When I asked for our first single level garden, my husband literally giggled. We had zero houseplants and I would bring a plant home once a month that I would find at the grocery store. It would die in a week. He said that’s a really interesting hobby but you kill plants. I was determined to make this new found hobby benefit our home and show him I could grow something while saving us money on lettuce and herbs. Frankly, I struggled the first month because I tried too hard. Let me explain.
By Christmas, I had purchased two levels to extend our base single-level garden into a Triple Family Garden. I killed my first lettuce plant and had to flush the garden. I struggled. The garden is easy, the app tells you what to do, but I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Now, my gardens thrive. So, what changed?
I began reading everything about hydroponics. One week, I even went to our hydroponic store during the lockdown and made those guys my friends! I told them my woes and showed him pictures of my garden. He had never seen such an organized system. He was impressed and really helped me see how to become a successful hydroponic gardener. He also gave me a book to read. Gardners are such amazing souls and always happy! The guys at the store asked if I had sat in the garden? Played music and talked to my plants? No I had not done this but did later after leaving the store.
My plants became my therapist! My plants began to thrive! I began to smile and my garden began giving us lettuce and tomatoes for dinner. I now have a green thumb, my daughters gets their snacks from the garden instead of a chip bag! I even keep non-sharp scissors for them to clip veggies and greens.
To answer the question of what changed: Well, I was obsessed and working too hard. I was a helicopter garden parent. Turns out, that wasn't needed at all!
Personally, I went from an obsessed and overly protective plant person to a rather mellow and more relaxed person. I would get up every morning and check the levels of the garden but now I rely on the reminders in the Rise Gardens Application most weeks. If you trust the application, the garden will grow exactly how it is described on the Rise Gardens website. You get all the benefits of a thriving garden without a ton of work.
So, what's it like to have multiple gardens? It's actually really easy. You can add multiple gardens in the Rise Gardens app and you can move plants from garden to garden. Below are a few key items to keep in mind.
Nutrients and Caring for Your Gardens
I typically pick a day during the week to check the garden. The day you first do nutrients is typically the same day every week following. Maintaining the schedule is really key and will ensure plants have the nutrients that they need to grow.
Cleaning Multiple Gardens
My oldest daughter is the best garden cleaning helper. I also pay her for this chore. When it's time to clean your garden, the Rise Gardens app will tell you when it's time. I harvest plants that have reached their time in the garden. Then, I pull the trays and place them over clear totes. We take the black trays to the bathtub to clean them with a detachable sprayer, vegetable brush, and white vinegar. She will dry the trays after I clean them. I take a long bottle-brush-like cleaning tool and clean the tubes and connectors.
Of course, we make it all fun. We always play music and have fun with this chore. We call it the garden dance. It takes us about an hour for the Triple Family Rise Garden and 45 minutes for the Personal Rise Garden and Single Family Rise Garden. I alternate cleaning the gardens at different times because I like to clean fast and focused. On Saturdays, I clean gardens (when it's time), which is about every few months. Here's my schedule: Triple Family Garden is the 1st Saturday of the month, and then Personal Garden and Single Level Garden on the 2nd Saturday of the Month.
I love how the Rise Gardens Application reminds us to clean our garden every few months and has a box to check.
After Cleaning Our Gardens
A few days after I clean the garden, I like to check the levels with the sensor. But, Smart Care system takes care of the levels as long as you check the box that you cleaned your garden.
For a month, I was running our largest garden with the Rise Gardens Smart Care system to see how it maintained without checking with the sensor. I learned I should trust my application more and now rely less on our sensor. After all, Smart Care is an AI system created after a year of data and research by the Rise Gardens team. It makes it so much easier to grow our veggies!
What We Grow in Each Garden
Our gardens have helped me slow down and not stress about things. I currently have three gardens: three-level Family Garden, Personal Garden, and a single-level Family Garden. In our three-level Family Garden, I have filled it with a healthy rotation of herbs, greens, and vegetables. I grow lots of beets because we could eat them every meal.
Rise Gardens has a large variety of seed pod selections all year long but they also offer seedless pods for experimenting. I like to experiment with growing different vegetables like fingerling carrots, broccoli, watermelon, purple cauliflower, purple cabbage and lemon cucumbers.
Albion Strawberries and lavender can be found in our Personal Garden. Our Single Level Family Garden is currently supporting two broccoli varieties, purple cabbage and a few extra varieties of lettuce.
So Many Benefits to Having Multiple Gardens
Our gardens have helped us eat more vegetables, given us a learning tool, and been a mood lifter in our house. Maintaining and adjusting to having multiple gardens has not been difficult or stressful. When in doubt, trust the app!
I am grateful to the full Rise Gardens team for creating our gardens! I invite friends and neighbors over all of the time to show off our gardens. They have been such a wonderful addition to our house. I wholeheartedly believe that every home should have multiple Rise Gardens. It's been a journey and a wonderful experience that everyone should get to experience.