How Much Will The Aerogarden Cost Me To Run

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how much does the aerogarden cost to run question

The Aerogarden is a compact unit operating on the Ein Gedi Aeroponics method.

The aerogarden units are economical on power with the Farm using $8 per month, the Bounty $3 per month, the Harvest $1.5 and the Sprout less than a dollar. If you go on price per pod the Farm will cost about $2 for 6 months growing ( tomatoes), while the Harvest will cost $0.98 for 4 months (salad greens).

So that’s how much it will cost you to run the different units per month – what about if you grow a single crop – what would that cost you. I have done all the calculations below and I don’t think it is too bad.

The other thing to remember is that you won’t be growing just a single crop you will be loading up the Farm, Bounty, Harvest or Sprout.

Whats in an aerogarden

The Aerogarden units consist of :

  • A grow bowl
  • A grow table
  • A grow light
  • A recirculating pump
  • A controller unit

Out of these parts the pump, controller and lights all take power.

The lights take the bulk of the power with the pump and controller taking a very small amount.

Lighting up times

How long are the grow lights on for each different controller position.

This will determine how much electric they are using during the day.

There are typically five mode selections which have different on/off timings for the lighting.

mode lights on lights off
tomatoes 16 hours 8 hours
salad greens/lettuce 16.5 7.5
herbs/basil 17 7
flowers 15.5 8.5
strawberry 15
9

The older models have compact fluorescent lamps which take 26W each and typically two were fitted so 52w, with the newer led lighting it is slightly lower power, but the main benefit is lifetime.

You needed to change the cfl bulbs every 6 months whereas the minimum lifetime of the leds is 3 years, but even then they are only going dim rather than failing…

The power taken by the main models is :

  • The Farm is 126W
  • The Bunty is 48w
  • The Harvest is 23w
  • And the Sprout is 13w

Calculating the watts per dayhow much power does it use per month

To get the watts per day you multiply the power by the on time.

So we have:

hours farm (126w) Bounty(48W) Harvest(23W) Sprout (13W)
16 (toms)
2016 768 368 208
16.5 (greens) 2079 792 379 214
17 (herbs) 2142 816 391 221
15.5 (flowers) 1953 744 356 201
15 (strawberry) 1890 720 345 195

What is the Cost per month

To calculate the per month cost you multiply the cost per day times the number of days in the month.

Based on 13c per kwh and 14.4 p per kwh and 30 day months

Prices for electric average correct april 2020 and subject to change.

model kwh per month price ($) price (£)
Farm 60 7.8 8.64
Bounty 23.7 3 3.4
Harvest 11.4 1.5 1.64
sprout 6.45 0.8 0.9

Different seed pod kits grow time

The different kits show the different grow times of the plants.

these times are based soley on the kit times, and as i have said in other posts i have had basil going for over 5 years and chilis, which are still going, after 10 years.

So these growing times are based on the seed pod kit times.

seed pod kit germination lifetime
cherry tomatoes 8-10weeks 6 months
salad greens 3 weeks 3-4 months
herbs 4 weeks 4 months
flowers 4 weeks 4 months

Aerogarden model cost of growing crops

we can now calculate the cost of growing the single crop in each model of Aerogarden

We have the cost per day.

We have the lifetime for the seed pod kits.

so a multiplication of cost per day by the lifetime will give the cost per crop.

I will show all four models and two crops per model.

The tomatoes and the salad greens, the herbs and flowers are very similar so can be taken as this cost.

But this cost will be reduced as there will be other crops grown alongside.

So i will also show the cost per pod for each of the models

The Farm has 24 pods, the Bounty 9 pods, the Harvest 6 pods and the sprout 3 pods

model crop kwh price($) price per pod ($)
farm cherry tomaotes 362.8 47.17 1.96
bounty cherry tomatoes 138.2 17.97 1.99
Harvest cherry tomatoes 66.2 8.6 1.43
sprout cherry tomatoes 37.4 4.86 1.6
farm salad greens 249.4 32.30 1.34
Bounty salad greens 95.04 12.35 1.37
Harvest salad greens 45.6 5.92 0.98
Sprout salad greens 25.8 3.35 1.11

So what does this mean for the aerogarden

So it pays to keep the pods full of plants – when you remove one, if the next one will get enough light to germinate properly then plant it up – or wait till the whole crop is over and replant from scratch.but the crop is worth it

Added on top is the cost of a 3 oz bottle or 1 liter of nutrient, this will keep you going for up to 2 years…

but the enjoyment you will get seeing your crops growing .

And knowing what went into it, without the pesticides or herbicides that are used berfore, during and after growing in the soil.

You will get the satisfaction of healthy happy plants that you grew and know that it will not cost you the earth to grow.

I hope that this has helped put your mind at rest that the Aerogarden range will not cost a fortune to run and is worth a try.

Thanks for reading

Phil

Website | + posts

I have been growing plants hydroponically since 2009. For years before that i was reading books and looking at systems and saying ...no way...
But once i had taken the plunge with the tomatoes outside, then there was no stopping me.
I tried out most of the systems and started to refine them, getting the plants to grow more efficiently.
Now I am more interested in indoor hydroponics and the challenges it presents. Being able to control the environment, feeding the correct nutrients and giving the correct length and type of lighting....

3 thoughts on “How Much Will The Aerogarden Cost Me To Run”

  1. I agree with you when you said seeing your crop grow is the most satisfactory one can enjoy. Very well written. I like the spacing makes it easy to read.
    Does, the light for the switch goes on or off automatically when it reach the required amount of lighting?
    Do you know if the crops that grows with the lights has the same nutrients as the ones which grows on it’s own with sunlight.
    Keep up the good work

    1. Thank you Marcia for dropping by.
      Seeing those green leaves as they first start to emerge is almost magical.
      The lighting on all models bar the littlest herbie is automatic and doesn’t need you to touch it.
      If the light does interfere with your life, you have two choices , switch it off manually – this wil lreduce the number of hours the plants get light , or there is a light proof cover that is supposed to ‘amplify’ the light – it is just reflective inside and bounces back the light which would escape.
      Hydroponic plants do have the same or even higher levels of nutrients as their equivalent grown in soil. You can tailor ‘extra’ nutrients by adding more of the nutrient you are after.
      One other area that is being looked at is the effects of wind in generating antioxidants in the plant – so adding some means of moving your plants may enhance their benefits fro you.

    2. Hi,
      Thank you for answering my questions.

      It is more economical to grow the Aerogarden, you can grow so much more with a lot less you right we can just add the nutrients we are looking for at the time.
      I am very excited about it and am keen to follow you on your journey

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