A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Author Topic: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden  (Read 5299 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pz

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Idaho
  • I Love Pizza!
    • good food & friends
Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« on: November 05, 2013, 11:52:45 PM »
I know the topic Aerogarden has been mentioned a few times, but no home photos, so I thought I'd post a few in "action".  We have been using the tiny hydroponic garden units for a few years for fresh pizza ingredients.  We have them spread all over the house, and in addition to the fresh ingredients, we find them useful for the following reasons (the grow lights automatically cycle on for 16 hours, then off for 8 hours):
  • One is in our bedroom, and we use it for a silent alarm clock - the lights come on at 5am, which is when I like to rise - they have never failed to awake me in the years we have used the unit
  • The other 3 units are spread throughout the home, and cycle at various cycle times so it looks like someone is up and about - serves as a criminal deterrent while simultaneously growing the plants.
In the pics we have:
  • All different types of basil
  • Cilantro, dill, chives, parsley, and a couple more basil plants
  • Cherry tomatoes, yellow and red
  • Red heirloom tomatoes
These plants are two weeks old from the time of planting to now
My online cookbook: good food & friends

Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26367
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 08:37:10 AM »
What are the little plastic cups for? What are the dimensions of the units?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline derricktung

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 594
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 09:25:28 AM »
It's been awhile since I used my own Aerogarden, but if I remember correctly, the little plastic cups go over the seedling pods until the plants get big enough to grow out of them. 

Having attempted to grow my own batch of basil indoors, the Aerogarden is definitely FAR more effective... makes me want to start a aeroponic or hydroponic garden in the basement...

I'm reminded to only handle one project at a time though by my wife.  ;)

Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26367
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 09:48:21 AM »
They sell hydroponic basil at a local grocery store, and it has very thin and fragile leaves and no flavor. Anything you can do to grow it better?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline stonecutter

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1132
  • Location: Roatan, Honduras
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 10:06:36 AM »
I'm sure you will get great satisfaction from growing vegetables and herbs from seed...I know we do.

In CT we had a basement seed garden in the winter.   There were 4 multilevel shelves about 6 ft high, each level had shop lights with ordinary florescent bulbs on a timer for the primary light source, since the three basement windows were not enough .  It was great to have established plants to put in the ground on Memorial Day ( the designated safe time in CT) and we always had plenty of herbs ready for pizza and grilling...veg for salad and sides. 

   
When we build, let us think that we build forever.
John Ruskin

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26367
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 10:33:42 AM »
I'm sure you will get great satisfaction from growing vegetables and herbs from seed...I know we do.

In CT we had a basement seed garden in the winter.   There were 4 multilevel shelves about 6 ft high, each level had shop lights with ordinary florescent bulbs on a timer for the primary light source, since the three basement windows were not enough .  It was great to have established plants to put in the ground on Memorial Day ( the designated safe time in CT) and we always had plenty of herbs ready for pizza and grilling...veg for salad and sides. 

I was just asking if all hydroponic basil had no flavor or if there was a way to grow in hydroponically where it was similar to soil-grown.

I'm picking tomatoes when you are planting them.  ;D
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline pz

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Idaho
  • I Love Pizza!
    • good food & friends
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 01:27:31 PM »
What are the little plastic cups for? What are the dimensions of the units?

derricktung is correct - they act as a mini greenhouse to keep a moist environment while the seeds germinate and delicate seedlings grow a bit (can tend to be a bit dry in winter).  My wife had just taken the little domes off and placed them by the side of the plants - they will be removed now as we no longer need them.

The footprint is relatively small - approximately 18 inches long x 10 inches deep x 12-20 inches tall (telescoping light fixture on some units allows plant growth to a significant height)

They sell hydroponic basil at a local grocery store, and it has very thin and fragile leaves and no flavor. Anything you can do to grow it better?

The basil tastes really good - I think better than the fresh basil you can purchase in the small packets at the grocery store - the leaves are thicker as well.  Because of the variety of basil species (Lemon, Thai, Napolitano, Marseilles (French), Genovese (Italian), Globe and Red Rubin) most of which are not readily available, growing is well worth the effort - they each offer distinct flavors.  Along with the seed pods comes the liquid plant food that you dump in when filling the unit with water.

We usually do a couple of plantings through the winter - the second planting will also yield herbs and tomatoes as did the first, but these we transplant outdoors in the spring when it warms.  We did that last year, and just now as the snow is beginning to fly are we out of tomatoes.  The flavor of the tomatoes grown entirely indoors is comparable to those that spend the summer in the dirt outside - I just love to pick the plentiful fruit directly off the vine and pop them into my mouth for a burst of tomato flavor.

The one thing we have noticed after doing this a few years is that the plants outside in summer regularly are much more bountiful.
My online cookbook: good food & friends

Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 26367
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 02:09:33 PM »
The one thing we have noticed after doing this a few years is that the plants outside in summer regularly are much more bountiful.

