Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions? We have answers! While Urban Leaf products are specially designed to make growing your indoor garden as easy as possible, we understand the process can still be tricky.
Below are common questions we’ve received from fellow gardeners along with expert advice to help you on your gardening journey. Of course, never hesitate to reach out to us for help – either by contacting us or texting ‘UrbanLeaf’ to 555888.
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Your seeds should sprout within 2-10 days. You don’t have to do much for the first 4-6 weeks. Growth rates vary based on the kind of plant and the amount of light you give them (the more, the better). You should expect to have a harvestable quantity of leaves at around the 1.5 – 2 month mark.
All our plants are edible – mostly culinary herbs. The leaves of most herbs taste better when they are young. Although still edible, as they get older the leaves get thicker and lose some flavor. For this reason, we’ve engineered the product to keep each plant alive for 5-6 months. At the end of this period, we recommend harvesting the entire plant, enjoying it with dinner or cocktails, and then starting over with tender, young seeds. It’s the circle of life.
We recommend using our seeds for two big reasons:
- We only sell varieties of seeds that we know work well in our product. Not all plant varieties are suited to growing like this.
- Within each plant variety (for example ‘Thai Basil’), there are dozens of different strains. Some grow quickly, others slowly. Some grow tall, others wide. We’ve tested dozens of strains to find the ones that work best.
If you choose to use your own seeds, you may not get the desired result.
We’re big fans of recycling and upcycling, which is why we designed our product to be re-used in a number of ways, including:
– Using biodegradable plastic for the green plastic case. If you do decide to throw it out. It’ll just go back to the earth
– Adding far more seeds to each packet than you actually need. Save these somewhere cool and dry then you can either plant them in soil outside or in our product again.
The only non-reusable parts are the smart soil inserts. These contain just enough nutrients for one plant growth cycle. Cost-effective replacement inserts are available here.
We recommend dark brown or green glass bottles because they block out the frequencies of light that cause water to go bad. Please do not use clear bottles.
750 ml (i.e. a red wine bottles) is a great size – but we’ve also successfully grown plants in sizes ranging from 500 ml to 1.5 L. Just remember that the size of the bottle is directly proportional to amount of watering you’ll need to do. A bigger bottle = less work for you.
Check out our Top 5 Tips for finding the perfect bottle.
As much as plants need water to grow, they need enough light. Plants that do not have enough light will put most of their energy into growing vertically, making them tall, stringy, and not very tasty. Plants that have ample light will produce bushy foliage in order to absorb all that light, which makes them much better for eating!
A general rule of thumb your home-garden needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. If you have a sunny windowsill, you’re all set.
However, if you don’t think your plants are getting enough natural light, then consider buying a grow light. A grow light is a simple tool that emits just the right amount of light to ensure plants grow and thrive.
Check out our grow light comparison to figure out which one is best for you. Plus, we have some tips to help you set it up properly.
To add water to the bottle, carefully pull the insert out, leaving the roots hanging in the bottle’s neck. Add room temperature tap water. Gently put the insert back in, being careful not to damage the roots. Place your plant back on its sunny windowsill.
We designed this product to live its entire life in the bottle. When your plant outgrows the bottle, it’s likely past its prime already in terms of taste and flavor. If you do want to keep your plant alive longer for whatever reason, here are a few options:
1. Relocation. Remove your plant from its bottle carefully so you don’t damage the roots and transfer it to soil – either indoors or out. Be mindful of potential environmental shocks to your plant. Try to give your plant a chance to adjust gradually. Remember that your plant has been enjoying a cushy indoor life until now where temps may have been climate-controlled. We recommend moving your plant to a pot of soil indoors initially and making the transition to outdoors gradually.
2. Get a bigger bottle. One of the issues you’re likely to run into with an older plant is the size of the root structure. If you plan to keep your plant a long time and want it to stay in a bottle, we recommend a bottle with a wider neck so that it will be easier to remove the insert (and roots) for watering.
3. Add nutrients. We enrich the smart soil that comes in our product with enough nutrients to last 5-6 months. After this, the leaves are likely to start looking paler and you may also notice some splotching. Plants cannot survive on water-alone, so you will need to add nutrients. A simple Amazon search for hydroponic nutrients will yield a bunch of options, but we do not recommend mixing different brands or types of nutrients. Flush out your bottle of all the old water/nutrients first, then add new water along with the new nutrients. This is definitely a more advanced step, so if you want a hand or some more tips, feel free to shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Our products are 100% US made from eco-friendly materials. Both the plastic injection molding and the kit assembly is done in upstate New York. Our main manufacturing partner is Mid Hudson Works, a non-profit organization that provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities located in Pougkeepsie, NY.