- I’ve had the AeroGarden Harvest (currently under $100) for more than a year and I have grown 3-feet tall dill, basil the size of my palm, and tiny but delicious tomatoes.
- AeroGarden’s hydroponic and self-watering countertop gardens make it easy to grow your own herbs, flowers, greens, and vegetables with just water and patience.
- Even though most of the “planting” was already done by AeroGarden, watching your seeds germinate and grow is rewarding, and the fresh results are delicious.
- Read more: The best indoor herb gardens
I’m the type of home cook who feels pretty darn good about herself after adding eggs, herbs, and vegetables to instant ramen. It’s largely due to the fact that my AeroGarden Harvest produces a jungle of fresh herbs and vegetables that I can “pick” every time I need them.
I received the Aerogarden as a holiday gift, and even more than a year later, it’s been the gift that keeps on giving. I mean, look at these basil leaves my husband and I were able to grow within three or four months of setting up the planter.
The Aerogarden Harvest only uses water to grow herbs, vegetables, and even flowers
- Jada Wong/Business Insider
The Harvest is a hydroponic indoor garden that uses water – and only water – to grow herbs, vegetables, and even flowers. Most Aerogardens come with a starter pack of seed pods and a bottle of nutrients, which ours did. Our starter pack came with herbs and we’ve bought other packs that include vegetables like tomatoes.
It can take a few months for the seeds to germinate and grow into herbs and vegetables you can use for dishes, but it’s oddly satisfying to know they came straight from your kitchen. We’ve had the Aerogarden for more than a year and have used it twice to grow herbs and tomatoes. I wouldn’t say it saved so much money that the unit paid for itself, but it’s definitely a fun and useful gadget to have in the kitchen.
Set up was easy and took less than 15 minutes
The main unit is basically a large water reservoir with holes for seed pods, and an extendable grow light hood. Included with this base are six pre-planted pods, six plastic lids, and a bottle of nutritious plant food that smells bad but is highly effective. There’s also a basic programmable LCD screen on the base that shows you the time and reminds you to add water and nutrient solution – this has come in super handy since the herbs drink up a ton of water.
The whole thing measures 7.5 by 10.75 by 17 inches at the tallest height. Low kitchen cabinets might not be able to accommodate the Harvest when the light hood is fully extended, which ours didn’t, so we put the unit on the corner of our kitchen table by a window.
The reservoir lid has six holes for the seed pods and a small opening for water, which I found to be too small because our table would suddenly turn into a kiddie pool when I’d have to water the garden. The six pods are pre-seeded to grow mint, dill, thyme, curly parsley, and two types of basil (Genovese and Thai). The pods are labeled with the name of the herb, germination time, and the best area to place them within the base unit’s grow area (front, middle, or back) depending on how tall they can get.
You almost don’t need to read the instructions because it’s intuitive, and doing the steps out of order didn’t really make a difference in my haste to start growing our herb garden.
The correct way to do it, though, is to set the reservoir onto the base, plug the unit into an outlet, fill the reservoir with water, plop on the pods and lids accordingly, and then add the nutrient solution. After that’s all done, set the time so the system can start self-watering every five minutes and count the number of days your pods have been planted and how many until the next nutrient feeding.
The Aerogarden is easy and fun to use, it’s satisfying to see herbs and veggies grow with nothing but water
- Jada Wong/Business Insider
The first few days after I set up our Aerogarden, I found myself staring at it as if the herbs would magically grow before my eyes (they didn’t) and picking up the pods to see if roots had started appearing (they also didn’t). Patience is a virtue that I obviously do not possess.
I never thought I’d say this but being able to grow your own food (even if it’s just herbs) is kind of cool. I like that the unit is pretty self-contained and doesn’t require any soil, so it’s great for small spaces and people who don’t want to deal with bugs and mess.
I also don’t know what was in that nutrient water but it was like steroids for the herbs, especially the basil and dill. I purposely took the photo of the Harvest above next to a bottle of wine to show how ridiculously tall the dill was. For additional context, the dill measures 35 inches from the top of the water reservoir to the top of the plant, which also has started to flower at the very top.
We’ve also used it these past few months to grow tomatoes. They’re on the smaller side, each just slightly wider than a quarter, but they’re still plump and delicious.
- Jada Wong/Business Insider
But the starter pack includes a limited selection of seeds, and the water reservoir’s opening is too small to be efficient
The biggest issue I had with the Harvest was the pod kit that came free with the unit. You only get to choose between a variety pack of herbs, flowers, salad greens, or vegetables. There’s no option to choose only the herbs or flowers you want unless you buy a pod kit separately.
The starter pod pack that came with our unit had six different types of herbs, but we really only liked the two types of basil. Despite how cool it looked, the dill was a waste of space.
One of the pods also didn’t germinate and instead grew weird white mold, which we later found out was actually normal, but had already thrown out.
The watering slot is also quite small. I’m only able to fill up the reservoir without making a mess on the table with a wine bottle because of its small opening.
The bottom line
The AeroGarden Harvest is a fun indoor garden that anyone can appreciate – it’s easy to use and being able to say you grew the herbs that you’re eating is cool. The unit isn’t cheap, but the price can be justified because you’re growing things that you would’ve bought otherwise so it saves you money in the long run. It won’t save you enough to pay for the initial cost of the AeroGarden itself unless you use the same herbs on a daily basis, but I can see it coming in handy nonetheless.
I also like that it’s compact and self-contained so it won’t overwhelm even the tiniest of kitchenettes. I might’ve experienced a little bit of beginner’s luck with my herbs and tomatoes, but I’m super excited to see if I can ride this wave and grow even more with the AeroGarden Harvest.
Pros: Easy to set up, fun to use, edible results
Cons: Basic unit can feel flimsy, expensive for a novelty item, free starter pod kit can’t be customized