AeroGarden Harvest Review: Carefree Gardening for Brown Thumbs
The truth is I’ve always had two big brown thumbs. I can’t remember how many indoor plants died on me just because I forgot to water them.
On top of that, I like growing plants but not on a large scale. Hydroponic systems like the AeroGarden Harvest solves that problem for me.
First, growing plants with this is kind of like a walk in the park except you don’t have to do any walking. And second, the size is perfect for an average-sized countertop.
But there’s a lot more when you get under the hood. That’s why I came up with this thorough AeroGarden Harvest review.
If you’re in a hurry, skip to the conclusion. Otherwise, grab yourself a cup of coffee and let me guide you-
AeroGarden Harvest Review: In-depth Analysis
No matter how you see it, AeroGardens are man-made machines. It has its flaws along with numerous benefits. First, let’s start with what it offers, and then we’ll talk about the shortcomings-
Setting up Couldn’t Get Any Easier
Care-free gardening and AeroGardens to hand in hand. Sure, what goes on inside the device might be complex might you don’t have to worry about that.
The AeroGarden Harvest manual explains everything you need to do with clear-cut instructions. From unpacking to having it ready to go wouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes. Although you shouldn’t use direct tap water as it contains harmful chlorine. And if you live in a hard-water area, that gives you more reason to use rainwater or distilled water.
After that, you’ve to follow some basic instructions which I’ll be explaining in a second.
6 Pod Slots
The AeroGarden Harvest is capable of growing 6 non-GMO plants organically. Luckily, the manufacturer includes a herb seed kit right in the box. But it gets better.
While they do say the seeds are guaranteed to germinate, you can’t always control nature. So, sometimes the seeds don’t grow into lush plants for various reasons. AeroGarden knew about that.
That’s why you get an instant replacement if the seeds don’t sprout or get damaged somehow.
The integrated motor pump runs at 25-minute intervals, making sure the nutrients are mixed properly and of course, it maintains optimal moisture for the roots.
Free of Soil (No Risk of Pests)
One other fact you should is the pods are free of soil. The sponges are made from pure Canadian Sphagnum Peat, the growing medium doesn’t attract any pests.
And you could get replacement sponges at a cheap price if old ones become unusable. Although there’s a lot more to it, I’ll talk about it after a while.
Bright LED Lights to Maximize Growth
The Harvest model is equipped with a set of full-spectrum LED lights. While it might seem 20-watt lights are a bit underpowered, you’ll know how bright it is once you see them with your own eyes.
The bottom line is the light spectrum and its power distribution were tuned to boost the photosynthesis process. This is one of the major reasons why AeroGarden plants are always on a growth spurt.
Simple, Intuitive Control Panel and Display
Well, before I start I should clarify something. The basic AeroGarden Harvest doesn’t come with a display. It only has three touch-sensor illuminated buttons that let you know whether you need to add something or not.
Now the Harvest Elite model is a bit different. It’s got an LCD display with adjustable settings. The extra control is nice but you need to pay a bit more to have that.
Perfect Size for Countertops
With a dimension of 11 x 8 x 15 inches, the AeroGarden Harvest has a compact that fits into all countertops. Most countertops are already cramped with all sorts of appliances from juicers to slow cookers.
The actual machine itself is small in size, the tall light is what adds up to the height. But it’s still under the basic 18-inch size requirement of countertops, making it a perfect fit.
Timely Reminders and a Vacation Mode
Remember the super-useful control panel? You can depend on it for everything. From letting you know when to add water to remind you to put in plant food, the functionality is amazing.
However, the vacation mode is even better. Similar to the LCD display, this is another thing you get only with the Harvest Elite. If you plan on taking a vacation, simply turn on the vacation mode and it’ll take care of the rest.
Seed Gets Contaminated
The seeds are contaminated because of two primary reasons. One is mold and the other is algae. Even though it’s not really the Harvest’s fault, there’s no denying it happens.
Algae and Mold
Algae spores float around the air so you never know when the seed pod is going to get infected. Everything would’ve been fine if only the algae didn’t suck out all the oxygen in the water.
Once a seed pod is infected, it gets a boost thanks to high-performing LEDs(ironic, right?). As a result, the plant’s health deteriorates faster than you can imagine.
But that’s not the same for mold. Some people think they constrict air circulation but they’re harmless if you really look into it. Nevertheless, you can remove mold with a Q-tip if you want to remove it.
And here’s a quick solution to remove algae-
- Clean the seed pod area with hydrogen peroxide thoroughly to remove any trace of algae.
- You could also add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide every 15 days until you don’t see any algae bloom.
