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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/6/2017, 11:00 am

I got the styrofoam version of the tray they make for the classic models free with some other purchase. With the switch to a plastic tray they've probably fixed the problem where the holes in the styrofoam tray were sometimes a little wrongly sized, resulting in a too tight or too loose fit for the plugs. Plastic is probably also sturdier and longer lasting. My styrofoam tray is missing a few bits here and there.

Here's why I didn't keep using mine:
Cost: The refill plugs cost about 30 cents USD (38 Canadian cents?) each (a bag of 50 is about $15 USD (?$19) for just the plugs). Compare that to the price of a bag of seed-starting mix and putting a regular seed-starting cell-tray atop the regular platform (i.e. just using the light portion of the aerogarden.)

Finesse required: I found I needed to use tweezers to put small seeds into the tiny holes in the plugs.
It can be tricky to remove the transplants without damaging them if the roots have grown too long. I guess it's the same for a cell tray, but it felt like the roots grew faster in the Aerogarden. It also felt weird pulling just the plugs that were ready and trying to figure out the best way to get the dripping things to the garden (since different plants were ready at different times.) They don't stay upright without the tray, and/but you don't want to expose the roots to air for long. Pulling young tomato plugs and putting them straight over into pre-filled small pots was easy enough, but getting plugs out to the garden was awkward.

And a minor point, while the plugs are biodegradable, they don't break down quickly. I still occasionally find them in the garden, still pretty identifiable - and it's been over two years.
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Post  yolos on 12/6/2017, 11:26 am

I bought the seed starting tray last year but for some reason that I can't remember, I did not use it to start any seeds last year ?????????????????????
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/6/2017, 11:38 am

Thanks Beetles and Yolos. I think it will be a no go for me on the seed starting kit. Last Spring I used just the light on the Aerogarden for starts in potting soil and that worked well (photo below). Of course I also have two 4 foot long fluorescent lights for seed starting/growing.

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Post  trolleydriver on 12/12/2017, 12:58 pm

The first sign of life in my AeroGarden is Dill.  Not much else going on yet.

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Post  sanderson on 12/13/2017, 3:22 pm

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Post  Guest on 12/14/2017, 8:10 pm

Ooooohhhh - so glad to find this thread!  I have the 7 pod one I got off FB and haven't used it yet because it's going to be the "starter" for the things that will go into the grow bags in the self watering indoor garden.  BUT I have to get my MM made first and my compost is no where near being done yet.  I'm planning on using the "empty pods" to start the plants I want to transplant, but since I'm probably a good month away (minimum), I'm not ready to start them.  But I do have some questions...  (fancy that, it never happens with me - LOL!)

1.  Would you guys recommend just transplanting the pod and all into the MM when the plants are tall enough?

2.  At what height would you recommend transplanting?

3.  What is the real purpose of the paper covers, and what can I use instead?  I didn't buy any of those when I got the empty pods.

4.  Do you see any potential problems with my half baked plan?
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Post  brianj555 on 12/14/2017, 9:42 pm

Saganco,

Just curious, would you otherwise be ready to get started if you weren’t waiting on your home compost ?  If you were ready, why not pick up five 1 cubic foot bags of five different kinds of compost just to get you up and running.  Then you could use your own from then on to feed and replace ect. when needed. Just a thought.
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Post  Guest on 12/16/2017, 11:13 am

Now Brian, that's a thought.  Not quite ready with the containers and the self watering system yet, but we might move forward before the compost is done...  Thanks.

Anyone have any answers to my questions above?
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/16/2017, 11:24 am

saganco wrote:Ooooohhhh - so glad to find this thread!  I have the 7 pod one I got off FB and haven't used it yet because it's going to be the "starter" for the things that will go into the grow bags in the self watering indoor garden.  BUT I have to get my MM made first and my compost is no where near being done yet.  I'm planning on using the "empty pods" to start the plants I want to transplant, but since I'm probably a good month away (minimum), I'm not ready to start them.  But I do have some questions...  (fancy that, it never happens with me - LOL!)

1.  Would you guys recommend just transplanting the pod and all into the MM when the plants are tall enough?

2.  At what height would you recommend transplanting?

3.  What is the real purpose of the paper covers, and what can I use instead?  I didn't buy any of those when I got the empty pods.

