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Susanna’s Plantui harvest also feeds her guinea pigs

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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.

Right now, the chilies have run-rampant, consuming all the space, but my intention is to clear room for the microgreens again soon. Added to this, I’ve got a 12-slot pre-grow tray and, of course, a microgreens tray. Finally, I have boosting light blocks and blooming light blocks, particularly for the chilies.

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!

You can follow my chili experiments in the Plantui Owners group on Facebook.

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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