Tell me your Aerogarden experiences

I know I’ve seen talk about these in other threads, and that a few people here have them, so I’m looking for some firsthand experience with them. I’m considering buying one of the Farm 24 units - I want to grow tomatoes, peppers, lettuces and an assortment of herbs.

I’ve been reading some of the reviews on the Aerogarden site itself, but since I’m often skeptical of reviews (like the ones where someone rants about a product, but it was because of user error, not a fault of the product), I wanted to ask if anyone had any of the issues I saw complaints about.

First, I saw a complaint that the “Farm Basic” wasn’t tall enough to grow tomatoes in (the Farm Plus and Farm XL seem have taller maximum heights) though a customer service rep replied that you need to prune them so they are more bushy and less tall. If you’re growing tomatoes in an Aerogarden, which unit are you using, and do you find it perfectly servicable?

Second, I saw another complaint about fruit gnats. This could be a deal breaker for me, because the last thing I want is a kitchen (and living room, since we have an open floor plan) full of gnats. My suspicion is that the person in question probably doesn’t maintain their plants very well, but I wanted to be sure. Do you have trouble with gnats around your Aerogarden? If not, I assume you’re maintaining the unit properly? (Which I’m guessing means changing the water when it needs changing, keeping the plants pruned, etc.)

Finally, any other suggestions or recommendations for these things? Things you wish you knew before you bought one?


I’d like to know as well. It’d be nice to have a lifetime supply of lettuces. Maintenance tasks would be my primary concern. Though I’d be interested in smaller units.

If by people here, you probably mean me :)

Well, unfortunately, I can’t really help with your use case. I have a smaller model, designed mostly for greens and herbs. I’ve never grown any tomatoes or other bushy plants. But it has been great. Currently my model is underutilized, but that’s because I transplanted the oregano, genovese basil, and purple basil to actual planters for the summer. Only have rosemary in it now. going to get some lettuce going again soon, now that my outdoors garden is wrapping for the year.

So I’ve been very happy with it. Having fresh herbs is wonderful, and I love to cook with them. It does pretty well with lettuce, but they tend to sprawl a bit.

Basil does wonderfully, but you need to watch it. Periodically you need to open it up and trim up the roots. It actually clogged the water pump! Basil goes nuts, and will choke out other plants if you don’t periodically cull the root systems. We actually transplanted them to soil because they were choking out our other plants.

As for gnats, well, not an issue. I have a gnat issue currently, but that is largely due to the abundance of tomatoes and veggies from the garden that have been transporting into my kitchen, as well as the compost bucket on the counter. Not the aerogarden’s fault at all. It all started with some peaches 3 weeks ago.

I’ve used mine for about 4 years now. I do really enjoy it.

If you have any specific quesitons, I’d be happy to answer, I just don’t think my use case matches yours much as I am using a much smaller unit than the farm 24, mine being a 7 pod herb setup.

I have one of the six pod units. Of the herbs that came with it, the thyme never germinated, the dill didn’t grow well, and both types of basil and the mint were invincible. Tons of basil which I dried, and mint which I just basically threw out because how mint can you actually use?

Anyway after the herbs went to seed I picked up cherry tomatoes and only planted two of them in my aerogarden. They’re growing really well, but this is still a small thing so i got enough tomatoes for maybe four salads so far. Also tomatoes are hermaphrodites and need to self pollinate, so you need to either shake/vibrate the flowers every so often or have a fan for airflow or they won’t bud into fruits.

The tomatoes are doing great but my feeling is herbs make more sense as you don’t need a lot of them.

Heh, this is definitely a thing. Thyme I’ve tried a few times but never to great success.

Lettuce, basil, rosemary, and tarragon have all been the best successes. Oregano is mediocre, as it doesn’t produce in enough abundance. Tarragon was doing incredibly well until I went on vacation and the basil choked it out.

But my vacation water refill technique worked! A piece of rubber hose, a milk jug, and clever use of elevation to create suction that automatically pulled water from the jug as the reservoir dropped. #protip

We grow Thyme all the time but not in an Aerogarden. Thyme works best in a wide container where it can spread out. Like a semi-shallow planter with a little sunlight a day even and it will grow like a weed. When we grow several types outside they practically take over a container and are running down the side of it by the end of the season.

I should add, we want and aerogarden but just haven’t bitten the bullet for one yet. I’m interested to read on the results. Doesn’t Armando have one?

Do you ever end up with mold or mildew issues? How often do you need to clean the reservoirs?

I cleaned in between plantings, filled it up with water and a bit of bleach and let it circulate for an hour, then rinsed well. No mold or bugs.

Algae is a bit of an issue when you have empty pod slots though.

You need to cover them so light doesn’t get through. They sell caps but I just used duct tape.

This is all super helpful, thanks everyone! I’d love to have a garden outdoors, we’ve got plenty of space… but we also have lots of wildlife. Most of my neighbors have given up because they can’t keep out the deer, raccoons or other critters without building an elaborate enclosed garden, which I’m not super interested in doing. Plus it’s Maine, so I want to be able to grow over the winter too.

Yeah, this is generally the only time I get gnats… fruit or veggies I’ve bought at the store and left on the counter too long. But at least that’s a problem that can be fairly quickly solved, but that’s why I wondered whether the Aerogarden would lead to a long term problem.

This is good to know. Thanks!

I dunno, if I had a back yard I’d probably put up a greenhouse. They’re just a couple hundred bucks on Amazon and you can actually grow a ton of veggies. The small aerogarden I got really makes sense for apartment dwellers. And not even then, imagine how much basil and tomatoes you could buy for like $130, it’s more of a “thing to do because it sounds like fun” sort of thing.