Aerogarden is a hydroponic garden system using which you can grow plants with only water-based nutrients. If you are ready to store your Aerogarden unit or replant it, you have to start with cleaning.
In this article, we will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to clean Aero Garden and some tips on how to work the unit properly for beginners. Let’s begin!
How To Clean Aero Garden: Step-By-Step Guide
When you start a new growing plant cycle or after every harvest, you should thoroughly clean the AeroGarden unit before you plant new seeds.
Cleaning is essential because as the plants mature, their roots spread out and get into the pump, inhibiting their functions. You must clean the pump and other parts and remove all the excess plant matter you see.
Important Note: Never use any chemical cleaner or detergent to clean the AeroGarden from the inside or on the growing tray. You can use chemical cleaners and polish only the stainless steel parts.
Here is how you properly clean an AeroGarden unit:
1. Unplug the Unit
AeroGarden uses electricity to power the pump and the lights. You don’t need either of those things running while you are cleaning, so go ahead and disconnect the power from the AeroGarden.
2. Remove the Plant Material From the AeroGarden
Grab a pair of good trimmers and clear out all the plants from the AeroGarden. Keep an eye out for any seeds you can save in the whole mess of plants.
There will be an extensive network of tangled roots below the grow tray, so to safely take out the pods, lift them and cut away the roots.
A sponge on the pump is situated at the bottom of the reservoir. As the plants grow, their roots will likely grow into the sponge, and when you take out the growing tray, the sponge might come off with the roots.
So, be careful when removing the plants and check to ensure that the filter sponge is intact and in its proper place.
3. Remove the Water Reservoir and Clean It
Unplug the reservoir from the central unit so it comes off easily. You do not need to clean the base part of the AeroGarden unit, so disconnect the bowl and carry it over to the sink.
You should not fill the reservoir if you plan to clean it, but if there is any water left with plant food, you can use it to water your house plants. After draining the water, remove the filter sponge from the pump, pick out any remaining roots, and rinse it under running water.
Next, rinse out the reservoir under running water. Do not submerge the whole unit because electrical components should not get wet. Only rinse the parts in contact with water when the reservoir is filled.
If you see any stains on the inside of the reservoir, then grab a clean sponge and start scrubbing the stains out. Do not use the kitchen scrub because it might have traces of detergent from washing utensils.
After cleaning, dry the inside and outside with a paper towel or napkin. Insert the sponge and connect the reservoir to the base unit. You can plug it back in if you are planning to plant seeds.
4. Clean the Grow Tray
You need to repeat the same process and clean the grow tray as you did with the reservoir. Rinse it thoroughly and scrub it with a clean sponge where you feel extra cleaning is needed. Pat it dry and place it on top of the reservoir.
5. Clean the Base and the Light Hood
To clean the base and the light, take a slightly damp rag and wipe them. If your unit has a digital display, brush it lightly to avoid damaging it accidentally.
If your model of AeroGarden has a stainless steel cover, then you can use a chemical cleaner to polish the unit and remove any fingerprints or smudges. Do not spray the cleaner directly because it can get inside the AeroGarden.
Instead, spray it on a clean cloth and wipe the outside.
If you have a gardening bug, here is an article on renovating your garden on a budget that you might find interesting.
AeroGarden Tips for Beginners
If you have recently bought your first AeroGarden unit, you might be overwhelmed with how to operate it smoothly.
Here are some tips to help you start growing hydroponically and avoid running into problems:
1. Don’t Grow Plants in Every Pod
You can grow all plants, from tiny herbs to vegetables, in an AeroGarden. But you should be aware of the growth, nutrient needs, and root system of the plant you plan to grow.
For example, pepper and tomatoes spread substantially more than smaller herbs like thyme. The bigger plants will draw more nutrients, and once they start to mature, they will grow in height, which will shade the smaller plants.
You can grow plants in every pod if you want, but we recommend not growing bigger plants with smaller ones.
Check out this article on five essential tools that will help your gardening thrive if you plan to grow your garden.
2. Prune Your Plants Regularly
As the plants grow, you must raise the light hood to accommodate their height. But, let’s say you plant a tomato with mint. The tomato plant will grow faster and shade the mint plant.
It will also grow in height, because of which you will have to raise the light hood. So, the mint will receive even less light. To avoid this, you should prune the bigger plants regularly.
Prune a few inches off the top of the plant, especially the leaves that cover the smaller ones. Pruning is beneficial because you can cut off dead leaves and ensure the plant grows back healthier than before!
Cleaning your AeroGarden is easy. You only have to disconnect and rinse the different parts with tap water. Alternatively, you can use a solution of water and 1/4 cup of bleach or 5 cups of vinegar to clean the reservoir. This will prevent the build-up of mineral deposits.
If you enjoyed reading this article, here are some exciting posts that you can explore to improve your gardening skills:
- Will Grass Grow Through Mulch? Here Is What You Need to Know
- Does Grass Seed Go Bad? Practical Guide To Grass Seeds’ Viability And Storage
- How To Start A Vegetable Garden In 5 Easy Steps: Practical Guide