MASTER GARDENER E

*Seeds not included
MASTER
GARDENER
English
Plant & Grow Your Own Seeds*
GUIDE
Quick, Plug & Grow TM Planting with Your Own Seeds
CONT
Introduction
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Additional Supplies Needed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Designing Your Garden
Plant Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Plant Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nutrients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Life Span . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Plant Habit & Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5
5
6
6
7
Building a Grow Pod
Number of Seeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Prepare Pod Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Place Seeds & Grow Sponge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Attach Pod Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Place Stem Cuttings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Planting Your Garden
Plant Grow Pods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Feeding Your Garden
Choose a Nutrient Regime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nutrient Feeding Schedule Options . . . . . . . . . . . .
Add Nutrient(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Signs of Stress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
14
15
16
16
ENTS
Tending Your Garden
Remove Domes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Add Water and Raise Lamp Hood (Light[s]) . . . . . .
Thin Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pollinate Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Prune Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Keep Your Garden Healthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Support Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
17
18
18
19
20
23
23
Harvesting Your Garden
Leafy Greens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Bunching Herbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Branching Herbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Appendix
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Images of the AeroGarden Classic and
AeroGarden 3 are shown throughout this guide,
but instructions apply to all AeroGarden models.
You will occasionally need to reference
your Quick Start Guide when planting and
growing a Master Gardener Kit.
If you no longer have your model’s Quick Start
Guide, you can obtain the latest version at
www.aerogardensupport.com
Introduction
Each Master Gardener Kit is designed for AeroGardeners
who want to plant their own seeds or root their own
cuttings. Each kit includes the supplies needed to plant
and grow one to three custom gardens.
While the AeroGarden provides the ideal environment
for growing plants, there are many decisions you need
to make that will impact the outcome of your garden.
This Guide will assist you in deciding what to plant, how
to plant and how to care for your plants once they are
growing. We recommend that you read the entire Guide
before starting your Garden.
NOTE: Planting an AeroGarden with your own seeds or cuttings is a bit of an experiment. We hope your efforts will
be successful and you enjoy the discovery process. To
get started, refer to “Designing Your Garden” for helpful
guidelines. Contact a garden center, hydroponic shop,
or university for answers to more in-depth questions.
3
Introduction
Additional Supplies Needed
In addition to what is included in your Master
Gardener Kit, there are a few additional items you
will need.
An Iron
An AeroGarden
A Permanent Marker
Seeds
Plant Cuttings
Whether this is the first or fifth garden you are
planting in your AeroGarden, you will need to
reference your Quick Start Guide.
If you have planted a garden in your AeroGarden prior
to this one, please refer to “Replanting Your AeroGarden”
in the Quick Start Guide before you proceed.
If you no longer have your model’s Quick Start
Guide, you can obtain the latest version at
www.aerogardensupport.com
Introduction
4
Designing Your Garden
SELECTING PLANTS
The following guidelines will help you plant and
grow a thriving indoor garden. Take the time to plan
your Garden and you’ll reap the rewards of healthy
plants and bountiful harvests.
P lant Type
While we encourage you to try growing a variety of
plant types in your AeroGarden, there are a few that
will not do well in an aeroponic system.
Subterranean plants, such as carrots,
beets, potatoes or peanuts should
not be planted in an AeroGarden.
In addition, plants that require
very dry conditions and have
very low water requirements,
such as cactus and succulents, will
not thrive in an AeroGarden.
P lant Height
The maximum height of most
AeroGarden Lamp Hoods is 12”
from the Grow Surface (24” for
Deluxe, PRO200 and AeroGarden
6 Elite+ models). It is important
to select plants that will not
grow taller than this – or to
choose plants that can be
pruned to stay within this
height restriction, such as basil.
When choosing seeds, look for dwarf
or miniature varieties.
5
Designing Your Garden
12”
P
lant Height (Continued)
If you decide to grow a
garden with a variety of
different plants, you will also
need to consider their relative
heights. Try to grow plants that
will be about the same height
as they mature. You may be
able to prune some plants in
your Garden to achieve this.
Using plants that grow at the
same rate lets you adjust the
Lamp Hood so plants all receive
the optimal amount of light.
Plant a garden with plants
N utrients
that have similar growth
rates and heights, like Salad
Greens (shown).
Choose plants that have similar nutrient requirements.
