In addition to maintaining the right amount of light and temperature, plants need the right amount of water and a balanced diet of nutrients to thrive.
Plantui’s patented lighting technology adjusts the growing conditions to support each stage of a plant’s growth. The rest of a plant’s welfare is taken care of by the pump and the hydroponic-specific plant nutrition. You don’t even have to remember to water the plants. It is enough to occasionally add water and nutrients to your smart garden.
If you consider the Plantui light as the brain of your smart garden, then the pump is its heartbeat.
How the Plantui pump works and takes care of your plants
In the sprouting phase, the plants need a wavelength of red light as well as a suitable amount of blue for the plant to become strong. Plants need water more sparingly during this early phase. During the sprouting phase, i.e. when no height blocks have been added to the device, the pump starts once a day for two minutes. The seeds begin to germinate and sprout as they receive water and light, and the pump ensures the plant capsules are properly irrigated.
Once the first leaves of the plant appear on the surface of the capsule, it’s time to add the first height block to the smart garden. This triggers the smart garden into changing the rhythm of pumping and lighting. Now the pump starts twice a day for one minute at a time. With this rhythm, and with the help of a water tray, the roots of the plant learn to reach out towards the water so that they can absorb everything they need from the nutrient solution.
At the same time, the recipe for light changes. Both the blue wavelength and the total light intensity increases considerably, to better support this spurt in growth. Light technology also supports plants by allowing them to focus on growing strong and healthy roots (instead of wasting energy and growing weak stems as they search for enough light).
Once the plants are reaching for the light hat, it’s time to add another height block. The pumping rhythm changes again. With the addition of two or more blocks, the rhythm changes pumping to seven times a day for one minute at a time. Now that the plant is growing thick and green at an accelerating rate, it needs water and nutrients several times a day to thrive. However, it is not optimal to have water available every hour of the day. A little air drying is good for the roots as it allows them to absorb water better when available.
The control of the pump is adjusted in the same way, whether ordinary height blocks or additional light blocks are added.
The Plantui smart garden pump starts about two hours after the device wakes up and only pumps when the lights are on. This way, the hum of the pump does not disturb your night’s sleep, for example.
This is how you take care of your Plantui pump
The pump is a wearable part of the Plantui device, the usable life of which can be extended with just a bit of maintenance.
1) Make sure that the roots do not reach the pump as they may break it
Cut the roots that extend into the water container and remove any pieces of the root that have got lost in the pump with tweezers, for example. The plants won’t react badly to being trimmed.
2) Make sure you only add water to the fill-line of the water bowl on your appliance
If there is more water it can cause corrosion in the pump.
A total of three litres of water can be added to the Plantui-6 and one litre to the Plantui-3.
Be sure to also add 1 tablespoon (1.5 ml) of plant nutrient per litre of water added.
3) Clean the pump by wiping it with a damp cloth at the end of the growing season
The operation of the pump can be checked as follows:
Plantui-6: hold your hand on the light hat for 15-20 seconds. The pump should start for about 2 minutes and the blue light will illuminate while the pump is running.
Plantui-3e: press the button under the light cap for 15-20 seconds. The pump should start for about 2 minutes and the green light will illuminate while the pump is running.
If the pump suddenly starts to make a louder noise, typically the cause is root or dirt that has got inside.
If the pump is noisy at the very first pumping or after a longer growth break, the cause is usually a dry pump. The situation corrects itself after a few pumping cycles when the pump is properly wet.
The pump may also become noisy when the water is running out.
Our pump is under constant development. Changes are coming to the next production batch that will further improve the durability of the pump.
If you need a new pump, you can order it from our online store. If the pump breaks during the warranty period, please contact our customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the best thing about Plantui? With whom do you share your harvest? The best thing about Plantui is the freshness, ease and taste of what you grow. We can enjoy the bountiful harvest all year round, with very little effort. You can easily pick some fresh herbs or salad from the Plantui to put in a sandwich or with a meal.
The flavours you get from Plantui plants are in a league of their own. Store-bought plants just don’t compare. Even our guinea pigs can tell the difference. I made a taste test for them, with Plantui dill and store-bought dill side by side. The Plantui dill was by far the best, and they wouldn’t settle for the store-bought dill after that. When our guinea pig called Pörri recently turned six, the birthday celebrations, of course, were a spread of delicacies, including Plantui’s tasty Radish microgreens.
Each harvest is shared with my husband, however, the guinea pigs do get their own share on top of that.
