Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Gardening Hack: Make Gardening From Seed Easier with Gro-ables

I write about gardening a lot. I've been growing things since I was a child and having a garden saves my family a lot of money on our grocery bill every spring and summer. Even though I've got lots of great beginning gardener tips, some people feel like they need a little extra help in the gardening department.

When I was asked by Miracle-Gro to work with them to share about their Gro-ables seed pods, I thought, this is the helping hand some of my readers need!  They are SO easy to use that I enlisted the help of my 5 year old to show you how to use them - if my 5 year old can pull this off, you can too!

This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro Gro-ables. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Creative Green Living.

Choose Your Pod

K wanted to grow his very own basil plant and chose that pod. (messy peanut butter sandwich face optional!)

Peel off the top

The first layer has growing information like what temperature it should be outside before planting it.
Peel off the second layer to reveal the growing medium with the seeds and plant food mix.

Plant it

To plant the pod, push it straight down into the ground or a pot of potting mix until the lip is even with the dirt. K wanted to grow his plant in a pot, so we added some potting mix and planted it there.

Water it

Gently water your pod with a water can or watering wand until the pod and potting mix is very damp (but not so soggy that there is standing water)

That's it!
Just keep your pod watered (remember - damp like a wrung out sponge - not soggy or flooded) and in a couple weeks you should have a sprout! Keep taking care of your plants and in a couple months the harvest will be ready to eat.

Every single pod works the same way. The pods take the guess work out of things like planting depth and technique that can intimidate new gardeners or make gardening with kids tricky. 
Here's what is inside each pod:
Order Gro-ables on the Miracle-Gro website, Amazon or in your local garden center.
Visit the Gro-ables site at the Gro-ables Project

At Miracle-Gro®, they believe that there’s a lot to learn from even the smallest plants. So they've started The Gro-ables Project: a movement to share the joy of growing herbs and veggies while giving kids truly hands-on learning experiences. Join them by planting your own Gro-ables and sharing your story!

About the Author:

Carissa is a green lifestyle expert and mom of two boys. The owner and lead writer for Creative Green Living, she is also the author of two e-books including the best-selling beverage cookbook, Infused: Recipes for Herb & Fruit Infused Water, Tea and More. You can also find her recipes featured in The Non-GMO Cookbook as well as in periodicals like Urban Farm Magazine. Her goal is to empower families to make healthier choices that are easy, taste great and are fun!
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Sponsored post disclosure: This post was sponsored by Miracle-Gro together with IZEA. All opinions expressed are 100% mine and reflect my authentic experience with this brand. I only recommend products I think my readers will enjoy. For more information, see my full sponsored post and review policy.
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  1. I hate to contest this particular article, but Miracle Gro is owned by Monsato... Monsato does TERRIBLE things to this planet and is definitely not a "green" product. It bums me out that you would suggest this because I do enjoy reading your blog. Please read more about it online (google: "Monsato environmental damage") and find any way to avoid all Monsato products (again, including Miracle Gro).

    1. Thank you for your comment, Liz. I am unfortunately painfully aware of the damage Monsanto has inflicted on agriculture and society as a whole and am deeply saddened by it - particularly the irresponsible use and promotion of glyphosate via Round Up.

      On the flip side, the reason I chose to work with Miracle-Gro on this project is because the best way consumers can get access to affordable, organically grown produce is to grow it at home. I have heard from a lot of beginning gardeners that they feel overwhelmed by seed packets (spacing, planting depth, how to use, etc). This product gives these new gardeners a way to get started gardening that feels less overwhelming. Maybe next season, they'll feel more empowered to start with an envelope of organic heirloom seeds or locally grown veggie starts.

      At the end of the day, I'm on the side of families who want to make healthier choices and a "bridge product" like this has value for a particular set of readers who need some help.

      Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and share and hope you will stick around even if this product isn't for you.

  2. You're right, seeds are time consuming and can be difficult. I've actually never grown from seed because I'm a career mom just like a lot of you. A more environmentally responsible approach (to this product) would be by purchasing organic starter plants from your local farmer's market or nursery. They are generally only a few dollars (my organic basil starter was $1.50) and these dollars support local families and farmers (I'm on the side of families too). I've had great success and they take no time at all to plant. The method in planting and growing is the same as your instructions above, and you aren't contributing to the indifference and irresponsibility that has led us to where we are today. Most of all, you can teach the next generation to make conscious decisions and purchases for the earth that they will inherit, and soon pass on to the next. This is the only way a change can really happen. This is being "green". Endorsing this company for a kickback is certainly not. I'm no internet troll and I'm not here to argue. Thanks for listening and happy growing.

    1. Thanks Liz. I really am sincere when I say I appreciate you sharing your honest thoughts about this. Truly.

      I LOVE plant starts. 90% of my garden is grown with already started plants. I've written a couple other posts about how to plant those (search "how to plant" in the search box to see those) The other 10% is heirloom seeds from packets. I have been gardening for more than 2 decades and am personally really comfortable with both methods of planting. This gro-ables product is not for me, the experienced gardener. Or for you. But it might be the right fit for the readers who email me or meet me at conferences and tell me they have always wanted to garden but they feel so overwhelmed and don't know where to start. OR they tried it and it didn't work (usually because they didn't have basic background info - like how to properly plant a seed). This is why I am endorsing this specific PRODUCT.

      Now, maybe I'm starry eyed and naive but there are other green thought leaders who agree with me that when a company puts out a better product that DOESN'T do the things we hate them for, rewarding them is worthwhile. Because if their not-earth-destroying projects are successful, maybe they will do more of that and less of the crappy stuff.

      I'm guessing you probably disagree. There are plenty of green thought leaders on your side, too. I would like to co-exist in the same green space, though, despite our differences in approach to this specific issue.

      Finally, I want to underscore that I am honest and up front about when I am being paid by a company to write about their product. Readers deserve this info and transparency is important to me. This website is my full time job and occasional sponsored content keeps it up and running so that I can write about non-sponsored things like how to kill your grass with cardboard instead of Round-Up. I promise that I really do vet each and every product pitched to me and say "no thanks" 95% or more of the time. I turned down thousands of dollars in sponsored opportunities every week because they are a bad fit for my site and readership and I won't write posts about cat hammocks, foods with GMOs, and chotchkies from China. My name is on everything I write and my integrity is more important to me than money from companies whose products are a poor fit.

      All that to say.....THANK YOU for reading this far if you did. I cannot say enough how much I value you taking the time to share your honest opinions on the sponsored opportunities I take. I hope you stick around and continue to comment.



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Carissa's Creativity Space (creativecarissa.com) became Creative Green Living in February 2013. As such the watermarks on many of our old posts may reflect the previous site name.