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

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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.


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:

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How to grow lettuce using the Kratky method

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How to grow lettuce (and anything else) using the Kratky method of fill and forget non-circulating hydroponics.

Kratky grown lettuce

Materials needed:

  • Tote – The capacity needs to support a minimum of one gallon per plant. Also take into account you will lose some volume between the lid and net cups, unless have a tote with a raised lid. So, for a 10 gallon tote, six plants is good.
  • Lettuce seeds – You can get these anyway, lowes, walmart, etc… or amazon and ebay. They are very inexpensive, usually 1-3 thousand for two or three dollars.
  • Net cups – I like using the three inch net cups, but you can use whatever you have.
  • Hole saw – If using the three inch cups, a three inch hole saw (and arbor) cuts the perfect size. This is not necessarily true for the two inch cup and two inch hole saw, unless you get two inch cups with wide lids.
  • Grow sponges – This is to hold the seed until it germinates and sprouts. You can use peat based sponges like what AeroGrow and Park Seed sell, or rockwool. Rockwool needs to be pre-treated to lower the pH. I using the 6-0 refill size biodome sponges that Park Seed sells. These cost around 18.00 for 120.
  • Growing medium – This is to anchor the plant, you need something with good aeration. Clay pebbles (hydroton) or coco coir chunks work great.
  • Nutrients – Check with your hydroponics store, or search online. Most will work fine, like Maxibloom, Maxigrow, Dyna Grow, etc… I use a mix of MasterBlend, MgSO4 and Ca(NO3)2. More information on that here.
  • Grow light – T8 shop lights are fine. I personally like the Utilitech brand that Lowes sells, because the housing is so narrow that you can fit three side by side on an 18″ shelf. Try to get the daylight spectrum bulbs. CFL and LED lights work great too.


  1. Drill holes in the tote lid using hole saw. For three shallow 10 gallon tote I made six holes.
  2. Place sponge in the net cup and fill around it with grow medium, i.e. Clay pebbles, coco coir, etc…
  3. Place a small pinch of seeds (3-5) in the top of the sponge. It should have a small hole in the top for seeds
  4. Put the tote in place where it will stay and fill with nutrient solution. It should come up to a half inch to an inch from the bottom of the net cup. You can place an empty net cup in there to check the water level.
  5. With the lid secure, place the filled net cups in the lid.
  6. Turn on the grow lights and leave them on 24/7 until the sprouts come up and produce at least one set of true leaves
  7. Once the sprouts are strong enough to stand on their own, start thinning them down, eventually to just one per net pot. If there are several, this should not be done all at once.
  8. When the individual remaining sprouts have matured and have at least a couple sets of true leaves, put the light on timer and run 10-12 hours per day.

* The links to Amazon are affiliate links.

Here’s a video of the process:

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Pepper Grow and Indoor Garden Update from 1/22/17

The following video shows an update on my 2017 pepper starts, as well as circulating and non-circulating hydroponic lettuce grows. Also my DWC Jamaican Hot Chocolate and self-watering containers housing the Thai Dragon and Tien Tsin peppers.

This year I’m starting my seeds directly in the AeroGardens or in my DIY AeroGarden that I made.

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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

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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.

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