Planting by Seed
If the perlite is dry moisten the perlite by slowly pouring water over the bags of perlite. If you are using a water hose be super careful to not blast the perlite everywhere.
Most seeds can be placed directly on moistened perlite. You can sprinkle a few bits of perlite on the seeds but you normally do not have to.
Some seeds will sprout in 2 or 3 days but other kinds of seeds might take several weeks. The seed package should tell you, if not search online for the name of the seed plus the words ‘seed days to sprout or germinate’. example: celery seed days to sprout.
Planting from Starts
To get your Model M up and rolling quickly you can use plant starts. You can often find starts at your local plant nursery, garden center and even at farmers markets. You can also start your plants from seed. If you start from seeds you should follow the directions on the seed packet. If you are using starts you want to rinse the soil off the roots of the plants prior to planting them.
- massage the sides of starts container to loosen it
- tip the start into your hand – hopefully it just falls into your hand
- if not then grasp the stem of the plant right above the soil and tug it out very very gently if it does not move then massage the sides of the container some more
- using a gentle stream of water wash the soil out of the starts roots be extra gentle to not damage the roots
- once the dirt is removed make a hole in the wet perlite
- make sure the perlite is wet
- place the plant roots in hole you made
- gently fill in the perlite around the roots and stem
For the first week or so most starts will look wilted. Often the biggest leave on the plant will wither and die. After about a week the start will have settled into its new and started growing new leaves and should start rapidly growing after another 3 or 4 days. Success will very. Don’t get discourage if the first few times things don’t quite work out.
When selecting starts make sure to get ones that look great.
Planting From Kitchen Scraps
If you have the root part of vegetable you put in your growbot and it will most likely grow.
Everyday go and harvest herbs and spices for cooking, greens for salads, soups or home made chips, berries and tomatoes for snacking or part of your meal.
Keep your growbot tidy. Remove anything not a live and not perlite! Leaves, stems, old plants etc. The reason is the old leaves and stems will offer a haven for bugs to reside.
Every few years blanch your growbags and perlite by pouring boiling water over them. Depending on what you have been growing you might need to replace your perlite every few years. Perlite is an inert substance that does not harbor bugs or alter the balance of nutrients and or PH in your water. Put your old perlite in a flower bed or another growing area that will love the organic well areated soil your gardening has created.