For example, mixing plants with fairly low requirements
(such as lettuces) with plants that have much higher
requirements (such as basil) is not recommended. There
are two (2) different types of nutrients to choose from in
a Master Gardener Kit, and more specific nutrient guidelines are provided in the “Feeding Your Garden” section
of this Guide.
Life Span
Try to choose plants that have similar life spans for your
Garden. For example, dwarf tomatoes and basil are a
great flavor combination, but would be hard to grow in
the same AeroGarden. Basil will be nearing the end of
its growth cycle just as dwarf tomatoes are starting to
ripen!
Designing Your Garden
6
P lant Habit & Layout
Some plants are bushy, others feathery, some grow
straight, others branch out. As you plant your Garden,
think about shape and growth habits of plants. You may
want to put a feathery leafed plant in front where it
can be seen and use the back row for plants that grow
straight or bushy. Even after you’ve planted your Garden,
you can remove Grow Pods and rearrange them. (Just be
gentle with the roots!)
Horizontal Spreading
If you grow plants that have extensive branching or
will spread horizontally, you may want to leave some
Grow Surface Openings empty. Example: for 3-Pod
AeroGardens, plant only 1 Grow Pod for tomatoes and
peppers and leave the remaining 2 Grow Surface
Openings empty; for 6-Pod models, plant 3 Grow Pods
and leave 3 openings empty; and for 7-Pod models,
plant 3 Grow Pods and leave 4 openings empty. This will
give plants room to grow and assure they get the light
they need.
Be sure to cover unplanted
Grow Surface Openings to
inhibit algae growth. Our Plant
Spacers are a perfect fit and can
be re-used in any Garden. Plant
Spacer Kits include 6 spacers
and can be purchased at
www.aerogardensupport.com.
Or, choose a material that will stand up to moisture, such
as aluminum foil or a plastic milk jug cap.
Quick Start Guides available at:
www.aerogardensupport.com
7
Designing Your Garden
Building a Grow Pod
N umber of Seeds
It is important to plant extra seeds to ensure success.
For larger seeds and fruiting plants, sow only a few extra
seeds. Increase number of seeds as seed size decreases
and for plants that grow in bunches, such as chives.
Typically, 6 seeds per Grow Pod works well.
P repare Pod Labels
Here are a few preliminary steps that will help the Grow
Pod building process go smoothly.
• Preheat iron to a moderate temperature (between silk
and cotton settings on most irons, 300°- 400°F). Do not
use steam.
• Write the name of seeds or
plant cutting on Label(s)
with permanent marker.
Doing this before you
start planting prevents
accidental mislabeling of
Grow Pods.
• If you are re-using a
Split-Apart Basket, be sure
to scrape residue from
previous Label off the
surface. Remnant glue
will prevent new Label
from adhering.
Building a Grow Pod
8
P
lace Seeds & Grow Sponge
• Place seeds into Dibble
(hole located on end of
Grow Sponge).
• Insert Grow Sponge into
Split-Apart Basket.
• Make sure Grow Sponge
base rests in bottom of
Split-Apart Basket.
9
Building a Grow Pod
Attach Pod Labels
The Pod Label reminds you of planting date and what
you planted, and also promotes germination and inhibits
algae growth. Be sure to fill out and apply Pod Labels.
IMPORTANT!
If you are planting SEEDS in your Grow Pods…
Attach Pod Labels AFTER Grow Pods are assembled
and seeds are in place.
If you are planting CUTTINGS in your Grow Pods…
Snap Split-Apart Baskets together and attach Pod
Labels BEFORE planting cuttings.
Remember: Preheat iron to a moderate temperature (between silk
and cotton settings on most irons, 300°-400°F). Do not use steam.
Attach Pod Labels
• Place Pod Label on top of Split-Apart Basket.
• Iron for a total of 10 seconds as follows:
– 5 seconds with iron in one place.
– 5 seconds moving Grow Pod around outside edge of
iron – to ensure Label is secure.
WARNING: Burns can occur from touching hot metal parts,
hot water or steam. Extreme caution should be used near
children. Never leave iron turned on or unattended, especially
when children are present.
Building a Grow Pod
10
P lace Stem Cuttings
Using stem cuttings is a common method for
propagating many plant varieties, but it does require
a bit of care on your part. A number of vegetables and
shrubs root very easily, but stem cuttings from tree
species can be difficult to root. We have found that
some difficult species may be stimulated to root by
treating them with root-promoting compounds.
