The AeroGarden Harvest is a countertop planter that doesn't require soil - I used it to grow a 3-foot dill plant in my kitchen
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- I've had the AeroGarden Harvest (currently $126.99 on Amazon) for four months now and I have grown dill that reaches 35 inches above the unit and basil that's literally the size of my palm.
- AeroGarden's hydroponic and self-watering countertop gardens make it easy to grow your own herbs, flowers, greens, and vegetables with just water and patience.
- Even though most of the "planting" was already done by AeroGarden, watching your seeds germinate and grow is rewarding - and it's fun to use the herbs, veggies, and greens in your dishes.
- We also recommend a similar AeroGarden planter in our buying guide to the best herb gardens you can buy.
I'm not much of a cook, but damn, my seasoning game is on point.Okay, so it's largely due to the fact that my AeroGarden Harvest (currently $126.99 on Amazon) produces a jungle of fresh herbs that make me feel like Salt Bae, but still.
My future sister-in-law bought the Harvest for my fiancé as a holiday gift (but we all know it's really mine), and four months later, it's truly the gift that keeps on giving. I mean, look at these basil leaves.
The herbs take time to grow, but in the four months since we've had our Harvest, we're still weirdly filled with joy at the sight of our flourishing herb garden.
The Harvest is made up of a large base with a notch for the water reservoir and an extendable grow light hood. The whole thing measures 7.5 by 10.75 by 17 inches (at the tallest height). Low kitchen cabinets might not be able to accommodate the Harvest when the light hood is fully extended, but it shouldn't be a huge deal. We put ours on the corner of our kitchen table in our apartment.
The reservoir lid has six holes for the seed pods and a small opening for water, which I found to be too small every time because our table would suddenly turn into a kiddie pool.Our unit is gray plastic but there are more expensive options made with stainless steel i- you want to get fancy.
There's also a basic programmable LCD screen that shows you the time and reminds you to add water and nutrient solution - this has come in super handy since the herbs drink up a ton of water.
Read more: The best indoor herb gardens you can buy
Jada Wong/Business InsiderThe dill on the left is basically on steroids and has started flowering, the Thai basil on the right has also done the same and produced delicate vines with tiny purple flowers.
Included in the box is the base unit, extendable grow light hood, water reservoir, six pre-planted pods and lids, and a bottle of nutritious plant food that smells funky but is highly effective.
The six pods are pre-seeded to grow mint, dill, thyme, curly parsley, and two types of basil (Genovese and Thai). Each of the pods are labeled with the name of the herb, germination time, and the best area to place them within the base unit's grow area (front, middle, or back) depending on how tall they can get.
You almost don't need to read the instructions because it's intuitive, but doing the steps out of order didn't really make a difference in my haste to start growing our herb garden. The correct way to do it, though, is to set the reservoir onto the base, plug the unit into an outlet, fill the reservoir with water, plop on the pods and lids accordingly, and then add the nutrient solution. After that's all done, set the time so the system can start self-watering every five minutes, and count how many days your pods have been planted and how many days until the next nutrient feeding.
The first few days after I set up our Harvest, I found myself staring at it as if the herbs would magically grow before my eyes (they didn't) and picking up the pods to see if roots had started appearing (they also didn't). Patience is a virtue that I obviously do not possess.
What makes it stand outI never thought I'd say this but being able to grow your own food (even if it's just herbs) is kind of cool. I like that the unit is pretty self-contained and doesn't require any soil, so it's great for small spaces and people who don't want to deal with bugs and mess.
And for us personally, I don't know what was in that nutrient water but it was like steroids for the herbs, especially the basil and dill. I purposely took the photo of the Harvest below next to a bottle of wine to show how ridiculously big my dill was, but for additional context, the dill measures 35 inches from the top of the water reservoir to the top of the plant, which also has started to flower at the very top.
Cons to consider
The biggest issue I had with the Harvest was the pod kit that came free with the unit. You only get to choose between a variety pack of herbs, flowers, salad greens, or vegetables. There's no option to choose only the herbs or flowers you want unless you buy a pod kit separately.
The starter pod pack that came with our unit had six different types of herbs, but we really only liked the two types of basil so despite how freakishly cool it looked, the dill was a waste of space.
One of the pods also didn't germinate and instead grew weird white mold, which we later found out was actually normal, but we had already thrown out.
The AeroGarden Harvest is a fun herb garden that anyone can appreciate - it's easy to use and being able to say you grew the herbs that you're eating is cool. The unit isn't cheap, but the price can be justified because you're growing things that you would've bought otherwise so it saves you money in the long run. It'd also make you feel proud that, unlike your succulents, your herbs didn't die.
I like that it's compact and self-contained so it won't overwhelm even the tiniest of kitchenettes. I might've experienced a little bit of beginner's luck, but I'm actually super excited to see if I can ride this wave and grow a bodega's worth of flowers in my Harvest after this.
Pros: Easy to set up, fun to use, able to grow enough save on buying groceries and flowersCons: Basic unit can feel flimsy, expensive for a novelty item, free starter pod kit can't be customized
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