AeroGarden Extra Elite Review

Last year we visited Epcot and toured the Living With The Land exhibit. We took an in depth look at how hydroponics works while on the Behind The Seeds Tour.  Hydroponics is a technique used for growing plants (without soil) in water containing dissolved nutrients.  Since that tour, I have dreamed of having my very own herb garden. Recently I discovered the AeroGarden Extra Elite ($199.95), and I am currently growing my very first batch of basil.  In the past, I have tried to grow the traditional window herb garden, and have not had great success.  Perhaps not enough sun, too much water, I have no idea what went wrong.  Now, fortunately with the AeroGarden, a natural green thumb is not required to produce beautiful flowers, fresh vegetables, and tasty herbs.  The guesswork has been eliminated with this nifty system.  Simply, add water and the nutrient packets, pop in the bio-grow pods and watch as the seeds germinate and grow in just a few short days. The unit is automatically programmed to adjust the lighting, water and nutrients and will alert you when you need to add water or additional nutrient packets.  The system consists of a water reservoir and base that is attached to a height adjustable lamp hood. Setup was incredibly easy and took approximately 10 minutes to assemble the unit and plant my garden. There are many different AeroGarden models available that vary both in size and price.  I chose this model because it offers the greatest versatility to grow outdoor vegetables inside.  Given the height adjustment that reaches up to 24”, this machine has the ability grow large vine ripened tomatoes using the trellis attachment, sold separately. The Extra Elite also has some additional features that make it stand out from the other models.  Namely 2x more light (This model has 3 Deluxe Grow Lights), and an adjustable 24-hour light cycle. Best of all, the unit is attractive and has a sleek futuristic looking design.  The black base is further enhanced by its brushed stainless steel accents. The unit measures: 34″H x 18.5″W x 10.5″D.  The AeroGarden Extra Elite comes with everything that you need to plant your first garden, including: 3 Deluxe Grow Lights, an instruction manual, and a seed kit.  AeroGarden also offers a variety of seed kits including: Salad Seed Kits (Romaine and Mixed Salad Greens), Vegetable Seed Kits (Cherry Tomato, Chili Pepper, and Salsa Garden), as well as Grow Sponges and Universal Baskets to plant your own seed varieties.  It was fun for our kids to help plant the seeds and watch each day as the seeds began to germinate and sprout. It is great knowing that although there is snow on the ground, we will continue to enjoy our  vegetables and herbs year-round. (Reviewed by Meredith Fire-Hess)

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