As I enter the 4th week of our first run of our AeroGarden Farm 24XL it’s interesting watch how fast the plants do grow. Especially if you don’t mess up and cannot figure out why the lights didn’t turn on. I am all for being transparent that sometimes I am clueless.
After we got the machine built, I was very excited. I put in the pods and charted on paper what I was growing. Set up the Wi-Fi, and turned on the machine, full of water and plant food. Day 2 was done, and I posted about the setup.
And by day 3 was asking myself “Why are the lights not coming on?” The water is circulated two times a day. But no lights came on.
I wandered over and started checking everything. The computer system seemed to be working just fine.
And then I realized why.
The cords to the lights were only half pushed in.
As soon as I clicked them in huh…the lights came on blinding bright.
I sure felt pretty stupid at that moment. I looked at everything tech first, not the simplest solution. Kirk gave me some good ribbings over that one….
On January 16th I realized I had another issue:
Mr. Fluff Butt was spending far too much time being interested in the grow tanks, which are just above the ground. The little plastic domes, that sit over the seeds at the start? He would not stop grabbing them. He of course thought it was hilarious to run around the house with them in his mouth.
A few pieces of cheap off brand plastic wrap solved that easily. All it needed was a visual of “hey, you can’t get it easily” and he moved on. Kind of similar to the baby gate on the stairs….
On January 23rd the plants were starting to only sprout, but they were putting on second and third leaves. Overall most eventually germinated, though we had I think 3 of the greens/herbs that didn’t. At 21 days in, you can contact the company about it. Since I messed up the lights I had to go to Day 24. It’s Day 25, so I will contact them tomorrow about it for replacements. But not a big issue, really. Nearly all did germinate and grow as advertised.
February 1st. I was very interested in this run how the tomatoes would do. Unlike the greens, I have noticed the tomatoes grow slower on the outside spots.
February 3rd. In just 2 days time the plants jumped quickly. It’s freaky how they are doing squat and tiny, then suddenly it’s like they doubled over the day.
Even now, I can look over to the unit, by my work desk and the greens are almost ready to harvest for a first salad.
(Photo taken this morning)
The tomatoes soon I will pull up and pot into soil to grow for the greenhouse. If anything, this machine makes starting tomato seeds a snap. I can walk away and let it do the work. However, it is very noticeable that the farthest out plant is the smallest. It is a Yellow Canary Tomato, and it’s siblings are quite bigger. The next row in is bigger, but the row closest to the middle is 3X the size of the outlying Pluto Plant. Hah.
I picked up a Grow Anything Seed Pot Kit (50) on a good price to have on hand, it’s even less by a dollar now. I would prefer to grow my own seeds, especially for tomatoes, that I will plant outside eventually. Amazon is far cheaper for it than on AeroGarden’s website and it’s shipped Prime.
The Power Outage!
Friday night we had a wind storm, and it was going good. We didn’t lose power. But then yesterday morning a tree fell on the power line, just down the street from our place, and took out our power for most of the day. I was nervous, wondering what would happen when we got power back.
No issues at all. Once power was restored I went to the screen on the unit and it asked me had there been a power outage, or was I trying to shut the machine down. I clicked on outage, it had me reset the current time, and off we went. All settings are saved in the computer.
Yes, it has a slight learning curve. Especially if it is the operator doing the hindering.
But once you figure it out, it’s easy to keep going.
I highly suggest getting a small watering can with a long thin spout for easy fill ups of water (I picked up 3 of these small ones at a Walmart a year or two ago, they are like 2 quart size? In the seasonal garden department). The computer will let you know when it is getting low on water and when to add more plant food. As the plants really grow, you will go through water faster. The spout goes into the water area very easily, and no messes that way.
It’s been fun growing this way, and a great way for the kids to watch it work. It’s going to be a long time till I earn back the money in salads, but again, it lets us grow when outside it is too dark and cold. I feel connected using it.