How to replace the nozzle/aerator stem on the AeroGarden Sprout

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Background

Older models of the AeroGarden Sprout have an aeration nozzle with three small holes. These easily get blocked with time resulting in poor aeration. I reported this to AeroGrow and they gave me detailed instructions on how to remove the nozzle and clean it. But they also told me if I continued to have issues with it, they would send me a new nozzle that has one large hole, instead of the three smaller holes. So I cleaned the nozzle and it worked fine for a while, but the issue persisted. I contacted them again, and they sent me the new nozzle and repair tool free of charge.

What’s included

  • New version of the nozzle
  • Tool for removing the old nozzle. It looks like a piece of pvc with notches on one end.
  • Instructions

Steps to fix

  1. Use the supplied tool to twist the existing nozzle out by lining up the notches and turning counter-clockwise.
  2. Screw in the replacement nozzle and use the tool to tighten it back in, turning clockwise.

Conclusion

I’m very happy the customer service from AeroGrow. They’ve always been very responsive to issues and questions. They stand behind their product.

Video of the replacement process:

How to start your own lettuce seeds in the AeroGarden

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If you don’t have a seed pod kit, the process for seeding your own AeroGarden pods is very simple. You can reuse an old pod basket/cage, and replace the sponge. If you have to buy sponges, it’s cheaper to use the BioDome type that Park Seed sells, specifically the 60 cell refill size. If you buy the AeroGrow brand, it costs about the same as the Park Seed, but you get less than half as much.

Replace the sponge, and place a small pinch of seeds in the hole at the top. You can use the nutrients that AeroGrow sells, but I make my own with a combination of 4-18-38 MasterBlend, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), and Calcium Nitrate. I describe these nutrients in more detail here.

The strengths (and order of mixing) that I’m using for lettuce growing are:
1.6 grams/gallon 4-18-38 MasterBlend
.8 grams/gallon Magnesium Sulfate
1.6 grams/gallon Calcium Nitrate

AeroGarden updates

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I’m currently running three AeroGardens (one is at work not shown). The two I have at home are an AeroGarden Bounty Elite and an old AeroGarden Classic 7. The seven has only herbs in it now, and they are doing well for the most part. The Bounty Elite has four pepper plants; a crossed Peach Lightning Hab, a crossed eximium and two Aji Pineapple. The roots are so massive they are starting to push the plant pods out. I plan to yank those prior to starting seeds for the 2017 grow season. I’ll start nine plants, and move eight of the sprouts to different hydroponic systems. I’ll keep one in there to grow to maturity. I also have an AeroGarden Sprout that I plan to start soon with lettuce. I’ll show how to start lettuce seeds without needing to buy the pre-seeded pods from AeroGrow. I’m going to run this at the same time as my Kratky lettuce experiment and compare the grows.