AeroGarden Smart Garden Review: hydroponics for dummies

AeroGarden Smart Garden

MSRP $165.00

“The AeroGarden Smart Garden provides all the advantages of owning a garden, but not one of the on-your-knees-in-the-dirt work.”


  • Makes it easy to grow nearly anything
  • Handles all of the watering for you
  • Grow lights speed up growth rates
  • Multiple varieties of plants to select from


  • The Harvest model is not compatible with an app
  • Will be somewhat difficult to scrub

Do you fancy yourself a house cook and wish fresh herbs at your fingertips? Are you in search of easy accessibility to basil for pesto or to spruce up jarred marinara sauce? Then a sensible garden could be just the thing you wish — specifically, the AeroGarden Smart Garden.

This unit is designed to take all of the guesswork out of growing plants. I’m pretty handy within the garden (the truth is, I’ve got a potato crop that might be able to harvest in about every week), but I’ve never been capable of keep herbs alive. Chives, basil, rosemary, doesn’t matter — I will discover a option to kill them.

I’m the guy that herbs check under the bed for.

The AeroGarden Harvest with a fresh set of seed pods.

However the AeroGarden made it possible for me to grow a very impressive crop of herbs that I had on-hand for six months. I gathered multiple yields from it before the plants grew too large and needed to be transferred to the bottom.

What’s within the box?

The AeroGarden Smart Garden is available in three different models: the Harvest, the Harvest 360, and the Harvest Slim. The first difference between these models is the variety of plants they support.

The AeroGarden is generally assembled out of the box — you only fill it with water and plant feed, insert the seed pods, and let it work.

I even have the Harvest model, which supports as much as six different plants. The box includes every little thing you want to start, including the pre-planted seed pods, the plant feed, and directions.

Setup took only just a few minutes. It’s mostly assembled out of the box — you only fill it with water and plant feed, insert the seed pods, and let it work.

How smart is the AeroGarden?

While there may be an AeroGarden app, my version wasn’t compatible. As an alternative, I managed all basic functions through the onboard lights. There are three: a green light for plant food, a blue light for water, and a white light for turning the LEDs on or off.

The AeroGarden works on an internal timer. A series of LED grow lights on a telescoping, adjustable stand will shine down on the plants for 15 hours per day. When you plug within the device, that sets the time for the lights to return on, but this will be adjusted as needed.

The AeroGarden Harvest with a full crop of plants.

I set mine as much as shine mostly overnight, but be warned: these lights are brilliant. In any case, they’re presupposed to emulate sunlight. For those who live in a studio apartment, this may not be the perfect option for you unless you possibly can by some means safely block it.

An internal pump circulates water throughout the seed pods. When the water level gets low, the sunshine will flash until you refill it to the suitable level. At first of the grow cycle, I only needed to refill the water about once per week. Near the top, when my plants were fully mature, it was nearly once per day.

You’ll want to put in two capfuls of plant food about every two weeks. The fertilizer is available in a small bottle that is straightforward to tuck away behind the smart garden so you possibly can keep easy track of it.

What are you able to grow?

You don’t plant your personal seeds, although I suppose you might with enough effort. AeroGarden sells pre-planted seed pods of various varieties. Once I started off, I had Genovese basil, Thai basil, lavender, parsley, thyme, and dill.

There are greater than 120 plant varieties to select from between flowers, herbs, and actual vegetables. Prior to writing this, I removed all of the herbs from my garden and planted a set of summer salad greens, but you can even plant cherry tomatoes, microgreens, bok choy, and so way more.

The basil grew almost too well and choked out the thyme.

After planting, you place a small plastic lid on top of the pod. This helps to guard the seed inside until it sprouts. You remove the lid once the sprout is tall enough to the touch it.

Different plants grow at different rates. The dill I planted shot up faster than the rest, however the two varieties of basil quickly overtook it. In actual fact, they grew too well — I actually lost my thyme since the basil roots choked it out.

The seed pods have a germination guarantee. In actual fact, if it doesn’t germinate, you possibly can contact AeroGarden for a alternative. I only had that occur with one in all my plants, and that was because (I’m guessing) the seed fell out of the pod. Every thing else grew, although the thyme didn’t survive.

Day-to-day operation

I like things which you can arrange and ignore. For probably the most part, the AeroGarden is strictly that. It handled the watering and the fertilization of the plants. All I needed to do was a little bit of maintenance every few days. The smart garden lived on my countertop in my kitchen, making it perfect for reaching over to pinch off just a few basil leaves for a spaghetti sauce or grabbing some lavender to make a tea with.

The AeroGarden Harvest on a countertop beside the sink.

It’s not smart in the normal sense. Like I said, there was no app sending push notifications or growth reports to my phone — nevertheless it was actually useful enough that it has held pride of place within the kitchen since I first set it up just after Christmas.

Our take

The AeroGarden Smart Garden is a terrific, affordably priced start line for a sensible garden. At only $165, it makes it easy to have fresh vegetables, herbs, and even flowers in a small space. It takes the guesswork out of growing, even for those with the blackest of thumbs.

Is there a greater alternative?

Without delay, we’re seeing an explosion of smart gardens. A half-dozen different options will be found between the Click and Grow Smart Garden, the Rise Garden, and the Edn Garden, amongst others. There are even options just like the Gardyn which might be as large as a bookshelf and might hold as much as 30 plants. There are a whole lot of alternatives, but whether or not they are “higher” or not is subjective.

How long will it last?

I’ve used the AeroGarden Harvest since just after Christmas and it’s still going strong. Individual plants can survive for a really very long time for those who handle them through regular pruning, and the hardware features a one-year limited warranty that addresses manufacturing defects.

Do you have to buy it?

Absolutely, especially for those who don’t have your personal garden. Living in an apartment, the AeroGarden gave me easy accessibility to fresh herbs and really brought a little bit of spice to my cooking (pun absolutely intended).

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