The following steps describe how to start plants from
both herbaceous (non-woody plants such as tomatoes,
peppers, chrysanthemum and dahlias) and softwood
cuttings (soft, new growth from plants such as lilacs, roses,
and rhododendron). It is best to take your cuttings early
in the morning when it is cool and damp.
NOTE: Be sure to attach Pod Labels to Split-Apart Baskets BEFORE
doing the following (see page 10 for instructions).
Rooting Stem Cuttings
• Use scissors or a razorblade that has been
sterilized in isopropyl
alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
to cut the stem 4” to 6”
from its tip.
• Before placing cutting in
Grow Sponge, remove any flowers, buds or leaves from
the lower half of stem at this time.
If using a root-promoting compound, apply it at this time.
Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Make a ½” to 1” deep
slit across the top of
Grow Sponge.
11
Building a Grow Pod
Quick Start Guides available at:
www.aerogardensupport.com
• Moisten Grow Sponge
and
insert cutting 1/3 to 1/2 of its
length into Grow Sponge.
• Carefully push Grow Sponge
(with cutting in place) through
Pod Label and into Split-Apart
Basket.
• Insert assembled Grow Pod
into Grow Surface Opening
(see page 13 for instructions).
• Repeat above steps with each
cutting and Grow Pod.
With all Grow Pods placed in Grow Surface…
• Completely cover Grow Pods using a clear plastic bag
(1-gallon size), or plastic container(s) to maintain
high humidity levels. Cover all plants in groups or
individually – just be sure each Grow Pod is covered.
Mist cuttings with water once or twice daily to maintain
humidity levels.
• Do not add nutrient tablets until you see roots extend
from bottom of Grow Sponges. Once roots extend from
Grow Sponges, start adding nutrients (see pages 14-15
for feeding recommendations).
• Plants are sensitive to pH levels. To eliminate potential
concerns regarding pH levels, we recommend using
distilled water UNTIL you begin adding nutrients.
• Continue to monitor cuttings and water level in Bowl.
Within a few weeks you should start to see roots extend
from the Grow Sponges.
• Check cuttings regularly and remove any unhealthy
(rotten or dried up) plants. Use these plants as a guide
to determine if the growing environment is too moist
or too dry.
Building a Grow Pod
12
Planting Your Garden
Planting a custom Grow Pod is the same as planting
a Seed Pod from any AeroGarden Seed Kit. We recommend recording the planting date and number of seeds
planted in a notebook or on a model-specific Gardener’s
Log (located at www.aerogardensupport.com). This will
be a great reference when planting future Gardens.
P
lant Grow Pods
• Insert Grow Pods into
Grow Surface Openings.
All Grow Surface Openings
should contain a Grow Pod or be
covered by a moisture-tolerant
covering (see page 7).
• Seeds Only - Place a
Dome on each Grow Pod.
Make sure that…
• AeroGarden Bowl has water up to “Fill to Here.”
• Use room-temperature water. Very hot or very cold water
will hurt your plants.
• For Seeds - use municipal tap, bottled or purified water.
For Cuttings - use distilled water until you begin using
nutrients, then use municipal tap, bottled or purified water.
Well or softened water SHOULD NOT be used. The extra
minerals in these sources may be harmful to aeroponically
grown plants.
• Lamp Hood is at the lowest setting on Lamp Arm.
See your model’s Quick Start Guide for detailed instructions
on adding water and lowering Lamp Hood. If you no longer
have it, you can find the latest version of your model’s Quick
Start Guide at www.aerogardensupport.com.
13
Planting Your Garden
Feeding Your Garden
Each Master Gardener Kit comes with two different
types of nutrient tablets to meet the needs of a
variety of plant types. The amount of nutrients in your
Garden increases with tablet size.
Each tablet also contains ingredients that will keep the
water in your AeroGarden at a pH level that is ideal for
aeroponically grown plants.
C hoose a Nutrient Regime
Most gardens will need a combination of small and large
nutrient tablets. If you are planting cuttings, you will not
have to add nutrients until you see roots extend from
Grow Sponges. Since we don’t know what’s growing in
your AeroGarden, we can only offer some guidelines for
deciding which tablets to use.
“Small” Nutrient Tablets
These tablets should always be used when first
planting seeds in your Garden – one (1) for 3-Pod
AeroGardens, and two (2) for 6- and 7-Pod models.
