Now, I know this isn’t something that everyone has in their kitchens but I’ve had this on my ‘do want’ list for about 4 years now and finally managed to get my hands on one over lockdown. I’ve always loved growing things and where I live right now I have a REALLY tiny backyard and whenever I’ve tried to plant any herbs, either the slugs, the chickens or something else has eaten them all.
So, having a little aeroponic/hydroponic (grown in water or air) herb garden in the kitchen seemed like the perfect solution.
When I received my Aerogarden it was very well packaged and came with a starter kit of 12 different herbs. I started my first garden growing: basil, thyme, mint, parsely and chives. Although this garden has the capacity to plant 9 different plants at the same time, I knew from personal experience that plants can easily get big and crowd each other out so I choose to go with just 4 varieties to start with.
Also included in the box was a small bottle of plant food which I used for the first grow cycle.
It has a really cool, high tech, touch interface and automatic light timers. We have power cuts fairly often here and after the power cut a little message pops up asking me: Did you have a power cut? or Do you want to start a new garden? I thought this was a great feature as when you select ‘I had a power cut’ it keeps all your settings and remembers at what stage your garden is. Love it!
The plant food provided worked really well, I just added 2 capfulls every 2 weeks (the machine told me when to add, very handy). The plants grew, and grew and grew. I ended up making several batches of homemade pesto which was absolutely delicious.
The other plants I found I didn’t use nearly as much as I thought I would and as a result the garden ended up getting rather overgrown. That’s my fault for not pruning them well enough – live and learn. Eventually after about 3 months the plants were massive and had unfortunately acquired some aphids, I’m sure from being too crowded in there. So, chop chop, I had to scrap garden #1 and move onto garden #2.
At this point I’ve learned my lesson about pruning and also am considering taking one of the larger plants (dill if you’re wondering) and putting them in a normal dirt plant pot so it doesn’t overwhelm the other plants I have in there.
I also used up the whole bottle of plant food in garden #1 so am now using other nutrients that are made for hydroponic systems. Plants are growing well and seem happy!
In conclusion, after looking at all the other versions of the Aerogarden that are out there I think the Aero Bounty Elite is big enough to grow most plants in a sizable quantity yet small enough to live on your kitchen counter – unless you have a tiny kitchen, in that case this may overwhelm the space. For reference my kitchen is about 12×15.
Another nice feature of this Aerogarden is the height adjustable light, it goes up to 24″ in height giving you plenty of space so your plants have room to grow. The light is very bright also so keep that in mind.