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If you've recently come into possession of an Aerogarden, chances are you're excited but also potentially a little overwhelmed.
So, to put your mind at ease, here's everything you need to know about using your brand new Aerogarden:
1. When the light on your Aerogarden blinks, it means it's time to water or feed your plants.
Once you've done the required watering or feeding, press the button. It will start blinking again the next time your plants need some attention. If the light isn't blinking, your plants are content!
2. Plants in an AeroGarden typically grow around five times faster than they would if they were planted in a regular garden.
For example, in regular soil it takes between four and five weeks for a basil seed to germinate and grow "true leaves" (aka usable adult leaves that come after the baby "seed leaves"). Herbs grown from an Aerogarden seed pot kit generally take around 35–40 days to become fully grown. And what about tomatoes, you ask? Well, in the Aerogarden you can expect to be harvesting edible fruits after 12–14 weeks. (If your tomato seeds were planted in an outdoor garden, you'd be waiting more than six months.)
3. And while it depends on the plant, most seeds will sprout in anywhere between 3–14 days.
Watching your greens grow from seeds is almost as fun as eating them.
4. Salad greens can be fully grown in just 28-35 days in an Aerogarden.
Did you ever think you'd literally grow your own salad?! I definitely didn't.
5. If you're interested in growing vegetables in your Aerogarden, tomatoes and peppers are two of the ideal ones to start with.
Just get the veggie seed kits and grow away.
Get a cherry tomato kit from Amazon for $14.44.
6. When choosing plants to grow in your Aerogarden, consider how much growing space your model has.
The Goodful Aerogarden, for example, has 12" of growing space, so any plant that needs to grow beyond that height won't be suitable. For example, kale is too large a plant to grow in an Aerogarden, as are fruits that grow on shrubs or trees, like lemons and raspberries. Vegetables like carrots and potatoes also won't work as they need space to root and grow.
7. You can grow strawberries in some Aerogardens (!!!), you just have to add a specially designed grow bowl.
If you have an AeroGarden Ultra, Bounty, or Bounty Elite garden, you can add this bowl, along with pre-packaged strawberry seed kits, to grow these tiny sweet fruits from the comfort of your own home. (Sadly, you can't grow strawberries in the Goodful Aerogarden.)
8. If you want to grow something that isn't sold in a pre-packaged seed pod, grab a grow anything kit.
You can grow almost anything in an Aerogarden: snap peas, cucumbers, bell peppers, red chiles, and yes — if you were wondering — you can definitely grow weed.
Get a grow anything kit from Amazon for $9.39.
9. You can also grow flowers in your Aerogarden.
Lavender, petunia, and snapdragons are all available in seed pod kits. If you want to grow another species of flower grab a Grow Anything kit and plant away. The only flowers that won't work in the Aerogarden are those that grow especially tall like sunflowers, or those that grow in large bushes, like roses.
Get a petunia kit from Amazon for $19.95.
10. In most areas, tap water is fine for watering your plants. However, if you're concerned about water quality, keep an eye out for poor growth and yellowing or brown leaves.
Rain, well, and spring water is not recommended for watering your plants due to varying levels of minerals. If you have especially hard water in your area (this is more common in south and southwest of the US), Aerogarden's liquid nutrients can help condition it, making it fine for your seeds and plants.
11. Avoid putting different sized plants next to each other, as the taller ones will shade the smaller ones from the light.
Basically, don't plant tomatoes next to a small herb, like mint. If you do, that mint just isn't going to thrive.
12. And remember to prune your plants, so they stay healthy and don't block light to slower growing plants.
Avoiding pruning is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a dedicated Aerogarden owner, so don't be afraid to give your leafy children regular haircuts. When pruning, use scissors or gardening shears to cut any overgrown stems or flowers from your plant, as well as any dead leaves.
When pruning flowers, cut off any leaf or stem that's shading lower sections of the plant. Cut stems just above a set of leaves, and always leave at least one-third of the plant as is. When pruning herbs, pay the most attention to fast-growing plants like basil, mint, and dill, as they will require the most trims. Pruning will encourage new growth from your plants and help neighboring plants thrive.