DAK’s UrbanHerb Hydroponic Indoor Gardening System
Seed to Salad in Just Six Weeks
My ancestors may have been farmers, but I couldn’t tell you a thing about sowing, plowing or harvesting.
Still, I’ve always felt this desire to plant a crop, watch it grow, and reap the fruits of my labor.
Now with my UrbanHerb Hydroponic Indoor Gardening System, I go from seed to salad in just six weeks (and then a huge salad every week after that for another month).
And I’m an illiterate when it comes to farming and gardening. I don’t own a garden spade. There’s no soil to speak of, and therefore no dirt or bugs in my lettuce heads.
Let me show you how easily you’ll go from seed to harvest with the UrbanHerb Hydroponic Gardening System.
Hydroponics, farming of the future.
Just ask NASA.
Before we talk more about what makes DAK’s UrbanHerb Hydroponic Indoor Gardening System so easy for a beginner like me to use, I want to clarify that we didn’t invent hydroponic farming with the UrbanHerb. We’re just making it more accessible for you to use in your own home.
But you still should know that hydroponic farming is a serious technological and agricultural breakthrough with far reaching implications for sustainable farming. Not only here on Earth, but even in Space.
NASA has been researching hydroponics for decades and it’s sure to be a vital component in future human space exploration. Here’s what they have to say about it on the official NASA website (they call it aeroponics, but it’s the same thing):
Aeroponic growing systems provide clean, efficient, and rapid food production. Crops can be planted and harvested in the system year round without interruption, and without contamination from soil, pesticides, and residue. Since the growing environment is clean and sterile, it greatly reduces the chances of spreading plant disease and infection commonly found in soil and other growing media.
Hydroponic growth is the future. Down here on Earth hydroponic farming methods are being implemented in water-poor countries because of how much more water is conserved compared to traditional farming methods.
Without any soil getting in between the water and plant roots, the roots absorb water 10x more efficiently than with traditional farming. So a single drop of water in a hydroponic system is the same as ten drops into the soil. That’s a huge impact.
Ok, back to you and how you’ll be getting fresher, cleaner produce in just six weeks using DAK’s UrbanHerb Hydroponic Indoor Gardening System.
No Planting Seasons. No Soil. No Pests.
This is better than nature.
Aside from the water efficiency of hydroponic farming, here are some of the tangible benefits you’ll appreciate using DAK’s UrbanHerb Hydroponic Gardening System.
-Plant Any Time of Year
No more waiting for the last frost. You don’t need to worry about the seasons. You don’t need to worry about direct sunlight.
DAK’s UrbanHerb uses built-in full-spectrum LED lights to provide your growing herbs and vegetables with all the light they can soak up, all year round.
And the lights are set on a timer to give your sprouts an optimal 14 sunlight hours and 10 resting hours to maximize crop output.
-No Soil, No Dirt
Have you ever soaked your basil or oregano overnight to make sure all the sand has been washed off?
With all the sand on the bottom of the bowl you’d think they were grown on the beach.
Not anymore. Honestly, I’ve just been snipping off basil leaves as I need them. So clean they don’t even need rinsing.
-No Pests, Bugs or Critters
Same goes for my store-bought lettuce. We wash each leaf individually because we always find a few bugs hidden in the head.
Not anymore. Any lettuce grown with my UrbanHerb hardly needs a rinsing.
Oh, and of course, deer, rabbits and rodents are never an issue with indoor gardening.
When you grow veggies with DAK’s UrbanHerb, most of the variables that make gardening tricky are removed from the equation.
How do your plants eat?
(1 year nutrient supply included with your order)
Ok, me being a total novice, I didn’t think to ask this.
But if you have a lick of knowledge about gardening, you’re surely wondering.
Soil is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are necessary for plants to grow.
Veggies won’t survive on just water alone!
We worked with a team of Israeli scientists to come up with just the right formula of liquid nutrients for your garden to grow and thrive.
You only need to add 20ml of nutrients for every 100ml of water and you’re all set.
Oh, and to make thing easy, you get 1200ml of nutrients with your order to get you started. That amount should last you for about a year before you need to reorder.
DAK’s UrbanHerb won’t over water your plants
(it oxygenates its water reservoir)
Again, this wasn’t something I knew mattered when I first got started.
Have you ever lost a plant to “over watering”?
In nature, the soil has small air pockets so the roots can absorb oxygen. When you over water, you basically drown the plant by filling up all those air pockets.
So unlike most other hydroponic gardening kits, DAK’s UrbanHerb Hydroponic Indoor Gardening System has a built-in water pump to continuously circulate the water in its tank.
And even though smaller kits and tanks can make do without it, DAK’s UrbanHerb uses a massive 2.5 gallon (10 liters, actually) water tank. We’re supporting 24 crops here! We don’t want the water to stagnate. Your vegetables and herbs will appreciate the steady influx of oxygen added into the water supply.
Okay, now we’re finally ready to see how simple it is for you to go from seed to salad in six weeks.
Plant the Seeds
To be honest, germinating your seeds of choice is probably the hardest part if you’re new to gardening like I was.
You never know what to expect, and when you don’t see immediate results you think you did something wrong.
I was losing sleep over 24 seeds that I was planting for fun. I can only imagine what our farmer ancestors had to go through waiting and worrying for their crops to grow.
Technology makes it so easy for us that it almost feels like cheating.
Now, since we aren’t using any soil, we still need a growing medium. That’s a fancy way of saying we use a sponge-like material to support the plant’s growth.
You can see on the right that I soak the sponge in enough water for the seeds to be sitting just beneath the waterline.
Some plants germinate quickly, while others take painfully long. My basil and lettuce seeds show signs of sprouting within 2-3 days. My rosemary and oregano seeds took 10-12 days. My Marconi pepper seeds took even longer than that, to the point I assumed nothing would happen with it (one’s thriving now, I gave up on the second).
Watch for the root
Once you see that your seeds have little white needles poking through the top, the germination box is ready to be placed underneath LED lights on the 14 hours light cycle.
Over the next week you’ll see the seedlings turn into little sprouts, and as soon as you see a centimeter of root poking out the bottom of the sponge, it’s ready to be planted into the UrbanHerb. Now is when you’ll fill up the 10 liter water tank and add in the nutrients. Oh, that’s pretty much the end of your work.
The roots will continue to grow as the water reservoir slowly depletes. You won’t need to refill the tank for 6-8 weeks.
Harvest and train your plant
Now is when you’ll begin to see the rapid growth cycle of your veggies and herbs.
Remember, a lot depends on what you’ve planted. Some plants can last indefinitely, while others need to be harvested and replanted again from scratch.
I keep my basil trimmed to about 50% of the height so it grows wider, rather than taller. And it keeps on coming back fuller and fuller.
But something like lettuce has a more limited life cycle. you can use a method called “cut and come again” to maximize your yield. So when your lettuce is nice and full, cut everything but the small center leaves, called the crown. The lettuce head will regenerate from that crown. But after 5-7 times of doing this, the leaves will start getting bitter, and the lettuce will want to bolt. That means it will want to flower and race to the end of it’s life cycle. So by that point, you’ll just need to start again from another seed.
If you see that your plant is nearing the end of its lifecycle, begin germinating new seeds that will be ready to replace it so you have minimal downtime between harvests.
For example: You can harvest a lettuce head about 5 times using the “cut and come again” method. By leaving the crown intact, the lettuce will continue to regenerate.
But still, this is only effective for the first few harvests. Eventually, you just need a new lettuce plant. By germinating your replacement seeds ahead of time, you won’t need to wait long before you’re ready for a fresh new harvest!