Does an AeroGarden save you money? We did the Math.

green plant on brown round coins

Hydroponic gardening has taken off in recent years as a way to grow vegetables and herbs conveniently at home. A hydroponic garden doesn’t use soil, but instead your plants’ roots are suspended in a nutrient solution that provides everything your plants need to grow. 

AeroGarden is a popular producer of hydroponic systems for home use. AeroGardens use a type of hydroponics, called aeroponics, which provides plants with nutrients by spraying water on roots suspended in air.

An AeroGarden can cost you, but growing your own food with one can save you money in the long run. Although you will have to invest in your initial purchase and factor in the costs of energy and water, you can spend less than you would purchasing produce at the store. In addition to saving money, you can save time and effort compared to a traditional home garden, while still reaping the benefits of home-grown food.

Benefits of an AeroGarden 

If you’ve ever bitten into a freshly-picked tomato or eaten a salad of crisp garden greens, you know there’s nothing quite like home-grown food. Not only does it usually taste better than store-bought produce, but garden fruits, vegetables, and herbs are fresher and do not contain any undesired ingredients or pesticides.

Having a vegetable garden at home is a great way to get the freshest, purest food, but you need ample usable space to create one. A traditional garden needs to be prepared, planted, watered, weeded, and pest-controlled regularly to ensure a good crop.

An AeroGarden requires no outdoor space, so you can grow indoors, which means you are not limited by your local growing season. AeroGardens come with grow lights, so finding a sunny location is not an issue. Since there is no soil, weeding is not necessary and pests and diseases are minimal. 

Vegetable Yields in an AeroGarden

Hydroponic gardens are known for producing higher plant yields than regular gardens due to the targeted delivery of nutrients to the roots. Aeroponic gardens like the AeroGarden have been shown to be even more efficient than hydroponic gardens because the misting technique allows for more efficient nutrient uptake.  Many hydroponic systems see a plant yield increase of 30% to 50%. 

One study compared aeroponically grown plants with field grown plants and found that aeroponically grown bell peppers produce almost twice as much fruit as those grown in the ground. Basil, chard, parsely, kale, cherry tomato, cucumber, and squash all also performed better aeroponically. 

In order to understand how much you can grow in an AeroGarden, you must first determine the model size you plan to use. This will depend on your available space to put the unit and your budget. AeroGarden sizes are determined in part by the number of pods the unit can hold, and range from three pods to 24 pods. One pod is equal to the space to grow one herb, fruit or vegetable plant.

Let’s take cherry tomatoes as an example of something you might grow in your AeroGarden. One cherry tomato plant grown aeroponically produces an average of 4700 grams, or 230 tomatoes, per plant during its growing period. 

One 10 oz (283 g) package of cherry tomatoes from Walmart costs $2.78 (prices may vary depending on location), so one cherry tomato plant can produce close to 17 of these packages, or $47.26 worth. This means that three cherry tomato plants grown in a small, three-pod unit (costing around $100) can theoretically pay for the cost of the system with tomatoes you don’t need to purchase from the store!

Running and Maintaining an AeroGarden: Cost Breakdown

To determine how much money an AeroGarden can save, let’s look at the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining one.

AeroGarden Models

The smallest and most basic AeroGarden model is the Sprout, which can hold three pods and costs around $100. The models also come in 6-, 9-, 12-, and 24-pod arrangements with the Farm 24XL being the most costly at over $1000. Some models have taller heights, trellises, and special technological features, such as smartphone connectivity. Of course, more features come at a premium, so you’ll want to consider that when choosing a unit to purchase.

AeroGarden Electricity Usage

The folks at AeroGarden have put together a pretty nifty calculation of the energy their systems use. They provide this formula:

  • The number of hours each day that your AeroGarden is on (based on the type of garden planted and the AeroGarden type itself), multiplied by
  • The wattage figure given above for your model AeroGarden (divided by 1000 to convert it to kilowatts, as used by the electric company), multiplied by
  • 31 days a month, multiplied by
  • The cost per kilowatt hour charged by your utility 

This means the electricity cost to run your unit varies based on what you grow and the energy prices where you live, but AeroGarden estimates that this ranges from $0.75 per month to $7.30 per month. 

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AeroGarden Water Usage

An aeroponic garden is unique in its ability to save on water requirements. In a conventional garden, every time you water your plants you lose some water. Because an aeroponic system sprays nutrients directly on plant roots with no growth medium, water usage is significantly reduced. 

According to one study, aeroponics systems can reduce water usage by 98%. In addition, they reduce fertilizer usage by 60% and pesticide usage by 100%, making them one of the most sustainable and economical ways to grow food. 

Your AeroGarden has a tank to supply water and nutrients to the system. These range in size from 0.3 gallons to 2 gallons and need to be refilled every 4-6 weeks. This means you would use around 3-24 gallons per year. By comparison, the average person uses 3,000 gallons of water per year, so you can see that the additional water usage is relatively negligible. 


It’s pretty clear that AeroGardens are quite efficient when it comes to producing high yields with minimal energy and water requirements. But your time is also valuable, so you may be asking yourself how much time you will have to spend maintaining your AeroGarden.

Fortunately the AeroGardens have some features to help reduce how much time you spend caring for plants. They come with adjustable light timers so you can set when the lights are on and off automatically. 

Once you fill the tank, you only need to add more nutrient solution approximately every two weeks and do a complete water change out every 4-6 weeks. The machine will automatically notify you when water or nutrient levels need to be adjusted. The only other maintenance task is cleaning out your AeroGarden when you are finished with each planting, which takes place once every 4-9 months depending on what you are growing.

When you compare these tasks to the daily watering, weeding, fertilizing, and pest control of a conventional garden, it is easy to see that an AeroGarden can save you a lot of time.

Does an AeroGarden Save Money?

If you’re looking to get started growing your own food at home, an AeroGarden is one of the most economical ways to do it. Although the purchase price of an AeroGarden can be a bit pricey, the systems are not expensive to maintain. They produce more food than other types of gardens, saving you money at the grocery store.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take seeds to germinate in an AeroGarden?

Herbs and greens take anywhere from 5-15 days to germinate and fruiting plants (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) take 7-14 days. 

How long do plants last in an AeroGarden?

Greens usually grow for about four months. Herbs can last up to six months, although basil can sometimes last longer with regular pruning. Vegetables like tomatoes and peppers can last 12 months or longer.

Do AeroGardens use a lot of electricity?

Depending on which AeroGarden model you use and what energy costs where you live, it can cost between $0.75 per month to $7.30 per month to run.