Having a green thumb is not an innate talent for everyone. However, it is possible to grow fruits and vegetables with just one click, or almost, thanks to connected vegetable gardens. The start-up Home Potager already offered two products intended to be installed outdoors. With the Kit Mini, she is now interested in interiors. No need for a balcony or terrace, the vegetable garden moves into the kitchen or the living room. As its name suggests, the Kit Mini adopts a compact format for this. It measures 75 cm in height and has 6 planting baskets; it is two times less than the Kit 50 and three times less than the Kit 100, the exterior models of the manufacturer.
Like the two previous models, the indoor vegetable garden has a tank hidden in its base. Thanks to a pump principle, the water, loaded with nutrients of mineral origin, rises to the top of the tower and irrigates the various plants in its path. And to optimize this operation, the soil of the seedlings is replaced by clay balls. The roots are then in the open air and absorb as much water as possible; which avoids, in passing, weeds and pests. Frédéric Brece, the founder of Home Potager, promises 30% more production with this system.
Device connectivity also has a role to play in plant growth. Indeed, the algorithm integrated into the Mini Kit continuously calculates the nutritional need of each plant and waters them accordingly. LEDs installed on either side of the tower provide them with the necessary light. These technologies make it possible in particular to ignore the cold and the lack of light in winter for a crop 365 days a year.
And to become a gardener ace, an app completes the Home Potager experience. By connecting your garden to your smartphone, it is possible to know the water level in the tank, its pH, its nutrient level and the state of the pump thanks to sensors scattered around the device. The application then alerts you if any of these settings require special attention. No need to worry about your plantations, the smart vegetable garden manages the business on its own.
A market that is struggling to renew itself
However, planting fruits, vegetables and herbs in your apartment is nothing new. Start-ups such as Véritable or Prêt à Push had already entered the urban vegetable garden market. But few players are present and the only existing ones have difficulty renewing their offer. With its vertical vegetable garden, Home Potager presents a more imposing product than its competitors, but with a great diversity of plants. It is then possible to cultivate salads, zucchini and even butternuts, for example; especially since there are more slots available than on other devices. Another advantage: the plants can come from a garden center. It is not compulsory to buy them on the brand’s website, unlike Véritable and their “ingots” system.
The connected vegetable garden is available for pre-order on the crowdfunding platform Ulule from € 220, until November 19. It will then be launched on the official Home Potager website.
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