Leafy greens (such as lettuces), and woody herbs (such
as oregano and thyme), grow best with “Small” nutrient
tablet(s) at each feeding for their entire life cycle.
For cuttings, start adding “Small” nutrients when you
see roots extend from Grow Sponges – one (1) tablet for
3-Pod, and two (2) for 6- or 7-Pod AeroGarden models.
“Large” Nutrient Tablets
Most plant types other than leafy greens and woody
herbs need the higher amount of nutrients found in a
“Large” nutrient tablet after 4 weeks (the third feeding.)
Mint, basil and parsley are examples of herbs that grow
well with “Large” nutrient tablet(s) at each feeding
for the remainder of their life cycle.
Feeding Your Garden
14
N utrient Feeding Schedule Options
The table below shows a suggested feeding schedule
based on plant type. Use it as a starting point for selecting
a nutrient regime. Keeping a watchful eye on plants will
be the best way to learn the ideal nutrient regime.
For cuttings, do not use nutrients until you see roots extended from Grow Sponges. Once roots are seen, start with
Set Up regime, then use the appropriate plant type regime.
C
D
Fruiting Plants with vines**
Plant
Description
B
Fruiting Plants
(with upright main stem*)
A
Non-Woody Herbs
Options
Lettuce/Leafy Greens/
Woody Herbs
Nutrient Recommendations for Plant Types
Set Up
S (1), S (2) S (1), S (2) S (1), S (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 2
S (1), S (2) S (1), S (2)
S (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 4
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 6
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 8
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 10
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 12
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 14
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Week 16
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
Subsequent
Feedings
S (1), S (2)
L (1), L (2)
L (1), L (2) S (1), S (2)
S (1) = 1 “Small” Nutrient Tablet – 3-Pod AeroGarden models only
L (1) = 1 “Large” Nutrient Tablet – 3-Pod AeroGarden models only
S (2) = 2 “Small” Nutrient Tablets – 6- and 7-Pod AeroGarden models only
L (2) = 2 “Large” Nutrient Tablets – 6- and 7-Pod AeroGarden models only
*Such as dwarf tomatoes, chili peppers and eggplant
**Such as squash, strawberries and peas
15
Feeding Your Garden
Add Nutrient(s)
Every 2 weeks you will need to add one (1) nutrient
tablet (3-Pod AeroGardens) or two (2) nutrient
tablets (6- or 7-Pod AeroGardens) to the Bowl.
For instructions, see “Add Nutrients” (Feed Garden
- Basic Feeding) in the Control Panel Features section of
your Quick Start Guide.
S igns of Stress
Overnourished
If tips of leaves are brown,
your plant is probably
getting too many nutrients. At next feeding, you
may decrease tablet size
or just use 1/2 a tablet
(3-Pod AeroGardens), or
1 tablet (6- and 7-Pod AeroGardens). Look for signs of
improvement on new plant growth.
NOTE: If browning is severe, you may need to empty all water from
Bowl, put in fresh water, and add nutrient tablet(s). If you do
this, remember to reset Nutrient Timer. See “Replanting Your
AeroGarden” in Quick Start Guide for reset instructions.
Undernourished
Undernourished plants
become yellow. If increased
yellowing is noticed over
time, you may want to add
an extra 1/2 tablet, whole
tablet or increase tablet
size at next feeding.
Signs of improvement will mainly be apparent on new
growth. Plants will need time to absorb additional nutrients, so please be patient.
Feeding Your Garden
16
Tending Your Garden
A little bit of care for your Garden will ensure rapid
growth and healthy plants. This section provides some
general guidelines to follow as your Garden grows.
Remove Domes
• Shortly after planting Seeds in
your garden (4 days to 2 weeks),
tiny plants will appear through
the hole in each Grow Pod Label.
When this occurs, remove
Domes from each Grow Pod
and save for your next Garden.
Do not remove Label.
• Only remove Domes from Grow Pods with emerging
plants.
• When a Cutting’s roots begin to extend from the
Grow Sponge, remove plastic bag or container that is
covering plant.
• To reduce plant stress, we recommend removing
Domes or Cutting Cover shortly after light(s) turn off or
near the end of the light cycle.
Don’t let this happen!
If a plant is curled inside
Dome, it was left on too long.
Immediately remove Dome.
Never remove Labels. They promote
germination, inhibit algae growth and
identify your plants.
