I bought my Aerogarden Harvest LED last December and got months of herbs and enjoyment from it. I have since bleached and sanitized the system in preparation for round two. Earlier this week I decided it was time to order more pods. While doing so I noticed another system on sale for $100 and being unable to control my impulses, I bought it. I knew my husband would give me a hard time for spending money on something that we don’t actually need but you know what, he buys unnecessary things that are on sale from Amazon regularly so it was fine in my mind. Still, I casually mentioned to him that I ordered replacement pods and another system knowing that being a typical guy, it will go in one ear and out the other as usual. Sorry guys but you know it’s true.
Anyway, back to my impulse shopping. I compared prices on Amazon and the Aerogarden website and deduced that it was cheaper to buy directly from the manufacturer. Plus you can’t order custom seed pod kits on Amazon.
I already had it in my head that this winter I wanted to grow cilantro and chives. I choose three of each. Then I notice that they had the Aerogarden 6 (fluorescent version) on sale for $80. Fluorescent. Pfft. I look at the LED version and it was $20 more. I want. I want. I want! Sold! It came with a heirloom lettuce pod kit. I can see myself now. Eating a salad for dinner from the lettuce that I have grown myself. So I added it to my cart and hit “checkout”. I chose the cheapest shipping option, which I think was $5 and it would take 5-10 days to arrive. But like last time, it only took 3 days to show up at my doorstep. This afternoon. Yay!
I bring the package inside and set it on the coffee table just long enough for me to go upstairs to kiss my dog and kiss my husband. In that order. Don’t judge. Then I head back downstairs to play with my new toy.
My comparison of the two systems. First the AG6 is larger and the base is an odd shape that fits perfectly on my corner plant stand.
It also has more light timer settings, although the herb settings differ between the two, Harvest is 18 hr vs 17 hr for the AG6.
The pump in the AG6 is designed in such a way that you no longer have to worry about the plant roots from going into it. It’s built into the base of the reservoir with a tube that enters the water chamber. The Harvest has a small pump that is secured to the inside of the reservoir and has a small filter for water to circulate through. The problem is that the roots don’t care about the sponge and I was pulling them out of the pump when I cleaned it. The biggest difference that I noticed is that the water in the AG6 is not pumped over the pods like the Harvest. Instead, it is aerated and the pods sit low enough that the bottoms are submerged. I can see this being an issue if the water level ever drops below minimum.
I get my old system up and running with the custom pod kit. I took me a minute to remember that I have to press and hold the reset button for 3 seconds to get the pump to start. Then I bust open my new bad boy and put it together. Very easy. Fill it with water. Add liquid plant food. Add lettuce pods. Plug it in and voila, the light is on and the pump is going.
And now we wait. I will periodically provide an update to show the progress but it will, in no way, be as detailed as my first Aerogarden adventure.
None of the cilantro pods and only one of the chive pods germinated from my custom herb kit after four weeks. I called Aerogarden customer service and explained the problem. The representative looked up my order (which I did as a guest) and replaced the pod kits without any hassle. Additionally, she set up an account for me to see the replacement order (and for my planned future purchases).
I could see the seeds in the pods. I decided to removed them and attempt to plant some seeds that I had at home (rosemary and catnip). We’ll see if they will grow. It appears that I will be receiving four of each replacement pod.
My replacement pods arrived today. I’m going to set them aside while I wait to see how the reseeded pods do.
I have determined that I am not fond of the aeration set-up on the AG6. I somehow managed to let the water level drop so low that some of the roots and pod material dried out resulting in plants wilting or dying. Seemed like one day there was plenty of water, none the next. Although I have been a bit scatter brained after caring for my mom for her last 2 weeks of home hospice. The two largest plants (far front left and far front right) are recovering. The medium sized one (back right) is on the road to recover. One of the two smaller plants (second from the left) is gone, one is hanging on by a thread (second from the right). The runt of the litter (back left) is still hanging out in the back, chilling like nothing ever happened.
On a side note, Aerogarden is having an end of the year sale where select units are 40-50% off using promo coupon Sale16.