The AeroGarden Systems and AeroGarden Seed Pods have grown to be the most popular hydroponic indoor gardening systems. But AeroGarden Pods can be costly, and people have found simpler ways of creating their own AeroGarden Pods to grow their favorite herbs, fruits, and veggies.
I will take you through my process of DIY AeroGarden Pods and AeroGarden-like Systems. The desire to constantly grow your own herbs and vegetables can get expensive when you’re always buying new seed pods.
That’s why we’ll take a look at making your own. These DIY AeroGarden Pods can also go into any of the best AeroGarden models out there, because the DIY pods will be based off the original AeroGarden pods.
Let’s start with DIY AeroGarden Pods and then DIY AeroGarden Systems that the pods will go into.
DIY AeroGarden Pods
Materials for DIY AeroGarden Seed Pod
If you have an AeroGraden System already, you must have already come across the different components of the seed pod. I always reuse many of these parts, as long as they’re not broken.
Reusing the components are more environmentally friendly than buying new pods each time and throwing out the old ones.
To make a DIY pod, here is the list of things you need to make a seed pod:
- Grow Basket – can be of any material like plastic or aluminum (perforated cone-shaped)
- Grow Material or Sponge – can be materials like a sponge or peat moss
- Grow Cover or Dome – transparent hood/dome
Time Needed to DIY AeroGarden Pods
It does not take much time to create a seed pod. The time required is also dependent on the materials you are going to use. For Instance, I like to use peat moss as my replacement sponge. These pods will only take 2-3 hours to be ready.
If you use a ready-made Park Seed Bio Dome Seed Starter Kit with 60-cell planting blocks, then you don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty and can be ready in minutes. These are sponges available at most gardening stores.
Time is dependent on how deep you want to go with DIY AeroGarden Pods and Kits.
DIY AeroGarden Pods Process
The process of making homemade seed pods only takes a few simple steps.
Step 1 – Get the Materials
The first step is to gather all required materials to make the Grow Basket, Grow Sponge, and Grow Cover.
You may be able to get cheaper replacement materials from your local stores, on the AeroGarden website or Amazon. After all, the whole idea of making a DIY seed pod is to reduce the cost of AeroGarden’s ready-made pods.
Step 2 – Create Grow Baskets
The next step is to create a grow basket if you don’t have one already. If you purchased an AeroGarden, you probably already have them.
The first batch of grow baskets that comes with an AeroGarden can be re-used. But if you don’t have any available, you can create it using a small-sized plastic cup or by cutting and folding aluminum foil into a cylinder shape like a basket.
Aluminum foil is easily moldable into cylinders. Make sure you have perforated the sides for water and nutrient to enter. And have also created enough room for the roots to grow out of the seed pod basket. I use a sharp pair of scissors for that.
If you wish to fit this into your already acquired AeroGarden System, then the measurements are very important.
An AeroGarden Seed Pod measures 4 x 0.5 x 4 inches. So you’ll need to replicate the basket with the same measurements for the right fit.
Make sure to also create slits and folds in the cylinder shape to allow the seeds and plant roots to grow through and access the water. The best tip when cutting the slits with scissors or a knife is to do it on a flat surface. Don’t try to cut the cylinders in your hand because you may end up cutting yourself.
Step 3 – Create Grow Sponges
This is a vital step for growing the plants you want. The AeroGarden Sponges are made up of pure Canadian Sphagnum Peat.
But that is not the only material that can support plant growth. I like to use peat moss because it’s fairly inexpensive and also readily available. Rockwool is also another option to use. For these steps, I’ll explain using peat moss to build the sponge core.
All you have to do is pour a handful of the peat moss and add water slowly to wet it. When they’re sufficiently soaked, you can start folding them into your hands to take the pod shape.
That’s when you know that this mixture is ready to be molded. You can take any of the aluminum baskets and tightly pack the mixture in. When you press the mixture into the mold, squeeze out the excess water.
You can then take the mold out and let it dry to take a firm shape. When it dries out, it will take the shape of the original AeroGarden sponge. This is now ready to hold the seed and germinate when placed into the AeroGarden.
These DIY seed pods are also great for placing in the AeroGarden seed starting system kits.
I wouldn’t try to use a regular sponge either. The material that the sponge is made out of isn’t conducive to growing seeds. You will have more failed seed germination than growth.
Step 4 – Final Assembly
Put everything together. Place the seed growing sponge or material into the already-made grow basket. Carefully insert your plant seeds into the sponge.
