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I can't keep a cactus alive, but I can grow herbs with the AeroGarden — it's $50 (50% off) for Mother's Day

I'm not good at plants. Or gardens. Some folks are blessed with green thumbs; I'm saddled with digits of death. That's why I'm a huge fan of newfangled indoor gardens, which rely on LED lights and a simple water reservoir you refill every so often. Now I'm able to grow super-hearty herbs, and do so year-round. Want to do the same? Amazon has the AeroGarden Sprout indoor garden for $50. That's an impressive 50% off its normal price. When you think about how much it costs to buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, this feels like a no-brainer. And hey, why not gift your mom with this bountiful indoor market for Mother's Day too!

Grow everything from basil to cherry tomatoes in this small, almost entirely self-sufficient garden.
$50 at Amazon

The Sprout is a compact, three-pod unit, meaning you can grow up to three plants at a time. It comes with basil, parsley and dill to get you started; AeroGarden sells a wide variety of other herbs and such, including mini tomatoes. There's minimal watering involved; just fill up the tank every so often.

I haven't used this exact model, but I own a very similar indoor garden system — and it's fantastic. Nothing beats spreading a little fresh basil on a pizza or having parsley and cilantro always at the ready for homemade chermoula sauce. (Look it up. You're welcome.)

This smart garden is about as foolproof as gardening gets; I defy you to not grow a hearty batch of herbs! (Photo: AeroGarden)
This smart garden is about as foolproof as gardening gets; I defy you to not grow a hearty batch of herbs! (Photo: AeroGarden)

If there's a downside, it's that the LEDs are pretty bright. This definitely isn't a bedroom-friendly device, and you probably don't want it in your home office or near your TV, either.

"Easy, quiet, beautiful," said one fan. "I've always been a fan of AeroGardens, but this one is a cut above. It's so quiet I sometimes have to get close to hear the motor at all. I expected the herbs to be weak and soft (normally wind strengthens the plants outside, indoor herbs can be weak), but they are robust and continually productive. If you take off a few leaves at a time, this will put herbs on the menu for months. The basil is strong, as is the parsley, but the dill grows like a maniac. The unit is very small, easy to bring to the sink for cleaning, and tucks neatly into a countertop corner, bringing light to a dark spot in our kitchen. The only complaint I can come up with is that the motor is difficult to remove when cleaning (and accumulates material beneath it, so it needs removal now and then). Otherwise, this product is a delight."

"Great gift!" said another user. "My son loves this gift for his high-rise city apartment where there is limited sunshine and natural lighting. Easy to grow and a perfect gift for the home chef!"

Don't forget: Mother's Day is this Sunday! The Sprout makes a great gift, and $50 is a great price.

This smart garden will let you grow three plants at a time, each up to 10 inches tall.
$50 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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