HYDROPONICS is a method of growing plants with a soilless medium and liquid mineral nutrients.
Our planters feature a hidden top-feed hydroponics system (see faq) to deliver a nutrient solution (water & organic fertilizer) to the roots of three separate plants.
A secret side panel gives easy access to a per-programmed timer and three way valve. The timer triggers the air pump to push water through feeding tube from the reservoir to the plants.
A 3-way gang value offers the opportunity to control the flow of water sent to each plant, accommodating the needs of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic plants.
Two power options are available, solar and plug-in. In Chicago, the electrical cost to run a planter is an estimated $5-$7/year. The air pump is very eco-friendly and quiet!
The soilless medium is clay pellets. These pellets let the plant’s roots breath better than soil and absorbs less water and nutrients.
We recommend using organic liquid nutrients, which are a mix of kelp (seaweed) and other natural products to feed your plants. Our current favorite is Botanicare Pure Blend Pro Grow for creating green vegetation and Botanicare Pure Blend Pro Bloom for flowers and when plants fruit.
These planters are designed for interior use only and need to be placed near a sunny window for most plant types.
Transplant botanicals or seeds in a starter cube will grow quickly and successfully.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants with a soilless medium. Our planters feature a hidden top-feed hydroponics system (see “what’s included”) to deliver a nutrient solution (water & organic fertilizer) to the roots of three separate plants. A timer and air pump are located on the underside of the planter, and the timer triggers the air pump to push water from the reservoir through the three feeding tubes and into the planter baskets to water the roots. Our standard planter uses electricity to power the timer and eco-friendly air pump. In Chicago, the plug-in model costs $5-$7per year to run. Information regarding our solar powered option is outlined under a separate FAQ – see below. The soilless medium consists of clay pellets, which let the roots breath better than soil and absorb less water and nutrients. The air pump is quiet…if anything, you will hear the light trickling of the water when the timer goes off. It’s nice. These planters are designed for interior use only and need to be placed near a sunny window for most plant types. Transplant botanicals or seeds in a starter cube will grow quickly and successfully!
The planter measures 16” x 5 ½” x 10 ¼” and is available in four finishes: high gloss white on pine, chalkboard on pine, weathered grey on knotty pine and reclaimed wood. Once the campaign successfully closes we will contact you regarding your finish selection. Inside, the planter features a built-in PVC-free plastic reservoir and top, soilless medium, timer, air pump, water-measuring stick and white power adapter. Organic liquid nutrients will be available for purchase on our website.
So many options! The planter works great for herbs (e.g. basil, rosemary, cilantro, mint, tarragon), produce (e.g. strawberries, cherry tomatoes, peppers, kale, spinach) and flowers (e.g. orchids, lavender, anthurium). Weight is not an issue if you trellis the plants. A 3-way gang valve provides the ability to control the amount of water delivered to each of the three plants, and therefore each plant’s feeding preferences can be met. Depending on plant type, you can enjoy growth for several months or even years.
For most plant types, direct natural light will yield the best results. We recommend placing the planter in east, south or west-facing windows. If you’re windows don’t get much natural light, you may need to provide supplemental lighting (e.g. fluorescent lights/LED lights). Herbs will grow fine even with low lighting, while fruit bearing plants need a good dose of sun. Our website will provide tips and tricks so that you can choose the right plants plants for your space and achieve the best results. We’ve had great success with herbs in January in Chicago…and trust us, Chicago does not get much sunlight during the winter. It doesn’t take much!
The three way gang valve controls the water flow to each net pot. Check out http://modernsproutplanter.com/setup-faq/ for some great tips on “mastering water flow”. If after following those directions you are still having issues please contact us. We have an upgrade kit available for the first model of the Modern Sprout self-watering planter boxes.
Minimum assembly is required. Nearly every element listed in “what’s included” is already in place. All you will have to do is place the planter in a sunny spot, set the timer and add water along with the included liquid organic fertilizer. Then, fill the baskets with the included growing medium and add your plants (either seed or transplant will work). Feel free to add a decorative river rock or moss to cover the top and baskets. Lastly, plug it in and watch your plants grow!
Depending on plant type and climate, we predict that you will have to refill the 1 gallon reservoir every 2-4 weeks. To determine when to refill, use the included measuring stick and add the remaining balance of water and nutrients. To add, simply pour the mixture through one of the plant baskets. Directions on water-to-nutrient ratios will be included and modsprout.com will provide pruning and harvesting tips along with how to start a new plant while reusing the existing growing medium.
Several other “self-watering” planters feature a wicking with soil solution. The disadvantage of this method is that the soil absorbs a lot of the water and nutrients, and therefore the plants grow slower. The other big difference is the design and quality; a lot of self-watering planters have plastic enclosures, are visibly branded with the company name, and some even use batteries. We focus on design and function. Additionally, with the exception of the hardware, we source all of our materials from local companies. Check out our video to see our partners.
All units will be quality inspected before they are shipped out. In the rare instance that a mechanical error does happen, we have a minimum of one year warranties for both the timer and air pump, and will be happy to manage the replacement process. To receive a replacement part, you must provide your product number and proof of purchase. Shipping charges may apply.
Shipping to different countries around the world can be difficult at best (import tariffs, customs, restrictions…) but we will do our best to fulfill all orders. Unfortunately, we’ve had to add on a pretty hefty shipping price tag to cover the actual cost. We wish we could offer a cheaper alternative but as of now this is the best we can do. Many countries also have restrictions in place about sending seed and plants into them. For this reason we will not be able to send seeds with international orders.
The solar panel measures approximately 10″ x 7″ and will be packaged in an enclosure that will easily snap onto the window-facing side of the planter. The solar panel will be connected to a rechargeable battery that is connected to the air pump. The air pump uses so little energy that even on a cloudy day the solar panel will pull enough power to keep the battery charged and the pump running.