I was at Walmart today getting dish soap when I decided to poke around the Gardening section, or whats left of it. I notice they had their kitchen herb growing kits on clearance so I decided to get one. I mainly wanted the pots, and for $6 I thought it was a good deal. I brought it home, inspected my goods, and decided I'd give their method a try.
The kit comes with:
3 - 3.5'' Red Ceramic Pots
1 - 11.5'' Ceramic Tray
1 - Packet Basil Seeds (Ocimum Basilicum; Seed Origin: Italy)
1 - Packet Thyme Seeds (Thymus Vulgaris; Seed Origin: Hungary)
1 - Packet Sage Seeds (Salvia Officinalis; Seed Origin: France)
So I opened the box, found two weird brown discs, 3 seed packets, my pots and the tray. Uh... where's the soil? And instructions! Then I notice the back of the box, and the instructions. Here's where it becomes a science experiment.
Here's the box:
So I start reading the instructions and it instructs me to place the two soil pellets in a bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water. Huh? The starter soil pellets will magically expand into soil. What!? I though it was a joke. Up until I saw what happened. I added the water, and sure enough it started growing exponentially. Like those snake fireworks that start a a little tiny hockey puck and expand into a black "snake".
This was short of amazing, and heres the results. From These:
It literally took about 10 seconds to transform into dirt. Of course, upon seeing this, I couldn't help but think.... how good could this soil even be? That's when I decided to start a true experiment. I decided to pit the control(the herb kit) against Compost. So I poted these as to their instructions with their dirt, and then started two more sets. Set number 2 has the same starter soil, but with mostly finished compost added. The third set has plain old nutrient vacant dirt from under a tree(you can obviously tell this dirt has no nutrition) mixed with partly finished compost(different than the second set). All three sets have seeds from the same packets.
So I took my pots and added the one missing element, rocks(I couldn't not add them):
Then filled them:
And then filled the other pots making the total 9:
(The bottom three are the control, the middle three are set number 2(starter soil + compost) and the top row is set number 3(plain soil + compost, with a little dirt on top to show how bad it looks)
I placed all of them in a row along the same window. I'll probably move them once they sprout as there's a tree in front of the window and I want to make sure they get equal light.
Now it's time to wait. I'll update this weekly to show their progress. Hopefully this will show the important benefits of compost being added to the soil. If I had more seeds I'd add another using a chemical fertilizer, but then again I wouldn't want to waste growing herbs I won't use.
Let me know what ya'll think.