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Old 03-30-2012, 11:17 PM
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,944 posts, read 9,731,338 times
Reputation: 6468


A while back, I bought one of these off the Goodwill auction site:

AeroGarden | AeroGardens Indoor Garden Systems Indoor Garden, Seed Kit, Grow Light

I had actually never heard of it before, but after checking to see what they sell for retail, I thought I'd bid on it and see if I could get it for not too much.

I ended up getting it for $26.00, and when it arrived, I was pleased to find out it was brand new, in the original box, and still packed with its original Styrofoam packing.

The only thing "not right" was that it was missing the seed pods that should have come with it. I went to the website and ordered one of the kits; instead of the "ready-made," pre-seeded pods, I ordered the "blanks," so I could seed my own. And then, before I could set it up, one of the cats knocked it off the table and broke the light (luckily, the unit itself didn't suffer any damage), so back to the website to order a new light.

So.....finally, last night, I decided to set it up. For the first go-around, I wanted to try something that would germinate fairly quickly and not be too picky, so I decided to plant lettuce. The instructions said to put "several" seeds in each pod, so I put three.

Well, by this afternoon, less than 24 hours after I set it up, the seeds were already germinating.

So, I'm curious if anyone else has used this product? If so, what do you think?

I'd also appreciate some suggestions about how to make my own "grow sponges," which look to me to be not much more than cones made out of peat (or something similar). I found a YouTube video, where the guy made them out of regular sponges, but I'm not sure how that would work. I did find them on ebay for considerably less than what the Aerogarden website sells them for but if I could make them at home even cheaper, that would be even better.

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Old 10-20-2015, 05:51 AM
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I am not sure about making your own pods. I simply, like you, bought the blank pods online, which seem cheap enough and work well.

I recently purchased, off Amazon from a private seller, a packet of 1,000 buttercrunch lettuce seeds. $1.99 with free shipping. Needless to say, a lot less expensive than buying the lettuce pods from Aerogarden (about $20 for a box of 7 pods).

Said buttercrunch seeds germinated very quickly (24 hours). Mind, after a year or so the leftover seeds will become stale, but even spending $1.99 per year is not bad for having a bunch of heads of lettuce.

I have two Aerogardens: an older one, six pod, that uses an air pump for keeping the water moving, and a newer model, seven pod with LED lights, that uses some other method to pump the water around the container.

Now, the air pump on the older model quit pumping air (although it still makes noise). Looking it up online, it seemed a big, big hassle to find the right pump for the unit, take the unit apart, and replace.

So, I went to a pet supply store, bought a cheap air pump for aquariums, plus some tubing and air-stones, and fed the tube (with air-stone on the inserted end) into the water container. Fixed for less than $15.00, and it moves the water around much better than the old pump ever did.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:13 AM
Location: Wisconsin
1,261 posts, read 861,339 times
Reputation: 1459
You can't use peat to make the replacement seed pods. The peat would just dissolve into the water. It has to be a soil-free medium. The suggestions I've seen for making your own have all been to cut a section of weather stripping and place it in the basket. Really, you just need something to hold the seeds in place, since they are getting all of their nutrients from the water and fertilizer, not from the planting medium.

I see that you already purchased a new light bulb, but you can also find adapters to use a non-proprietary compact fluorescent bulb in the Aerogarden was very savvy and came up with their own proprietary fitting for the bulbs so they could charge more for what is essentially a regular old CFL.

If you're in the Northern hemisphere, it is the perfect time of year to be picking up seeds for your aerogarden, too. The stores around here have their remaining seeds on clearance, so I've seen seed packets going for as little as 20 cents.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:16 AM
12,754 posts, read 7,970,265 times
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I might as well update. My initial batch of buttercrunch lettuce lasted for almost three months. Two weeks ago I cleaned out the two Aerogardens I have, and planted a new batch. I shall be ready for my salads in another week. I hope this pack of seeds will last for at least one more batch.

As for the light bulbs: My newer Aerogarden has the LED light, which is supposed to last for at least five years. As for the older one, when these bulbs lose effectiveness, I purchased a grown light off Amazon (it was on sale), and shall use that when the time comes (i.e., I will move the hood, and rig up the new light to shine down).

I am very pleased at how well the aquarium pump is working. I'm think about buying a second one to supplement the water flow on the new Aerogarden.
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