Monday, March 24, 2008

Unattainable beauty

A Euro design house called Smeg has come up with its own product for countertop gardeners. It's called the Home Garden, and it's gorgeous, the supermodel of the category. I like the modular pots. I think you could stack a few next to each other to create a mini-greenhouse. That is if you have £900 to spend---each.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


How many peat cups can you park on your AG? I'm up to 14 (in addition to the seven official seed pods in the unit). The little domes come in handy for this.


My Easter included some time cultivating; it was nice to be outside for a while, participating in the spring.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What the hell is this?

Is there another kitchen garden appliance on the scene? It's called the Ultimate Kitchen Gardener and it looks like a six-pod AeroGarden. I wonder if it is the same as the SpaceSaver6 that AeroGrow was supposed to be developing. Maybe they are running it through alternate sales channels (like HSN) to keep competitors from popping up.


I don't know if they grow a lot of herbs, but they sure are cute. These excellent Egglings may be found at

Friday, March 21, 2008

AeroGarden magic

My second attempt at cilantro is proving successful. I have made sure to keep the stuff moist, even putting a little clear plastic hat on the peat cup. Also, I've started a half-dozen pea plants pretty easily this way. The peas I planted outside in the dirt haven't done anything as it's still too cold.

Biking myth #1: China

Some cycling advocates are fond of saying what a biking Shangri-La China is supposed to be, but things I'm reading suggest it's not true any more. The reason bikes were so big there is that there weren't many cars until the 1990s. Now, the growing economy is putting more automobiles on the streets, and the government is accommodating them by in some cases banning bicycles from certain downtown areas. FYI.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thyme for a cool change

I am thinking about moving one of my herbs out of the AeroGarden as I am having a hard time finding uses for it. In theory it will still be there if I put it in a flowerpot, it'll just slow down. Then I can use the AG slot for more pressing priorities. I'd like to put it in a sunny window, but I haven't got pane for the thyme.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Clever accessories for the AG3

I am very impressed with a couple of the new accessories AeroGrow has come up with for the little AeroGarden 3. There are accent vases that you can use to hold flowers from the AG3---apparently while they are still living happily in the grow pods. They also have a basket that will hold the whole bowl for use as a centerpiece.

These address a couple of perceived drawbacks of the AG3 while opening up exciting possibilities. The main drawback to the AG3 is it is a bit mechanical, techno-geeky, and appliance-looking. Also, while you have the flower pods on display in the vases, maybe you can stick some herbs in the AG3. Maybe you can use the vases as a way to grow things in a sunny window, sans AG. I've had good luck with cuttings so far, so I am very interested in trying this.

I would say these tools make the AG3 a very good gift for anyone who likes flowers. I'm specifically thinking of females. I'm also thinking of the vases as a way to exploit AG technology on the cheap (remember that the AG3 pods are a different shape than the original grow pods). I am very impressed with creativity of the AG designers; if I had $30 I would get this stuff.

Gas is the latte

Has anyone ever wondered whether gas might be some kind of status symbol? Obviously some people view their cars as ways to prove they are superior to the lowly masses. Do these people really care about how much gas costs, any more than they care about the price of coffee? Isn't it just another way to prove how important they are?

Monday, March 17, 2008


The Universe and a terribly generous friend have conspired to provide me with a second big AeroGarden (as opposed to the miniaturized AeroGarden 3 I mentioned earlier). I actually got this for Christmas but only recently set it up after giving up on trying to return it. The FedEx man left it at my door and sped away before I could answer, disappearing like a bandit. I tried to return it numerous times but was thwarted or refused. Like Caesar accepting the crown after thrice turning it down, so do I accept the electronic garland. [THANK YOU.]

So after three months I finally plug it in. I ordered some baby salad greens for it as I already have intense herb action in my original unit. It is supposed to be a mix, but all the seed pods have the same label. I think they are all going to be different plants though. It would be nice to know what is what for planning purposes. I'd like to just plant half of them---I mean I don't want to explode from eating too much salad---and maybe start a trade in surplus pods on eBay. I never did use the mint seeds from my original AG, as I am already growing a boatload of the salvia via soil and toil.

