You can barely go through herb gardening websites without running through an ad for an herb growing machine. But how do you know if you really need one?
There are of course numerous types of herb growing machines available in the market today, but a summary of their pertinent features can be given: most for example, will have special lights that are designed for nurturing the seeds or starters that come with the product. It should be emphasized here that most of these devices have their own types of seeds which you need to use.
While there may be some herb growing machines that can work with ordinary seeds (those that you purchase from the store), most will recommend that you use the ones that come with the product. A lot of the popular herbs like parsley, chili, cilantro and garlic chives are usually included or can be purchased.
The lighting that comes with these machines are also unique and best suited for their own products. You may try using other seeds, but you will have to check the documentation of the machinery first to make sure.
How does a typical herb growing machine work? First you place the seeds in the appropriate location in the apparatus, leave the light on, water as directed and add whatever fertilizers or feeds the manufacturer may ask you to. After a few weeks, you can expect to see the results.
If you want to buy an herb growing machine, you need to go over the different products available. No matter what the advertisement says, consult forums first, so that you will know if herbs do grow as fresh and tasty as claimed. Also, the price is something you will want to think about of course.
Is it really more expensive to plant your own, or does using this machine entail more costs (i.e., when it breaks down, the cost of the electricity, buying specialized seeds, etc)? These factors have to be considered carefully.
This question of using an herb growing machine is of course only relevant to those that want to grow these fruits indoors, or have no time to tend to a full blown garden.
For those new to gardening, having an herb growing machine may prove handy, while those who have been planting herbs for years may not like the lack of control they will have. In the end, the choice is up to you.