Normally I start my garden starts in the house. I have a folding table, grow lights, and a heat mat. It’s this big ugly monstrosity and it’s in the way. Most of the time (okay maybe all the time) I accidentally kill off a bunch of the starts by forgetting to water them at some point.
Two years ago my sister gave me the AeroGarden Extra Elite (which has since been discontinued, but is like the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden). I grew tomatoes in it using the trellis system and it did pretty well. My only challenge was that the tomato plants still outgrew the height, even though it is the tallest model. It also randomly dropped tomatoes behind the buffet in the dining room, but I guess that’s a danger of indoor gardening.
After seeing some reviews for the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Seed Starter System
I decided to give it a try instead of using my bulky set up. I just potted everything up in the greenhouse at 29 days which is pretty spot on for the recommended four weeks of indoor start time. Some of the plants were crazy huge!
The starter kit has plugs and spots for over 60 starts which was a good amount. I even let the niecelet throw some flower seeds in a couple because I was running out of things to try starting. I ended up starting broccoli, tomatoes, basil, parsley, dill, cabbage, kale, bachelor buttons, snap dragons, and marigolds. The marigolds, bachelor buttons, kale, tomatoes, and broccoli just about took over the thing. The growth was really strong. The only thing that didn’t do well were the onions and the snap dragons. Two of the four snap dragons didn’t germinate at all. The onions germinated but I think struggled to keep up with the towering kale and marigolds near it.
I overseeded the plugs a bit since I’m using 2-3 year old seed and it really wasn’t necessary. I had to thin all but a few. I did have some challenges untangling some of the starts and roots in order to free them from the tray with out destroying them, but I think I only lost one whole plug on that account. I also lost a kale start to a small black cat that was apparently enjoying a baby kale salad when no one was around.
I will definitely be using this again in the future (or maybe again this season)! For now I’ve cleaned up the AeroGarden and started an “italian herb” kit I was given this holiday. It will be interesting to see how it does in comparison with the herbs I just potted up and put in the greenhouse.