re going to have to keep an eye on the reservoir window. You won’t have to babysit the LED lights, though. The machine handles how much or little light your plants need based on the program you choose.

Two things you need to be aware of with this unit. One, it is a small unit – it’s only 5 inches wide and 11 inches deep. That doesn’t offer a ton of room for plants to spread out. Plus, the adjustable arm with the lights on goes as high as a little over a foot. So, this may be ultimately too small for what you want to grow. Second, the aerator gets clogged easily, if you ask Sprout users.

AeroGarden cautions you about this. You’ll need to clean your Sprout every few months to keep it from clogging, or get a replacement part.

Pros

  • Super small footprint
  • Inexpensive
  • Uses LED’s
  • Reminds you about nutrients

Cons

  • May be too small
  • Needs frequent cleanings
Z

Best Suited For

The AeroGarden Sprout is a great choice for you if you only want a handful of herbs continuously growing on your countertop, but it may be ultimately too small.

Conclusion

When choosing an AeroGarden, you likely have a checklist of features and needs that you use to make sure you get the right one. That’s to be expected – not everyone has the need for nine different herbs or lettuce varieties, nor the space. Plus, the smaller the unit, the more affordable.

Overall, though, the best AeroGarden model that is the best value and hits most of the wants and needs on almost anyone’s checklist is probably the AeroGarden Ultra (LED) with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit. It’s a bit more expensive than the basic AeroGarden models, but it’s worth it for the seven pod spots, the 30W LED lights, and the extra room your plants will have to stretch out a little.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she’s not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

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