I know that this cute little product has made the rounds in the design and gardening world so I know I’m probably not showing you anything new. I have been resisting the charm of the Eggling since I first heard of them because I generally do not support this kind of product no matter how cute. My reasons for blacklisting such products are simple: they aren’t appropriate vessels for growing healthy plants and as a thrifty gardener I am inherently against promoting excessive gardening product purchases. I mean, why buy a fancy porcelain egg meant to look like a real egg when you can just use a real egg — at no additional charge! Gardening for the first time can be a bit daunting. I am all about reducing some of that pressure in any way possible. And inevitably the eventual demise of what began as a fun try at growing something leads to the new gardener’s assertion that they just don’t have a green thumb. And so they give up.
So I generally stay away from promoting this kind of product or buying one for myself. Because even though I know how the story will end, I am a designer at heart and I can’t help but be drawn in by pretty things anymore than the next person. So cute! And simple! And pretty!
However, my spouse just came back from a short work trip to Southern California (no jealousy here) and surprised me with a thyme Eggling as a treat. He knew I would never buy one for myself and thought it might make an interesting experiment for the site. He’s heard me talk publicly about gardening enough (and read the book) to know that if anything was going to endure the hardships of such a small space it would be thyme. I’m very proud. Sigh.
I know it’s unfair of me to judge without personal experience so I plan to give this little one a go and will post updates here as they occur. In the meantime I am eager to hear about your experiences with this product. Please add your comments below.
p.s In an effort to light a fire under my ass I’ve elected to participate in NaBloPoMo here on YGG. There are plenty of day-to-day gardening experiences that I could be sharing here but many topics slide and become outdated before I get a chance to write.
I am a strong believer that gardening does not, and should not, require a lot of “stuff”. Container gardeners especially can get along with their hands, or a fork, spoon, and kitchen shears if need be. However, the right tool can make you feel like you’re ready to kick some ass even when the only ass you’re about to kick is a small pot of basil on your window-ledge.
That said, about three years ago I wrote a glowing review of the Cobrahead Precision Weeder & Cultivator. It’s sharp blade, and versatility (useful for weeding, digging, planting, cultivating and more) made this a tool I could get behind. Years later and I am still using the same Cobrahead. It’s seen it’s day ripping through all kinds of soil conditions and looks pretty much like it did on that first test run way back when — albeit underneath the dirt and despite a complete and utter lack of care or maintenance on my part. I just wipe it off with my glove, throw it in my tool bag, and done.
Inventor Noel Valdes has just come out with an upgraded Cobrahead model and I was sent a fresh new tool to try out. The accompanying promotion material boasts of a new handle made of 100% recycled material, a heat-treated steel blade with a heavier zinc coating making it more bend, break, and rust-resistant. Despite all that I didn’t notice a difference during a test run in which I tried both my old and new tool in the same conditions at my community garden. To be honest as a user I didn’t think it needed upgrading since my old model is still kicking loads of compacted soil ass. The new improvement I did notice is the new blue handle that is easier to locate in the garden although I think a hot pink handle would be even easier to locate in the grass.
CONTEST Headsup: I’ve got one, new Cobrahead as a prize give-away. Sign up for the mailing list. On September 29, 2006, I’ll be sending out entry details through the list only.
* You Grow Girl is not being sponsored or paid to promote this product. I just like it.
The Gardening Educator in me wants to tell you why products like the Plantarium are not viable tools for growing healthy seedlings. Look for a moment at the product photo. The seedlings inside the vial are very leggy, thin, and weak. They have elongated, delicate stems that will make the transition from the vial to a pot of soil next-to-impossible.
The Gardening Educator wants you to know that you don’t need expensive or fancy gadgetry to grow seeds into seedlings. In fact all you need is good quality seed-starting mix*, and a used plastic container (yogurt containers are good) with a bunch of holes poked into the bottom for drainage.
When the Gardening Educator spots products like this in a store she screams silently inside, “Why?! Why must first-try gardeners be mislead by useless, colourful plastic objects that inevitably result in dead plants and sad hearts?!”
But the Science Geek Kid in me thinks they’re kinda neat.
The world of gardening containers is a sad carnival of ugly. I grow A LOT of plants, therefore requiring A LOT of pots. Unfortunately, the few stylish containers out there fall outside of a price range affordable to the bountiful, yet thrifty grower. That’s why I was excited to find these gorgeous plant pots at a Whole Foods on a recent trip to San Francisco. EcoForms embody all of the positives of plastic plant containers but they are made of biodegradable materials such as rice hulls. While they won’t last forever — this is a GOOD thing — they will last five years and claim to be structurally sound and resistant to freezing and thawing conditions.
I bought three pots with accompanying saucer: a Nova 6 in mocha brown ($5.99 US), an ebony black urn ($3.99 US), and a bowl in avocado green ($3.99 US). Saucers ran just over a buck or so depending on size. It turns out I should have bought more since EcoForms only seem to be available on the West Coast for the time being.