Adding Water to Your AeroGarden
When additional water is needed,
the “Water Level Low” light on
the Control Panel will blink. Add
water to raise the level up to “Fill
To Here” inside the Bowl. It is okay to add water up to “Fill
To Here” before the “Water Level
Low” light blinks. When your herb plants mature,
they may need water as often as
twice a week. Be sure to check the “Water Level Low” light regularly.
Use room-temperature water. Very hot or very cold water will hurt
your plants. We recommend using municipal tap, bottled or purified water. Well
or softened water SHOULD NOT be used because the extra minerals
in these sources may be harmful to aeroponically grown plants. NEVER mist the plants in your Garden. Water could shatter the
Grow Bulb glass.
Feeding Your AeroGarden
Every 2 weeks, both the “Add Nutrient” and “Water
Level Low” lights on the control panel of your AeroGarden will blink
on and off.
First Feeding After Planting
Add the 2 nutrient tablets
from the blue bag labeled “Sprouting Nutrients”.
All Other Feedings
Add 2 nutrient tablets from
the clear bag labeled “Growing Nutrients” and
reseal the bag.
Every time you add nutrient
tablets to your AeroGarden be sure to:
Add water to raise the water
level to “Fill To Here” in
the Bowl. This will ensure that the nutrients do not become too
Press the “Reset” button to restart the AeroGarden and the nutrient timer and turn off
the blinking lights.
Raising your AeroGarden Lights
As your AeroGarden plants begin to grow, leave approximately 1-2 inches
of space between the top of plants and the lights. Before raising
lights, make sure that your plants are the same height (refer to “Pinch Basil Plants” part of this guide for details).
To raise the lights:
- Unplug the AeroGarden (the
backup system will save your
- Carefully remove the Bowl from
the Base and set aside.
- Turn the AeroGarden around so
the back of the Lamp Arm is
- Firmly hold the lower section of
the Lamp Arm and push in the
Locking Button on the Arm. With
your other hand, grasp the silver
ring at the top of the Arm (where
the Lamp Hood attaches to the
Arm). Pull up firmly on Lamp
Hood until the Locking Button
becomes visible in the next hole.
Move Locking Button up only one hole at a time. The lights need
to be close to the plants for optimal light intensity.
- Replace the Bowl onto the Base
and plug in your AeroGarden.
- Lift the AeroGarden's View Door to check that
the water is flowing. If not, refer
to Troubleshooting part
of this guide.
If the Grow Bulbs are too
close to the plants, the
leaves may brown and burn.
If they are too far away, your
plants will “stretch” towards
the light and look ﬂoppy
Keeping Your AeroGarden's Herbs Healthy
Keeping a watchful eye on your Garden is not only a joy, but
also a smart way to make sure your herbs stay healthy.
As your herbs grow, you may
see some dead or brown leaves
around the base of your plants.
This is perfectly normal. Remove these leaves with
scissors or pinch off with
your fingers. Keep the Grow Surface clear
of dead leaves.
You may see chives that look
like they’re “jumping out” of the
This is not actually a problem.
Sometimes the delicate roots of
chives don’t anchor properly
in the grow sponge.
There are many chive seeds
in each Seed Pod, so you will
still have a bountiful bunch
Special Tips for Purple and Italian Basil : Pruning 3- to 4-Week Old Basil Plants
About 3 to 4 weeks after planting your Garden, it is time to prune the
young basil plants to encourage the plants to branch out. Plants with
many branches will produce large quantities of basil. Remember, all
your basil clippings are edible, so enjoy the fresh sprigs!
From the base of the basil plant follow
the main stem up past 3 sets of leaves. Cut the main stem just above
the 3rd leaf set.
The photo at right shows how
your plant should look after this
Pinch Basil Plants (Ongoing after 4 weeks)
Pinching will help your plants grow full and yield larger
quantities of basil. Initially, your basil plants will grow taller than the other herbs in your AeroGarden. Pinching back the basil will allow you to keep the lights
close to the other slower growing
herbs, providing them with the
intense light they need to grow. Pinch basil plants just above the
uppermost set of leaves (the growth
points) at the top of stalks every
week. Use these clippings in your
favorite basil recipe.
Prune Basil Flowers and Flower Buds.
If you see flowers and/or flower buds on your basil plant, remove them. Cut back the flowering/budding
stalk just above a set of leaves no
more than halfway down the
This may seem drastic, but pruning
your plant will actually stimulate
growth and help the basil maintain
Note: A slight amount of
browning on older basil
leaf edges is normal.
Plant Problems and Remedies
These pictures show plants that are stressed. Follow the suggestions to
restore your Garden’s health.
Herbs are not getting enough water.
Check water level.
Herb plant is too close to the Grow
Bulbs. Raise the Lamp Hood or
prune the plant.
Curled Inside Dome
Dome was left on too long.
