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The AeroGarden Harvest is a hydroponic growing system and it is important to know how to clean an AeroGarden if you want to get good results with it.
AeroGarden worth buying? An Honest Review Of The Aerogarden Harvest
Cleaning your AeroGarden involves a bit more than just wiping down your unit. What really needs to happen between grows is sterilization.
Here is a peek inside an AeroGarden reservoir. You can see the filter and 2 screws on top of the pump. If you take the screws out the plate comes off. Unplug it and the pump can be removed for cleaning.
Learning how to clean an AeroGarden and sanitize your garden will help you continue harvesting healthy, bountiful harvests. I have over 20 years of experience growing hydroponically so let’s do it. But first…
Learning How To Clean An AeroGarden Is Important
The first thing you need to understand is the AeroGarden uses hydroponics to grow your herbs and veggies.
It has a small reservoir to hold water and nutrients and your roots will grow down into this. Some parts will break off or die.
Some parts will get pulled into your pump screen. Also, plant roots give off waste byproducts as they grow.
With hydroponics cleanliness truly is next to godliness. If you allow crud to build up in your reservoir you are asking for trouble.
Water molds like Pythium and Phytophthora can grow in a dirty reservoir and will destroy your plant’s roots ultimately killing them.
Bacteria and mold feed on the organic matter so you want to eliminate this and kill any bacteria that might already be there.
The reservoir only holds about .594 gallons according to AeroGarden customer service.
This is pretty small even for 6 plants. Because it’s small it will get dirty fast and quickly fill up with roots.
So I would recommend changing the water and adding fresh nutrients every 2-3 weeks for best results.
Here are a couple of the things I see people searching for
How To Clean Your AeroGarden In A Dishwasher
Looking for an easy way out? Forget this. You can only clean the top in a dishwasher. The reservoir and pump is what need sanitizing and is not dishwasher safe.
How To Clean Your AeroGarden With Vinegar
Vinegar will dissolve calcium build up in your AeroGarden. It is used if you have hard water and want to dissolve calcium deposits.
It would be better to use distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water if you have hard water. Even so, the nutrient solution can leave deposits too.
Soaking in vinegar will not sanitize your AeroGarden Harvest and is not a substitute for using bleach to disinfect it.
The top of the Harvest is hollow and if you want to clean it the dishwasher might work but it would be better to submerge it in a vinegar bath.
Finally soaking it in a bleach solution will sanitize it inside and out.
Best Way To Clean Your AeroGarden
The best way to clean and sanitize your AeroGarden is with a 10:1 bleach solution. Mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts of water.
Don’t use scented bleach. Otherwise, any old dollar store bleach will do.
After removing any deposits with vinegar fill the reservoir with a bleach solution. The pump only runs for 5 minutes every hour.
So you can let it sit an hour or more or you can press the select button and that will start it.
I would run it with and without the deck so everything gets sanitized.
How Often To Clean An AeroGarden
You should clean it between every grow cycle. It is a good idea to take a look under the hood from time to time during your grow to see if the water is looking dirty.
Unless your water is horrible you should not need to use vinegar to remove scale every cleaning. If it is that bad switch to filling your reservoir with distilled, RO, or even bottled water.
While you can remove your pump for cleaning that should rarely be needed. What you should focus on is cleaning the intake sponge filter on the front of the pump every time.
You can clean an AeroGarden with plants in it. Just lift the top and pour out the reservoir and then replace it with fresh water and nutrients.
Plants don’t eat all nutrients at the same rate and your nutrients can get out of balance. So it is a good idea to change it every 2-3 weeks.
This will also help prevent build up and make cleaning at the end of the growing cycle much easier.
How To Clean The AeroGarden Pump
You should not need to clean your pump very often. You can get build up in it over time and you can clean it with vinegar and a soft brush.
Here is a video that shows how to remove the pump. The unit in the video looks just like an AeroGarden Harvest.
Some models have a pump and some models like the Bounty have an aerator. It is a good idea to check that the pump is working correctly from time to time.
Since it runs so rarely and is whisper quiet, it is easy to miss! To test the pump, press and hold the Select button for about 3 seconds. Then, lift up the grow deck to look in the water bowl. You should see water coming out of the pump connector tube like a fountain. If your pump does not run in test mode, please contact customer service.https://www.aerogarden.com/blog/the-pump-is-not-working-in-my-aerogarden/
Dont Forget To Clean The Sponge Filter
The sponge filter sits in front of the pump. It will probably be the dirtiest thing in your reservoir.
Gently remove any roots that may have grown into it. Wash it out under a faucet by wetting and squeezing it until the water runs clear.
Then soak it in your bleach solution to sterilize it. Don’t forget to put it back on the pump!
Final Thoughts On Cleaning An AeroGarden Harvest
The AeroGarden is so easy to use that it’s easy to forget about maintenance. But don’t do that.
If you read my article by now you know how to clean an AeroGarden
You want to harvest crops for many years from it. It is a hydro system similar to DWC (deep water culture) in many ways.
And in those kinds of systems success depends on keeping things clean in the root zone.
So don’t be afraid to use bleach when there are no plants in it. Just make sure to rinse it off really well when you are done.