I started with a Bounty Elite early in December 2017, to grow fresh herbs in my kitchen. I live in a high rise condo with a northern exposure and there’s no other way to grow food. I’ve expanded to a second Bounty Elite and 3 Sprout LEDs for more herbs and hot peppers. The herbs are doing fine, the peppers are just getting started.
Being a scientist by education, I started measuring EC and pH. I was mindlessly adding AeroGarden nutrient every 2 weeks as recommended, but found that the EC in the Bounties was way too low, maybe because I wasn’t harvesting enough. Similarly 2 of the Sprouts with the peppers hadn’t sprouted yet, the EC was still 2.0 after 2 weeks so there didn’t seem to be any reason to add more nutrient. I adjusted the feeding and things seem fine. I’m using a Hanna pH checker and a Hanna Primo TDS tester. I keep one pod hole unplanted to facilitate the sampling, covered of course. I saw that Peat’s Guide recommends the Bluelab Truncheon EC tester, but it’s way too big for the AeroGarden, it has a hard time fitting through the pod hole.
I’m so encouraged by this that I ordered a Farm Plus, to grow tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, and salad greens. I’m starting mostly with AeroGarden pods, with a couple Burpee seeds too.
One word of advice: As for any microprocessor based device it’s wise to use a surge suppressor. I had one unit fail, I suspect because it was plugged into the same electrical outlet as the refrigerator, which cycles on and off and causes spikes. I haven’t had a problem since I added it.