Serious Eats / Irvin Lin
Okay—the temperatures spiked, and you took a day trip to the beach to beat the heat, but when you get home ready to make a light and fresh dinner, the basil in your window box is dried up and crunchy.
Growing herbs can be finicky. Not enough light, too much water, extreme heat or cold, the wrong type of plant food, and boom: there go your plans for pesto. Not to mention storebought herbs seem to go bad near-instantly. Indoor herb gardens can manage your plants for you (telling you when to water them and featuring built-in grow lights), and our favorite one—the AeroGarden Harvest Elite—is currently a whopping $84 off.
Serious Eats / Irvin Lin
To buy: AeroGarden Harvest Elitel was $206, now $122 at amazon.com.
Why It Won Our Review
We tested eight indoor herb gardens, and the AeroGarden Harvest Elite was the most versatile. While we did have to consult some videos to set it up, in the end, it was fairly easy to get started. It’s big enough to grow six plants and it comes with six seed pods to start, but you can plant your own seeds with the Grow Anything Kit. Plus, it has a digital screen that tells you exactly when to water and fertilize each plant—no guessing! No over-or under-watering! Its grow light can also be programmed to accommodate a variety of plants and herbs, and it even has custom settings if you need to override a pre-programmed schedule. We also loved its vacation mode, which cuts down on water use and dims the lights while you’re away to slow plant growth. Finally, when it’s time to clean (because yes, you should clean your indoor garden since mold or algae can form), the top of the unit comes off and you can easily wipe out the water tray. And while it was our most expensive pick, it’s currently 40% off, making this a steal for anyone who loves fresh herbs.
Good to Know:
Dimensions: 10.5 x 6.125 x 11 inchesComes with: Pod garden unit with LED grow lights, 6 pod seed kit, grow domes, plant food, power adapterNumber of pods: 6Warranty: 1-year limitedGood to know: Guaranteed to germinate; will replace pods if they do not
What’s the difference between the AeroGarden Harvest and the AeroGarden Harvest Elite?
The AeroGarden Harvest Elite features a digital display that tracks when you planted your pods so you don’t have to write down any dates manually. It also has customizable settings for its grow light and built-in reminders for watering and adding plant food, making it a great option for people who want a less hands-on approach. The Aerogarden Harvest does not have a digital display, which, while not a deal breaker, doesn’t allow for the same amount of customization.
Can I plant my own seeds in the AeroGarden Harvest Elite?
Yes—you can plant any seed you like using AeroGarden’s Grow Anything Kit. This system lets you grow anything you’d like, though some plants work better than others with the AeroGarden. They also note that anything that grows underground (like beets, carrots, or radishes) can be started in the AeroGarden but needs to be moved outside to fully develop.