A garden is the best alternative therapy.

I was at Home Depot the other day and they had their seed station up for Spring.  I decided to give the new Burpee Seed Starting Ultimate Growing Kit a try.  I set it up last Sunday and sowed 36 seeds.  By Wednesday, the broccoli had sprouted and now almost a week later I’ve got several bean sprouts up, too.  I’ve never used a system like this, but it looked like it would work well.  As you can see by the pictures, there is a water reservoir at the bottom that wicks the moisture up on a pad that runs under the individual seed cells.  Supposedly the water in the bottom reservoir lasts for a week.  With just a couple of sprouts, I think it would probably last three times that.  But with all the cells being used, I bet it would last almost a week.  The system is reusable and once its usefulness is done, it is completely recyclable.  Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up.

The kit comes with 72 Burpee Super Growing Pellets, which I opted to use.   They are purportedly all-natural from sustainable sources, but I couldn’t find an ingredient list and I’m sure they’re not organic.  Oh well.  Everything I do to these plants from here on out will be organic!  The pellets were actually very easy to use.  I put one pellet in each cell, added warm water and they expanded to fill each cup in just a few minutes.  A helpful tip:  make sure that the pellet sits flat and that the warm water doesn’t turn it on its side.  The pellet does not expand properly if it tries to expand on its side.  If it does this, just do your best to break it up and it will fluff up.

A cut-away diagram of the system: the seedling tray is supported on another flat tray that stands above the water reservoir on several legs.

Side view of the layers. The absorbent "wick" is washable and reusable - as is the entire kit.

Calabrese broccoli, foreground and Tendergreen and Blue Lake bean sprouts, day six from sowing.

Bean sprout almost free of the dirt

In addition to those sprouts, I have also sown Ring-O-Fire cayenne pepper seeds, Cal-Wonder Orange Bell Pepper seeds, Bloomsdale Spinach and two varieties of lettuce seeds.

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