Aerogarden Experiment: Nutrients

AniseHyssopCilantro

As my first year with an indoor garden drew to a close, I noticed I was nearly out of my first set of nutrients for my AeroGarden. My sister-law, who has one of her own she loves and a year ago gifted one to me, included a goodly support pack with enough to keep me gardening for a full year before I needed to think about any real re-supplying. I’d thought a year ago I would want to go to an all-organic system for fertilizing my plants when the time came to re-stock. When I set out for my local indoor cultivation specialty store, I intended to do just that.

BotanicareFertilizerThe fellas at Oregon’s Constant Gardener changed my mind. They told me all organic fertilizers or water soluble nutrients won’t stay suspended in gardens like mine. The Aerogarden doesn’t have a pump to keep the water moving. Mine is a still water system. It was built for chemical rather than organic nutrient solutions. Still, they said a partially organic, partially chemical fertilizer would work. The one they recommended, Botanicare, is specifically for producing plants with extra foliage rather than encouraging flowers and blooms. The same company makes a version that’s designed for blooming and fruiting, too.

Now that I’ve been using the new fertilizer for a couple of months, I can say I think the switch was good overall. I noticed my plants have grown a little slower than they did with the all-chemical nutrients that came with my Aerogarden. Their flavor, however, has gotten stronger as has their scent and they’ve stayed looking bright green and vibrant longer. I think the partly organic nutrients have helped them create more essential oils, but don’t quote me on that.

My next experiment will be to pick up some of the fertilizer designed for flowering and see how that changes my little landscape. For now, I’m enjoying fresh cilantro and Thai basil with dinner and anise hyssop in my afternoon tea daily. I can’t complain!

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