Hey friends, the testing phase for the Aerogarden Sprout hydroponic system has come to an end. I’ve had the chance to try it out and I’m excited to share my thoughts with all of you.
During my experience, I’ve discovered both the positives and negatives of this device. Additionally, I’ve explored alternative options, which I’ll be discussing in detail here.
My rating of the Aerogarden Sprout
|Impact on comfort||10|
|Ease of maintenance||6|
During my testing, I assigned the Aerogarden Sprout a remarkable score of 83 out of a possible 100 points. This score is particularly impressive for a hydroponic system in its category.
On average, the device achieved a score of 8.3 out of 10. Now, let me provide you with a detailed account of how I conducted the tests and explain the reasons behind the grade I awarded in each specific category.
The Aerogarden Sprout stands out as one of the smallest hydroponic systems currently available. Despite its simplicity, it remains remarkably effective.
The grow deck of the Sprout features three holes, distinguishing it from most other Aerogarden models. While other models employ a more advanced deck design that circulates water among the plants, the Sprout opts for a simpler approach.
With a capacity of just over one liter, the bowl holds an adequate amount of water. Although there is no water level sensor, a convenient window allows you to easily monitor the water level. The pump is equipped with a filter, a valuable feature that ensures water is infused with oxygen to promote plant growth.
The LED lights of the Sprout are relatively low-powered at just 10 watts. This may result in slower plant growth compared to models such as the Harvest. Additionally, a single button controls the light function, and it conveniently blinks as a reminder to add plant food.
The primary advantage of this model is its compact size, enabling it to fit effortlessly in any space, even on a small shelf. Overall, the Aerogarden Sprout can provide you with fresh herbs for your culinary needs.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 7/10 for technology.
The Aerogarden Sprout’s LEDs have the capability to provide 20,000 lux of light at the lowest position, which is quite impressive. However, compared to other systems, the plant growth rate doesn’t reach the same level.
Furthermore, as I previously mentioned, the Sprout lacks the typical water distribution system found in other Aerogarden models. This also has a slight impact on its overall efficiency.
On a positive note, the plant food used in the Sprout is the same as the rest of the Aerogarden lineup, so it performs well in that regard.
On the other hand, it’s important to note that such a compact system shouldn’t be expected to be extremely efficient. Its primary goal is to occupy minimal space while still providing plants.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 7/10 for efficiency.
The device’s quality is exceptional, encompassing both its materials and assembly. This level of excellence is characteristic of all Aerogarden models.
To begin with, let’s highlight the grow deck. It is constructed with a matte plastic in a light gray hue. Its tactile feel is highly pleasing, and all plastic components exhibit a sturdy appearance.
Regarding the pump and LEDs, they also exude reliability. The manufacturer asserts that the LEDs have a lifespan exceeding four years.
One minor drawback pertains to the power plug. It doesn’t fit snugly into the socket, resulting in flickering lights when the device is touched.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 9/10 for quality.
Sprout is incredibly user-friendly. I had the system up and functioning within minutes, and it didn’t require any prior knowledge or skills from me.
All I needed to do was refill the water and plant food. Monitoring the water level through the window and refilling it via the generously sized fill hole was a breeze. It’s worth mentioning that the fill hole also features a clearly marked maximum water level indicator, which is definitely a positive feature.
The system operates automatically for 15 hours and then remains off for 9 hours. I don’t need to intervene in this process at all. If I ever want to turn off the system, I can simply press the button on the light hood, and it will automatically resume its operation the following morning at the designated time.
An added benefit of Sprout is its plant food reminder feature. Every 14 days, the system alerts me by flashing the button, reminding me to add plant food.
One slight drawback is the limited grow height. Personally, I would have preferred it to be higher.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 9/10 for user experience.
Impact on comfort
Sprout is perhaps the most inconspicuous hydroponic system in the room, as it doesn’t cause any discomfort.
The noise emitted by this unit is only 35 dBA, which is equivalent to the average noise level of a typical room without any hydroponics. I would go as far as to say that the Sprout pump operates silently.
Another advantage is that the pump ceases to function when the light is turned off. Unlike most systems that keep the pump running throughout the night, Sprout breaks this norm.
The light emitted by Sprout doesn’t bother me either. While there isn’t an option to dim the light, the LEDs have a low power output, so everything is perfectly fine in that regard.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 10/10 for impact on comfort.
Ease of maintenance
Sprout is a compact hydroponic system, making it fairly easy to relocate to the sink for water drainage. The small bowl also facilitates quick and hassle-free cleaning.
However, removing the bowl requires me to disconnect the pump wire from the base, which can be quite challenging. The issue lies in the fact that my fingers don’t fit well in the space where the plug enters the socket. Consequently, I need to employ a tool to accomplish this task.
The second concern pertains to the pump, which is secured to the bowl with difficult-to-unlock latches. Thus, cleaning the pump and filter requires some exertion on my part.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 7/10 for ease of maintenance.
