If you love gardening, you probably love a new challenge. Perhaps you have run out of available space indoors or outdoors to add new plants to your collection. Or maybe you have heard of AeroGardens and Tower Gardens and are intrigued enough to learn more.
Maybe you want to add more indoor greenery inside your home or workplace to freshen the air and brighten your space and you need a low-maintenance way to do this.
Whatever brought you here, we are going to be taking a very close side by side look at Aerogardens versus Tower Gardens so you can decide which one works best for your space.
or who knows, maybe you will decide to try both!
Side by Side Comparison of Aerogarden vs Tower Garden
First up, let's stack up the features of Aerogarden vs Tower Garden side by side so you can get a better appreciation of what each type of product has to offer.
Aerogarden features and benefits:
Tower Garden features and benefits:
So now you can see that both Aerogarden and Tower Garden have some unique features and benefits that may make one more suitable than the other for your space.
Now let's take a closer look at each product specifically so you can learn what makes them unique and special.
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An Overview of Aerogarden: What Is It?
Aerogarden is a brand name for an aeroponic (dirt-free, air-based) system to install an indoor garden. Aeroponics is the term given when the roots of the plants are immersed in nutrient-rich water rather than dirt.
This type of garden can also work well in a sunroom or small apartment balcony.
Aeroponic gardening can be a great alternative if you don't have much space or time to garden but you don't want to sacrifice having green plants to clean the air, garnish your food and simply enjoy.
Aerogarden has great appeal because it is an all-inclusive kit in a very attractive package. You can use it all year long to grow up to 12 different types of plants at one time. And the plants will sprout and grow very quickly, which can be quite exciting!
So whether you want fresh flowers, an herb garden, indoor vegetable garden or simply attractive green plants indoors, an Aerogarden can help you accomplish this.
One thing garden enthusiasts like about Aerogarden is there is no weed-pulling or digging or pest maintenance required.
With everything included in the Aerogarden package, it is easy to succeed in growing lovely plants even if you feel like you have the dreaded "brown thumb" - or if you have never grown plants before.
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An Overview of Tower Garden: What Is It?
Tower Garden is a product that uses aeroponics (see our Garden Tower 2 review). Aeroponics is not the same as hydroponics, although the two terms certainly sound a lot alike.
With aeroponics, instead of spritzing the nutrients onto the plant leaves like with hydroponics, the roots are exposed and spritzed with the nutrient-rich mineral water.
Because of the water, aeroponic gardens can actually end up being as heavy as traditional dirt gardens, so if you want to use one of the larger Tower Garden systems indoors, just be mindful to place it on a very sturdy surface.
In the same way that aeroponic systems like the Aerogarden do not require dirt, so too does the Tower Garden function without dirt. This eliminates a lot of the mess and weeding chores of a traditional garden or even a large quantity of house plants.
Tower gardens can work well indoors or outdoors, including on a small balcony, sunroom or deck.
Main Factors That May Determine Your Choice of Aerogarden vs Tower Garden
As you can see from this overview, there are many similarities but also some differences between Aerogarden and Tower Garden systems.
Aerogardens are primarily designed to be used indoors, although in a pinch a protected balcony or sunroom can also work. They are light weight and fairly easy to move.
Tower Garden is a true indoor-outdoor kit that can be a bit heavier because they typically have a greater growing capacity of up to 32 plants, although smaller, lightweight kits are also available.
This can also impact your cost. Aerogarden's smaller kit with a simpler construction can be more affordable if you are on a budget. But you can grow more plants with a Tower Garden, which may mean lower grocery bills.
Sitting down and calculating out cost versus savings can help you decide which one is most cost-effective for you in the long run.
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Choosing Where to Set Up Aerogarden vs. Tower Garden
A tower garden is going to come closest to a true outdoor vegetable or herb garden. Tower gardens work better in outdoor spaces in general and also tend to look more naturalistic as opposed to the smaller, more compact Aerogarden.
You can also install several outdoors for more of a true garden or even a community garden. This can make Tower Garden a neat project for families and kids.
The smaller Aerogardens, with their more compact design, can easily be tucked away onto a countertop or side table. Larger system are also available if you prefer to place yours on a balcony or deck.
Be sure to keep in mind your local weather if you choose to use one of the seed kits and you want to place either system outdoors. Some plants that will do very well indoors all year long in a controlled environment might not survive outdoors.
You can either place your Aerogarden or Tower Garden near a window to get the benefit of natural sunlight, or you may want to add artificial growing lights if you don't have such a spot handy.
Consider Your Own Gardening Confidence
When you are considering whether to choose the Aerogarden or Tower Garden, keep in mind that low-maintenance does not mean maintenance-free.
