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AeroGarden for starting seeds?

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Post  twangster 2/21/2011, 8:51 pm

My wife and I got an Aero Garden as a wedding gift.  I'm a newbie at SFG and have never started from seeds.  Today I saw a 70 pod tray for starting seeds in the Aero Garden at the local hydroponic grow store while I was buying my vermiculite.  Has anyone one had any experience using an Aero Gardern?
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Post  janefss2002 2/21/2011, 10:00 pm

Hi twangster,
We started with 1 Aero Garden and now have 3! We use them to grow lettuce and other greens when it gets hot here in Dallas. We also grow a couple of tomatoes to keep us going when the tomatoes stop producing for 3-4 months here in the heat.
I also use it to start my seeds indoors.

AeroGarden for starting seeds? Dscn0511

Mine holds 66 seedlings. It works well for me.
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Post  miinva 2/21/2011, 10:32 pm

I really want to try one of those Smile
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Post  twangster 2/21/2011, 11:09 pm

Jane, what do you do about replacement pots? Aero Garden sales 125 for $ 19.99. Have you found any other options?
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Post  janefss2002 2/22/2011, 12:17 am

Twangster,

Wow! They have increased prices lately! I'm currently working off a backlog of sales and internet specials on plug replacements.

I check out this forum from time to time for info for my Aerogardens:
http://www.aerogardengrowers.com/

I seem to remember Park Biodome replacements plugs are a good fit. I will be researching this again in the near future and will be replying back soon.
The deal here is to get the correct Biodome replacement. The size matters.

A very doable thing if you do not want to buy replacement sponges from Aerogarden!

You get a set of starters with the kit from Aerogarden. It is the replacement plugs where the rub may be.

Not a complete answer, but will work on it Smile

Jane

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Post  twangster 2/24/2011, 9:37 am

http://www.parkseed.com/gardening/PD/6565/

I found out that Park Seed sells plugs for their Bio-dome that will fit the Aero Garden seed starter block. $ 11.95 for 120 as compared to Aero Garden's 19.95 for 125.
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Post  janefss2002 2/24/2011, 9:19 pm

Bingo! That's it! (I must do better with my bookmarks Embarassed ).

What I do with my plugs is soak them in a pan of water for about 30 minutes. I then put my seed(s) in the dibble (indent or hole in the top) and then put the plug in the foam Starter hole. Key here is for the plug to be long enough to touch water.

Good luck!
Jane
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Post  Icemaiden 2/19/2013, 6:01 am

I was given one of these for my birthday last year and the herbs kit with it has done sterling service for 4 months (although one seed type failed to germinate).
I have a seed starter kit and plan on starting some veg and flowering plants. Does anyone have advice for me? Anything to avoid? Are the plants a bit quicker off the mark in this set-up? Can the packet information be relied on when staggering planting times?
The herbs seemed to zoom into growth and there is not much point me having a tray full of seedlings ready for planting out in April!
Thanks.
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Post  lindabateslawson 3/20/2013, 12:03 pm

I'm also trying to use my aerogarden to start seeds but I'm having a few issues. One of them is that the after you drop the seeds down into the little hole, I can't figure out how to cover them. The "soil" that is in these tiny pots doesn't seem to want to move and is very spongy. I bought 2 of these kits and one of them totally failed. I am now trying to do this all over again and am having a heck of a time covering the seeds. Any suggestions?

Also, thank you for the photo of your seeds growing. My pods seemed to sink to the middle or the bottom of the tray when I tried them the first time. This time, I soaked the pods in water a little before I put them back in the tray just to try and get them to stay up on top. How did you get yours to be almost 1" off the tray? Thanks in advance!
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Post  Icemaiden 3/20/2013, 2:06 pm

I think that picture is of cheaper plugs from a different system which are being used in an aerogarden. Mine came in the official kit and are all below the surface of the polystyrene.
I don't think that you need to cover the seed unless it is seed which dislikes light. My broccoli and kale seeds have germinated very fast indeed and now have seed leaves. The only problem I have so far is with some sage seeds which went almost instantly mouldy. And lots of others have not germinated yet but only a week since I sowed them.