17
Tending Your Garden
Water and
Add
Raise Lamp Hood (Light[s])
As your Garden grows, it’s important to keep water
in the Bowl of your AeroGarden, and 1-2” (2.5-5cm)
of space between the top of plants and the light(s).
For instructions, see “Add Water Using a Spouted Container” and “Raise Lamp Hood (Light[s])” sections in your
model’s Quick Start Guide.
Quick Start Guides available at:
www.aerogardensupport.com
Thin Plants
Herbs, lettuces, and plants that grow in bunches
(such as chives) do not require thinning. However,
with broad-stemmed varieties, such as fruiting plants, it
is best to thin plants as described below.
• When plants are about 1” (2.5cm) tall, check each Grow
Pod for multiple plants. Using
scissors, snip the smallest
plants at the stem base, leaving ONE healthy plant in each
Grow Pod.
• Thinning seedlings ensures the remaining plant in each
Grow Pod has room to grow, gets enough nutrients and
water, and produces many, many fruits.
!
Be sure to cut, not pull, the extra seedlings to avoid damaging
roots of the remaining plant in each Grow Pod.
Tending Your Garden
18
P ollinate Plants
The table below shows some common plant types
and recommended methods for hand pollination.
For plants not listed below, you may need to do some
additional pollination research – the internet and seed
suppliers are good sources of information.
Pollination Methods for Common Garden Plants
Pollination Method Plant Examples
How to Hand Pollinate
(After Flowers Appear)
Self-pollinating
No hand pollination
necessary
Legumes (such as peas and beans) and English cucumbers
Shaking
Dwarf tomatoes
and peppers
Shake plant gently every
other day when the lights
are on.
Eggplant
Shake plant vigorously
every other day when the
light(s) are on. An electric
toothbrush works well.
Move male pollen to
Pumpkin, squash,
female flower
watermelon and common cucumbers
Use paintbrush to move
pollen from male flower to female flower. Pollinate
when the lights are off.
HELPFUL HINT: If you find your
Garden is producing many flowers
but no fruit, chances are you need
to pollinate or change your pollinating method. Dead blossoms
on the Grow Surface are a good
indicator that your chosen pollination method is not working.
Dwarf tomato plant
being pollinated by
gently shaking.
19
Tending Your Garden
P rune Plants
Your Garden may need pruning to keep plants at
about the same height and to control growth. Use
garden shears or scissors to prune. Here are some general guidelines on pruning various plant types.
Fruiting Plants with Upright Main Stem (First prune)
(such as dwarf tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant)
Early pruning of this plant helps strengthen the main
stem and encourages plant to branch out. A strong plant
with many branches will be able to bear the weight of
much fruit without tipping over.
• From base of plant, follow main
stem up past first 5 branches.
• Cut main stem just
above 5th branch.
Fruiting Plants with Upright Main Stem (Ongoing)
Fruiting plants grown in an AeroGarden require ongoing
pruning to control plant height and spreading.
Controlling Height
Use scissors to cut
branches that are growing
into light(s). Follow branch
to where it meets another
branch – make cut just
before this junction.
Continued on next page
Tending Your Garden
20
P rune Plants
(Continued)
Fruiting Plants (Ongoing) (Continued)
Controlling Spreading
Use scissors to cut branches
that hang outside the edge
of Lamp Hood. Make cut so
branch is no more than 3”
beyond outer edge of
Lamp Hood.
Herbs with Upright Main Stem – Sometimes an early
pruning of plants such as basil, will encourage plants to
branch out, rather than grow straight up. For plants that
will benefit from this, you should…
• Follow main stem up from
base of plant past 3 sets
of leaves.
NOTE: There may be more than
one stem in the Grow Pod
that needs pruning.
• Cut main stem just
above 3rd leaf set.
• Weekly pinching of plants
just above uppermost set
of leaves (growth point)
at top of stem will also
encourage plants to grow
and branch out.
21
Tending Your Garden
Quick Start Guides available at:
www.aerogardensupport.com
All Non-Fruiting Plants – If you see flower buds or
flowers on a plant that is being grown for its leaves, not
its fruit or flowers, remove them.
Cut flowering stem just
above a set of leaves, no
more than 1/3 of the way
down stem. This will extend the life and productivity of the plant.
Flowers – To keep flowering plants (such as petunias)
full of blossoms, remove old flowers, a process known as
“deadheading”.