Place a transparent cover or dome over the DIY seed pod to help promote germination. I always keep the dome on until the germination
How to DIY AeroGarden System
After making a batch of seed pods, are you wondering if you can replicate the AeroGarden Garden system too?
With proper materials and measurements, you definitely can. Most people want to create their own AeroGarden using readily available and cheap materials. The materials will be similar to creating your own indoor hydroponic gardens. AeroGardens use hydroponics after all, so the setups are the same.
Let’s talk about the process of DIY AeroGarden Systems.
Materials for DIY AeroGarden System
There are a few inexpensive materials to build your own AeroGarden.
- A box with lid – e.g., Storage Container
- A small water pump
- LED lights (Red, Blue, and White)
- A hydroponic plant growing solvent mix
- DIY seed pods
- Scissors or Knife
Time Needed to DIY AeroGarden System
The approximate time needed to gather all the materials and assemble them into a garden could take 2-3 hours. That’s about the time it took
How to DIY an AeroGarden System
The entire process of setting up a DIY AeroGarden System is simple and not too complicated.
Step 1 – Set Up the AeroGarden Water Tank
I use this HOMZ 15 Gallon Durabilt Tough Storage Container as a great DIY water reservoir. The lid will act as the growing deck that holds the seed pods for the garden.
The entire purpose of having an AeroGarden System is to reduce evaporation, so a plastic container with a lid will achieve that.
Step 2 – Set Up the Grow Deck
Seed pods need a constant supply of water and nutrients, as well as space. You’ll need to give them enough space for the roots to grow downwards and the seedlings to grow upwards.
In the container lid, make holes to hold the seed pods. Just enough to slide the seed pods into the box lid. Make sure the holes are a tight fit with your DIY pods to prevent water evaporation.
Step 3 – Install the Water Pump
A small pump that is also available for fish tanks will help introduce and circulate oxygen in the water tank with nutrient water.
To install the water pump with the DIY water tank, make a small hole on the lid that will fit the pump. Be sure the pump when inserted, can circulate the water.
Step 4 – LED Lights
LED lights play a vital role in the hydroponic system and there should be a constant supply of light for 16 hours.
All three lights, red, white, and blue are essential in growing plants. Place the lights close to the seed pods until the seeds germinate, but make sure the plant leaves never touch the lights.
And once the seeds germinate, you will have to adjust the height to accommodate the growing plants.
Read more about what to do if the AeroGarden Lights Are Not Working.
Step 5 – Putting It All Together
The final step is assembling all the materials and starting the AeroGarden system. You will have to add water to the box to a level that the seed pods can sufficiently be soaked in the water for the seeds to germinate.
Then add the liquid nutrients into the water tank. This solvent mixture is essential for plant growth. Next, you will have to place the seed pods into the small cut-outs in the lid and make sure the seed pods’ brim is in line with the box’s lid.
You will then have to start the LED light system and the water pump. Both play a crucial role in seed germination and plant growth.
There are a few points to keep in mind while setting up the AeroGarden System:
- Never fill the plastic container with water all the way to the top. There must be some gap between the lid and the water level for air.
- Place the water pump in only after the liquid nutrient solution is added to the water. The pump settings need to be on low. The pump works to push oxygen from the solution to the seeds and plant roots.
- Another tip is to add a few drops of nutrient solution to each of the seed pods. That can help with germination.
DIY AeroGarden Pods and Kits Final Thoughts
Making your own DIY AeroGarden Pods and System is economical and not too difficult. Even though you’ll have to invest your time and energy in the setup and installation, it’s a good return with fresh vegetables and herbs all year round.
Homemade AeroGarden systems give you the same fruitful plants as the ready-made AeroGarden systems for a constant supply of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and beautiful flowers. It’s a great way to start indoor gardening for beginners.
I still prefer buying an AeroGarden system myself because it’ll be easier to troubleshoot issues as there’s more of a community. It also just makes everything easier and saves me lots of time. I can use that time for other things, including eating the fresh fruits and vegetables!
For a great DIY build of a hydroponics system, check this out:
Read more about the AeroGarden with these articles:
- How to Keep an AeroGarden Clean
- How to Reset an AeroGarden
- AeroGarden When to Remove Dome
- AeroGarden Plants to Grow
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Your Own Seeds in an AeroGarden?
Yes, you sure can! AeroGarden has Grow Anything Seed Kits that will give you everything you need to place any seeds you want in the garden kit. The Kits have the grow sponges, baskets, labels, domes, and the liquid plant food that you’ll need.