Broccoli on the right, kale on left and basil left of centre. Most of the rest are flowers and some are just germinating but have no leaves yet.

AeroGarden for starting seeds? Aero1810
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Post  lindabateslawson 3/20/2013, 5:29 pm

This is what my first group of seeds looked like. Some germinated but they were also moldy. I then read in the instructions that the pods are suppose to be level with the styraphome tray. I waited about 5 weeks before I pitched the bad ones. Just wasn't worth the effort if this was all I was going to get out of them. I'm trying again and have the pods lifted but I haven't planted anything yet because I'm trying to figure out if it's okay not to cover them. Just not a lot of information about sowing seeds in this system and I'm sort of disappointed. Oh well, I really want them to work and I'll keep trying Smile
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Post  Icemaiden 3/21/2013, 7:37 am

Now I am worried! I wonder if having the plug surface too low encourages mould because there is not enough air circulation around down there?

Added: OK. I lifted out the white tray and then (wearing disposable gloves) I pushed each sponge up a bit until its top was flush with or above the white surface. Hope that prevents any problems. I don't understand why the instructions don't include this if it can be a problem?

Added 2: It says here http://www.aerogarden.com/aerogarden-customer-service-support/lthereisgreenstuffonthetopofthegrowsponges.html that the mould should not prevent germination and should go once the plant grows a bit. So perhaps the mould is not related to poor germination?
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Post  Icemaiden 4/27/2013, 10:57 am

How is it going now?

I am fairly happy with my results. I lifted the larger plants out when it seemed the right time (right to me).
The kale and broccoli didn't quite get enough out of the liquid fertilizer and were a bit too pale but perked-up once potted. Some seeds are still germinating (6 weeks after sowing) and the only total fail is a packet of quite expensive trailing petunia seeds which were sold as coated pellets - not a single one has germinated.

AeroGarden for starting seeds? Seedli10

AeroGarden for starting seeds? Smalls10

All I need now is for the weather to get a bit warmer Laughing
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Post  emadethis 4/27/2013, 4:15 pm

This is fantastic! I had been contemplating selling my AeroGarden as I no longer have the most convenient place for it, but it occurred to me that I could start seeds in it. I just set an old cardboard egg carton + vermiculite on the tray - the bowl and it seems to be working well. I'll remember this jiffy tray the next time I start seeds.
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Post  DorothyG 4/11/2018, 12:23 am

I started two kinds of tomatoes in my Aerogarden and one kind in a seed starting medium (not MM) on the same day. "Someone" (11 year old) thought that she should help out and moved the plugs around in the Aerogarden so I don't  know which is which of those.  The seed starting tray was all Rutgers and the Aerogarden was 2 Rutgers and 4 Moonglow.  
I had to pot up the Aerogarden plants on Saturday.  Here they are, side by side, 23 days after planting.AeroGarden for starting seeds? Img_0210

The Aerogarden has the LED lights and the light above them both now is a T5 from Ferry-Morse that I picked up at WallyWorld.  I used the liquid fertilizer for the Aerogarden on both.
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Post  sanderson 4/11/2018, 10:40 pm

Your starts look so nice. AeroGarden for starting seeds? 3170584802

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Post  DorothyG 4/12/2018, 12:16 am

Thank you Sanderson.  You can see some peppers between the tomatoes as well.  Thank you!
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AeroGarden for starting seeds? Empty Two Aerogardens here!

Post  Windsor.Parker 5/17/2018, 3:44 pm

Been using two units for seed starting: an early 7-pod Aerogarden (flourescent) for 3-4 yrs, and another  (7-pod LED) for a couple of years. Both work well, although the newer LED seems to work somewhat better.
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Post  OhioGardener 1/31/2023, 10:24 am

Mid-February is quickly approaching, and it will soon be seed starting time for me!

