Miracle-Gro AeroGarden EXTRA LED Indoor Garden with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit
Miracle-Gro AeroGarden EXTRA LED Indoor Garden with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit
Manufacturer
AeroGrow
$249.95
$220.00
& eligible for FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
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Description

Product Description

The Miracle-Gro AeroGarden EXTRA LED features our powerful LED lighting system and our biggest nutrient and water reservoir. This means you can harness the power of LED's along with the ability to go weeks without watering your plants. In side by side tests, the LED lights delivered more than 75% more basil than our next best lighting system-a truly stunning difference! LEDs provide concentrated light for plants, with daylight white LEDs for fast growth, blue LEDs for bigger yields and red LEDs for more flowers.The newly designed EXTRA LED tells you when it's time to add water and nutrients. Inside, the EXTRA LED uses NASA-tested technology to help grow plants up to 5 times faster than plants grown indoors in soil. The EXTRA LED also features our most advanced push button Control Panel with an easy light on/off setting. It also features independent pump cycles, including a setting perfect for germination and a high growth setting as your plants grow bigger. Five preset plant settings plus 12 and 24 hour light cycles.

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Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

195 of 199 people found the following review helpful.
4High tech hydroponics - better than a winter greenhouse - LEDs pay off in long run...
By Y. R. Wu
SUMMARY: Pricey but effective way to grow food indoors. Lots of alternatives to buying the refills from Miracle-Gro

Note that there are 3 very similar models with LED. My review is for the LED Extra. The basic version only has 20 watts of LED lighting, and the hood only extends to 12" height. The Extra and Ultra are basically identical (30 watt lights with 24" extension on hood") but the Ultra has a fancier LED screen and more customization for pumping and light times. The Ultra also comes with the seed starting tray standard.

UPDATE - after about 2 months the plants are coming in strong. Cilantro never sprouted and we have lots of Chives and Dill in the garden, so I swapped these out with Lettuce, Kale, and Habanero peppers. No peppers yet but more than a few small harvests of lettuce and kale, and tons of super beautiful basil and parsley. Although they recommend lots of smaller harvests, for now I've been doing fewer, large harvests so I can let the peppers catch up. As far as plant food, I've been supplementing with just regular "Miracle Grow" plant food - I purchased a sub $20 TDS meter and try to keep the PPM between 700 and 1000. So far the plants are very happy. There's a hydroponic shop near me so will get some fertilizer with more micronutrients when I have time. There's a ton of roots underneath the deck - I try to keep the roots of the different plants from getting too tangled so I can remove/replace the plants if necessary, without doing too much damage to the other plants. Refill of water is nearly every other day.

Another important point - at least once a month you should DRAIN the unit and put fresh solution in. I started to get "Nutrient Burn" where the plant edges start to turn brown. If I understand correctly, it's because the uptake of nutrients is not perfect, so as you continue to add water and plant food, some nutrients get too high while others are too low.

HYDROPONICS...In case you were wondering, hydroponics is growing plants without soil. Typically a growing medium like perlite or expanded clay balls is kept wet with a special solution which allows the plant to grow more or less like normal, but with a much tighter control on the level of nutrients so the plants grow much faster than normal. A lot of systems now include built-in lighting which further improves "crop yields"

LEDS PAY OFF.....I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to review the AeroGarden. In particular, this has LED Lighting. Although that costs more up front, you'll end up ahead in about a year. I tested this with a Kill-A-Watt and this (LED) version consumes 34 watts with the lights on. The regular version uses 2 or 3 26 watt bulbs, plus they recommend you replace them every 6 months. These are not your run of the mill fluorescent bulbs, so just on the bulb replacement costs you'll come out ahead within a year, even before considering the energy cost when the bulbs are running 12-24 hours a day.

CUTTING THE CORD.......I have the regular herb set growing now, but I'm thinking I may want to replace the dill with some lettuce. Replacement seed and plant food kits are pretty pricey - 18 - 18 bucks for 7 plant holders with sponges and plant food.... I did a search and lots of people "reload" the plastic cages with regular kitchen sponges. In addition, lots of people are using TDS meters to judge when to add plant food - that plus all the aftermarket hydroponic plant food gives you options for "cutting the cord"

ENERGY COSTS....I was afraid that it might get expensive, but even with the LEDs on 24 hours a day, 36 watts x 24 hours x 365 days = 315 kWh....Most people pay about 12 cents per, so that's $38 a year. Reading through the instructions, you don't use 24 hour light except when the plants are mature and you are harvesting, so you can probably figure that on average it's more like $25-$30 a year.

SETUP....Very easy assembly, I didn't realize that the reservoir takes a gallon to fill so I ended up walking back and forth to the sink several times. You can actually lift the whole growing pod out of the base and fill it at a sink - unless you like the exercise.

LOCATION....I have ours in the basement next to a window well. I will probably move it to the main floor when I have time, since the grow lights can double as a night light - I suppose that would offset the 9 watts CFL I normally leave on overnight.