What do you grow for your guinea pigs? I grow basil, dill and parsley which they particularly enjoy. They also like to eat microgreens.
In my view, it’s a good idea give guinea pigs a variety of greens in their diet. In addition to microgreens, we add herbs and spice-plants to the guinea pigs bowl.
The basis for feeding the guinea pigs is, of course, hay and fortified pellets, in addition to which the feeding is diversified with fresh greens. Guinea pigs get a surprisingly small amount of the nutrients they need from a usual diet of lettuce, cucumber and carrot, for example. The fresh, just-picked plants are a wonderful treat for a guinea pig’s mouth. Nutritional values of Plantui plants are also higher than store-bought vegetables, which lose some of their health benefits during transportation and storage.
By growing plants ourselves, we can be sure of the conditions under which the delicacies have been produced, a value as important for the two-footed as well as four-footed members of the family.
What kind of gardener are you? I’m a self-indulgent gardener, who grows what is needed and loves both practicality and beauty. My goal in pretty much anything I grow is to get some sort of benefit from the effort I put in, whether that’s by eating or in some other way.
I have grown cherry trees that don’t grow too tall: that makes it easy for even a shorter person like me to pick the cherrires. In addition, that species was very hardy and produces plenty of cherries even if the conditions are a bit challenging. In the same package, cherry trees also offer beauty with lovely flowers.
In the same way, I’ve grown lemon balm and lavender because mosquitoes hate them. The lavender produced a wonderful flowering bush, which smells nice and keeps the mosquitoes at bay.
When did you get your first Plantui? I started to use my first Plantui in the autumn-winter of 2020. We had lived in an apartment building for one whole spring and summer, and it gave the active gardener in me quite the dilemma. My Plantui brought the opportunity to grow something once again, both for pleasure and purpose, even in the middle of winter!
Do you have more than one device or accessory for your Plantui? I have to confess, I actually have several of them. There are two of the Smart Garden 6 and one Smart Garden 3.
What’s your favourite variety? Whilst it’s great growing everything, right now chilies are my favourite. In Finland, the right growing conditions can be difficult but in my Plantui, I’ve managed just fine. Using my Experimental Kit, I’ve tried growing the following chili varieties: the ‘Star Fish’ Capsicum baccatum, and then the ‘Rocoto Pineapple’, ‘Rocoto Brown’, ‘Rocoto Montufar’ and ‘Rocoto Cusco Peru’ (all Capsicum pubescens).
Next I will try the Capsicum Chinense ‘Habanero Orange’, the Capsicum Annuum ‘Bird’s Eye Baby’ and the Capsicum Baccatum ‘Aji Cristal’.
Before, I haven’t been successful or even wanted to try, growing chilies from seed. I bought the ready seedlings from a friend in my student days, as well as getting some from the market or from chili enthusiasts. Whilst living in Tampere, I even remember carrying ‘Rainbow Chili’ in my bicycle basket in summer, all the way from the centre to Hervanta. The chilies I had during my studies included Lemon drop, Aji Cristal and Naga Jolokia.
Plantui created a whole new kind of fulfilment. Now I’m able to successfully grow chillies from scratch. Before my first Plantui, in the fall of 2020, I had a real desire to grow chilies from seed. I was reading all about what I needed and the best methods from all over the world. Around the same time, I came across a Plantui device in a Facebook flea market, and decided to give chilies a try in the device. And it really worked! The first ones started to blossom not long ago.
Have any of your experiments been unsuccessful? Have there been any extra-special moments?
Some of the chillies were a non-starter, and a few varieties would have benefited from getting started in a moist plant capsule, covered with film, and in a warm place. From here, they could have been transferred to a Plantui device after germination. Otherwise, all have germinated perfectly, with some individual varieties needing extra heat for germination.
The most special moment is seeing the Starfish chilies starting to grow in the living room!
Any special advice to potential Plantui users? Plantui provides pleasure for both the eye and through fresh ingredients.
I recommend microgreens to everyone! Pok Choy and Rocket are my own favourite microgreens. Pick some Pok Choy from the Plantui for a sandwich at breakfast or an evening snack. I particularly like to use Rocket microgreens on pizza and in salads. Any microgreens are great for giving the perfect finish for any dish, from risottos to soups.
On the other hand, if you need a bit of ‘gardening help’ for example, when germinating, pre-growing or maintaining challenging plants, a Plantui is the ideal device for you too!
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