One way to know you’re buying something that’s developed with care and attention is to buy from a manufacturer who has only ever been interested in one product. The Airgarden is just that; an Australian-made, Australian-designed vertical garden that has been developed by someone purely for the love of it.
And it shows! The Airgarden is by far, the most kitted-out, easy-to-use aeroponic system, and it’s designed purely for outdoor use, so you don’t need to worry about complicated cable covers or additional UV lighting for indoors.
The whole purpose of this vertical garden is to make vertical gardening easy and to maximise your space.
What is The Airgarden?
The Airgarden is a straightforward, but perfectly produced vertical aeroponic planter, with a tiered set of planting pockets, designed to grow plants entirely in water.
Starting with a small amount of coir for seedlings to root into, the system is adjustable for different growing stages, and comes with all the advice you need to grow your own veggies at home without any experience required.
On test, it produced over $1000 worth of produce in just six months, which means you’re making back your money on the installation, running costs, and product price in under six months, and will have years worth of fresh produce for free, from then on.
For more info, read our full interview: Airgarden – Nathan with Prue & Tom
How does The Airgarden work?
The Airgarden works by circulating water and nutrients from a base tank, up through the top of the tower and back down. The water and nutrients have a simple indicator gauge so you know when to top it up, and once you’ve set up your seedlings, you just need to wait.
By choosing simple leafy greens, there’s almost no maintenance, and for other crops like tomatoes or peppers, you’ll just need to prune them when they’re at the correct growth stage.
Even the usual risks of damping off, or fungal problems with seedlings are incredibly rare thanks to the simple filters and circulation which help to maintain well-aerated roots that can stay moist without ever being waterlogged.
All you need is natural sunlight, a well-ventilated open space, with good air circulation, and manageable rainfall, and that’s it. It really is that simple.
Difference Between Hydroponics and Aeroponics
Hydroponics traditionally use a reservoir system, or growing medium to retain moisture around the roots. The water and nutrients are pumped around and circulated, but the moisture is typically retained at the roots. This system is useful for growing fruiting plants as well as leafy greens but could be more efficient.
Aeroponics is more complex, keeping a more constant supply of moisture, as well as allowing the roots to hang free and have direct exposure to oxygen and carbon in the air, making for healthier roots and massively reducing the chances of infection, or overwatering-related problems.
What You Get with Your Airgarden Kit
The Airgarden comes fully supplied with everything you need. For future seasons you’ll need to buy fertilisers and pH testers, which you can find online from other suppliers, or direct from The Airgarden website.
If you buy the latest model of The Airgarden, you’ll get everything below, which means you can start growing on day one.
1 x Airgarden unit
The main Airgarden unit is made up of a durable water reservoir, lid, and a stacking tower made up of 30 growing compartments.
1 x pump
The pump is mains powered but efficient, and once installed completely weatherproof – but do make sure to protect the wires from pests and rodents!
Automated waterproof timer
The automatic timer is a great addition, and automatically turns off the pumps overnight when some plants are dormant and resting, as well as allowing for adjusting your timings throughout the year depending on the afternoon temperatures and individual water requirements of each plant.
30 grow cups
The grow cups are cleverly designed to allow airflow, and to let roots expand well beyond their walls, hanging down within the vertical tower to maximise growing space.
30 coco-coir grow plugs
Each of the 30 coir grow plugs are tiny, and provide just enough growing medium to hold the seeds securely in place while they germinate. Once the seeds have rooted, the coir plugs are simply for stability and the aeroponic system does the rest.
After use they can be composted for use elsewhere in the garden.
5 seed packets (Kale, Cos Lettuce, Spinach, Tomato, Cucumber)
A generous touch with The Airgarden is five free packets of seeds, which will give you harvests for your first few months. Start with spinach for quick results while you get used to the system and then sow a mix of kale, cos lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers for ongoing harvests throughout summer and into autumn.
pH testing kit
Even if you’re using tap water, it’s essential to keep on top of pH testing and local changes, and water shortages can lead to increased chemicals in your water. We always advise using stored rainwater for these sorts of kits, but even then, testing your water every few weeks is essential.
1 litre set of Airgarden nutrients
1 litre of Airgarden nutrients is enough for a few months of growing, as they are concentrated and circulate well through the system. You can easily test when you need more, but the instructions give a reasonably good guide on how often to use them for best measures.
Propagation kit to grow seedlings
The propagation tray is great for starting off some of the more tender seedlings like peppers and tomatoes, which do like to be grown in a controlled environment for their first few weeks where possible.
The propagator that comes with the kit has 30 cells, so you can sow spinach directly into the tower while you wait for tomato seedlings to be ready for planting.
Airgarden tote bag, spanner, syringe, wooden spoon, and measuring jug
And, as with all kits like this, you get a few handy extras. Some, like the tote bag, are a nice touch and mean you can show off around the shops, but the rest are great practical additions to make sure you have everything to need to maintain, clean, and install your Airgarden unit.
How to Install and Use The Airgarden
There are two stages to getting to know your Airgarden kit. First, you’ll need to get it set up and installed in the right spot, and then you have to maintain it, top it up, and care for your plants. After a few goes, the whole process will be second nature.
Installing The Airgarden
When you unbox your Airgarden kit, start by constructing the basics. Follow the instructions to install the pump and tubing within the reservoir, and set the piping up through the tower planters.
- Before filling the tank, make sure it’s on level ground and the castors are properly secured.
- Find a sunny spot, with a minimum of 4 hours of direct light per day, but 6-8 is better.
- Make sure there is a 1m wide ring around the tower for proper air circulation.
- Fill the tank, and make sure the pump is working when submerged.
- Turn off the pump, add the required nutrients, and leave to settle. Once settled, stir the tank and test pH, adjusting if necessary.
- Then fill each pot with a coir disc and sow directly into the tower, or in the propagator.
- When the plants or seeds are placed in the tower, turn it on and set up the timer.
Airgarden Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Airgarden good for?
The Airgarden is an incredible tool for growing as much as possible in as little space as possible, by using aeroponic watering and nutrient circulation it grows fruit and vegetables three times faster than traditional methods, and uses less water in the process.
What are the disadvantages of aeroponics?
Aeroponics has two significant disadvantages over traditional gardening; purchase cost and running cost. While the running cost is generally offset by the water savings costs, the initial cost of setting up or buying a ready-made aeroponic system is higher than traditional raised bed gardening.
How much does an aeroponic system cost?
While you can build a basic aeroponic garden for about $100-$150, a standard spend of about $1000-$2000 should be expected for ready-made kits, but kits like the Airgarden are more affordable and better quality than many higher-priced kits.
Enjoy the Benefits of The Airgarden Today
Our trial run of The Airgarden has been pretty outstanding, with great results, especially on leafy veggies, with Kale being the biggest success so far. But, perhaps what I love most about it is the amount of space it saves.
I’m growing 30 plants in a 2ft wide unit. OK, so it needs 1m of air circulation around it, but you’re saving about 122ft of raised bed or garden rowing space, meaning more space for you to enjoy.
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty enamoured with this clever aeroponic grow kit, and I’m excited to expand our collection. Hopefully you are too, because you’ll be seriously impressed with what you can grow with The Airgarden vertical tower kit.