I tried the Burpee self-watering seed starting system for my plant starts. The video at the end shows how I set up the Burpee self watering seed starting system. It works like most other seed starting systems except there is an extra layer with a water holding mat in between them (think very thin diaper). You put water in between the trays, it is sucked up and held by the water holding mat, and the soil pulls the water up from the mat.
Overall I was impressed with the Burpee self watering seed starting system. After a week and a half and every cell was still moist even though I had not watered it at all. It was simple to use and should hold up for at least a few years (of course, you will need to purchase a new growing medium each year).
Pros to the Burpee Self Watering Seed Starting System
- Not having to worry about watering (as much) will help those of you who get busy and forget. Normally, seedlings can dry out fast.
- Watering from the bottom means you will be less likely to disrupt the seed or small seedling and it is healthier for the plant (less disease).
- Fertilizer can also be added from the bottom
- You will be able to reuse it for a few years and Burpee does sell the different parts to the system so you can always replace a part if you need to (the watering mat for example)
Cons to the Burpee Self Watering Seed Starting System
- Make sure you move it to the location you want it to stay before adding water (the final step). After the water is added it is very heavy and the green tray is not strong enough for you to move it around with that much water in it. This also makes it difficult if you want to move locations (I like to move my seedlings into the sun during the day and under a grow light for a few extra hours each night, but that is impossible with this setup)
- The Burpee self watering seed starting system comes with dried soil pellets. Make sure your pellets are all standing upright when you expand them. If they expand sideways they can be a pain to fix.
- One user said his tray had some holes in the bottom that were not punched through. Mine did not have that, but it is worth a quick check.
- If you use a heat mat to sprout your seeds quicker you will find it will not work well with this system. Since there is an extra layer between the bottom tray and the grow tray the mat would have a hard time warming the soil. In fact, I found that the entire system ran a bit colder since the water was sitting in the lower tray. It would probably work better under a grow light so you would have that extra warmth.
Where to purchase the Burpee self watering seed starting system
I am an Amazon girl (especially since I earn about $1500 extra a year with the Homestead on a Dime challenge and most of that is in Amazon gift cards) and you cannot get the Burpee self watering seed starting system through Amazon. You can, however, get other brands of self watering seed starting systems that are similar to the Burpee version. Their prices right now range from $9.95-$18.95.
You have to purchase the Burpee self watering seed starting system through Burpee (it is in the seed starting category). It is $19.95 for the regular plastic one and $23.95 for the eco friendly one. I went with the regular one because from the reviews it sounded like the eco-friendly one would not last as long as the regular. I plan on using mine as long as possible.
If you do purchase anything through Burpee make sure to go through Mr. Rebates. They offer an 8% rebate on anything you purchase from Burpee plus they will let you know if there are any coupons available (potentially saving you even more money).
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