Friday, May 30, 2008

MomCat Reviews: Discovery Hydro-Greenhouse

Second grade has been a magical year for my eight-year-old son. Not only has he finally gotten the whole juggling homework and getting yourself to and from school thing, but he's really developed a passion for science. And, more amazing, he's started sharing things he's learned in science with his Dad and me--that's quite unusual given how we usually have to pull details out of him about his day!

So, when The Parent Bloggers Network contacted me about reviewing the Discovery Channel Store's Hydro-Greenhouse product, I was thrilled. I reviewed Discovery's Tornado Lab last year and it was a big hit (that reminds me, we out to get that thing out again for some summer learning fun).

When we received the greenhouse, I was a little surprised by some of the assembly, which involved a sort of flimsy plastic piece that was to be put together and fit over the oval growing area and then a plastic lid that wasn't easy to get into place.

But, the growing substance, fertilizer and tools were very easy to get in place. One caveat though, you need to have an area that receives sun and some room for the greenhouse.

We quickly went to the store and picked out some chili peppers and mums to be grown. My son and daughter were totally excited. My daughter (who is 4) was able to help by being our official "bottle shaker" once we added the fertilizer and put the cap on.

Now, I should backtrack here and say that I have a rather brown thumb when it comes to gardening. If it doesn't' grow pretty much naturally in our hot and humid climate, with very little pampering from me, it won't last in my yard. I try to keep up with the Miracle Grow and watering, but quite frankly if something distracts me that's the first thing I forget. It is a wonder we have anything leafy around our house!

So, imagine my surprise when in only about a week we started seeing sprouts!
And then...uh, poor planning we had to go on our Disney vacation (yes I'm going to update you on that tomorrow--I PROMISE! NO, really...) and had to leave the greenhouse 6 days without supervision.

I was sure I'd come home to dead plants and depressed kids. But, the bottle was filled and growing nutrients added and we left and came home to a little mini jungle growing happily. Right now, we've got a lot of green in there, but no peppers or mums to date. But, the plants look healthy and so I feel certain we'll have some soon.

I recommend this to anyone with young children with an interest in science and gardening. My kids check our greenhouse every day to see how much the plants have grown. In fact, they check it almost as much as they ask me to measure their height on our make-shift growth chart on my closet wall!

But don't just take my word for this. Check out what other parent bloggers have said about the Hydro-Greenhouse by Discovery Channel Store.



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