If you like to cook with fresh herbs, then you’ve probably fantasised about having your very own indoor herb garden filled with lovely, fresh, culinary herbs that you can just pick when needed and add to or garnish your dishes. The problem with growing herbs indoors is usually a lack of sufficient light.
In summer, depending on the orientation of your house, you might get enough light to successfully keep a few herbs alive, but during winter, your chances are slim. That’s where these marvellous indoor herb garden inventions have come to fill the void!
Now you can grow your own herbs, from seed, indoors and you don’t even have to remember to water them everyday! That’s how clever these smart gardens are.
I was very excited to start growing my own indoor herb garden and I knew there were a few different brands available. In the US it seems like they have plenty of choice when it comes to this type of garden, with quite a few different options available for sale on Amazon. However, as usual, here in Australia, there were fewer models to choose from.
I tried Bunnings a few times, but to no avail (although I think I might have seen one the last time I was there – could be worth checking). So, I did some online research and discovered Urbipod by Urbotanica, which is both Australian made and Australian owned!
Despite having never actually seen one in real life before, setting up the Urbipod was fairly simple and self explanatory. Everything you need to get started is included in the kit, including coir, liquid nutrients and even some packets of seeds.
All you need to add is water and electricity. You basically just need to add a packet of coir to each pod then pour some water in and watch the coir expand and turn into soil.
Plant your seeds, fill the water bottle with water and a capful of liquid nutrient, attach the cord for the LED lights and plug the unit in. We made a video of the process if you want to see in more detail how it’s done:
The light is preprogrammed to turn on for 16 hours and then turn off for 8 hours. So the instructions suggest that it’s best if you can first connect your light at around 6am, then it will be on until 10pm. I’ve never managed to be up at 6 am to turn mine on, so mine runs on a cycle from about 7.15am to 11.15pm – whatever works for you.
The height of the light is adjustable so you can keep it nice and low down, close to the soil when you first plant your seeds, but then you’ll need to move it up as your plants grow taller.
The unit is self watering which is perfect as it means the plants are only getting as much water as they need through the wicking discs and wicks. When the water bottle (which sits upside down in the central tower) is empty it will pop up from the tower to let you know it’s time to refill it.
I think I read somewhere that it only needs refilling about once every 2 weeks, but I would say mine seems to need refilling about once a week. It probably depends on environmental factors and what you are growing. It’s pretty easy to notice when it needs more water and it’s no trouble to refill when it does.
So, does it work? Yes! I have been so impressed with my Urbipod. It has been fun and exciting to watch as each different plant grows from seed. Different seeds grow at different rates, some of them were amazingly fast, which meant every day when I would check on my little indoor herb garden there was always something new to see.
I only set up my Urbipod in August and it’s only November now as I write this and yet I have already grown, harvested and used so many herbs from my new little indoor garden.
Here’s a quick look at the daily progress made in just a couple of weeks with the Urbipod:
So, as you can see, yes, this indoor plant growing system works remarkably well! I am delighted with my freshly grown produce.
I know I keep referring to it as a ‘herb garden’ because that’s what I use it for, but really you could use this system for growing any type of plant from seed – just, if it’s a big plant, you would probably need to transplant it to an outdoor pot or into the real garden once it was established and growing well.
I have dabbled with a few different herbs including some of the seeds that came with the set and some other seeds that I bought at Bunnings. I’ve narrowed it down and decided that my top 4 herbs for growing in my Urbipod are parsley, coriander, mint and basil.
This is purely a culinary decision as these are the herbs I tend to cook with the most. So far every herb I have tried to grow has been a success and I no longer need to rely on the sad and wilted little pots of coriander I used to buy from the supermarket!
Again, if you want to watch how easy it is to set up and get it going, watch our video here.
If you want to know more about the Urbipod or purchase your own Urbipod you can find out more on their website here. If you like cooking and/or gardening, I personally guarantee you’re going to love the Urbipod!