Who doesn’t just love the taste of freshly picked herbs and vegetables straight from the garden? Not many, I presume. But not everyone has enough time or lawn space – or the green thumb – to grow quality produce on their own. Instead of depending on your local grocery store for your fresh produce, why not give the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden a try? By using an AeroGarden, you can grow nearly any variety of crop – year-round, without soil, and in the comfort of your home. One particular model we love is the Aerogarden Harvest. In this article, we will talk about the benefits of using an AeroGarden, and then give our AeroGarden Harvest review to help you decide if this is the right hydroponics system for you.
Advantages of the Miracle-Gro Aerogarden
Fewer Pests – As with all hydroponic systems, the AeroGarden attract fewer bugs, flies, and other pests. This is because the AeroGarden uses only water and nutrients to grow plants – not soil.
Efficiency – The AeroGarden is a sleek, compact growing machine which takes up only a small area of a countertop. Not only are they space-saving, but they also use minimal amounts of water and electricity to operate, and require only occasional cleaning and maintenance.
High Yields – Because AeroGardens are kept indoors, plants are able to grow year-round and continuously. Once you harvest one crop, you can immediately start on another entirely new crop. The inherent high growth rate of hydroponics combined with the ability to grow continuously translates into high yields. In fact, the AeroGarden Harvest grows plants 5 times faster than plants grown in the soil!
Control – While the pump and grow lights do most of the work, your role is to decide which herbs and vegetables to grow, when to grow them, and when to harvest your crops. The automated control panel will guide along the way, but ultimately you choose the parameters of the grow.
Ideal for Beginners – The AeroGarden is perfect for hydroponics beginners or those want an easy-to-use, less time-consuming way to grow fresh herbs, salad greens, vegetables, flowers, or even cannabis. The automated control panel programs the lights to turn on and off at set times and gives you timely tips and reminders throughout each grow. The only major requirement of the grower is to add water/nutrients when instructed to do so.
The AeroGarden Harvest is a compact tabletop hydroponic system with room to grow up to 6 plants. Like all AeroGardens, the Harvest model uses water and patented nutrients to grow plants naturally. There are no pesticides, no herbicides, and all gardening is entirely GMO-free from start to finish.
The AeroGarden Harvest allows you to grow (herbs, salads greens, flowers, marijuana, or nearly any crop) indoors and year-round without any downtime. Plants grow 5 times faster in the Harvest when compared to conventional soil gardening. As a result, the crop yields of the AeroGarden Harvest are amazing. They don’t call it “Harvest” for nothing!
Compared with other AeroGardens, the Harvest is a mid-sized model (dimensions: 10.75″ W x 7.5″ D x 10.5″-17″). A fantastic, full spectrum 20W LED grow light is included with the kit. It tunes to the specific spectrum that plants need during every stage of growth to maximize photosynthesis – white LEDs for rapid growth, blue for large yields, and red for abundant flowering and fruiting.
The built-in pump ensures that plant roots get the right amount of water, nutrients, and air at all times in order to produce high quality produce for your family to enjoy. A built-in LCD control panel guides you with simple prompts throughout the grow – from setting up your AeroGarden all the way through harvest. All the components you will need are included with every kit, including the seeds!
Grow Light – 20 Watt LED Grow Light Hour Rating – 20,000 Hour Rating Grow Light Spectrum – High performance, energy efficient full spectrum Grow Height – Extends 12″ Number of Plants – 6 Pod Control Panel – Interactive LCD Controller, Automated Grow Lights, Nutrient & Water Reminders Dimensions – 10.75″ W x 7.5″ D x 10.5″-17″ H Finish – High Gloss Plastic Garden & LED Grow Light Warranty – 1 Year Seed Kit Warranty – Germination Guaranteed
When you purchase an AeroGarden Harvest, you will receive all the components you need to start growing within minutes. Even better, no tools or mechanical know-how are required at all.
Each kit includes: a reservoir, reservoir lid with holes for 6 plants, a full spectrum, energy-efficient 20W LED grow light (extending 12″ in height), interactive LC control panel with automation for grow lights and instructional tips, and a 6 Seed Pod Kit. The 6-Pod Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit comes pre-seeded with Genovese Basil, Curly Parsley, Dill, Thyme, Thai Basil and Mint seed, and also includes 3 oz. patented nutrients (plenty for a full season of growth), plastic grow baskets pre-filled with a sphagnum peat moss grow media, and 6 plastic humidity domes to help create a moist environment for germination. The Harvest is completed with an attractive high-gloss plastic finish.