Immediately remove Dome.
Herb plant is at end of productive
growth period when it begins producing
flowers. To extend the life of
your herbs remove all flowers when
Harvesting the Herbs From Your AeroGarden
About 5 weeks after planting your Garden, you can begin
harvesting your herbs.
Harvest your herbs with pruning shears, household scissors, or by
gently pinching off with your fingers. Following the harvesting tips
below will help keep your plants productive and healthy.
Harvesting Advice for All Herbs: Do not remove more than a third of the leaves or stems from any one
plant at a time. Continue to harvest up to a third of the herbs on each plant per week.
The leaves and stems will be replaced by new growth. Harvest just before using for the best flavor. As you harvest, try to keep the plants at about the same height so that
they all receive enough light. After harvesting your herbs, lower lights, if necessary.
Harvest dill where two stems join
(termination point). Find the termination point by looking
near the base of the dill plant. Cut the widest of the two stems.
This is what your dill plant might
look like after harvesting. Dill Hint…
The stems are so tender that you can
use the entire sprig. Chop dill with a
knife or scissors.
Harvest the outer most stems and
any branches that are shading other
plants, as well as the tallest stems
that are growing into the lights. Cut mint just above a set of leaves
(growth point) and not more than
half way down the stem.
This is what your mint plant might
look like after harvesting.
For cooking, pick off (and use) the
leaves from the cut stem. Use the
entire sprig (stem and leaves) if you
are adding mint to a drink.
Harvest Cilantro and Parsley
Harvest cilantro and parsley near the
base of the plant, cutting an entire
stem – just the stem, not the entire
Cilantro shown before harvest. Select the oldest stems, found near
the outer edges of the plant. These
stems are generally wider than the
younger ones and the leaves may
have some yellow around the edges.
Also, remove stems that shade other
plants in your Garden.
This is what your cilantro plant
might look like after harvesting. Cilantro and Parsley Hint…
Pick off the leaves that you want
to use from the cut stem or use the
entire top part, as the stems near the
top are quite tender.
When chives start to hang over the
edge of your Garden and grow up into
the lights, it’s time to harvest. Gather up all of the chives and hold
them with one hand. With the other
hand, cut no more than 1/3 of the
way down from the tips.
The tips will continue to grow and
the plant will also produce new
shoots after harvesting. Entire stem can also be used by
cutting at the base.
This is what your chives might
look like after harvesting.
Chives Hint…Use scissors to “chop” chives directly
into whatever you are cooking.
Harvest Purple and Italian Basil From Your AeroGarden
Purple Basil is shown in the photos,
but the instructions apply to Italian
Basil as well.
To keep your basil plants productive
and flavorful, focus your harvesting on
the following 3 areas…Large Leaves: Cut or pinch off large leaves that
shade the lower parts of the basil
plant. (This harvest will yield just a
Basil Stems: For larger quantities, and to keep
the basil plants bushy, cut stems
just above a set of leaves but not
more than half way down the stem.
Never harvest more than 1/3 of the
plant at any one time.
Select branches that shade other
plants in your Garden.
Uppermost Leaves: Continue weekly pinching of the
uppermost leaves of basil plants
(See “Pinch Basil” on page 14).
This is what your basil plant might
look like after harvesting.
The Garden at right is the same
8-week old Garden shown on
page 16. This photo illustrates
the amount of fresh herbs you
Notice that the Lamp Hood
needs to be lowered to bring
the lights closer to the plants.
Reminders About Planting Your AeroGarden
Please use the Quick Start Guide included in your original AeroGarden box for more detailed setup instructions.
Setting up Your AeroGarden
- Is the Lamp Arm firmly
inserted into the Base?
- Are the Grow Bulbs firmly
inserted into the sockets in
the AeroGarden's Lamp Hood?
- Is the Lamp Cord plugged
into the AeroGarden's Lamp Hood?
- Is the Bowl securely placed
in the Base?
- Is there water in your Bowl
up to “Fill To Here” line?
- Is your Lamp Hood at the
Planting Your AeroGarden
- Does the Seed Pod
arrangement in the AeroGarden's Grow
Surface match the layout
in the Seed Kit Tray?
- Did you put a Dome on each
- Are the AeroGarden Seed Pods pressed
firmly into the Grow Surface
openings (until the rim of the
Dome almost touches the
- Did you add 2 Starting
Nutrient tablets from the green
bag in the Nutrient Box and
press the Reset button?
- Did you record your AeroGarden planting
date on the cover of this guide?
Starting Your AeroGarden
- Did you plug in your
- Is the water flowing?
- Are the Grow Bulbs on?
- Did you select your plant type?
Questions & Answers About the AeroGarden Nutrients
What is in the nutrient
tablets? AeroGarden nutrient tablets
consist mainly of mineral salts.
