It’s fun to add the word vertical in front of other words: integration, Horizon, garden. That last one is everything you want when you don’t have a lot of space to grow plants horizontally — like when you’re doing so indoors.
Vertical Green, a Mexican firm that creates vertical gardens, is bringing its speciality to Kickstarter with an at-home kit that makes cultivating a wall full of plants and herbs pretty simple. Plug & Plant is a wall-mounted, modular system for prepackaged seeds, ready to grow in a soil-free environment.
With what the company calls “smart biofoam,” a biodegradable polyurethane-starch foam that gives the plants’ roots room to grow, users can stick the “plugs” on one of the panel’s 12 slots. A 1.2-gallon tank provides water, and light, humidity, and temperature sensors gather feedback on what’s happening in each plug and communicate with smartphones via Bluetooth.
Except for users adding water to the tank, the entire system is pretty automated. Once the accompanying Android or iOS app knows what kind of seeds each plug is housing, it will make sure each receives the right amount water. Excess H20 flows down to a “canal,” which feeds back into the tube, so you should only have to refill once a month. There isn’t a way to control for temperature or light with the Plug & Plant, but if you know you’ll be putting it in a bit of a dim corner, you can choose from over 30 varieties of plugs based on how much light they require. Some of the plugs include arugula, basil, strawberries, petunias, cherry tomatoes, chili peppers, and dill.
A starter kit is going for $49 on Kickstarter, $20 off the retail price. That includes the panel, canal, tank, sensor, and 12 types of plugs, and everything should ship in May of 2016. Or get a few of the modular panels, fill your wall with plants, and pretend you’re living in The Secret Garden.
Update 5/9/2016: It seems funding for this Kickstarter was cancelled in November 2015. Digital Trends has reached out to Vertical Green for more information and will update this post when we hear from the company.