Unboxing the AeroGarden Harvest
Anyone – I mean anyone – can set up an AeroGarden Harvest. It requires no tools and can be assembled within minutes.
Once you have unpacked the contents of the box, insert the seed pods (grow baskets with prefilled with grow media and seeds) into each of the 6 holes on the reservoir lid. Snap down the humidity domes on top of the grow baskets. Then add pH-neutral water to the reservoir until you reach the fill line (if your tap water contains chemicals, use distilled water). Mix in the nutrients as per the instructions. After your reservoir is ready, next you are ready to program the LCD control panel. Simply follow prompts on the screen to set correct germination mode and to automate the grow lights to turn on and off. Select “herbs” if you are growing herbs, “tomatoes/peppers” if you are growing tomatoes, and so forth. As you can see, setting up your AeroGarden Harvest is a breeze.
Now you are Ready to Grow
Once your AeroGarden has been programmed, adjust the LED grow light as close to the seeds as possible (ie, at its lowest height). This will provide the necessary spectrum during germination. Most seeds will sprout within a week or two. Once the seedlings reach the tops of the humidity domes (typically week 2-3), remove each dome so that seedlings can begin to grow under direct light and in the open air.
As your plants become taller, keep the LED grow light a just few inches away from the vegetation. This will help with photosynthesis for faster and healthy growth. Since the pump and grow light do most of the work, all you really have to do from then on is to follow the reminders and tips as they appear on the LCD screen, and add water and nutrients as directed. It’s really that simple!
Aerogarden Harvest Results
To say that the AeroGarden Harvest grows plants quickly would be an understatement. We found that basil and dill are the first to really shoot higher, but the other herb varieties were soon to follow. In most cases, you can begin to gradually harvest your herbs within a few weeks of sprouting, We usually let them do their thing for about a month before trimming back the growth. For best results, keep your plants trained so that no vegetation that reaches outside of the grow lights illumination zone. In other words, make sure all of your plants are getting light. We also recommend keeping taller plants in the back row and shorter plants in the front.
Plants can remain growing in an AeroGarden Harvest for up to 6 months. We usually do our final harvest at around the 3-month mark, and then immediately start over with a new Seed Pod Kit. This allows us 4 complete separate grows per year. However, you may opt for a different time allowance. It’s up to you. Regardless, you will be amazed at the crop yield for such a small grow system!
Just remember to thoroughly clean your reservoir and remove all root debris from your system between each new grow. Do not leave any cleaning solution behind, as introducing chemicals in the system can harm your plants.
Seed Pod Kits
While the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Harvest comes standard with a Gourmet Herbs seed pod kit, the company also sells kits for salad greens, cherry and heirloom tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and more. However, if you what to grow your own seeds in an AeroGarden, consider purchasing the AeroGarden Grow Anything Seed Pot Kit. These kits include the grow media, grow baskets, humidity domes, and fertilizer. You simply add a seed of your choice to the pod and begin growing it as you would with a regular AeroGarden Seed Pod Kit. Get creative and grow your favorite type of lettuce, tomato, flower, cannabis, or whatever.
AeroGarden Harvest has been rated a top pick AeroGarden by online retailers and we think we know why. This particular model offers a good mix of functionality and value. It’s highly efficient, produces amazing yields for such a compact system and has quality components like a 20W LED grow light and LCD control panel for effortless growing. All of these features are included and the Harvest still reasonably priced. Sure, AeroGarden offers more advanced models with more pods, growing height, and fancier technology. However, those also come with a steeper price tag. Overall, the AeroGarden Harvest is perfect for someone who wants to try hydroponics for the first time, or who just wants a highly effective indoor growing machine without spending an arm and a leg.
A Final Note
Keep in mind that the grow light hood extends to 12” (and not 24” like the AeroGarden Extra, Ultra, Bounty, and Farm models). as such, we highly recommend the AeroGarden Harvest for growing fresh herbs, salad greens, and other low profile veggies. Any of the AeroGarden Seed Pod Kits will work just fine – including the tomatoes and peppers. However, if you plan on growing your own seeds via the Grow Anything Kit, you may want to upgrade to one of the 24″ H AeroGardens. That said, most people will find the Harvest to be more than adequate.