11 Useful AeroGarden Planting Tips for Beginners You Must Know
Enthusiastic about Aerogardening but don’t know where to begin?
Believe it or not, aerogardening is one of the most advanced and easiest methods to grow your crops within a small space indoors. It’s just right for modern homes where you may not get enough place for keeping plants in the containers on the balcony.
Getting handy with aerogarden cultivation may seem overwhelming for beginners. Don’t worry, it happens with many growers.
We also had the same issue when we started. However, with passing time it is the easiest thing to do compared to traditional indoor gardening methods.
Based on our experience, I have herein provided some useful tips that will help you to start an aerogarden from the scratch without any woes.
AeroGarden Tips for Beginners
#1. Get Started with a Plan
It’s quite likely to buy an aerogarden kit in a hurry. This can result in a loss of money unless you determine the gardening goals. Our suggestion is to plan everything even before you buy a kit.
- Do some research on the crops
- Determine the type of setup you will need
- Make sure you can get everything required to grow the plants
#2. Choose the Right Plants
The type of plants you want to grow in the aerogarden is the most important and decisive factor. Some plants may not thrive well in your local climate. Try to answer these questions before choosing your crops.
- What species can grow well in your region?
- Are the plant nutrients and fertilizers available easily in the local market?
- What care measures do you need to follow for the particular plantation process?
- How long do these plants survive?
- How long the crops will grow?
These are some of the basic questions to help you select the right plants.
For instance, if you choose a plant that grows quite tall with passing time, ensure buying a kit with grow lights at a greater height to offer sufficient space for plant growth.
If you are a novice, it is always preferable to get started with some basic herbs and small plants. Once you gather some experience, it will easy for you to deal with fruits and veggies in the aerogarden.
In case, you have purchased a small aerogarden kit, be ready to transplant it in a container for outdoor when it grows tall.
#3. Follow the instructions in the User Manual
Not all aerogarden kits have the same settings. Depending on the model, the manufacturers prepare the guide to help the users set up the aerogarden, adjust the lights, etc.
Read your manual fully and multiple times to ensure you know everything before starting. It actually eases the setup task for you saving time and resources.
#4. Plants Seedlings Together
Whether you are growing crops for home use or for commercial gardening, it is easy to proceed when you do a single step at a time. If you are planning to get more yield or have setup multiple grow bowls, start the plantation at the same time for all of them.
This will help you to place all the bowls under uniform light intensity, provide the nutrients and fertilizers at the same time, and get the harvest at almost the same time.
Even if you choose multiple crops for each separate pod, it will still ease your task as you proceed. There is enough space between the pods to support mixed cultivation.
#5. Trim the Plant Roots at Regular Intervals
The roots growing in seed pods should never grow too big. This can lead them to grow into unwanted areas especially the pump. If the roots grow into the pump channel, it can interrupt the functioning and even damage the equipment.
Keep monitoring the plant roots periodically and trim them whenever required. The roots of one pod often grow too close to the roots in the other pod. To avoid this, you may leave the adjacent seed pod empty. It allows enough space for the roots to grow and breathe.
#6. Turn off the Grow Lights at Night
Most aerogarden systems allow the users to set the timer for the lights to shut off. This is actually easy and much recommended depending on the type of crops in the pods.
For instance, if you are growing leafy greens, it may be a good option to keep the lights on at night. But for peppers, peas, tomatoes, or flowers, this can get counterproductive. Too much light especially during the dark hours can actually damage your crops.
Do some research on how much light your plants will need to get the right temperature and timings. The success of harvesting depends a lot on this factor.
#7. Know When to Use the Plastic Dome
Plastic domes have been in use for a long in traditional hydroponic plantations. They help to retain or raise the humidity around the plants.
You will receive plastic domes with some aerogarden kits too. If you have planted the seeds, set the plastic domes at the right place to speed up the germination process. It’s perfectly OK to keep the plastic domes in the same position until the leaves start growing.
After this stage, you do not need the plastic domes anymore. Keeping the plants under the domes will raise the humidity around the plants. It will damage the crops and even trigger mold formation around the plants.
#8. Change Water Regularly
Even if the water level falls and you need to run the pump to provide further supply, some quantity of it will always remain at the base of the bowl. You need to change this water every 2-3 weeks as per the directions.
If you need healthy plants, it is necessary to remove the old water and fill the bowl with a fresh supply.
Why do you need to change the water every 2 weeks?
- The water remaining at the base of the bowl can promote the growth of mold and fungus in the aerogarden system. This can entirely damage the plants.
- The liquid nutrients mix up with the water. Too many nutrients in the water can increase the pH balance that is also not good for your crops.
- Higher fertilizer concentration in the water may clog the pump system.
#9. Replace Grow Light When Needed
Experts recommend changing the LED bulbs in your grow light system every 6 months. Depending on the span of illumination you may need, the bulbs will blow up beyond that period. Inadequate light and temperature can result in a great difference in the quality of the final harvest.
#10. Keep Your Aerogarden System Clean
After harvesting or transplantation, you should clean the entire system to prepare it for new crops. Even if you are not going to use it for a few months, it still requires proper cleaning and storage.
- Disassemble all the parts including the pump set up.
- Prepare a chlorine bleach solution in a large plastic bowl
- Immerse the small parts into the cleaning solution for 15-20 minutes.
- Soak a piece of cloth in the solution and use it to clean the grow bowl and other large parts
- Rinse the small parts with clean water thoroughly
- Use paper towels to remove the water traces from all the parts and allow further drying at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
- Before reassembling again, ensure all parts are completely dry.
- Store the system in a dark, cool, and dry place for future use.
#11. Provide Water and Nutrients at the Right Time
Most aerogarden systems have LED indicators that will blink when your plants require water or food. Follow the alerts to run the water supply or provide nutrients as and when required.
I hope the above tips have given you some insights on how to take care of your aerogarden system and the plants in it. Once you get handy with the system, you will realize growing crops this way makes the entire procedure seamless. It’s a breeze to have it in front of the eyes since the plants will grow 5 times faster than they used to develop in the soil.