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Do you have an AeroGarden or a similar indoor hydroponics system and wonder what to grow in it? After over ten years of owning one, I’m sharing the best plants to grow in the AeroGarden.
The Best Plants to Grow in the AeroGarden
I’ve owned an AeroGarden (multiple ones, actually!) for over a decade now. Occasionally I’ll post pictures of it on Facebook and am met with plenty of questions about what it is, how it works, and if it’s really worth it.
Today I’m finally sitting down to take the time to answer your questions!
I enjoy having my Aerogarden. While I don’t typically use it in the summer when the full gardening season is happening, I use it all winter. I even call it my “happy light” because seeing the bright lights of the garden and the green plants growing underneath it makes me happy in the winter!
Just an FYI, this post is not sponsored by AeroGarden. I’m simply sharing my thoughts after using one of their gardens for over 10 years.
Keeping reading to learn more about the AeroGarden and the best plants to grow in an Aerogarden in your home!
What Is an AeroGarden and How Does It Work
An AeroGarden is a small, countertop hydroponics system. It uses water and nutrients to help plants grow and mimic perfect outdoor soil growing conditions.
AeroGardens come in various sizes and have space for multiple pods or plants. My current model has space for seven plants.
The Aerogarden consists of a pump, a water holding tank, and a tray to suspend your plants in. This is topped with a grow light. Most AeroGarden’s also have some electronic computer system that tells you when to water them or when to add nutrients. That’s one of my favorite features!
Who Is An AeroGarden For?
AeroGardens are great for those with limited outdoor space or limited indoor lighting. They can be a great solution to having a garden in an apartment, townhome, or rental.
They are also great for those of us who want an indoor garden in the winter or want some greens or fresh herbs growing on our countertop in the kitchen.
Best Plants to Grow in the AeroGarden
The best veggies and fruits to grow in the Aerogarden do not need a pollinator or space for big roots. Some examples that you’ve tried would be:
- Lettuce and Salad Greens (Romaine, Butterhead, and Leaf Style Lettuces work best)
- Asian Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Basil (especially Thai basil and Genovese basil)
- Curly Parsley or Flat Parsley
- Strawberries (from seed)
You can also grow plants like tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and peppers in the Aerogarden if you have one of the bigger models and know how to hand pollinate.
Can You Grow Anything in an AeroGarden?
You can’t grow everything in the AeroGarden. Plants with large roots like beets, potatoes, onions, carrots, or other root vegetables will not have enough space to develop.
Some plants have too large of systems or would need trellising to be planted, such as cucumbers and snap peas.
And other plants have too large a stem to fit into the AeroGarden pods, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
What Flowers Do Well in the AeroGarden?
Yes, there are even flowers that grow well in the AeroGarden! If you prefer to have pretty blooms in your home instead of vegetables, you can plant flowers that do not grow too tall. Some ideas are:
- Baby’s Breath
Can You Start Garden Seeds in the AeroGarden?
Yes! All you need is the Seed Starting Tray which is sold for specific models. I have the Bounty Seed Starting tray for my model of Aerogarden, which holds 50 seedlings. It’s small, but a great way to kick start growing, and you can always transplant the starts into another tray once you’ve got them going.
You could also just start seeds in the regular size pods if the tray doesn’t fit your model.
How to Refill Your AeroGarden Without Buying Kits
Truth be told, I never buy the pre-packaged seed pod kits to refill my AeroGarden each year. Here’s what I get instead.
I save all the plastic components from my original model (the grow domes and the baskets) from year to year. I wash them off at the end of the year and store them for next time.
You can buy the liquid plant food in bulk from Amazon here. This liter container will last a very long time! (Many years!) While I have liquid nutrients for my large outdoor hydroponics system, I have not tried them in the AeroGarden. I prefer to stick with the nutrients/liquid fertilizer that they recommend for their system.
You can also buy bulk packs of Grow Sponges here. You will use one of these as the growing medium with each pod that you plant.
I then use my own garden seeds to plant in the AeroGarden. Once you know what your AeroGarden can grow, it’s very easy to figure out which of your own garden seeds you can plant in it.
How Often Should You Change Plants in AeroGarden?
Depending on what you are growing, you will want to change the plants in your AeroGarden every couple of months.
Many lettuces can be cut back and will come again several times before they should be removed and restarted. Other plants like herbs will be cut from as needed and will last a long time.
When you feel like the growth and production of your plants has slowed, you can go ahead and pull the plants and start new ones.
I typically only start new batches of plants in my AeroGarden once or twice in the winter. Once they’ve slowed their production in the spring, I pull the plants and use the Aerogarden as a seed starter.
If you use tap water to refill your AeroGarden, you may have a little buildup of minerals in the tank or around the plants. If this is the case, it may need to be cleaned a little more often.
How Often Should I Clean My AeroGarden?
The system should be cleaned each time you replace the plants.
Take all of the components apart and wipe them down or wash them out. This is especially important if your plants have grown long roots as they can get caught up in the pump.
Make sure that you also wipe off the grow deck and the inside of the bowl/tank. This is where minerals can build up from your water.
What Is the Best Type of AeroGarden to Buy?
The best type of AeroGarden to buy is the one you will use the most!
I have the older version of the AeroGarden Bounty. I think this is a good, moderately priced model that is worth the electricity it uses for the amount of pod spaces it has.
The AeroGarden Harvest is a slightly smaller (6 pods) version that is a little bit more budget friendly.
The AeroGarden Farm is the largest system that they have and while it’s much higher priced than the countertop AeroGarden models, might be a good fit for you if you cannot have an outdoor garden at all.
I hope that this blog post helps shed some insight into the world on indoor hydroponics systems and “smart gardens”.
For someone who really doesn’t care much for electronics in my kitchen and generally avoids those kinds of purchases, I have to say that I’ve truly loved having my AeroGarden around for the past 10 years. It’s sat faithfully on my countertop through winters in our various homes and even in our RVs.
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Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This post on the Best Plants to Grow in the Aerogarden was originally posted on Little House Living in March 2023.