Spring is almost here and it’s the perfect time to decorate your outdoor garden, patio, or balcony with some plants. There’s just one problem... Many shops and garden centers have been closed due to lockdown. It’s increasingly difficult to shop for plants like you did in the past. Thankfully, there’s a really easy way to grow your own plants from seeds. All you need is your Click & Grow Smart Garden and some of our experimental pods. Growing your own plants from seeds is also a fun activity to do if you have kids. They will enjoy seeing seeds sprout and watching their plants thrive during the summer!
Using experimental pods
Experimental plant pods are a great choice if you want to use our Smart Soil to grow your own seeds. It contains an advanced version of our Smart Soil that boosts the growth of any plant you wish to grow. You just add the seed of your chosen plant into the soil and click the pod into the smart garden like you would with any other Click & Grow plant pod.
Smart soil contains more oxygen, water and nutrients than regular potting soil. It’s also completely free from GMOs, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, plant hormones, or any other harmful substances.
Choosing a smart garden & seeds
If you don’t already have seeds, you can easily shop for them online. Heirloom seeds are always a good option too. To enjoy a greater variety of plants, why not exchange some seeds with your friends or neighbors?
What to keep in mind when growing your seeds
Smart soil already provides great growing conditions for your seeds. There are a few things you can do, however, to enhance your experience.
- Before planting your seeds, have an approximate idea of how quickly they’re likely to grow. This will help you plan ahead and know when you can replant them outdoors.
- Thin out extra seedlings, especially when you’re growing plants that will bear fruit (eg. tomatoes, chilis). Leave just one plant to grow per pod. This one plant will then get the best start possible. Most flowers and herbs will do fine if not thinned, even if it feels a bit crowded.
- Avoid heavy rootbound. Once a week, lift the plant pod out of the cup to check that it’s not rootbound. It’s fine and completely safe if some roots are visible in the plant cup, as long as the roots are pale and firm.
- Take care not to overwater the smart garden. When watering, the float should not rise above the surface level of the garden.
How to repot outdoors
Now that you’ve started growing your seeds indoors, you can think about planting them outdoors. Once they have sprouted, here’s what you need to do.
- Plan ahead. Make sure the weather has improved enough and is suitable for the species you have decided to grow. Make sure there are no longer frosts at night, depending on your location.
- When it’s time to plant them outside, harden them off first so they become exposed to new growing conditions outdoors. This will reduce transplant stress. Take young plants out for a few hours each day (a few days before planting), so they can get used to sunlight, wind and temperature changes and bring them back to safety in the evening.
- Remove plant from the cup and carefully loosen the rootbound (if there is any) and some of the smart soil. This helps to stimulate root growth.
- If your young plants are heavily rootbound (a mass of roots at the bottom of the smart soil) then loosen the rootbound and trim off extra roots. This helps it to root in much faster and continue growing with much less transplant stress.
- Plant it in the new pot at the same depth it was grown previously. The pot shouldn't be much bigger than the plant pod. A pot with a 6 inch (15 cm) diameter is fine. Tomatoes, however, prefer to be replanted a bit deeper than grown before, so that their first leaves (cotyledons, not true leaves) will be covered with soil.
- Gently pat down the soil and water it. This helps the roots make better contact with the soil.
NB. Young seedlings usually do not need pruning, except some flowers and herbs, depending on the species and desired growth mode.
For a visual reference (using petunia as an example) view our tutorial here.
Have fun growing your own seeds!