Aerogarden Classic by MELINDA Schmidbauer

I purchased the Aerogarden Classic about six months ago, as a Gold Box purchase. (Aside: If you are not familiar with the Gold Box, click on Today's Deals on the main Amazon page. There is a different Gold Box deal each day; there may be several lightning deals there, as well as Quick Picks especially for you, if you are logged in.) I had been looking at the Aerogarden for quite some time, but it really was too pricey to get for no occassion. But through a series of events not detailed here, Mark "owed" me a present, so I picked the Aerogarden.

The garden comes with seed pods for a mixed herb garden. The directions were comprehensive, it was easy to set up, and the herbs started growing quickly. I grew two kinds of basil, mint, thyme and dill. The mint and basil did the best. I got very few chives, a good bit of dill and thyme, but an abundance of basil. For the first time, I made pesto. And more pesto. And even more pesto. Good thing I like pesto.

My herbs lasted quite a long time, at least four months. They quite probably would have lasted longer, but Mark and I were going to be away for about a week, and I was worried about them running out of water and burning out the pump, so I turned off the garden and cleaned it out.

I liked this Aerogarden so much, when it went back into the Gold Box, I got another one! In that one, I planted lettuce. For about 4 months, we had lettuce for sandwiches and garnish whenever we wanted it. There really wasn't enough lettuce for entree sized salads, but there certainly was enough for two side salads a couple times a week, and lettuce for burgers and turkey sandwiches. The lettuce seemed to die off sooner than the herbs did. By the end, I only had one pod producing lettuce. Before we left for vacation, I had a BIG salad and turned the garden off.

So, since we are back, I replanted. Of course, my refill kit came from Amazon. Conveniently, they were on sale in the 4-for-3 promotion, so I got two kits, and two replacement grow lights. In one garden, I will grow flowers. In the other, I am going to try tomatos. A note about the grow lights -- Aerogrow recommends replacing them every six months. I am going to try going longer, or replace only one grow light per unit every six months. I am hoping this works okay.

The new gardens were planted about three or four days ago. I am already seeing sprouts.

I am not using the gardens to grow "special herbs." From what I have heard, "special herbs" do not do well in Aerogardens. More room is needed.

Although I really like my Aerogarden, I don't know that I would recommend it for everyone. It is a trifle pricey, and replacement bulbs and seed kits can add up. This is not really economical, but if you can get one cheap, it might be a fun growing experience.