I do plan to continue updating this in the coming months - watch this space! If you found this review helpful or have questions or comments, please let me know!

151 of 157 people found the following review helpful.
5Easy to Use / Great Results / Don't be afraid to prune!
By Lizzi - Florida
I bought the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Extra LED. It has 7 pods and came with the gourmet herb seed kit. Here are a few comments I have about the device.

1. The LED lights truly are bright enough on their own. Since I have a cat, I put mine in a closet to keep her out of it. Actually, I think it is better to keep this away from too much other light. Keep it away from windows and don't put it under cabinet lights etc. The extra light could burn the plants. That's right, this thing provides all the light you will need.

2. Pruning - when my plants start getting close to the light panel I prune them. This needs to be done about every other day once they really start growing. Sometimes daily depending on how quickly they grow. Don't raise the lights - prune your plants. This will let the slower growing plants get enough light. Prune, prune, prune. Leave the lights on the lowest level until all the plants are up to the light.

3. Cilantro - Ok here's the scoop on growing cilantro. Cilantro seeds need darkness and not too much humidity to germinate. So, don't use the grow dome and cover the hole on the pod with a quarter or a piece of tin foil until the sprouts are coming up to the top of the paper. Then remove the cover and proceed as usual.

4. Chives - I haven't had too much success with chives. Miracle grow recommended leaving the grow dome off of this one as well. Mine sprouted but didn't grow much of a root system and didn't really take off. Also, here's something important to know about chives. They are toxic to animals. This is the one seed pod in the gourmet seed kit that you need to be careful with if you have pets. If your cat or dog will have access to it, maybe consider planting something else in this pod. Your cat will love you if you replace this with Catnip. :-)

5. Did I mention to prune your plants instead of raising the lights? This is important. Prune away. You'll be ok if you trim down to the next new growth (don't leave stem sticking up) and don't take more than 1/3 of the plant at a time. So you are pruning your herbs but not ready to cook with them. Now what? Did you know you can dry herbs in the microwave and they will last longer? It doesn't take long so keep an eye on it. Also, some herbs are drier than others right off the plant (i.e. dill is drier than basil). Obviously drier herbs take less time in the microwave than herbs with more natural moisture. You can store them in a ziploc or a mason jar. I put mine in the fridge. You can also try freezing them although I'm not crazy about the wilted texture this produces.

6. Mint - this one took the longest to germinate. The seeds are tiny so you may not see them in the pod. Just be patient be with this one. I left the grow dome on and just waited. It eventually came up and did just fine.

7. Parsley - this one was a little slow to sprout but it is looking great now. Again, just leave the grow dome on and be patient.

8. As your herbs grow, check the water level more frequently. That basil you are growing is really greedy when it comes to water.

9. Shake the nutrients. This seems obvious but you really do need to shake it up well. There is a lot of nutrient cruddy goodness that settles at the bottom. You want to make sure your little babies get all the love they need so really shake that stuff up.

10. Once a month or so it doesn't hurt to change the water. I use bottled spring water just because my water is hard and I want to protect the pump. You should also put fresh nutrients in at this time. Go ahead and prune the roots now too. Just cut off the really long ones. It will keep them out of the pump. Don't go crazy here - just give them a trim. It won't hurt them and it will help your Aerogarden pump last longer.

11. Electricity usage - didn't even notice a blip in my bill due to this. The LED models don't use much electricity, the lights are better for the plants and they last years instead of months. Definitely get the LED model over the regular one. It will save you money in the long run and is worth the initial investment.

12. The LEDs - as I said above -they last longer, are better for the plants and use much less electricity. They are also multi colored and look cool. :-)

13. I had to replace two pods the first time around because they didn't grow. Cilantro and Chives. (See items 3 & 4 above). Aerogarden will ask you to wait 21 days for the warranty to kick in but then they will send them out and it is hassle free. They even paid the shipping and gave me some growing tips. I experienced very good customer service from them. They asked if the Aerogarden itself was working and it was but I think they were ready and willing to deal with that if it had been necessary. Just be sure to go register your garden when you get it so they can look you up in their system.

14. This garden has a few different light and watering settings. For the herbs that come with the garden the lights will need to be on for 17 hours a day. There's no 'clock' but it is on a timer. I just turned mine on at exactly 6am and it goes off every evening at exactly 11pm. This simulates daytime and then the light is not bothering me at night. Also, since I'm currently hiding mine from the kitty due to the chives it's providing more than enough light for the walk-in closet it's residing in.

15. I also ordered a 3 season supply of grow anything pods. I haven't planted these yet but will as soon as I have a free space. My cat has requested that I replace the chives with catnip. This seems like a reasonable request given the toxity of chives to cats so I'll probably do that. LOL!

Have fun and enjoy your garden!

70 of 76 people found the following review helpful.
5Gardening for the technologically inclined
By D. Bonness
Note: because of the nature of this product, I will periodically update this review.