4.  Do you see any potential problems with my half baked plan?
I would do what I showed in a few posts above this one. Start your seedlings in 6-packs, 9-packs, etc and just use the light on the Aerogarden.  Your will get a lot more plants that way rather than just the 7 pods. The downside is that you will have to keep them watered yourself rather than having the Aerogarden water them. But I think it will be easier to transplant the seedlings when they have grown. 

By the way the paper covers help to prevent algae growth and they tell you what has been planted in each pod.

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/16/2017, 12:00 pm

saganco wrote:Ooooohhhh - so glad to find this thread!  I have the 7 pod one I got off FB and haven't used it yet because it's going to be the "starter" for the things that will go into the grow bags in the self watering indoor garden.  BUT I have to get my MM made first and my compost is no where near being done yet.  I'm planning on using the "empty pods" to start the plants I want to transplant, but since I'm probably a good month away (minimum), I'm not ready to start them.  But I do have some questions...  (fancy that, it never happens with me - LOL!)

1.  Would you guys recommend just transplanting the pod and all into the MM when the plants are tall enough?

2.  At what height would you recommend transplanting?

3.  What is the real purpose of the paper covers, and what can I use instead?  I didn't buy any of those when I got the empty pods.

4.  Do you see any potential problems with my half baked plan?
I agree with TD -  I think just growing the seeds in cell-packs is more straight forward and efficient - but here are my answers if you decide to go forward with using the pods:
1. I don't like the idea of planting plastic, but I guess it's not really in the way of the roots, and keeping it results in somewhat less root disturbance. Make sure the compressed peat part is (barely) covered by MM when you transplant: people who have used peat pots have had problems with the uncovered edges of the pot wicking water out of the MM, and causing too much drying.

2. I'd say transplant when the plants have 2-4 pairs of true leaves (not counting the usually different looking first 'seed' leaves.)

3. The paper covers block light, helping prevent the growth of algae. You don't want algae eating the aerogarden nutrients instead of your plants, and I suspect that once algae grows, it creates a microclimate conducive to other problems like mold, rot, and fungus gnats. I've seen suggestions for replacing it with aluminum foil, or thick paper, or thin cardboard.

4. Plants don't love switching from growing in water to soil. It can be done, people do it all the time, but there's a risk of transplant shock. Roots that form in water have fewer root hairs than roots that form in soil/MM. They may also be more brittle, as well as longer, and are more easily damaged during transplanting. You may need to "overwater" for a few days after transplanting to let the plants recover/adapt and grow root hairs - they aren't used to having to "work" to get water.
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/16/2017, 1:45 pm

Eleven days ago I planted the following. The results so far are show in italics between square brackets.

  • Thai Basil - germinates in 4 to 7 days [Not germinated - should be up]
  • Mint - germinates in 6 to 10 days [Success - germinated]
  • Dill - germinates in 8 to 21 days  [Success - germinated]
  • Genovese Basil - germinates in 6 to 12 days  [Not germinated - may need more time]
  • Curly Parsley - germinates in 8 to 21 days  [Not germinated -may need more time]
  • Thyme - germinates in 7 to 14 days  [Not germinated - may need more time]
  • Chives - germinates in 8 to 21 days [Success - germinated]

    If I don't get any further germination, I may put some of my own seeds in the pods for the Basil, Parsley and Thyme.

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Post  Guest on 12/21/2017, 7:32 pm

So, Trolley and Beetles - what are you guys referring to with the multi paks - is this something I make (like egg cartons or something)?  So you don't think much of the "pods" that are for the aerogarden?
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/21/2017, 8:23 pm

saganco wrote:So, Trolley and Beetles - what are you guys referring to with the multi paks - is this something I make (like egg cartons or something)?  So you don't think much of the "pods" that are for the aerogarden?
Here is a photo of a 12 cell pack. Fill the cells with starter or potting mix. Add seeds. Sit one or more of these cell packs in a tray and put the whole thing under the Aerogarden light to start seedlings. You need the tray to catch the water that will flow out of the holes in the cells. I've also started seeds in egg cartons and other containers rather than multi cell packs. I'll use/recycle anything that is suitable.

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Post  Guest on 12/21/2017, 9:13 pm

Thanks Trolley - so if I use an egg carton, do I just cut the sections and plant the whole thing?  It biodegrades, right?