- Another quick method is putting in grapefruit seed extract. As it’s a natural extract, it won’t harm the plants. If there is excessive algae, you need to throw away all the plants. Then, run a bleaching or vinegar solution for 5 minutes to sterilize the hydroponic system.
Roots Get Tangled Because of Compact Space
Sure, the AeroGarden Harvest is a compact hydroponic system that takes minimal space on your countertop. But compact spaces are bad news for roots.
When the plant is young, the roots get plenty of room to grow. But as the plant grows bigger, the roots will become like mushroom clouds.
Now, big and healthy roots are beneficial for a plant. The problem is 6 plants are cramped up in a small space. Before you know it, they’ll get tangled eventually clogging the motor pump.
The solution is to check the condition of the roots when you add plant food. As it grows in water, the roots don’t have to work all the time to gather nutrients. This means you could trim down the excessive roots to keep it tidy.
Too Bright for the Bedroom
Well, this isn’t really a problem if you think about it. But a lot of people like to put AeroGardens in their bedrooms or living rooms.
You won’t be bothered by the LEDs when it’s daytime. But as soon as the sun falls down, you’ll feel how bright it can get. It can feel more in.
The best practice is to schedule it according to your preference. As long as the plants get enough light for a certain time, the timing isn’t a factor.
Even though it’s unlikely, sometimes the seeds inside the seed kits don’t germinate. There are various reasons behind this so I won’t go deep.
The bottom line is it’s an inconvenience that you can’t avoid. However, the good news is AeroGarden will gladly send you a replacement seed kit. Although you can’t expect the replacement if it germinates but fails to survive.
Seed Kits are Rather Expensive(but there’s a cheaper solution)
Buying the AeroGarden Harvest is a one-time investment. But in the long run, the seed kits are what adds up to the cost. The seed kits they provide are top-notch in quality and the customer service deserves appraisal.
Be that as it may, the cost might bother you at one point. But turns out you can make your seed kits with a lot less money.
AeroGarden sells separate Grow Sponges, saving you a lot of money in the process. So, throwing away the seed containers is a no-brainer as you can reuse them if you source the seeds yourself.
However, make sure you sterilize the seed containers with hot water and soap. Even better if you can dip it in a vinegar or hydrogen peroxide solution.
What’s the Difference Between Various AeroGarden Harvest Models?
The AeroGarden Harvest family comes with 5 different variants each targeted with a few extra features. The differences aren’t that noticeable(with the exception of AeroGarden Harvest vs Harvest Elite) but I pointed out all the tiny details so that you know exactly what’s going on-
|Factor||AeroGarden Harvest||AeroGarden Harvest Elite||AeroGarden Harvest 360||AeroGarden Harvest Elite 360||AeroGarden Harvest Elite Slim|
|Material and Finish||Matte Plastic||Stainless Steel||Matte Plastic||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Light Wattage||20W LED||20W LED||20W LED||20W LED||20W LED|
|Display with Control||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Colors Available||Black, White||Black, White, Chrome||Black, White||Black, White, Chrome||Black, White, Chrome|
Do You Need to Clean Your AeroGarden Harvest? If so, Is It a Complicated Process?
You don’t need to clean your AeroGarden every week. But it doesn’t hurt to clean it every once in a while especially when you’re giving it a fresh start. Here’s what you need to need to do-
- Remove the roots from the filters and clean them thoroughly. Replace the filter if needed.
- Fill the AeroGarden with water and put ¼ cup of bleach.
- Run the pump for 5 minutes so that it flushes out everything.
- Throw away the bleach water and refill with clean water.
- Run it again for 5 minutes. That’s it.
- You could use 5 cups of white vinegar if you don’t have bleach or prefer not to use it.
How Much Does it Cost to Run an AeroGarden Harvest?
The AeroGarden Harvest uses about 23-watts(0.023 kilowatts) of electricity. If the hydroponic system runs for 17hours/day for 31 days and the average cost per kilowatt is $0.11, the cost would sit around $1.33 per month.
How long do AeroGarden plants last?
On average, AeroGarden plants can live up to 6 months. But remember that’s only the average. A plant’s life expectancy depends on how you care for it. This is why people have reported plants to last even more than 12 months.
How often should you change the water in AeroGarden?
The manufacturer recommends you keep the water filled to the brim at all times. When the plants are big, you may need to fill them every 2-3 days. But you should replace all the water every month.
The Final Verdict
All in all, the Harvest is an ideal hydroponic system to start your indoor gardening journey. Throughout the AeroGarden Harvest review, you saw that the stress-free operation and time-to-time reminders can make growing plants easier than ever.
Nevertheless, the unit itself feels cramped up when the plants are fully grown. So, make sure you don’t skip the regular pruning and occasional root trimming.