Innovation That Matters

Online gardening service sends seeds when it's time to plant

Work & Lifestyle

There’s no end in sight to the gardening innovations popping up each week all around the globe. The latest spotting? SproutRobot, a San Diego-based web service that offers regionally optimized gardening plans and sends seeds when it’s time to plant. Aspiring gardeners begin by telling SproutRobot their ZIP code, and the site generates a personalized planting calendar for that area based on historical weather data. From there, users choose whether they want to buy their own seeds and simply receive planting reminders from the site—that service is free—or whether they want to receive certified organic heirloom seeds and instructions whenever it’s time to plant. Pricing on the latter option ranges from USD 19.99 per year for a “Patio Garden” service including up to three varieties and a few small harvests per year to USD 59.99 per year for the “Family Garden” service with up to 10 varieties and veggies several times each week for a family. Whichever paid option they choose, SproutRobot then asks them to select which fruits and/or vegetables they want to grow. Once those choices are made, SproutRobot hand-checks the user’s planting calendar and sends out the right seeds at just the right time. Now in beta, SproutRobot currently serves only U.S. users, but it’s aiming to expand, according to one of the company’s recent tweets. One to partner with or emulate for aspiring gardeners in other parts of the world? (Related: Gardens for rent by the season, with vegetables pre-plantedRemote-controlled farming for city dwellersHomegrown vegetables, no green thumb neededMore homegrown veggies without the sweatFive new business ideas for urban gardeningMatching would-be vegetable gardeners with arable land.) Spotted by: R. Steinberg



Download PDF