These provide the 13 micro and
macro nutrients that all plants
require, in just the right
proportions for your herb plants.
The tablets also contain: Seaweed for a boost of
70 micro nutrients and
trace elements. A buffer so you can use tap
water for your plants without
adjusting the pH. A binder to hold the tablet
Are the nutrients organic? The AeroGarden nutrient tablets
are organic, according to
current APFCO (American
Association of Plant Food
Control Officials) standards.
Can I use leftover nutrient
tablets from a different Seed
Kit with my Gourmet Herb
Garden? No. The nutrient tablets are
specially formulated for each
Seed Kit. Using nutrient tablets
from a different Seed kit type
may harm your herb plants and
result in less than optimal flavor
What happens if I run out of
nutrients while my garden is
still growing? You can extend the life of your
garden by ordering additional
Questions & Answers About the AeroGarden Lights
Do I need to turn the
AeroGarden lights on and
No. Your AeroGarden includes
a built-in timer that turns your
lights on and off at specific
intervals. These intervals are
designed to maximize the
growth of your herb plants.
The timing system started as
soon as you plugged in your
AeroGarden. Every day it will
automatically turn your lights
on for 17 hours beginning at
Can I change the time of
day the lights go off?
Yes. To change the time your
lights go off, follow the simple
steps in Setting Your Light
Timer” in the next section of
Does it matter what time
of day the lights go off? No. It makes no difference to
the plants when your lights go
on and off. Some people like
to have the lights off when they
go to bed and come on in the
morning when they wake up. Others prefer to use the
AeroGarden as a nightlight.
Even if you place your AeroGarden
in a sunny location, you can still
set the lights to go on at any time.
The natural light shining through
a window is weak compared to
the intense light provided by the
Can I change the number
of hours the lights are on
Only by selecting a different plant
type on the Smart Garden Control
Panel. The “Herbs/Basil” setting
will keep your lights on for 17
hours and off for 7 hours, which
is an ideal light cycle for rapid
growth of tasty herbs.
Can I temporarily turn off
Absolutely. Just push the “Lights”
button and then immediately release
to manually turn the lights off
(or back on). This will not change
any of the settings for your AeroGarden
and your lights will turn on
(or off) at the next regularly programmed
time. Occasional use of
this feature will not harm or slow
the growth of your plants.
Setting Your AeroGarden Light Timer
Your AeroGarden has lights
and a built-in timer that
automatically provide your
plants with 17 hours of “sunlight” and 7 hours of “night”, which is optimal for
the healthy growth of herbs.
As long as your plants get
this amount of light, it does
not matter when the lights
are turned off. You may find
it convenient to have the
lights go on in the morning
and off at night to match
your own wake and sleep
Note: If the reflection from
lights is visible from
your bedroom, you
may want to set the
lights to go off about
the time you usually
go to bed, so as not to
disturb your sleep.
5 Simple Steps...
In order to make this as simple as
possible you only need to set the
time you want the lights of your
AeroGarden to go off (Off Time)
and your built-in light timer
automatically sets the On Time...nothing more for you to do.
Do the following at the time you
want your lights to go off: Decide what time of day you
want the lights to go OFF.
AT THAT TIME check that the
lights are on. If they are off,
quickly press the Lights button
and immediately release.
Press and hold the Lights
button until the green light next
to “Herbs/Basil” starts blinking – about 5 seconds.
Release the button.
When the blinking stops (about
9 seconds), the lights will go off.
Your lights are now set to go off
at this time every day.
Now, each day, your AeroGarden lights will automatically turn off at the time you set using the steps on
the previous page. Remain off for 7 hours, Turn on for 17 hours.
You can reset your timer as often as you want.
Note: In case of power failure, your AeroGarden has a back-up
system that stores your light timer and plant selection
settings. When the power is restored, your AeroGarden
will go back to the Off-On cycle you have set.
What do I do when one of
my Grow Bulbs burns out or
if I lose my nutrient tablets? Replacement parts can be
ordered from our website.You
should replace your Grow Bulbs
after 6 months of use.
What do I do if I want to move
my AeroGarden to another
location? Go right ahead! Your AeroGarden
has a factory installed back-up
battery that lets you unplug it
without losing any of the settings.
To move your AeroGarden, be
sure to pick it up by holding the
Lamp Arm with one hand and
sliding your other hand under
the bottom of the Base.
My Herb garden doesn’t look
healthy. What can I do? If you are concerned about the
health of your garden, please go
through the following before
calling Customer Service…Keep the lights as close to your
plants as possible, without the
leaves touching the bulbs. Follow the pruning and
harvesting instructions in
this guide (pages 11-22). Don’t use softened or
un-filtered well water. Don’t harvest more than 1/3
of any single plant at a time.
How long does the backup
The backup battery works for
6 months after activation. To
replace it, use any CR2032
3-volt lithium battery.