I need to keep the seeds covered until it emerges?
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/21/2017, 9:23 pm

saganco wrote:Thanks Trolley - so if I use an egg carton, do I just cut the sections and plant the whole thing?  It biodegrades, right?

I need to keep the seeds covered until it emerges?
I usually cut off the top and use the bottom half of an egg carton. Egg cartons will biodegrade but personally I would transplant seedlings that are started in them either into larger containers or their final location. You can compost the egg cartons. To be honest, I am not overly thrilled with egg cartons. The depressions do not hold enough starter/potting mix to allow the seedlings to grow to a good size before potting up (if required).

Yes, you should keep the seeds covered to hold in moisture until they germinate.

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Post  yolos on 12/21/2017, 10:50 pm

I use my aerogarden in the winter to grow cold sensitive greens such as lettuce in the winter and heat sensitive greens such as lettuce in the middle of the summer.
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Post  Guest on 12/22/2017, 12:40 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:I usually cut off the top and use the bottom half of an egg carton. Egg cartons will biodegrade but personally I would transplant seedlings that are started in them either into larger containers or their final location. You can compost the egg cartons. To be honest, I am not overly thrilled with egg cartons. The depressions do not hold enough starter/potting mix to allow the seedlings to grow to a good size before potting up (if required).

Yes, you should keep the seeds covered to hold in moisture until they germinate.

So the multipak that was shown above will hold enough MM and had drainage, but will the MM hold together when transplanting like the more "compact" stuff you get with nursery plants?  Or will it all fall apart and I end up with the seedling and a handful of dirt separate from the plant!?
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/22/2017, 12:51 pm

saganco wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:I usually cut off the top and use the bottom half of an egg carton. Egg cartons will biodegrade but personally I would transplant seedlings that are started in them either into larger containers or their final location. You can compost the egg cartons. To be honest, I am not overly thrilled with egg cartons. The depressions do not hold enough starter/potting mix to allow the seedlings to grow to a good size before potting up (if required).

Yes, you should keep the seeds covered to hold in moisture until they germinate.

So the multipak that was shown above will hold enough MM and had drainage, but will the MM hold together when transplanting like the more "compact" stuff you get with nursery plants?  Or will it all fall apart and I end up with the seedling and a handful of dirt separate from the plant!?
The roots will hold some of the MM together. If the MM is damp it will hold together somewhat. If you really want something that will stick together you may want to use Jiffy Peat Pellets for your starts. Just make sure that the top of the pellet is not exposed after transplanting. If it is exposed it will act as a wick and dry out the soil/MM. You can also start seeds in just vermiculite and pot them up into MM or potting mix later. I sometimes start them in a folded wet paper towel and put them in potting soil after they germinate. There are tons of ways to do this. I like to experiment with different methods. Anyway, I think we are getting the Aerogarden thread off topic.

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Post  trolleydriver on 12/22/2017, 1:10 pm

My first attempt at growing using the Aerogarden and the seed pods that came with it has been disappointing. I got the Aerogarden second hand but it had never been used. However, I think the seeds went past their best before date. Only the Dill, Chives and Mint germinated. So I will try using some of my own seeds in the pods that did not germinate.Areogardening  - Page 3 Img_2033

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Post  trolleydriver on 12/22/2017, 4:50 pm

Here are the substitutions I made today (Dec 22, 2017) for the seeds that did not germinate in my AeroGarden:

WAS   ->  IS

Curly Parsley -> Plain Leaf Italian Parsley

Thai Basil -> Basil (ordinary green)

Genovese Basil -_ Blue Curled Scotch Kale (this should be interesting!)

Thyme -> Thyme

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Post  Guest on 12/22/2017, 9:55 pm

So what is wrong with the empty pods that you buy for the aerogarden?  Are they not good for transplanting, or did I somehow miss that answer?  If I'm using the AG to "start" the plants for the self watering container garden (using MM of course), how much time on average should I allow from seed planting in the AG to transplanting in the MM containers?  I realize there will be differing amounts based on the plants, but here's what I plan on planting:
Tomato
Sweet pepper
Carrots (likely won't be able to start those in the AG I believe)
Beets (likely won't be able to start those in the AG I believe)
Spinach
Potato (won't be able to start those in the AG I believe)
Celery (might just start these from organic "stumps" from the store)
and one something I'm forgetting...  Sheesh, I hate the thing that age does to a brain!