Pinch off entire flower
blossom with fingers or
cut with scissors. If possible, cut flower stem too.
HELPFUL HINT: Deadhead your flowers as they start to fade to avoid
accidentally pinching off unopened blossoms. At a quick glance,
flower buds can look a bit like dead blossoms (see below).
Unopened
Blossom
Dead
Blossom
Tending Your Garden
22
Keep Your Garden Healthy
Keeping a watchful eye on your Garden is not only
a joy, but also a smart way to make sure your plants
stay healthy.
As plants grow, you may see some dead or brown leaves
around base of plants. This is
perfectly normal.
• Remove these leaves with
scissors or pinch off with
fingers.
• Remove dead blossoms
from plants by pinching off
with fingers.
S upport Plants
Fruiting plants may produce so much fruit that
plants begin to tip over or break. If this occurs, support
plants and bring them to the upright position by securing
each plant to Lamp Arm with a tie.
Suggested Materials to Use
The best way to support fruiting plants
is with AeroGarden Soft•Ties – purchase
at www.aerogardensupport.com or from
your retailer.
Ribbon, at least 1/4” (0.6cm), hook & loop
tape, or old stockings will also work for
securing your plants.
!
23
Do not use ties that will dig into (and damage) stem, such as string
or wire. Also avoid materials that stretch, such as stretch ties sold
in gardening shops, as these are not strong enough to support
fruit-filled branches.
Tending Your Garden
HELPFUL HINT: The best way to figure out where to place tie is to
gently push on main stem with your fingers, testing for strength and
ability to support the plant. Typically, your tie will be no more than 2”
above the base of plant.
How To Support Fruiting Plants
• Loop a tie around main
stem at a point where it:
a) is strong enough not to
bend or break when tie
is secured, and
b) stands upright when
tie is pulled toward
Lamp Arm.
• Tightly loop one end of tie around Lamp Arm. Hold
tie in position with one hand. With other hand, gently
pull opposite end of tie
to bring main stem to an
upright position.
• Secure two ends of tie to
each other by twisting.
• If you notice other heavy
branches that need
support, secure them to
Lamp Arm as well.
!
Loosen or untie supports that are around the moving portion
(top) of Lamp Arm before raising Lamp Hood, to avoid damaging
plant stems.
Continued on next page
Tending Your Garden
24
S upport Plants
(Continued)
Support for Full-Size Fruiting Plants
If you are growing full-size, fruiting plants using an
AeroGarden Deluxe, PRO200, 6 Elite+,
or a 7-Pod model outfitted with a
Deluxe Upgrade Kit, we recommend
using the AeroGrow Trellis System*
to support your plants. Trellis Systems
and additional Trellis Coils can be ordered at
www.aerogardensupport.com.
* Trellis Brackets must be attached to the Lamp Hood in order to
use Trellis System. Installation instructions are included with
Trellis System.
Once Trellis Brackets and Trellis Coils are attached to
Lamp Hood, you can begin attaching Coils to your plants.
• Hold plant up and pull
Trellis Coil strap down far
enough to loop it around
plant stem.
• Loop strap around stem
and snap shut.
Photo shows a properly
attached Trellis Coil.
25
Tending Your Garden
Harvesting Your Garden
If you grow culinary plants, it is important to continually harvest to keep plants healthy and productive.
Here are some general guidelines for harvesting plants
grown in an AeroGarden.
• Do not remove more than a third of leaves or
stems from any one plant at a time.
• Harvest just before using for best flavor.
• Remove ripe fruit.
• As you harvest, try to keep plants at about the
same height so they all receive enough light.
• After harvesting, lower light(s), if necessary.
How to harvest each plant depends on plant’s structure
and growth. Here are some general guidelines for some
common plant types.
Harvest Your Garden
Leafy Greens
(such as lettuce varieties)
• Remove entire leaves by
cutting at base of the leaf.
• To ensure healthy new
growth, do not harvest all
the leaves from any one
Grow Pod. For continuous
harvesting, we suggest you
never harvest more than
1/3 of a plant at any time.
Continued on next page
Harvesting Your Garden
26
Harvest Your Garden
Bunching Herbs
(such as chives and parsley)
• Harvest herbs that grow
in a bunch by cutting an
entire stem – just a stem,
not the entire plant!
• Select the oldest stems,
found near outer edges
of plant. (These stems
are generally wider than
younger ones and leaves
may have some yellow
around the edges.)
