AeroGarden Harvest Elite Platinum Review: All-in-one Indoor Hydroponic Gardening

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With today’s smaller living spaces and lack of adequate outdoor areas,  it can seem impossible to cultivate a lush garden filled with homegrown veggies, herbs or vibrant flowering plants.

Yet the rise of the Indoor Hydroponic Gardening system like AeroGarden Harvest Elite Platinum utterly transforms cultivated abundance from rural privilege to inclusive reality regardless of skill or space.

To grow plants indoors, you must tailor the illumination wavelengths, nutrient dosing, and environmental controls to enrich vegetation. With these integrated systems, even those who have yet to become experienced in gardening can harvest fresh salad and floral arrangements every week. However, not all indoor gardening products deliver what they promise.

Read below for our hands-on evaluation of the market-leading AeroGarden Harvest Elite and whether its delivery truly rivals the picturesque kitchen harvests displayed across Etsy listings and Pinterest boards!

Overview

The AeroGarden Harvest Elite Platinum is an indoor hydroponic garden system that allows you to grow fresh herbs, vegetables, salad greens, and flowers year-round without soil. This Wi-Fi-enabled model features a compact, stylish stainless steel design that looks great in any kitchen or living space.

The hydroponic technology at the system’s core circulates nutrient-rich water to the plant roots, delivering nutrients more efficiently than soil to spur faster growth. The integrated grow lights provide full spectrum LED lighting optimized for indoor growth, turning on and off automatically together with customizable settings.

This kit has everything you need to get started, including six seed pod kits for a choice of herbs, Salad Greens, Tomatoes, and Flowers. It features a large 12-inch grow height to accommodate taller veggies and herbs. The simple control panel makes it very easy to operate, and the quiet water pump circulates water smoothly and evenly.

A significant highlight is the built-in Wi-Fi, which allows connecting to the AeroGarden mobile app. This enables complete control and monitoring from anywhere. You can adjust the grow light settings, view plant food levels, and get notifications if anything needs attention. The Elite model also collects growth data to optimize conditions.

With minimal setup, simple maintenance, and automated lighting and watering, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite does most of the work for you. Users praise how easy it is to use while delivering abundant, nutritious, home-grown produce to enjoy all year. If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to garden indoors, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite gets top marks.

Product Description

The critical components of the Harvest Elite AeroGarden system include:

  • Stainless steel base and aluminum grow deck
  • 20W full spectrum LED growth light panel
  • Touch-sensitive digital control panel
  • 6-pod planting capacity
  • Integrated water reservoir with notifications
  • Liquid plant food dosing notifications
  • Vacation mode for unattended operation
  • Gourmet Herb seed kit (6 pods)

With a compact footprint, the Harvest Elite provides advanced hydroponics functionality like optimized lighting spectrums and automated alerts tailored for kitchen herbs and greens. The integrated seed kit accelerates getting started.

Pros

  • A slim countertop profile fits most spaces
  • Simple plug-and-play setup process
  • Plants achieve 5x faster growth than soil
  • Seed to harvest in as little as four weeks
  • Automated water and nutrient notifications
  • Full spectrum LED light panel included
  • Vacation mode enables unattended growth
  • Fun educational usage for kids
  • 1-year manufacturer-provided warranty

Cons

  • The futuristic look lacks decor blending
  • Non-adjustable 20W LED lighting limits the intensity
  • Water reservoir requires frequent refilling
  • The hood prevents easy water pitcher filling
  • Bright LEDs are distracting in living areas
  • Nutrient notifications worked more reliably than water
  • Limited to 6-pod capacity
  • Seed kits restrict plant variety

What Plants Thrive in the AeroGarden

While technically supporting any herb, flower, or vegetable that fits within the 12-inch clearance restrictions, certain plant varieties especially flourish under the conditions in the Harvest Elite:

Herbs

This gardening system shines for continually harvesting kitchen herbs for hydroponics, like mint, thyme, basil, and parsley, that appreciate ample moisture and matching daylight spectrums.

Leafy Greens

Shallow-rooted lettuces, kales, and spinach grow rapidly and can be cut recurrently under optimized LED lighting.

Strawberries

In addition to plump berries, the cascading flowers and vines make strawberries ideal aesthetically, and they fruit reliably.

Flowers

From marigolds to snapdragons and dianthus, flowering varieties were put to the test and delivered vibrant blooms.

As seed pod kits expand to include additional produce like peppers and tomatoes, the spectrum tuning and compact footprint cater well to apartment cultivation.

