This is our second go-round with the Aerogarden. Round one was a fantastic success. We grew our first set of herbs in it for almost a year. This time, I decided to document the growth of the garden along the way. We planted seven different herbs in in it: dill, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, lemon balm, shungiku, and mitsuba. Some of them are familiar to us, others new adventures. The Aerogarden website offers a lot of different herbs. You can also grow tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and other plants.
In this post, I'll tell you a bit about how the garden works and what we chose to grow.
Image from the Aerogarden website
Before I tell you more about the herbs, I’ll tell you more about the garden. We received the Aerogarden Ultra as a very thoughtful, generous, and fun Christmas gift. It is a hydroponic garden that is shaped like a tub and filled with water. The tray on top holds packets of seeds, which sprout and grow above the tray, with roots growing in the water below. The lights are mounted on a pole that can be made longer or shorter, so you can keep the lights close to the plants as they grow. You purchase seed pods that fit in the tray, although you could probably jimmy something using your own seeds. The electronic display tells you when to add fertilizer and water, how long the garden has been planted, and tips for success. It is so easy to use and pretty much runs itself. However, you should clean out the interior of the tub periodically or the roots will grow into the garden components, which will have to be replaced the following year. Yes, we made this mistake.
At 40 days into our second year, we are harvesting a few times a week. We grew an enormous amount of herbs the first year. The garden must be kept trimmed back so the herbs don’t press against the lights. This means keeping up with it better than you would a potted or in-the-ground planting. It was so hard to keep up, I had to find a way to use all those herbs. I ended up with my recipe for mix-and-match herb dressing. We have come to LOVE this stuff. We always have it on hand and use it on vegetable salads, to marinate meat, in egg, tuna, or chicken salads, on fried eggs, and more.
The first year, we grew cilantro, dill, curly parsley, Italian parsley, Thai basil, and sweet basil. We had a packet of chives that didn’t sprout. Everything that sprouted was a great success. Cilantro seemed easier in the Aerogarden than in the ground outside. So did dill. So we are growing both of these in the Aerogarden again. We are great at growing basil outside, so we decided to keep that outside for the next Aeogarden round.
Here’s this year’s lineup:
I think we have a lot of mix and match dressing in our future!
Share your ideas in the comments for how I can use up all of my herbs.
Thanks for reading!
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.