What do I do if I see bugs? Occasionally bugs might decide
to visit your herbs. If you see
bugs, you will mainly see
aphids, who usually find their
way into homes by hitching a
ride on clothing or cut flowers.
Aphids especially seem to like
Dill, Basil and Cilantro. Bugs
are clever about hiding under
leaves and in the joints between
leaves and plant stems, so they
can be difficult to see at first.
Initial signs that you have bugs
are either unhealthy-looking
plants or a sticky substance
on your AeroGarden’s Grow
To identify the bugs, we
recommend you visit either
www.whatsthatbug.com or the
entomology (bug) department
at Texas A&M University at
This is the easiest way we’ve
found to get rid of bugs: Remove the Bowl from the
Carefully lift the entire Seed
Pod and plant out of the
Turn the plant upside down
in a sink and gently run
room temperature water over
the underside of the leaves
to rinse the bugs off.
Check your plant for any remaining
bugs – rinse again if
necessary – and then return
the plant and Seed Pod to
Check all surrounding
plants to make sure the bugs
haven’t spread. If they have,
follow the above steps with
any other buggy plants.
Replace Bowl onto the Base.
How do I take care of my
Garden when I go out of town? Add water to raise the level up to “Fill To Here”. A newly planted
Garden with Domes removed
may not need care for up to 2
weeks. However, if your Garden
is mature and you will be out of
town for several days, we recommend
you make arrangements for
someone to care for your Garden
while you are away.
You may want to set your lights
to go on at night for added home
security while you are away. See “Setting Your Light timer” on
page 31 for instructions.
Shouldn’t water always be
flowing over my Seed Pods
and plant roots?”
Yes and no. When you selected “Herbs/Basil” on your Smart
Garden Control Panel you
selected a setting that has been
specially designed to optimize
the growth of herb plants by
regulating the flow of water to
the roots of your plants. On the “Herbs/Basil” setting,
the AeroGarden moves water
through the Seed Pods whenever
the lights are on to achieve maximum
growth and flavorful herbs.
If your lights are on and the water
isn’t flowing in your Herb Garden,
please check the following: Is the Lamp Arm fully inserted
into the Base? (see your Quick
Start Guide, page 1, step 1C). Is the Bowl firmly seated in the
Base? (see your Quick Start
Guide, page 2, step 1G). If the water still isn’t flowing,
you may have a broken pump.
Contact Customer Service.
What can I do to reduce the
sound of water dripping from
the Seed Pods into the Bowl? Keeping the water level in the
Bowl at “Fill To Here” will help
reduce the sound of dripping
water. As your plants grow and
the roots reach the water in
the Bowl, the dripping noise
will go away.
Preparing For Your Next AeroGarden Planting
After the final harvesting of your Herbs: Unplug the AeroGarden.
Carefully remove the Bowl
and Grow Surface from the
Base and bring to a sink. Set the Base and Lamp
NEVER SUBMERSE BASE
AND CONTROL PANEL
Remove the Grow Surface
from the Bowl and place on a
counter near the sink.
Empty contents of Bowl
into sink. Remove Seed Pods and roots
from Grow Surface. Pull the Seed Pods out of
the Grow Surface openings. Throw away Seed pods
and plant debris (plant
growth and roots). These
cannot be reused. If you
compost, the plant debris
can be composted.
Rinse and clean the Pump Stand
and Pump Filter. Use a soft scrub brush to
clean tangled roots from the
Pump Stand. Remove the Pump Filter from
the Pump Stand. Gently scrub
the roots from the Pump Filter. Place the Pump Filter back
into the Pump Stand.
After cleaning, there may still be a
few roots in your Pump Stand or
Pump Filter. This will not affect the
operation of your AeroGarden.
Clean the Bowl and Grow
Surface. Use a soft cloth or sponge
to thoroughly wipe the Bowl
and Grow Surface. A mild
soap may be used if desired,
but rinse thoroughly.
Sanitize your AeroGarden. Fill Bowl 3/4 full with water. Add 1 cup of chlorine bleach
(example: Clorox). Replace Grow Surface on
Bowl, place Bowl on Base
and plug in AeroGarden for
1-2 minutes. Unplug AeroGarden and
emply bleach water from
Bowl. Refill Bowl with tap water
and replace on Base. Plug in and run AeroGarden
for 1-2 minutes. Unplug AeroGarden and
empty water from Bowl.
Use only water and mild
soap when cleaning your
AeroGarden (except when
Sanitizing). Do not
use abrasive cleaners or run
through the dishwasher.
Towel dry the Bowl and Grow
Surface before putting them
back together and setting
them back onto the Base.
Your AeroGarden is now
ready for replanting.
If you are going to store your
AeroGarden before replanting,
remove the back-up
battery from the underside
of the Base. If you need to
replace the back-up battery,
use any CR2032 3-volt