• Cut near the base of stem.
Also, remember to remove
stems that shade other
plants in your garden.
Branching Herbs
(such as mint, basil, oregano)
• Cut plants just above a set
of leaves (growth point)
not more than halfway
down stem.
Also harvest by cutting just
above a termination point
(where one stem meets
another).
• Cut wider (older) of
two stems.
27
Harvesting Your Garden
(Continued)
Troubleshooting
Appendix
What do I do when a Grow Bulb burns out?
Replacement bulbs can be ordered from your retailer or
at www.aerogardensupport.com.
What should I do if my Grow Bulb(s) aren’t working?
Make sure Grow Bulb(s) are firmly inserted in Lamp Hood.
Also check that Garden is plugged into a working electrical outlet and Lamp Cord is plugged into Lamp Hood.
What if I want to move my Garden to another location?
Go right ahead! Keep in mind that each AeroGarden
model has different features. Unplugging it in the middle
of its growth cycle could cause your AeroGarden’s light
timer to reset. Before moving your AeroGarden, consult
your Quick Start Guide to see how light timer is affected
when your model is unplugged.
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.
Can the Grow Sponges be re-used?
If your seeds did not germinate, or your cutting did not
take, you should be able to re-use your Grow Sponge(s)*.
Gently remove Grow Sponge from bottom of Split-Apart
Basket. (Try to do this without ripping or removing Pod
Label.) Remove non-germinated seeds or dead cutting.
Follow steps on pages 8-12 for placing seeds or cuttings
in Grow Sponge.
* If there is any indication of algae growth or mold on Grow
Sponge(s), they are not re-usable and should be discarded.
Continued on next page
Appendix
28
Troubleshooting
(Continued)
My Garden doesn’t look healthy. What can I do?
If you are concerned about the health of your Garden,
please go through the following…
• Keep light(s) as close to plants as possible, without
leaves touching Grow Bulb(s).
• Replace Grow Bulb(s) every 6 months (see Quick Start
Guide for model-specific instructions).
• Continually remove dead leaves and flowers.
• Don’t use softened or well water.
• Continually prune, pollinate and harvest plants.
• Make sure plants are not getting too many or too few
nutrients (see page 16 for information).
Why haven’t my seeds germinated?
If your seeds do not germinate, the first thing to check
is the expiration date on the seed packet. Viability of
seeds decreases significantly with age. Also verify that
your seeds, whether in the seed packet or in a Grow Pod,
were stored properly. Excessive humidity and/or heat
can ruin a seed.
A hard outer coat on a seed may also hinder germination. Try gently rubbing outer coat of these seeds with
sandpaper or a file before placing in a Grow Sponge.
Finally, make sure you plant more than one seed in a
Grow Pod. Even the best seeds do not germinate 100%
of the time. See page 8 for more details on how many
seeds to plant in each Grow Pod.
What if one of the plants in my AeroGarden dies?
Occasionally you might find that one of the plants in
your custom Garden does not thrive. If a plant dies,
remove entire Grow Pod from AeroGarden. Cover the
empty Grow Surface Opening to inhibit algae from
29
Appendix
Troubleshooting Help and Quick Start Guides
available at: www.aerogardensupport.com
growing in Bowl. Choose a material that will tolerate
moisture such as aluminum foil or a plastic milk jug lid.
What if one of the plants in my AeroGarden is much
taller than the others?
Despite all your planning, you may find a plant in your
garden that is growing faster than the others. Try pruning the plant to keep size in check and keep Lamp Hood
at lowest setting possible without burning plants.
How do I prevent a plant from spreading out and
shading other plants in my AeroGarden?
Try rearranging plants by rotating the Grow Pod so the
spreading part of plant is near the outer edge of the
AeroGarden. This, combined with pruning, can alleviate
some shading problems.
How do I care for 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
that you make arrangements for someone to care for
your Garden while you are away.
What do I do when my garden has completed its
growth cycle?
For step-by-step instructions regarding the care of your
AeroGarden after plants have stopped growing, refer to
the “Prepare for your Next Garden” section in your model’s
Quick Start Guide.
Appendix
30
AeroGrow International, Inc.
Quick Start Guides available at:
www.aerogardensupport.com
507314-0000 AA 8/28/08
U.S. Patents Pending
© 2007-2008 AeroGrow International, Inc.