It's hard to replicate sunlight.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline pz

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Idaho
  • I Love Pizza!
    • good food & friends
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 02:29:52 PM »
Indeed; also the intense summer heat is what really helps fruiting and maturing.  It is just too cold in winter for the plants to be very happy, and prohibitively expensive to heat the house that high  ;D
My online cookbook: good food & friends

Offline stonecutter

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1132
  • Location: Roatan, Honduras
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 03:52:03 PM »


I'm picking tomatoes when you are planting them.  ;D

Not anymore you're not.   

We have been living in South Carolina for the last 4 years...veg all year long.
When we build, let us think that we build forever.
John Ruskin

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline stonecutter

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1132
  • Location: Roatan, Honduras
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 03:55:53 PM »
........... Anything you can do to grow it better?

Yeah....fill the tray with good planting soil.  :-D
When we build, let us think that we build forever.
John Ruskin

Offline Surffisher2A

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 78
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2013, 11:24:20 AM »
I used an aero garden for a couple years, I was impressed with the quality of the basil i was able to get out of it. It wasn't as big and bushy as my outdoor basil, but the flavor and etc was on par with it. Unless you have multiple aero gardens or step up to a hydroponic farm I couldn't get enough yield out of just my aero garden to keep up.

Offline pz

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Idaho
  • I Love Pizza!
    • good food & friends
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2013, 01:34:19 PM »
... Unless you have multiple aero gardens or step up to a hydroponic farm I couldn't get enough yield out of just my aero garden to keep up.

Yes indeed; we currently have 4 and just purchased their newest version, an LED unit - comes with an herb assortment pod packet.
My online cookbook: good food & friends

Offline Kamado Pizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 25
  • Location: ATL Burbs
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2016, 07:30:12 PM »
I know this is an old thread, but for those looking to grow fresh basil, these things work quite well.  We've had ours about a year.  I currently have Genovese, Marseille, Lemon and Napolitano Basil growing.  I have a 6 pod unit and with basil, we only plant a max of 4 pods.  The Genovese basil grows so quickly and so large, that it just crowds out the others.  You can also buy a custom basil seed kit.  I did not see this on Amazon, but the Aerogarden site has it.  http://www.aerogarden.com/seed-kits/custom-herb-seed-kit-2.html
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 07:33:43 PM by Kamado Pizza »

Offline Minolta Rokkor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1960
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Newport News, Virginia
  • We stand on the shoulders of giants.
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2016, 07:27:54 PM »
Hydroponic green house possible?

I mean, it doesn't have to be huge, just cover the hydroponic unit in a green house, heat it up and that's it right?
Pizza is about balance, nothing more nothing less

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline AndyBern

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 29
  • Location: Beatty, Nevada
  • I Love Pizza!
    • Andrew Bernhardt's homepage
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2016, 02:39:39 PM »
I've used an Aerogarden in the past as well and it worked great for basil. But fungus gnats are a problem here, and they love hydroponics. I've tried everything to get rid of them and while some things work better than others (BTI, neem oil, and cedar oil worked the best), I've had to abandon hydroponics in the house.

For light, I find the LED daylight bulbs work great for indoor plants. I have an italian oregano growing in a big pot. I brought it inside for the winter with a 24hr 75W daylight LED it grows very well.

Offline Brent-r

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Caledon, Ontario
  • Love the wood fired oven
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2018, 05:07:50 PM »
We are into our 3rd year with a few Aerogardens going.

The basil and herbs work pretty well.  The mini-tomatoes will get you excited as they ripen, but its a fraud.

The tomatoes are nothing but red pulp.   No flavor.   Stick with the canned marzanos.
Brent

Offline Mako13

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 52
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2018, 10:24:18 PM »
I need one of those.

Is it idiot proof?

Last basil plant I got at the grocery store that looked beautiful and healthy, I managed to kill in short order.

Don't know if I was under-watering, or over-watering it.

Doe the hydroponic ones permit you to manage the proper hydration of the plants, so they thrive?

Offline Brent-r

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Caledon, Ontario
  • Love the wood fired oven
Re: Fresh basil and tomatoes in the middle of winter - Aerogarden
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2018, 12:19:05 AM »
with these you can customized the cycle of the pumps an lights. .... at least with the top end models.  You can screw it up but you'd have to work at it.  Important to do a complete water change every week or two.  Also watch that the roots don't plug up the intake of the little pump.  It's easy to remove the pump and snap the cover off to get the roots off the impeller if they get that far in..    Note also that there is a dial on the pump intake to regulate volume.   Also, the top is made of two layers.
the cover you can see and a sort of distribution tray attached under the cover.  Roots will sometimes grow between the two layers.  It's a bit of a challenge but you can snap them apart to clean out.

And I can say we have had great success with herbs.   All the grocery store basil we tried seems to die within a couple weeks as commented above.   Plant the pods a week or two apart so you constantly have a fresh plant coming up.
We have 4 running now.   
Brent

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


 

wordpress