Setup Instructions


Getting Started

From Day 0 to the end of its life, this page is intended to walk you through all you need to know and do in order to maintain a successful Urban Leaf garden.

There are 2 main mistakes beginner gardeners make: 1) the wrong equipment, and 2) not enough light. Here’s how you can avoid both:

Bottles: Some Work, Others Won’t

It’s really really important that you stop the red and blue frequencies of light entering your bottle and causing the water to go yuk. The easiest way to do this is by using a dark GREEN or BROWN bottle, such as a red wine bottle. The other option is to paint/decorate the bottle. Learn more about selecting the perfect bottle here.

Lighting: #1 Cause Of Plant Death

Plants require light for photosynthesis. We recommend at least 6 hrs of direct (i.e. no shadows) sunlight a day. That means sunshine hitting those pretty leaves full-force! Insufficient light will cause your plants to be frail and weak. Check out this blog to better understand the impact that lighting can have, and this one to learn how to set up a super cheap and effective LED grow lamp for less than 40 bucks.

‘Planting’ Your Garden

Since making this video we have added a couple of extra steps, with the intent of 1) increasing the shelf life of the product (the seeds now come in a sealed sachet) and 2) improving germination rates (there’s now a clear cap or sticker that goes over the top). The basic steps are:

  1. fill the bottle
  2. insert the garden
  3. sprinkle 5-10 seeds (careful not to do too many)
  4. apply the germination cover
  5. remove the germination cover before your sprouts touch it!

Your First Week

Things to look out for

If all goes as planned, your seeds will sprout within 2-7 days


From 1 month on

One of the coolest things about the World’s Smallest Garden is that it’s like a baby-sitter for your plants. It will water and feed itself for up to a month at a time. Eventually however, your bottle will need a refill. As the plant matures water consumption will increase dramatically, and we recommend checking the water level at least once a week.

Harvesting & Pruning Your Garden

From 2 months on

Pruning actually helps stimulate new growth, so don’t be afraid of doing it! Just remember to never take more than 1/3 of the plant at a time.

End of Life

5-6 months in

Eventually your plant will out grow the bottle. Re-use of the World’s Smallest Garden will depend on the age and type of plant you have. In the event that in has to be thrown away, we made it out of biodegradable plastic. It costs us a bit more to do this, but we feel it’s money well spent.