As the popularity of hydroponics grows, the number of different brands that make hydroponic devices also grows. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which device is best for a particular purpose.
AeroGarden is very good for herbs. Using it you can grow any herb all year round right in your kitchen. In fact, the devices of this brand are best for growing herbs and leafy greens.
Which AeroGarden is best for herbs?
The best AeroGarden model for growing herbs is the AeroGarden Harvest Slim. It has a fairly compact size and can fit on kitchen cabinets right next to where you cook.
This device has six holes for growing plants arranged in a single row. You can plant all the necessary herbs in them and they will all be equally available. It can be placed in the wall and will not take up much space.
The AeroGarden Harvest Slim has a great kit of herbs for cooking:
- Genovese Basil;
- Curly Parsley;
- Thai Basil;
As for size, this hydroponic system is almost 17 inches wide and 6.5 inches deep. The maximum height of growing plants is 12 inches. This size is enough to grow the right amount of herbs for cooking.
Harvest Slim has 20-watt LED lights that provide enough light for the plants to grow well. Plus, you can always place it near a window to get an even bigger harvest.
How long will herbs last in AeroGarden?
AeroGarden claims their herbs can grow and yield for four months. And that’s quite a normal period because it’s not a bit longer in the soil.
You can alternate the holes to get a continuous crop. For example, the herbs from two holes can be used up faster and new ones can be planted in their place. Whereas use the other herbs more slowly.
You can also plant herb seeds from other growers. Buy the seeds of your favorite herbs in a seed store and plant them in AeroGarden. You can save some money this way.
Plus you can plant the seeds in a separate propagator. And when there is a free hole in the hydroponics system, put the seedling there. This way you get an uninterrupted supply of herbs for the whole year.
Is AeroGarden worth it for herbs?
The AeroGarden is definitely worth it for growing herbs. The devices of this company consume a minimum of electricity and it will not hit the family budget too much.
Let’s calculate everything on the example of AeroGarden Harvest Slim, which I mentioned above. This model consumes 23 watts of electricity per hour.
23 watts x 16 hours = 368 watts per day.
Let’s convert the watts to kilowatts:
368 watts / 1000 = 0.36 kilowatts per day.
The average price of a kilowatt of electricity in the U.S. is $0.165 and we get the following:
0.36 kilowatts x $0.165 = $0.06 electricity costs per day.
$0.06 x 31 days = $1,88 electricity costs per month.
Now compare these costs to the price of herbs at your local grocery store. Add to that the time it takes to go grocery shopping and the obvious answer is that the AeroGarden is worth growing herbs in.
How to care for AeroGarden herbs?
Taking care of herbs in the AeroGarden is easy enough. All you need to do is fill the tank with water, add nutrients as the manufacturer recommends and that’s it. Also, don’t forget to put the net pots in the holes with the seeds.
However, there are things you have to pay special attention to. The first is the pH and EC of the nutrient solution. To measure these, buy a multipurpose tester that is available at any hydroponic store.
In general, the average pH of the water should be around 6.0. However, it is best if these values can be adjusted to the needs of the particular plant. Below I give a table with the exact data.
|Plant||Optimal pH||Optimal EC|
There are products available in hydroponic stores to change both pH and EC.
The second thing you have to take care of is a clean system to avoid root rot. Clean the unit every two weeks along with the water change. Use either distilled water or water treated with a UV sterilizer.
Are there alternatives to AeroGarden for growing herbs?
In addition to AeroGarden models, there are a number of other manufacturers of hydroponic systems for growing herbs. In this chapter, I offer you a look at two good alternatives.
The first device worth mentioning here is the Smart Garden 9 from Click and Grow. This is a good quality product with which you can get good results.
It is wide enough but not deep enough and it is very convenient for the kitchen. It has 9 holes arranged in a row which is a definite advantage because it gives easy access to all the plants.
The Smart Garden 9 is a little different from the AeroGarden in that it doesn’t have that water flow. The mesh pots also have a substrate that contains nutrients, so you don’t have to prepare a nutrient solution.
A powerful LED light is able to provide the herbs with enough light. This guarantees you a good harvest.
The second great alternative is the iDOO Hydroponics Growing System. This device has a rectangular shape and 12 holes for growing herbs. The large 4-liter tank will provide enough nutrient solution for all plants.
This device is almost 14 inches wide and 12 inches deep. The growth height is 15 inches which is quite good. Its shape is not as comfortable as the AeroGarden Harvest Slim or Smart Garden 9. But it will fit in any kitchen.
The power of the LED light is 22 watts which are enough for growing basil and other herbs. Plus, you can move it closer to the window to increase your yields a bit.