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In this article, I provide three AeroGarden microgreen growing medium alternatives.
I’m thrilled with the AeroGarden Microgreens Kit for Harvest gardens. But I’m not thrilled with the cost of the AeroFelt growing medium.
Read on for some AeroGarden alternative microgreen growing mediums, that will save you a ton of money.
3 AeroGarden Microgreen Growing Medium Alternatives
Pro Tip: I purchase all of my sprout and microgreen seeds from True Leaf Market. Use this link to get $5 off your first order.
When you purchase the AeroGarden Microgreens Kit, it comes with four pieces of felt growing medium called AeroFelt.
There are a couple of problems with the microgreens growing medium that comes with the kit.
AeroGarden Microgreens AeroFelt is Expensive
The first big problem is cost. The cost varies some, but the current cost is $11.96 for a ten pack of the “AeroFelt” media. That comes to $1.20 for each piece of felt. Since you use one on each side of your AeroGarden Harvest or Bounty, you have to shell out $2.40 each time you grow microgreens in an AeroGarden. And that’s not even counting the cost of microgreen seeds!
That would be okay if you grow microgreens as a hobby. However, if like me you grow microgreens as an important part of your diet, AeroFelt is cost prohibitive.
The second issue with the AeroGarden microgreens felt growing medium is that it is often out of stock. As you can see in the image to the left, the AeroFelt is not only expensive, it’s also out of stock. This happens pretty frequently.
Between the high cost of the felt and the fact that it is often out of stock, I knew that I had to come up with growing medium alternatives for growing microgreens in my AeroGarden Harvest.
3 AeroGarden Microgreens Growing Medium Alternatives
I’ve come up with three different growing medium alternatives that work well with my AeroGarden microgreens kit.
Two of the AeroGarden growing medium alternatives are ones that I make myself and are reusable. The third option is not reusable, and I don’t make it myself. Although I have to buy the third option and it’s not reusable, it still saves me a ton of money compared to buying the AeroFelt.
Now let’s get into the three AeroFelt alternatives, as well as how I use each one of them. I’ll then get into how I make two out of the three AeroGarden microgreen growing medium alternatives.
#1: AeroFelt Alternative for Large-Size Seeds – Silicone Dehydrator Sheets
The first type of AeroGarden alternative growing medium that I use is ideal for large seeds. It is amazingly easy and inexpensive to make.
I make this growing medium with silicone dehydrator sheets. Smaller seeds fall through this because the holes are large, but it’s ideal for larger seeds.
I use growing medium made with silicone dehydrator sheets for these microgreen seeds:
- Radish (I’ve grown both Daikon Radish and Purple Radish)
- Buckwheat (Buckwheat microgreens grow better in soil, but if you want to grow it in your AeroGarden, this is the growing medium I recommend.)
- Wheat Grass
2: AeroFelt Alternative for Medium-Size Seeds: Window Screen
I make the second type of AeroFelt growing medium alternative from window screen. This works for many seeds that are small enough that they fall through the silicone dehydrator sheets.
Here are the microgreen seeds that I’ve grown using reusable growing medium that I’ve made with window screen:
Please note that the growing medium I make with window screen is not food grade. I’m personally okay with that, since I harvest the microgreens well above the screen. However, if you’re concerned about that, I recommend the next option, which is food grade, and works great for all microgreen seeds.
#3 AeroFelt Growing Medium Alternative for Small Microgreen Seeds
There are some seeds that are small enough that they fall through both the silicone dehydrator sheets as well as the growing medium made with window screen.
For small microgreen seeds, I recommend the Handy Pantry Micro Mats. They are not reusuable, but they are much more affordable than the AeroFelt growing medium.
As an example, the current cost of a 48 pack is $11.57, which comes to approximately 24 cents each, compared to the $1.20 each that you’ll spend on the AeroFelt.
If you grow a lot of microgreens, I recommend getting one of the larger size packages, for additional savings. For example, the current cost of the 96 pack comes to 22 cents each.
Please note that these hydroponic micro mats do not fit the AeroGarden Harvest microgreens kit perfectly. However, once you wet them, they plump up enough that they work well. The savings amount is enough that it’s well worth using these instead of the AeroGarden microgreen growing medium.
Here are the microgreen seeds that I have grown using the micro-mats hydroponic grow pads.
How to Make Your Reusable Growing Medium for AeroGarden Microgreens
The good news is, it’s super easy to make growing medium from both silicone dehydrator sheets as well as from window screens. The process is the same for each one.
Use AeroFelt as a Pattern
If you already have some of the AeroFelt that came with your AeroGarden microgreens kit, set at least one aside to use as a pattern. (If you don’t currently have any AeroFelt growing medium, you can either purchase one package of it, or use the tip I share in the next point.)
Place the felt on the silicone dehydrator sheet or window screen, and cut around it. You can try taping it down with masking tape, but I found it easier to just hold it down with one hand, while using scissors to cut around it.
I’m not a very precise person, and my cuts aren’t perfect, but they are close enough!
If anything, as you’re cutting, cut the silicone dehydrator sheet or window screen a bit larger than the felt. You can always trim a little bit off if the growing medium is too large. Just trim off a little at a time because it’s easy to cut too much off and have to start over with a new piece. (I’m saying this from experience!)
Using Aluminum Foil as a Pattern
If you don’t have any of the AeroFelt to use as a pattern, you can make a pattern out of aluminum foil. Just press the foil around the bottom of the AeroGarden microgreen growing tray. Then trim the foil.
Using aluminum foil to make a pattern for the DIY growing medium isn’t as precise as using the AeroGarden microgreen felt, but it works in a pinch.
Reusing the AeroGarden DIY Growing Medium
To reuse the growing medium made out of silicone dehydrator sheets or window screen, after harvesting the microgreens, pull out any remaining bits of the microgreens. Next, wash the microgreens in hot soapy water. Let them air dry, and then they’re ready to be reused!
Choosing the Best AeroGarden Microgreens Growing Medium
I use each of the three different AeroFelt alternatives that I shared in this post. When it comes to which alternative microgreen growing medium is best, it all comes down to the size of seed.
The first time I realized that the window screen wasn’t going to cut it for everything was when I sprinkled on some alfalfa seeds. I sprinkled the alfalfa seeds on the screen and plugged in my AeroGarden. The water started pumping in, and it took me awhile to realize that many of the seeds fell through the screen. I ended up with a huge mess because the seeds were mixed in with the water. I had to dump everything out and start over!
Test the Growing Medium Before Using!
Since then, whenever I decide to grow a new type of microgreen in my AeroGarden for the first time, I first test to make sure the holes in the growing medium aren’t too big for the seeds.
I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to put the growing medium on a plate, and sprinkle just a few seeds on it. If a bunch of the microgreen seeds fall through, I know I need to use a growing medium with smaller holes, or with no holes at all.
If you’d like to learn more about growing microgreens in an AeroGarden, be sure to check out this article and video. In it, I go step-by-step through the process of growing microgreens in an Aerogarden.
5 Easy Ways to Save Money on an AeroGarden