Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Aerogarden Update

It's been a week and a half now that I've had my little white Aerogarden, and I thought I'd post an update.  It's doing pretty well, for a $30 clearance model.  The plants are growing pretty well, though not as quickly as the videos on the Aerogarden website would have you believe.

The biggest problem I've been having with my little Aerogarden has been the bubbler.  The reviews of this specific model have people saying that the pump stopped working a few days in, so I was prepared for that to happen.  Sure enough, a few days after setting it up, the pump seemed to not be working.  I took the tank off the base, and the pump started working again.  Hmm...  What I found was that the bubbler holes had gotten clogged; who knows if this is because of our hard water, or the sediment from the plants or the nutrients you add to the water.  At any rate, I just poked the holes clear on top, then cleared the tube on the bottom that connects to the pump, and set it back on the base.  Works like a charm!

Of course, it was clogged again in the morning (it seems to happen over night, when the pump is off), so I got out my bead reamer and made the holes bigger.  That really helped.  Now I only have to poke the hole on the bottom every couple of days to get things working. 

Here's the bubbler with bubbles.
I had planted lettuce in two of the pods instead of the herbs, because I'm more of a lettuce person anyway.  They're doing great!  One set of seeds didn't sprout; I'm guessing they're no longer good, since the packet's quite old.  So I took those out and planted some of my new seeds that I got this year, a variety called Magenta. 

Black Seeded Simpson in the middle, and Magenta on the right.

I did plant the basil seeds that came with the garden, and it's finally starting to show its little green face.

Teeny tiny basil seedling just coming up.
Now, as you may recall, I said last time that I might be getting the biggest, nicest, newest model of Aerogarden.  I wasn't sure if I'd get it at the time, but it turns out I did, so now I can tell the story about it.

The night I bought the little Aerogarden at Walmart, I went to Aerogarden's website to see what other models they sold and how much they cost.  They sell a lot of different models, from ones that look like the one I bought, to six and seven hole ones, all the way up to the huge 9 hole models with touch screens and automatic everything.  The really big ones were about $300 (unless you got the stainless steel one, and then it was nearly $400!).  So, curious, I clicked on the black one to read what it had to say, and I noticed something funny.  At the top of the page, it said the model was $300 and would be $250 if you used a coupon they were offering.  However, down below, where you added the item to your cart, it said it was $85.  Hmm...  So I added it to my cart to see if it actually would register, and indeed it showed up as $85 in my cart.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.  Then I added the coupon code, and it came down to $68.  HMMMMMM!

I consulted my husband about the situation.  He was a boy scout for a long time, and his scout friends said he was honest to a fault; when I have a tricky moral issue, I talk to him about it.  Would it be wrong to buy this device knowing that they had to give it to me for the price listed on the website?  Would he think badly of me if I did?  He said that he wouldn't think badly of me, and it was the company's fault for not catching the mistake earlier (he's also a programmer, so he can see it from that perspective too).

So I bought it!

And the company sent it to me!  When it came, the receipt said I'd paid $250, so I checked out my card, and it turns out I only paid the $68.  I even got free shipping.

(They did fix their mistake the next day.  Which is a good thing, because if they hadn't, I was very tempted to go buy another one with a $50 off coupon I had found, and that really would have been wrong.)

And here's my new beauty, the Aerogarden Bounty.

Ooooh, ahhhhh....  Shiny...
And like the little one, it came with a set of seed pods and a bottle of nutrients.  I ordered the heirloom lettuce seed kit with this one.


And for comparison, here's the little one next to the big one.

Aerogarden 3SL next to the Bounty.  Huge difference!
It was pretty simple to set up.  The Bounty has a touch screen that has a walk through when you first start it up.  Just select the type of veggie you're growing, set when the lights will come on and off, add water, nutrients, and seed pods, and there you go.


It's a pretty sleek looking device, too. 


The lights are crazy bright.  I have it set up in our computer room (a large bedroom that has our computers, my sewing machine, Chad's music stuff, and our exercise bike), and at night, we don't even need to turn other lights on.  It's energy effecient, too, because they're LED.  I think the whole thing takes 40 watts.

It has white, blue and red lights so your plants get the kind of light they need to grow.
It's been nearly a week now, so I took some more photos of it last night.  All but three of the pods ahe started growing.




Aerogarden guarantees that the pods will grow, and will send you new ones if you need them.  I asked Chad if that would be wrong for me to get new pods if these ones don't grow, and he said that yeah, it probably would be.  So what I'm thinking about doing is bringing up the three pods from the little garden and putting them in the big one, and then using the little one to either grow tomatoes (yep, you can do that), or start seeds in.  We'll see :)

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