Your new plants will still need your attention and care and will certainly need the right location for the best growing results.
Aerogarden systems tend to be more wide than they are tall or of equal height and length. They are going to be the right choice for off-the-ground installation.
If you have only a small amount of space indoors and limited gardening expertise, the Aerogarden will probably be your best bet. You won't have as much to do or as many plants to watch for.
Also, Aerogarden kits are all-inclusive right down to the seed pod label, making them as simple as following a set of instructions. Here again, this can make Aerogarden a particularly great family project for kids cooped up during the long winter season!
Once you feel more confident, you can definitely upgrade to one of the larger Aerogarden systems with double or even triple the growing capacity.
Tower Garden systems definitely work best if you have a little more room to spread out - and an outdoor space is great if you have it.
These systems are typically more tall than they are wide - at least until the plants get to growing. Their unobtrusive white and green structure makes them literally blend in outdoors once the plants start sprouting and growing.
But you will have more plants to manage right from the start and a large and more complicated growing system to master.
If you have any doubts about the initial location for your Tower Garden, you will need to purchase a rolling deck or casters to make it possible to move them easily. This can also be important if you need to move them to a more protected location during storms.
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Aerogarden vs. Tower Garden for Kids and Classrooms
Both the Aerogarden and the Tower Garden have a lot to offer for kids' enrichment.
This is true whether you are home schooling your kids or just want a fun weekend family project.
Teachers can help kids learn to grow and harvest fresh produce - a huge initiative in many school systems today - with either the Aerogarden or Tower Garden.
Here again, the amount of space and your confidence caring for plants are the best factors to consider when choosing between the two systems.
The small countertop Aerogarden kits are perfect for apartment living or in the classroom. And their yield is enough for one or two people to enjoy regularly or for a larger group to simply sample now and again.
The larger Tower Garden system could be a great addition for a school community garden project. It would even be a great idea for each classroom to "adopt" their own Tower Garden and tend to it throughout the year with a potluck at year-end.
For in-classroom use, just be sure you have at least three square feet of dedicated free floor space inside the classroom as well as a safety perimeter to allow the young plants to grow safely.
Consider What Types of Plants You Want to Grow
As we mentioned briefly here earlier, your local climate can have a great impact on whether the Aerogarden or Tower Garden systems will be a better fit for your available space, interests and needs.
This is particularly true when you look at the types of plants you want to grow.
Some plants, such as delicate herbs or flowers, may require indoor space with year-round controlled growing conditions to thrive.
Other herbs, vegetables or flowering plants may require more extreme climate changes to trigger growing cycles. Some vegetables only grow in winter and some herbs only grow in summer, for example.
If you don't use one of the growing kits provided by either system, you will want to take care to choose plants that will do well when growing together in confined spaces. You also want to be sure the plants you choose all require the same basic conditions.
This can make it easier to choose the pre-made kits of herbs, vegetables, produce or green houseplants.
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What Type of Yield Do You Expect or Require
Another very important question to ask is what type of outcome or yield you are hoping to get.
Aerogarden does have larger systems, but in most cases people choose Aerogarden to have a small countertop garden of herbs or micro-greens.
This is a perfect solution to have a lovely year-round source of very small quantities of fresh produce for one or two people. But the indoor Aerogarden is not going to replace the need for grocery shopping.
The Tower Garden system has the capability for more variety as well as a much higher yield. There is a possibility that you could replace the need to shop for some types of fresh vegetables or produce with a fully functioning Tower Garden.
For those who are looking to grow their own organic produce at home to trim grocery bills and guard against commercial pesticides, one or more Tower Garden systems will get you there faster.
What Is Your Budget for Aeroponic Gardening
The amount of fresh produce or beautiful greenery you are hoping to produce is another factor to consider when choosing between the Aerogarden and Tower Garden.
While you will undoubtedly get more produce for your investment with a Tower Garden system, you will also have a higher up-front investment to make.
You will want to sit down and do some calculations based on what you are spending on fresh vegetables, herbs and produce right now and how long it would take to make back your investment in lower grocery bills.
A small Aerogarden is not likely to make much of a dent on your grocery shopping bottom line, but can be a handy and fun way to learn a new hobby and have a reliable year-round source of the fresh herbs or plants you most love.
Aerogarden vs Tower Garden: The Choice Is Up to You
Now that you have learned more about each system, the Aerogarden and Tower Garden, the choice is yours to make.
Are you seeking a small, self-contained, indoor garden system to enjoy with your friends, partner or kids?
Or do you have ambitions to create a larger indoor-outdoor garden to grow your own organic produce?
Either way, you will find what you are seeking with either the Aerogarden or Tower Garden.