Why Strawberry Crowns?

 

We were wondering… why do we sell strawberry crowns instead of seeds? We asked Anne in the grow lab.

Strawberry seeds are hard to germinate. The ones that do germinate are wild and they’re very small. Alpine strawberries get started from seed. A lot of plants start more readily from cuttings. Crowns are bare roots that take less time to grow and produce!

-Anne

Interested in trying the Strawberry Crown Kit? Click here to check it out!

Note: This kit can only be used with the AeroGarden Grow Bowl.

Meant the Other Mint?

What’s the difference between peppermint and spearmint?

IT’S VERY HARDY

Mint is a perennial that grows with abandon, starting when the soil begins to warm up in late March or April. Grow it year-round in your AeroGarden!

TWO MAIN TYPES

Spearmint and peppermint are the two most common and widely available of the many mint species. Of the two, spearmint is the one almost always sold in grocery stores and markets. So when a recipe calls for mint, it’s generally spearmint, recognizable for its light-green, spear-shaped leaves and that classic sweet mint flavor. Spearmint is also commonly used to make gum and candy.

Peppermint leaves are darker green and smoother than spearmint. The big difference is the presence of menthol, which gives peppermint a much more potent flavor. Peppermint is typically dried for tea and made into flavoring for candy, toothpaste, and other products.

 

AeroGarden Tea Seed Pod Kits come with a peppermint variety. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Courtesy of epicurious

Kale & Mushroom Frittata

magic-mushroom-frittata-recipe-HC-020118

Half the pleasure of a frittata is just saying it. Go ahead. Free-tah-tah. The other half is that they are so easy to make, and you can put almost anything in it. Simple, tasty, and quick to whip up, a frittata can be jazzed up or simple for a quick bite any time of the day.

This particular recipe was inspired by our smoothie seed pod kit, which comes with kale, mustard greens, and beet greens. The garden produces like crazy, and it’s good to switch up from the constant kale smoothie. So why not make a kale frittata?

Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  •  1/2 cup firmly packed kale leaves (plus a few extra for garnish)
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cheese (or more or less)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Sea salt

PREPARATION:

  1. For the shiitakes:
    1. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1/2 cup of the olive oil over medium- high heat until slightly shimmering. Add the shiitake slices, spreading them evenly around the pan. Now leave those mushrooms alone! Do not touch them until that sizzling sound quiets down; this will help them develop a beautiful golden brown caramelization on one side. Once that happens, give the pan a stir with a wooden spoon, loosening all the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes more and season with a pinch of sea salt. (Do not salt until the end, as salting draws out moisture in the pan and prevents caramelization.) Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside in a bowl or plate to cool.
  2. For the kale:
    1. Trim the kale off of its stem and cut into thin strips. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red onion. When the garlic is slightly browned, add the kale and sauté until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. (Add a small amount of water if the kale begins to stick or turn too brown.) Season with a pinch of sea salt and set aside with the mushrooms.
  3. For the frittata:
    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place a large shallow nonstick ovenproof dish in the oven.
    2. In a bowl, whip the eggs with a whisk until fully beaten and slightly fluffy. Stir in the milk, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, cheese, cooked mushrooms, sautéed kale, chopped herbs, and 2 pinches of salt. Pour the entire mixture into the heated ovenproof dish, and bake until slightly browned on top and a knife stuck in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (If opting for the kale garnish, add the leaves after 15 minutes of cooking.)

Courtesy of Epicurious.

Green Smoothie

Smoothie_recipeCardSmoothies are a great way to pack nutrients into one delicious drink, and this simple and refreshing recipe helps to start your morning energetic, healthy, and with time to spare. This beverage is packed with fibrous greens from your very own Green Smoothie Seed Pod Kit, along with nutrient rich tropical fruit, and refreshing coconut water. So bust out the blender and enjoy this sweet drink without the worry of your waistline.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Cup Mixed Greens- Mustard, Beet, & Kale.
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 1/2 Cup Mixed Frozen Tropical Fruit (We use Pineapple & Mango)
  • 2 Cups Coconut Water

Instructions:

Add everything into a blender and blend until desired consistency.

Pour & Enjoy!

*If you would like to have your very own printable recipe card click here.

 

Ask AeroGarden: Watering Your Plants

Question:  “Some of my seed pods are experiencing poor growth or not even germinating, but my basil is growing perfectly. What is the problem?”

Answer:  “This is most likely a problem with the type of water you are using. We recommend that you use distilled water. Distilled water has no mineral content and is perfect for hydroponic applications. Our liquid plant nutrients have the exact measurement of minerals for optimum plant growth. When distilled water meets with our nutrients it results in pH balance. Some plant varieties are more tolerant than others to pH imbalance. Basil, for instance, is known to thrive in imbalanced conditions, but many other plant varieties will struggle with poor growth and even lack of germination. In addition, most filtered water, hard or softened water, bottled drinking water, well sourced water, and some municipal tap water, depending on the state in which you reside, will also cause imbalance.Go ahead and refill your garden with distilled water and nutrients. This will restore pH balance!

Get to the root of it! Feel free to ask your question at ask@aerogarden.com and get an expert answer from the AeroGarden team.

Ask AeroGarden: Having Cilantro Trouble?

Question:  “I have had issues trying to grow cilantro.  I just can’t get it to grow…help?”

Answer:  “Cilantro can sometimes be challenging. We’ve seen it take 5 to 8 weeks to germinate but we don’t want you to wait that long.  Sometimes the hulls surrounding the seeds are very hard like Navy Beans and need to be soaked overnight.  Another tip is pouring water right down the center of the hole and placing a quarter over the label and checking underneath it once a week for successful germination.  Once it has sprouted, please remove the quarter.”

 

Get to the root of it! Feel free to ask your question at ask@aerogarden.com and get an expert answer from the AeroGarden team.

Tips for Salad Gardens

In the spirit of August’s Seed Pod Kit of the Month, Heirloom Salad Greens, here are some salad tips-

Temperature- Salads prefer cool temperatures below 72 degrees. Take care to keep your garden away from sunny windows that might increase the temperature. If you are struggling with keeping your salad garden cool, try the following tips:

  • Add ice cubes to the water bowl regularly.
  • Place your garden in a cooler area in your home, such as a basement.
  • Avoid placing your garden near other gardens or appliances that might give off heat.

Harvesting- There are two ways to harvest your salad greens.

  1. Remove whole leaves by cutting the base of the leaf with scissors or shears, or by gently pinching off with you fingers. Spread your harvest evenly across your garden.
  2. Prune the top 1/3 of the leaves, as if you are giving it a hair cut!
  3. Avoid harvesting right after adding liquid nutrients to your garden, it will have a mineral taste as the lettuce quickly absorbs the nutrients.

Garden Check Up: Roots

The condition of the roots reflect the health of the plant. Healthy roots are light colored and firm. Unhealthy roots turn brown and mushy and can have a bad odor.

To prevent root rot try the following steps to promote garden health:

Rinse and Refill the water bowl. This is good to do at-least once a month to replace old water filled with excess minerals left over from the liquid nutrients that the plants did not absorb. After refilling- add the recommended amount of liquid nutrients for your AeroGarden. Optional– add a teaspoon of food grade hydrogen peroxide to the water.


Mature plants will have an advanced root system that may overwhelm the water bowl of your garden. If the roots are healthy, then you will need to water more frequently due to the limited space in the water bowl and those thirsty roots.

 

To root trim or not? Some people do trim the roots of their mature plants BUT there is a high risk of over trimming and killing the plant. Because of this risk, it is not recommended.

So take a look under the grow deck and do a Garden Check Up on your roots.