Wednesday, December 23, 2009

AeroGarden vs. Power Plant Pro

Hi all. Today, I am going to share you my recent experience with some indoor gardening. By any means, I'm no green thumb, not even brown thumb, however I do find it doable and pretty fun. On the market, there're 2 major companies that make the indoor gardening system, AeroGarden and Prepara. I happen to have both of them.

Basically, the technology behind this is called Aeroponics (one extremely effective form of Hydroponics) which means growing plants without soil. In natural garden conditions, the plants absorb the nutrients from water and soil which act as reservoirs. However, the indoor gardening uses air in addition to water, spraying or dripping nutrients directly to the roots of the plants. This increases aeration then allows the plants to absorb more oxygen, which stimulates growth and prevents algae from forming. Thus plants (including a variety of fresh herbs, vegetables, even flowers) can grow a lot FASTER than normal soil gardening. All you need is water besides the nutrients. Also the biggest advantage, no bugs!

Sounds really cool, doesn't it? It sure does. Let's look at what we got here!

This is the Prepara Power Plant Professional box showing its technology.

So many types of plants can be grown in it, even strawberry.

I place my AeroGarden Classic and Prepara Power Plant Pro sitting side by side so my Prepara can utilize the light as well.

It seems like both machines use similar technology. They both have a water tank, both have some slots that you put your seed pots in, both make water fountain noise. Apparently the AeroGarden is a lot bigger than the Prepara. The price tag is also as nearly as 4 times. On the AeroGarden website, it sells for $59.99 (3 pot mini) to all the way up to over $200 while the Prepara Pro only costs $35 on Though remember the AeroGarden do come with the lamp and a control panel.

This is how AeroGarden looks inside. After you put in the pre-seeded pots in place, all you need to do is plug it in, fill it with water and drop the nutrients.

Prepara's "control panel". Prepara doesn't have a fancy control panel, but I do like its simple yet clean design. It shows the water level on a side window.

This is the Herb seed kit and nutrients that come with the AeroGarden. It also include a tending and harvesting guide for newbies like me. The kit include Mint, Italian Basil, Dill, Cilantro, Parsley, Purple Basil and Chives.

Since AeroGarden uses tablet type nutrients, it's better to store it in a cool place or else you'll end up having web tablets like this. Nasty!

This is the Burpee herb collection seed kit for Prepara. I got them on sale at Sur La Table. Since the AeroGarden herb seed kit already have Basils, Parsley and Cilantro, I only used the Oregano from here.

The spare grow sponge and nutrients from Prepara. Since it's liquid form, you need to thin it out with water.

Some other seeds that I got from Home Depot and more nutrients from Sur La Table. They're on sale for 4 bucks only. The white pouch is the Oregano seeds that come from the Burpee.

These 2 bottles will last me for a long time.

From this table, it seems like the AeroGarden is more nutritious than Prepara. I wonder if it'll make a difference.

Now let me tell you. I planted these seeds in my AeroGarden on December, 2, so it's been about 3 weeks. The Basils came out really fast on the day 3 or 4 while my Cilantro just sprouted 2 days ago. I even thought the seeds got rotted.

On the other hand, I planted the Prepara a week after the AeroGarden. They're almost the same size! Well except for the Rosemary, one of my favorite herb, hasn't sprouted yet.

See the little plastic caps? They're for the seeds to germinate. It's like a little green house for the seedlings.

I'm going to keep an eye on both and see which one grows faster and better. So check back with me later.


Anonymous said...

very nice post!

Mihoko said...

where did you get it? I want one too..

LS said...

Mihoko, check out the Macy's home store at Saramonte. I saw 3 of them on sale for around 70 bucks last time.

notes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mihoko said...

Are they lound. I have this one in mind. What do you think?

LS said...

Oh that's a 3-pot miniature AeroGarden. It's probably half the size of mine. Since the water was pumped up to the plant's root then fall back down into the tank, you will hear sound of water flowing. But it doesn't bother me. Also you can place it anywhere even without sunlight.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, we will post your article aeroponics vs hydroponics.I will post for our customers to see your articles on your blog aeroponics vs hydroponics

Anonymous said...

Do you have any updated information on how the plants did with both units and what you recommend?

LS said...

Yes, I did take photos for records and I will do an update on them early next week.

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