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What is Coir and why use it in the UrbiPod?

There are many other growing mediums. We chose coir because it is a 100% natural by product of growing coconuts. It's eco-friendly and has a high water retention capabillity - perfect for growing in Pods. And its all natural, so its aligned with Urbotanica's all natural ethos. 


The Australian Made Story

Lets be honest. Conventional wisdom says if something has to be manufactured, get it made in China. It will be cheaper. Australian manufacturing wont be able to compete. We started out with that thinking because everyone was telling us the same story. However, we believed that brand Australia has a competitive advantage - for many consumers across the world it is synonomous with quality and trustworthy.

We believed that with a local manufacturing partner we could take advantage of Brand Australia, support local jobs in Australia and benefit by having the manufacturer "down the road" whereby we could utilise their experience in turning designs into reality. We also knew that international shipping costs and the challenges associated with customs would be minimised by local manufacture. We found a great partner in PMT manufacturing in Perth, Western Australia. Adrian and his team have been very helpful; coming up with clever ideas to reduce costs and improve the UrbiPod's functionality.  Check them out here:  http://www.pmtaustralia.com.au/

Using a Local Charity To Do the Assembly

We have also decided that, once we are up and running and have our first sales underway, we will use a local not for profit organisation to do the assembly of the UrbiPod. There are several local not for profit organisation in Perth with operations on the east coast.  

The Light Halo Moves Up and Down to Support Faster Plant Growth - its all About Physics

Its a simple but important law of physics that the intensity of light radiating from an enegy source (i.e a light) is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source - got that? So an object (of the same size) twice as far away from a light source, receives only one-quarter the energy in the same time period. Hence we designed the UrbiPod so that the light halo moves up and down so you can set the halo to the optimal position for both mature plants and seedlings. Ideally, the halo should be about 2-3cm from the top of the plant.  

Liquid Nutrient is the Good Oil

Plants absorb 12 minerals from the soil that are absolutely essential for plant growth and development. Roots can only absorb these minerals if they are dissolved in water. They cannot absorb minerals from slow release granules until they dissolve into the soil water first. 

The most desirable growing situation is if each of the 12 minerals are dissolved in water at concentrations of each mineral needed by the plant. This is what you get with liquid nutrients. However, with slow release granules the minerals dissolve at different rates before they can be absorbed by the roots. This means the soil water has some but not all minerals available at any one time, which is second best compared to having all the minerals available at their correct concentrations. Also slow release granules dissolve quite slowly when it is cold and incredibly fast when it is hot. This causes a feast or famine feeding regime which isn’t what you want. This produces second rate plants.

Minerals from liquid feeds are all available at the right concentrations all the time. The result of this is faster and better quality growth. 

Not organic? Correct. Organic material would be a little on the nose in your kitchen. Organic is essentially rotting natural material. Perfect for outdoors but not your indoor growing solutions.  

Our LED Lights Turn On and Off Automatically, are Very Energy Efficient and Provide a Warm, Soft, Unobtrusive Light

Our commercial grade LED lights have been specifically designed to turn on and off automatically. Why? We have designed a 16 hours on and 8 ours off cycle for several reasons:

  • Plants, like humans and animals, need sleep in the dark for healthy sustainable growth.
  • If the lights are off during the day the plants will seek out the nearest light source - potentially leading to the plants bending towards that light source and away from the LED lights.
  • Your personal life schedule can be accommodated - early risers or late sleepers. We suggest you set the lights by plugging into the power at 6 am local time and you will have a cycle as follows:
    • 6 am - 10 pm - on
    • 10 pm - 6 am - off  and so on 
    • Remember! when you unplug the UrbiPod and turn it back on the 16/8 hours cycle will re commence at the time you turn it back on.   
  • Our LED lights are designed to provide the optimal wavelength for growth and provide a warm white light that is visually less intrusive in the kitchen and home. And, our lights are rated at about 50,000 hours - that's a little under 6 years. 

Using An Innovative Water Delivery System to Irrigate the Plants - No Pumps, No Electrics 

The UrbiPod uses an innovative water delivery system using materials with specific porosity and capillary action to move water from the in- built reservoirs to the plant roots. For the curious, capillary action (sometimes referred to as wicking) is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, or even in opposition to, external forces like gravity. Clever heh?