Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I removed the starting domes from the basil today, the plants were crunching up inside them, while the mint is lagging behind. There are four mint pods and three basil pods.

I didn't have to plant these. This kit was one I put together myself as backup plan in case rooting grocery store basil failed.

Rooting grocery store basil worked! I bought a package with long stems and removed the lower leaves to the stems that would reach the water. It worked very well. Twice in fact. Then the backup kit sat on the top of the refrigerator with its seeds growing older with each passing month. I used the kit basically on a whim to make it go away, so that it would not be wasted.

My unit is old school. I bought this when they first came out. Top of the line. It was expensive. It uses high output florescent lights that are proprietary and also expensive. $10.00 per light. Substitutions are not possible due to their connectors. They must be replaced frequently, suggested with each new kit. And that is too much. A real downside. So I let mine go, and the next kit does not have the same intensity light. And who needs a million suboptimal lights that do not fit any other socket? It's ridiculous. 
The company was sold to Scott's Fertilizer for their market penetration. The new management made several critical changes, chief among them expanded and improved product line. Responding to user feedback the seed kits were expanded and improved. The fertilizer was improved. The whole effort is much better with real pros at the helm of the company.

Before it was one man's passion. A man in Boulder Colorado. But his passion was for building a company, for making a million dollars, and not necessarily for hydroponics. He sold his company soon as it became viable.

Now the top of the line is much better unit with upgraded capability. Higher capacity, stronger LED lights, improved computation, improved user interface, greater plant feedback, availability of greater aeration with air pumps, reflection so light is contained and not dispersed to the room, supplemental water supply, better seeds in the kits, multiple seeds in each packet, more units to choose from, more gardening implements, and now even wifi connectivity. 

Crucially, the cost of the high end units is lowered. Their best unit leaves my old unit in the dust and it is cheaper besides. 

Presently they're running a sale. They sent me a brochure a few weeks ago and I thought, "Man, I need to upgrade and get with the program, and this is a great time to do it." 

And now I see their prices online are even lower than shown the pamphlet. These things are cheap, cost wise, not quality wise. Whoa. Wow. Awesome. 

(Crazy Russian Hacker's enthusiasm is rubbing onto me)

I notice the prices listed on Amazon presently match the lower costs at Aerogarden site. Except for the tippy top model. I wonder if that's a typo. I don't understand it. 

The Bounty model is $350 lowered to $240 a savings of $110.00

While the Bounty with wifi is $400 lowered to $240 a savings of $160

What gives? 

This doesn't make complete sense

Bounty Elite, the tippy top is $380, a good price, presently $280.

Right there I'm not understanding something. Maybe I have something wrong. 

I pulling the prices here.

And here.

And on Amazon.



Here's a comparison chart. The key feature is wattage for the light unit. Obviously, the higher the better.  I have a 7 pod unit and I like mine a lot. But it's nothing close to this. Mine is 30W florescent. Notice the new ones go 20w for 6 pod units to 30w for 7 pod units. But that's 30W LED, not 30W florescent.

An increase of 10w for 1 additional pod.

Then they skip to the latest model has 9 pod with 45w. 

An increase of 15w for 2 pods. 

Or a different comparison from 6 pod VS 9 pod 20w to 45w

and increase of 25w for 3 pods.

Doesn't 20w seem too inadequate to grow anything? Come on!

I looked at a million videos on YouTube, or possibly six videos, for the best one to show. Some videos are stupid. Some are professional and I didn't want those. Some show scraggly tomatoes, most are setup and just starting out. Several are growing pot and we don't want that. None are growing flowers. One showed the garden advancing over time rather nicely. It's easy to get lost seeing people having fun with with their gardens disproving fool-proof claim. It's actually sweet seeing people involved with a hobby. I think this one was the best that I watched.

This guy has a proper mess

The same guy starting out. He's happy with units. His lettuce is doing very well.

And many, many, many more Aerogarden videos all for the new models. 

This guy has an excellent herb garden

See? It's just fun. For gardeners and non-gardeners alike.


bagoh20 said...

The lady of the house insisted on getting the Star Shower. I said: "Hell no. Everybody will have that. It will be like a giant Snuggie on our house - it's the trailer trash of holiday lights."

We got it anyway. On the way home, we saw that half a dozen neighbors had their house lit up in total infomercial unity. I was right, not that that ever means anything. So we didn't want to join that club, so we decided to use it inside. It turns out to be very cool inside. Might keep it all year round to remind me of the long lost mushroom days of the past.

deborah said...


I'm thinking something more like this for the basement.

bagoh20 said...

I shared a house with a really sweet guy back in the 80's who grew psilocybin mushrooms in mason jars in the closet. He got a kit by mail order from a magazine - probably High Times. It was pretty difficult because of the need to be sterile and avoid contamination. After a series of failures, he eventually pulled it off just in time for a Grateful Dead concert on the beach in Ventura, CA. He later moved to China where he taught English. I think he's still there. Great thing about mushrooms; no lights needed. Really easy to hide the whole operation from .......... mushrooms thieves.

ampersand said...

Chip, No interest in growing Mary Jane?

Chip Ahoy said...

Ampersand, no.

But a lot of people ask about that. I looked at videos and I don't think the plant likes its roots sitting in water. I'm not sure.

Other hydroponic systems drip water through the roots and create fog in a chamber with the roots, running cyclically to keep it fogged up in there without actually soaking the root. I think. (these are called areogardens for that reason, but the reality is the roots soak in water. The videos of people doing this seem to produce fairly lame plants from what I've seen. The plants are not impressive. They lack the intensity to produce awe-inspiring buds. The videos come up right away as if that really is a chief interest.

Wow. I just now re-checked. Although I searched [Bounty Aerogarden] I only just now realized that the videos I'm shown are all earlier models like mine and that explains why they are thinner and weaker, much smaller than the commercial operations. The users all seem well pleased but it's a far cry from what the pros are doing.

Man, oh man, there sure are a lot of videos about growing pot. Everyone is so happy!