Differs From Other Indoor Gardens

The AeroGarden Harvest Elite separates itself from competitor hydroponic systems and essential grow lights in a few notable ways:

  • Fully Integrated: All-In-One Design combines lighting, pumps, timers, and automation in one plug-and-play countertop unit rather than separate components.
  • Vacation Mode Built-In: This enables unattended growth for weeks by automatically regulating light and nutrients with less risk than analog timers.
  • Optimized Light Spectrum: The LEDs deliver brighter red/blue light calibrated precisely to fuel plant growth rather than basic white bulbs.
  • Established Hydroponic Brand: With millions of customers over 10+ years, AeroGarden is an established hydroponics system company with strong product support.

While priced higher than building a custom hydroponic system, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite provides a user-friendly gateway for urban gardeners to tap into higher-yield hydroponics.

Significance of Indoor Hydroponic Gardening

As access to traditional sprawling gardens becomes less feasible for metropolitan apartment dwellers, the concept of cultivating bountiful herbs, veggies, and flowers indoors has become a reality. Driving this redefinition of agriculture is hydroponics leveraging LED lighting advancements.

By precisely tuning illumination wavelengths while optimizing water and nutrients supplied directly to roots, home systems like the AeroGarden Harvest Elite enable yield densities impossible in soil at rapid growth cycles.

Benefits of Indoor Hydroponic Gardens

Beyond merely decorative greenery, well-configured indoor hydro rigs offer a wealth of advantages:

  • Compact footprint fitting any space
  • Reduced reliance on changing seasons
  • Precise control over conditions
  • Lower risk of pests or diseases
  • Grow inedible exotic fruits year-round
  • An educational tool for teaching kids

While expanding vertical farms grab headlines redefining commercial scale operations, the more significant revolution resides in hobbyists’ sense of satisfaction and pride from home growing.

Well-designed systems like the Harvest Elite that package the ideal environment for starting seeds are leading the way and making this transformation achievable for anyone limited to a studio apartment balcony.

Limitations of Indoor Hydroponic Gardening

While the prior section highlighted the numerous benefits integrated hydroponic appliances like the AeroGarden Harvest Elite provide over traditional gardening, it remains important to address their current limitations before diving in.

Initial Investment Barriers

More sensors, controls, and lighting components unsurprisingly translate into increased upfront costs that may price out casual gardeners unsure if they’ll use the equipment long-term.

Recurring Operating Costs

From replacement seed pods to liquid plant foods, maintaining even a compact system carries consumable costs that add up over years of use. Monetarily, it may compare favorably with store-bought crops but less so for those less concerned with yield density.

Feature and Size Constraints

Entry-level consumer models often limit lighting power, pod numbers, automation capabilities, and planting diversity. Intermediate DIY setups become necessary for more serious growers.

Reliability Dependencies

Once dialed in, indoor systems greatly simplify gardening. However, pump failures, depleted nutrients, or environmental control issues can suddenly ruin crops without quick intervention.

Parametric Limitations

Even sophisticated hydroponics have ranges of constraining variables like light intensity, temperature extremes, irrigation rates, and nutrient proportions that can impact the health of plants.

Getting Started with the AeroGarden Harvest Elite

Unboxing the AeroGarden system feels akin to opening a premium kitchen appliance rather than a gardening product. But understanding the following essential usage tips will have your seed pods flourishing into an indoor botanical abundance in no time:

  • Select a Sunny Placement: While supplemental LED lighting minimizes natural light needs, locating near bright windows helps when getting started.
  • Use Room Temperature Water: The sensor-calibrated watering automation works best when filled using 65°F-75°F degree purified or distilled water, avoiding extremes.
  • Set Reminders for Plant Food: While the system warns when dosing plant nutrients, set calendar reminders every two weeks to stay ahead of notifications to prevent any starvation stall-outs.
  • Prune & Train Plants Proactively: Guide taller stretchy vegetation away from pressing directly on the LED hood and prune leaves threatening to choke out neighbors.
  • Leverage Customer Support Chats: The company offers live chat, email, and phone contact channels from specialists to solve issues promptly. This proved vastly quicker than troubleshooting independently for trickier cases.

With excellent germination guarantees when using AeroGarden seed kits, even urban gardeners lacking plant prowess can quickly pick up the basics of hydroponics fundamentals!

Final Words

After taking a deep dive into the AeroGarden Harvest Elite’s full spectrum of features and real-world performance across herbs, leafy greens, flowers, and vegetables, it becomes apparent why this integrated countertop appliance has ascended as the market-leading vessel for unlocking abundant indoor cultivation.

Between the automated watering, dialed-in LED lighting spectrums, and seamless mobile app controls, the Harvest Elite encapsulates an uncompromising hydroponic ecosystem in a compact, plug-and-play package.

AeroGarden is a reliable appliance that brings commercial-grade hydroponics to gardeners who need more space or knowledge of pH balancing. With AeroGarden, you can easily experience the satisfaction of growing year-round produce.

Expect many a pickled beet, oregano-garnished pizza, or vibrant marigold to emerge from this compact powerhouse.

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