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AeroGarden Harvest vs Harvest Elite (2021): Comparing Countertop Hydroponic Gardens

There’s nothing quite like growing your herbs and vegetables at home. After all, it’s always nice to brag you grew the basil used in your recipe. But if you’re intimidated by the idea of actually growing something, then a countertop hydroponic garden should do the trick. With this type of indoor gardening kit, all you need is water and patience.

AeroGarden is arguably the most popular name when it comes to these beginner-friendly, self-watering systems. Its AeroGarden Harvest, for instance, is an entry-level germination kit that grows up to six plants at a time. For a couple of dollars more, you can also grow an herb garden with the more intuitive AeroGarden Harvest Elite. But is there enough of a gap in their user-friendliness that should draw you to the Harvest Elite? Read our AeroGarden review below to find out.

AeroGarden Harvest vs Harvest Elite Comparison Chart

ModelAeroGarden HarvestAeorGarden Harvest Elite
 AeroGarden Harvest - With Heirloom Salad Greens Pod Kit (6-Pod)AeroGarden Harvest Elite - Stainless Steel
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Type6-pod garden6-pod garden
Grow Light System20W LED20W LED
FinishMatte plasticStainless steel
Low Water AlertsYesYes
Nutrient RemindersYesYes
Automated LightsYesYes
Custom Grow Light CycleNoYes
Wi-FiNoNo
Digital ScreenNoYes
Maximum Growth Height12 inches12 inches
Dimensions (HxWxD)17.4 x 10.5 x 7.5 inches17.4 x 10.5 x 6 inches

How They Work

The AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite are easy-to-use hydroponic indoor gardens.

How do the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite indoor gardens work
AeroGarden’s Harvest and Harvest Elite use LED light as a sunlight source.

AeroGarden offers a broad range of hydroponic indoor gardens designed to make growing plants easier and faster. Hydroponics is essentially a soilless method of growing plants. Here, water and mineral nutrients carry out the work. Aside from being low-maintenance, the system is also compact. If you live in a small apartment or dorm without the luxury of a backyard or balcony, this is the perfect solution to satisfying your green thumb.

These self-watering gardens typically feature a light hood as well. The component combines white, red, and blue LED lights to provide your indoor garden a sunlight source. Underneath the hood is the main bowl and deck that holds the water reservoir. It’s also where the seed pods are inserted into designated slots. On the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite, you can “plant” up to six herbs, greens, vegetables, or flowers.

Once popped into the deck, the seed pods are covered with a dome. The reservoir is then filled with water and mixed with plant food. Next, you plug the component, then follow the light settings as well as steps for refilling the reservoir with both water and nutrients.

The process is basically akin to making a small-scale greenhouse. All you have to do is watch the plants grow and follow the steps for cultivating and harvesting. This will also include removing the dome once the sprouts touch them.

Design and Features

While they come with the same components, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite looks more premium than the regular Harvest.

AeroGarden Harvest vs Harvest Elite Design and Features Comparison
Aside from reminders to add water and nutrients, the gardens also come with a grow light control.

Each unit of the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite includes four main components. First is the LED light hood and base, which serves as the framework of the garden. To accommodate your growing greens, the narrow light hood is height-adjustable. The base, on the other hand, contains the control panel of the unit. With the AeroGarden Harvest, you’re getting push buttons. In contrast, AeroGarden’s Harvest Elite comes with a more advanced and intuitive digital screen. Despite the difference, they both reliably provide alerts when to add nutrients or water to your garden.

Out of the box, you also get a bowl that serves as the water reservoir. Next is the grow deck that doubles as the lid for the bowl. Lastly, a 6-Pod Seed Kit is included with every unit. Put together, both countertop gardens follow the same form and structure. In terms of aesthetics, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite looks more premium. Its stainless steel finish, which is available in four colors, lends it an industrial appearance. The AeroGarden Harvest, on the other hand, uses a matte plastic material. While it’s sturdy, it does feel cheap.

Ease of Use

People new to gardening and even hydroponics will find the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite easy to set up and use.

AeroGarden Harvest vs Harvest Elite Ease of Use
Growing herbs and vegetables is as simple as adding plant food and water when reminded.

While the science behind these indoor gardens sounds complicated, the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite are easy to use. Setting up both units requires little assembly. You also get all parts of the kit out of the box. There’s no guesswork in adding water and plant food to the bowl, too. In both cases, you’ll get detailed instructions. The bowl itself features a level indicator that tells you up to what point you should fill the reservoir with water.

The actual ‘gardening’ process is uncomplicated, too. Since you’re not handling soil, you don’t have to worry about drainage or the right type of environment. Both gardens also provide alerts when to add plant food or refill the bowl with water. The grow lights also turn on and cycle automatically thanks to a built-in timer. With the Harvest Elite, however, you can select a cycle duration based on the type of plant you’re growing. If you get the regular AeroGarden harvest, the grow light cycle is set to 15 hours.

Seed Kits

AeroGarden boasts an extensive catalog of seed kits.

AeroGarden Harvest vs Harvest Elite Indoor Garden Pods and Seed Kits
From a variety of basil to several choices of salad greens, AeroGarden has pod kits for everybody.

Every purchase of an AeroGarden Harvest or Harvest Elite will include a 6-Pod Seed Kit. The pack already comes with the grow domes and specially formulated liquid plant food. Since it’s free with your garden, you don’t get to choose the seeds. AeroGarden, however, will typically offer an Heirloom Salads Pack or a Gourmet Herb Kit. If you want to grow something else, you’ll have to buy those specific pod kits separately.

AeroGarden boasts an extensive catalog of seed kits โ€” over 120 to be exact. They’re non-GMO and have been tested for maximum growth and yield. Most packs are also sold as a set. For example, you can get seed kits for salad greens or pods containing traditional medicinal herbs. There are also kits for specific flowers or tomatoes. The seeds included in these sets are already predetermined.

If you want choices, AeroGarden does offer a customizable 6-Pod Kit. They are available based on plant categories as well โ€” herbs, salads, flowers, and tomatoes/peppers. But at least you can choose only the seeds you want and even get several of the types you prefer. For those who want to plant their own seeds, AeroGarden sells a Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit, too.

Verdict

While more expensive, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite is better than the AeroGarden Harvest. If on sale, the Harvest Elite offers even more bang for your buck.

Novice and seasoned gardeners will have fun with an AeroGarden. These countertop hydroponic gardens are easy to use and low-maintenance, too. Plus, it’s reassuring to know you can grow herbs and salads even out of season from the comforts of your home. Between the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite, however, the latter is a more compelling purchase.

While the technology behind both is the same, the Harvest Elite offers a few extras. The sleek-looking system comes with a digital screen. This makes its control panel even more intuitive than the push buttons on the Harvest. In addition, its LED grow lights have customizable cycles. And if you wait for it to go on sale, you’ll find it can be as cheap as the Harvest.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the AeroGarden worth it?

Yes, the AeroGarden is worth getting. Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned planter, it’s a fun and practical system to get. The technology behind them makes indoor gardening simple, too. Plus, you have over 120 seed kits to choose from.

๐Ÿ“Œ How does the AeroGarden compare with other brands?

The AeroGarden is one of the most popular and trusted names when it comes to countertop gardens. As such, they tend to be more expensive than other brands.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long is the warranty on the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite?

Both the AeroGarden Harvest and Harvest Elite carry one-year limited warranties.

๐Ÿ“Œ What are the different color variants of the AeroGarden Harvest Elite?

You can get the AeroGaren Harvest Elite in stainless steel, platinum, white, and sage.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.