What Urban Leaf has done is distilled growing down into its simplest elements, and removed one of the most basic issues with learning how to grow a plant, which is watering — both under- and overwatering — while also enabling the reuse of a common household object, a glass bottle. Urban Leaf’s device, which is made from a biodegradable cornstarch-based plastic, encloses a nutrient-enriched “smart soil” with herb seeds, which then cradles and nurtures the plants as they grow their roots into the nutrient solution in the glass bottle. The company is starting with common herb varieties such as basil and mint, but is also experimenting with vegetables and edible flowers for future releases.
According to Urban Leaf, the seeds will germinate in as few as 3 days (or up to two weeks), and can grow to harvestable size in just a few weeks. The only care necessary, other than giving them access to adequate light, is to keep the bottle topped off with water occasionally, and although the company says its plants will tend to outgrow the original bottle after three to five months, some of the beta tester units have been growing for well over 6 months with no issues.