Modern Sprout: Sustainable Windowsill Hydro Gardening

Lots of people love the idea of growing their own food indoors in a controlled environment, but space is usually an issue and so is what your year around garden will do to the decor. A WindowFarm is awesome to be sure, but lacks that stylish look that most of us prefer to maintain in the public living rooms of our homes. That’s what drove Chicago apartment dwellers, Nick and Sarah from Modern Sprout to design their great looking windowsill garden planters. Plastic Dutch bucket systems, grow lights and all that tubing detracted from their city home and work space’s look.

They knew hydroponics was the way to go, but nothing on the market fit the available space properly.  So they set about figuring out how to have the best of everything and the results are beautiful.

Modern Sprout planters can be powered by electricity or solar, though just plugging them in uses very little energy at a cost of under $10 a year. They operate on a hydroponic drip system and easily accommodate herbs, vegetables and flowering plants. You can grow 3 plants per unit and never have to worry about forgetting to water or your plants drying out, though if you don’t have tons of sunshine it might be wise to assist your garden by adding some grow lighting. Not all apartment dwellers have the benefit of huge old windows like the turn of the century units do in downtown areas. You can easily house your little sustainable indoor garden on a shelf, table or desk should you not have the proper space in a window to put them. It certainly looks great sitting on Nick and Sarah’s coffee table, but they have tall windows that flood the room with tons of sunlight and the white walls diffuse that light everywhere in the room.

The planters measure 16” l x 5.5” w x 10.5” h (41 cm x 14 cm x 27 cm), and will come in a variety of finishes; Weathered Gray, High Gloss White, Chalkboard and Reclaimed Wood. They’re lightweight too at just over 6 pounds, so you don’t need a lot of muscle to set it up or move it around.  The built in air pump is on 2 watts making it very energy efficient and if a solar unit is more to your liking, they will add a solar panel to one side. The timer is programmable on a 24 hour cycle that you can adjust to fit the needs of different kinds of plants you will want to grow.

What can you grow in this gorgeous hydroponic planter? Tomatoes, basil, lettuce, cucumbers and lots more that is edible. Get a few and you’ll have no problem keeping the living room or dining room in fresh flowers year around.

You can’t buy Modern Sprout planters yet. It is still in the Kickstarter phase, but it looks hopeful that they will meet their funding needs to power up production. Check out the official video:

Hop over to the Modern Sprout website to learn more. Their Kickstarter campaign was successful.

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Tammy Clayton

Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine

Tammy has been immersed in the world of plants and growing since her first job as an assistant weeder at the tender age of 8. Heavily influenced by a former life as a landscape designer and nursery owner, she swears good looking plants follow her home.