I utilized the support chat feature on the Aerogarden website and received a prompt response within minutes. The operator I interacted with was amiable and assisted me in resolving my issue.
Additionally, the company’s website includes a contact page with a form. By completing the form, you can submit a support request, and they will provide a response. Furthermore, there are sections on the website dedicated to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and manuals for all of the company’s devices.
If you are an active Facebook user, you can find several groups related to Aerogarden, including the official group. By joining this group, you have the opportunity to ask any question and receive answers, given the large number of members present.
I give Aerogarden Sprout a 9/10 for customer support.
In this section, I will share the details of the harvest I achieved with the hydroponic system and the associated costs.
|Grow sponges||3 Pcs||$0.72|
|Plant food||12 ml||$0.28|
It took approximately a month and a half from the initial setup to the point of harvest. While the hydroponic system provided pre-seeded sponges, I still took note of them as I will need to purchase new ones for the second cycle.
I also kept track of the plant food usage. Over the course of 45 days, I used approximately 12 milliliters of plant food. Additionally, the system consumed 8.7 kWh of electricity.
Considering all my expenses, the total cost amounted to $2.56. As a result, I successfully harvested one bush each of dill, Thai basil, and curly parsley.
Overall, I consider this to be a satisfactory outcome, especially considering that each bush cost me less than a dollar. Furthermore, if I had opted for cheaper (non-original) sponges and plant food, the overall cost of the plants would have been even lower.
I give Aerogarden Sprout an 8/10 for operating costs.
The market offers numerous third-party manufacturers that produce consumables compatible with Aerogarden models. As a result, these consumables are an excellent choice for the Sprout model.
Let’s start with the growing sponges. There are various alternative brands available, and I will mention a few popular ones below.
|Brand||Price for one sponge|
Moving on to the baskets, there are also several alternative options that can be found at reasonably affordable prices. The same applies to stickers used in the system.
Lastly, let’s talk about plant food. You have the freedom to use any hydroponic plant food of your choice. However, it is worth noting that the original Aerogarden plant food is highly effective and relatively inexpensive, especially if you purchase the 1-liter bottle.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 10/10 for proprietary.
The Sprout used to be priced at over $70, making it overpriced considering that you could purchase hydroponic systems twice its size for the same amount of money.
However, there have been recent changes. The price of the Sprout has decreased, allowing it to compete with similar devices in the market.
Furthermore, there are frequent promotions where this device can be purchased for an even lower price. Personally, I managed to buy it for $25. The company offered me this discounted price because I also purchased the Aerogarden Bounty from them.
Naturally, there are cheaper alternatives available, which I will discuss below, but their quality does not match that of the Sprout.
I give the Aerogarden Sprout a 8/10 for price.
This system is ideal for individuals with limited space. The Sprout is compact enough to fit on a small shelf or nightstand.
It can function as a secondary hydroponic system for growing herbs, or as an introductory device to gauge your interest in hydroponics.
However, it’s important to note that due to its design, you shouldn’t expect exceptional productivity from the Sprout. If you desire more robust hydroponics, it would be advisable to explore devices with larger reservoirs and more powerful LED lighting. Naturally, such devices will come at a higher cost and require additional space.
Pros and Cons
|Compact size||The LEDs are a little weak|
|Low costs||No Wi-Fi/App|
|Reliable pump||Maintenance difficulties|
|Plant food reminder||Low growing height|
|Large fill hole|
|Many alternatives of consumables|
|Almost no impact on comfort|
|Quality of materials|
|Product Feature||Aerogarden Sprout||Inbloom 5Pods||LetPot 5Pods||ScienGarden 3 Pods|
|Size (HxWxD)||13.9″x3.7″x11.8″ (35.5×9.5x30cm)||17.2″x10.2″x5.4″ (43.6×25.9×13.7cm)||16.3″x8.7″x5.3″ (41.4x22x13.4cm)||13.4″x3.5″x11.8″ (34x9x30cm)|
|Number of pods||3||5||5||3|
|LED power||10 W||24 W||12 W||15 W|
|Tank capacity||1.1 L||2.5 L||1.5 L||1.1 L|
|Max grow height||9.4″ (24 cm)||12″ (cm)||15″ (38cm)||10″ (25.4cm)|
|Min grow height||5.9″ (15 cm)||1″ (9.3cm)||4.3″ (10.9cm)||5.9″ (15cm)|
|Low Water Reminder||No||Yes||Yes||No|
To wrap up, the Aerogarden Sprout is an excellent hydroponic system that offers both practicality and enjoyment. Its compact size and user-friendly design make it a convenient choice. With this system, you can grow herbs and leafy greens with ease.
While the Aerogarden Sprout has its pros and cons, it stands out as one of the most affordable and high-quality options available in the market.
I wish you the best of luck in your hydroponic endeavors!