I would also like to try vertical growing of strawberries, but I don't think one generally starts them from seed, right?

I do have to say that I really thought I'd see more production from the potato plant, but based on what I've been reading here, looks like 3-5 lbs of potatoes from one plant is about all I'll get.  And since my grow bags are roughly 18" x 14", how many "eyes" can I plant in that space?  Does each "eye" count as one plant?  I've been reading more about potatoes, but obviously have a lot left to learn.  And we eat sprouted potatoes all the time, we just pinch off the sprouts and toss them (this was before the garden mindset...).
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/28/2017, 3:13 pm

Back row left to right:
- Basil has germinated
- Mint growing nicely
- Dill is ahead of everything else
- Kale has come up and the plastic dome will be removed soon

Front row left to right:
- Parsley (second attempt) has not germinated
- Thyme just germinated
- Chives are doing well

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 1/21/2018, 5:18 pm

I started up my four aerogardens 6 days ago, and have a bright little oasis from winter in the kitchen. sunny

Three of the aerogardens are fluorescent bulb ones that I bought used, and the last is an LED that I got through a daily deal website. I presume it was on sale due to being discontinued: It has the old style buttons, rather than the LCD screen that I assume all the current models have. And there is only a very narrow slot (only a little more than a half inch!) for adding water, so I can't add water using normal containers because they don't pour that thin/precisely enough. Mad

Aerogarden 1 - I sowed 7 different lettuces in previously lightly used/failed pods. I had to re-sow one of the pods, but now all 7 have germinated and I have a bonus mystery brassica seedling, mizuna maybe?   

Aerogarden 2 - I must have bought a grow-your-own kit when I wasn't looking, so I used it. The iron-on labels don't stick well, they all came detached as soon as I put the clear plastic covers on the pods. I sowed all 6 with Botanical Interest's Dulce Vita Basil blend (which I got on sale a few weeks ago from a store clearing out their 2017 stock.) The blend is "equal parts of Cinnamon, Genovese, Tall Lemon, Lime, Mammoth, and Purple Petra basils." 5 of the 6 pods have at least one seedling. I'm not sure whether to reseed the sixth, or wait - maybe some of the varieties take longer?

Aerogarden 3 - This used garden came with a really old kit for tomatoes - 2008... It's unlikely they'll germinate, but I wanted to give them a chance. If they don't come up I'm more likely to try to find some newer dwarf tomato seeds than buy a new kit.

Aerogarden 4 (LED) - I used the herb kit that came with the aerogarden. The Genovese and Thai basils, thyme, and dill are up; curly parsley, chives, and mint are not. Since I didn't neglect this kit like I have some previous ones, I may well call/email for replacements if they don't come up.
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Post  sanderson on 1/22/2018, 2:38 am

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:I started up my four aerogardens 6 days ago, and have a bright little oasis from winter in the kitchen. sunny
sunny

Aerogarden 3 - This used garden came with a really old kit for tomatoes - 2008... It's unlikely they'll germinate, but I wanted to give them a chance. If they don't come up I'm more likely to try to find some newer dwarf tomato seeds than buy a new kit.
Snow Fairy?

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/20/2018, 9:54 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:I started up my four aerogardens 6 days ago, and have a bright little oasis from winter in the kitchen. sunny
sunny

Aerogarden 3 - This used garden came with a really old kit for tomatoes - 2008... It's unlikely they'll germinate, but I wanted to give them a chance. If they don't come up I'm more likely to try to find some newer dwarf tomato seeds than buy a new kit.
Snow Fairy?
Two of the three pods actually germinated. Shocked Areogardening  - Page 3 Img_0517
I tweezed the duds out of the third pod a few days ago, and popped two Snow Fairy seeds in - thanks, Sanderson!
(The aluminum foil is because the kit I had was for a 6-pod aerogarden, and thus didn't have enough covers for the 4 non-planted holes.)
BeetlesPerSqFt
BeetlesPerSqFt

Female Posts : 1439
Join date : 2016-04-11
Location : Port Matilda, PA Zone 5b/6a LF:5/11-FF:10/10

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