I have lots of other stuff going on right now, and I have been lagging behind in the blogging. I shall summarize. Working: new patio (meyer) lemon tree, PEAS!, tomatoes. The new greens sprouted after a couple days and then grew freakishly fast: a measureable difference in just a few hours (the two pics above were taken at noon and 8 p.m. on the same day). Not working or unsure: hops seed :(, zuccini in styrofoam egg crate near under AG3, green onions. The cilantro seeds bloomed but I think they dried out. It's odd to think that three months ago I had no AeroGardens, now they are a critical tool steering me into urban homesteading.

AG hacks that worked

I am happy to report a couple of my tricks for capitalizing upon the excess energy flow of the AeroGarden have proved fruitful. What you do is plant seeds in the little peat pots and set them in range of the grow lights. In this environment you have to water them every day; in some cases I recycled the little clear plastic caps that came with the AeroGarden seed pods.

Peas sprouted in a couple of days. So did cilantro, an herb that AeroGrow removed from its herb kit because it is so hard to grow! Hopefully it won't curl up and die on me.

The aquaponics experiment has also proved successful. Basil will root very well within a week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gorgeous weather

I really don't have the words to describe how lovely is an early spring day in yonder Carolines, nor will a crummy cellphone picture do it justice.

Fortunately I was able to get outside and enjoy it, picking up gardening supplies at yonder Hardware Hut and tackling a couple of repotting/planting projects. Thanks to Red Icculus I got some Hydroton clay pellets and used these as a top dressing for my wild strawberry and lemon tree, which moved into larger dwellings today. The clay pellets look very cool; if they provide a bit of moisture management insurance all the better.

This stuff is getting expensive though. I just dropped $41 on pots and implements.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crisis and BIG BIG NEWS

The "Add Nutrient" light on the AG3. I think it is just a matter of adding a pill.

I have big news. Hops seed #22 actually sprouted! It is a wild, hairy little thing. This was one I preconditioned in the fridge for six weeks like the directions said.

In other news, the tomatoes are doing great, and the nearby coffee shop is giving me all their grounds. Much future growth forecasted.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Instant aquaponics

I have also started an aquaponics experiment buy putting a basil clipping into a vase with a fish in it. It is parked in the light of an Aerogarden 3, which by the way warms up the water quite a bit; I'll have to watch that.

Back at the AG

Back at the orig AG, the tomato seedlings are leaps and bounds over their soil-bound brethren.

Off-label tomatoes sprouting

My "off-label" tomatoes began to sprout today, a couple of days after their in-Aerogarden counterparts (actually those are not company pods either). I am referring to the seeds I put in little peat pots clustered together next to the AG3. I call them off-label because they are an extracirricular addition to the approved Aerogarden application. Tomatoes seem to be the easiest plant to grow, ever. At this rate I should have plenty of seedlings to nuture or find new homes.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Precocious plant

The Mountain Meadow pods are supposed to sprout in 4 to 10 days (it sounds like they are hedging their bets, doesn't it?). The calendula was ahead of schedule, making its debut on the third day. It's definitely the alpha plant here.


The original AG is still going apeshit, and I am trying to harness the surplus lumens to grow side projects. The pink pot has a delapidated sweet potato vine, plus several seedlings that appear to be little pepper plants! They are more than a year old but only a couple inches high.

My beloved ornamental pepper in the middle started blooming like mad after getting some grow light. However, this is the first little pepper I've had in a while. I think it is the parent of all those little seedlings.

BTW, is it safe to eat purple peppers? I'm still alive, but curious none the less.

We have ignition

Turn it on and wait. Again I am struck by how pleasant the cool white light is.

Meet the meadow

I opted for the "Mountain Meadow" pods. I put the yellow one in the front.

Meet the Aerogarden 3

I am way behind on postings for the newest member of the Aerogarden family, the Aerogarden 3!

It is supposed to have about the same footprint as a coffee maker, and that seems about right. It will even fit under my kitchen cabinets, that were too low for the original AG.

Tomatoes gone wild

After four days, the tomato seedlings are already at the top of the little cover.