1. I highly recommend pushing this via Amazon prime and monitoring the prime price for at least a week, the reason being is the prime price seems to fluctuate and I have seen it go as low as $190.
2. Although they say allow 2 to 4 weeks for shipping, mine shipped within a week and a half and I received it two days later
3. This is indeed a legitimate product, I went on the aero garden website and had to look around a bit to find it, apparently it is so brand-new the manufacturer has yet to update the website for some reason.

The following is a top down review of the Aerogarden extra LED:

LED hood:
This is the defining feature that separates the LED extra from its predecessor, the extra. Either this is meant to be a between model with the aero garden ultra on one and and the aero garden Altra LED on the other, or aero garden is converting all models to the LED. I should point out that I was not able to locate replacement LED hoods on the aero garden website I imagine, or rather I should say I hope, that has the first generation of LED models approaches their expected expiration date, that we will begin to see new LED replacements come onto the market, that being said the expected lifespan of an LED hood is between three and five years.

The LED hood is a single unit, rather it be more accurate to say the whole thing is the hood and LED bulbs combined and does not seem to have an easy way of taking it apart, at least not one that I wanted to risk.

The hood has a powered Buy a secondary power cord that comes out of the base of the unit and the cord is long enough so that when the ride is fully extended there shouldn't be any issue with it.

Parascoping rod;
The ride can'fully extend to a little over 3 1/2 feet by my rough estimate to extend, you unlock one of the clasps extended to the desired length and then will you lock the class, it's pretty much foolproof. At full extension, if you intend to have this in your kitchen it cannot be under any overhanging cupboards. The two trellises that come with this model connect onto the rod by clasping to it, given the trickiness of attaching the trellis to the ride, I would recommend putting the trellis on before any plans that would require it are planted, simply because I could see the plants getting damaged in the process of putting the trellis.

Grow tray:
You can grow up to seven plants with this tray, four in the back and three in The front. The refill port is in the front right side of the tray, and is a diagonal opening. Liquid can easily be poured into it directly from a gallon jug so long as you are watching carefully, if you don't think you can still leave poor, use a funnel.

Base:
The base is where everything that is important goes on. The base holds a little over a gallon of water, at least I had to fillet a gallon and one quarter the first time I refilled it probably so the pump could get all the air out of it. Because this is right out of the box, this may change however I have this actually in my room and it is probably just as loud as an aquarium when it is fully filled. The control panel is pretty straightforward, featuring for buttons, And I'm off switch for the light, a reset button for the Reminders, a select button for the type of plans you're growing, and a timer to set how long the light will be on. Pressing and holding the on off button sets The time for when the lights come on, but not when they turn off, The lights being turned off is dictated by the timer or a manual override but pushing on off button. Pressing and holding the select button research the garden cycle, which is required whenever you restart your garden finally the cord is about 4 to 4 1/2 feet long, giving you a fair amount of distance when looking for an outlet.

All in all so far I have to say I am pleased with this product, The construction seems salad, and the control panel, while not an LCD screen as featured by the ultra, gets the job done. My only complaint comes with the herb seed kit that comes with this product

Seed kit:
Thus far these are just minor complaints and like with the main product I will update this section of the review as required.

The herbs kit comes with seven herbs, two different types of basil, parsley, dill, cilantro, mint, and chive. A few things annoyed me with this kit.
1. The labeling of each herb
For whatever reason, what each herb is this printed directly onto the pod, meaning that as the plant grows the name of the plant will be pushed around and eventually rendered impossible to actually read, so either have a good memory of what you planted and in what section, or wait the name of the herbs down and stick them on the sticker right next to the pod. The other issue is in incompleteness of information well all the pods state how long it should take for each plant to germinate, some of the pods neglected to say how tall the particular plant will get. This is important information, as the instructions in the aero garden specifically state to arrange the plants in such a way to prevent crowding and make sure that all plants get a fair amount of sunlight, plus you don't want to have to tall plants growing side-by-side otherwise you will get Crowding.
2. Liquid nutrients
I don't know how long ago they switched over from the tablets that I have seen in reviews, to the liquid nutrients, however I probably would have preferred the tablets to be honest. This particular model requires 8 ml of nutrients every two weeks and they even make a point of saying not to overfeed, However they give you a greenish colored measuring cup in which you have to quickly fill and then quickly dump it into your aero garden, because the nutrients are quick to settle to the bottom of the cup and are likely to be left behind. I would recommend that you simply take the nutrients and mix it into at least one cup of water before refilling the aero garden to properly get the dilution you need without the hassle of dealing with the fact the nutrients are quick to settle in there concentrated form.

I was surprised to see cilantro in the herb kit, as I have read numerous reviews and posts on the aero garden website that has stated people don't seem to have any luck with cilantro so that may explain the new nutrient solution but then again it could've just decide to stop going with tablets.

I would also like to point out, two organic growers, that I have read on the aero garden website that organic liquid fertilizers can be used however you need to look for highly"energetic" fertilizers, to prevent clogging The pump.

I will update in about a month or so, once I have gotten some decent growth for my plants and can give a good assessment of how everything is going.

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