This year will see a new method of seed starting for my SFG gardens. After successfully using the AeroGarden Harvest 360 Elite for starting seedlings for transplanting into the raised bed in the greenhouse, I have decided to use the AeroGarden for starting all seedlings for transplanting in the beds.

When I purchased the AeroGarden Harvest 360 Elite on sale a few years ago it came with the Seed Starter Kit which I have never used. But, it will be used this year for starting all seedlings. The seed starter tray holds 23 seed pods, which will allow starting many seedlings at the same time. After the seedlings have grown to a sufficient size I will pull the pods out of the Aerogarden and up-pot them in Cow Pots for later transplanting in the garden.  This will eliminate the use of the trays with plastic covers set on heat mats to germinate the seeds.

In using the AeroGarden to start seedlings for the greenhouse I have found that the seeds typically sprout in 4 to 5 days, and quickly grow. I use FoxFarm Grow Big Hydroponic Plant Food rather than the MiracleGro plant food that is sold with the kit, and have had very good results with it.  I bought 100 peat pods off Amazon for $11.95, which seemed a good price.

I have found the best way to get quick and reliable germination of seeds in the AeroGarden is by soaking the peat pods in water for a couple hours, then placing the seeds in the pod before dropping the pod into the tray under the lights.  It is very, very important to note on the seed starter template what seed was put into what hole in the seed starter tray!

AeroGarden for starting seeds? Aeroga12

Use of the Seed Starting Template is critical in knowing what was planted in which hole.AeroGarden for starting seeds? Aeroga11

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Post  sanderson 1/31/2023, 1:20 pm

Is the template something you can print out each time you use the unit? For example, I have 13 varieties of tomatoes and 11 varieties of peppers, so each square might have a different fruit and variety.

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Post  OhioGardener 1/31/2023, 1:32 pm

sanderson wrote:Is the template something you can print out each time you use the unit?  For example, I have 13 varieties of tomatoes and 11 varieties of peppers, so each square might have a different fruit and variety.

Yes, I scanned it into a PDF document so I can print at many as I need. It is available for all models of the AeroGarden - that one is for the Harvest 360 model that I have.

I'm only doing 3 varieties of tomatoes and 3 varieties of peppers this year.  We got overrun with tomatoes and peppers last year, and neighbors started not answering their phone when we called to see if they could use some tomatoes or peppers.
 lol!

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Post  sanderson 1/31/2023, 5:26 pm

A printable template is good.

Neighbors not answering their phones . . . lol!

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Post  OhioGardener 2/1/2023, 8:23 am

Set up the AeroGarden with the Seed Starter Tray and planted it with bunching onion seeds. There are 23 seed pods in the tray, and since I do multi-sowing of onion seeds there are 3 or 4 seeds in each pod. There will be approximately 80 spring onions to transplant into the garden in early March.
AeroGarden for starting seeds? Seed_s13

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Post  OhioGardener 2/20/2023, 12:41 pm

OhioGardener wrote:Set up the AeroGarden with the Seed Starter Tray and planted it with bunching onion seeds. There are 23 seed pods in the tray, and since I do multi-sowing of onion seeds there are 3 or 4 seeds in each pod. There will be approximately 80 spring onions to transplant into the garden in early March.
AeroGarden for starting seeds? Seed_s13

The onion seedlings have come a long way since they were put into the AeroGarden seed starter tray on Feb 1st.  A week ago I trimmed the tops off of the seedlings to use in a salad, and they need to be trimmed again.  In a week I will start moving the planter outside a little each day to harden the onions off, and get them ready for transplanting into a raised bed. Then I can start the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc., in the AeroGarden.  Very Happy
AeroGarden for starting seeds? Onion_11

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Post  OhioGardener 2/21/2023, 10:55 am

If anyone is interested in purchasing a Seed Starting Kit for their Aerogarden system they are currently on sale for up to 50% off.  No indication on how long the sale will be available.

https://aerogarden.com/todays-deals/

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