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Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review – September 2015

Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review September 2015 - box

Our Little Roots
5 overall rating
1 Ratings | 0 Reviews

Our Little Roots is a new subscription service that helps you introduce gardening to your children. We have a working vegetable garden that my kids like to play in, but because we try to depend on it for food, sometimes I don't want the kids playing in it. I absolutely love the idea of helping them start their own garden!

This box was sent to us to review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review September 2015 - inside

The Subscription: Our Little Roots

The Cost: $11.95 per month

The Products: A monthly pack of organic, non-GMO seeds to plant, along with some stakes, a bag of organic soil, and a biodegradable planting bag

Ships to: US

Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review September 2015 - choices

Good to Know: When you subscribe, you can choose among fruit, vegetable, flower, or herb seeds.

Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review September 2015 - seeds-stakes

This month's herbal selection is basil cinnamon, also known as Mexican basil. Mmmmmmmmm... They also provided little plastic stakes for labeling.

Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review September 2015 - bag-soil

On the left is the bag they provided for planting in if you like. The bag is supposedly biodegradable and thus ok to plant outside if you'd like to start your plants inside. On the right is a bag of organic soil.

Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review September 2015 - referral-program

This is a card that was included, detailing Our Little Roots' referral program.

Our Little Roots Subscription Box Review September 2015 - social-media

This is a card that was also included, listing Our Little Roots' various social media accounts.

The reason I made a point of showing the two included cards so specifically is because there is something missing from this box. Instructions. Especially if you are doing this with a child, you BOTH really, really need instructions. The directions on the back of the seed packet say:

"When and where to plant:

Choose a sunny, sheltered spot that is protected from wind and other temperature extremes. Basil needs at least 6-8 hours of full sun each day, so keep that in mind when choosing a location to start your seeds. Try to space your basil plants about 12 inches apart. There are also dwarf varieties that work well in containers."

This actually leaves me with more questions than answers.

First, what time of year should this be planted?

Then, why are you sending us basil in the fall? It should be planted after the last frost of the season in the spring, but doesn't really start bumping until it gets HOT, like in July. If I was new to gardening, I wouldn't know that.

If the plants need 12 inches of space, then is the bag only for one plant? What do we do with the rest of the seeds?

What is the protocol for starting the seeds indoors and moving them out? Why might I want to try this?

If you sent us the bag, which is a type of container, does that mean you've sent us the dwarf variety?

And probably others...

The Verdict: I don't mean to sound too negative with that last point, but directions are sooooo important in children's boxes, and preferably instructions that they can read and understand themselves. I was actually pretty excited when I hear about this box, but I am disappointed that I will have to wait until the spring to share it with my children. Their website says that they will be sending seasonal seeds, so I'm hoping that this is just a random box they sent me for review. Also, unless they are sending seeds that can be planted very close together, a la "seed bomb" style, then I'm not really feeling the grow bag. It would be much better if they would send an organic peet growing tray, even a small one, with cubes to sprout many plants indoors and then separate and space them when they are ready to go outside. That would also make the little stakes make more sense. I would also like to know what the soil content is, and what they mean by organic. Is it already fertilized? Or has it just been cleaned / sterilized?

I have been keeping my eye out for a good gardening subscription box for a while now. I actually think this is an excellent concept, but the execution is currently lacking. If this box came with thorough, readable instructions plus a growing tray instead of the bag, I would subscribe for my children in a heartbeat (provided that they actually send seasonal seeds to regular subscribers). I think they could do that without affecting their bottom line too much. I also think that would be worth the $11.95 monthly cost to me. Otherwise, there's not much advantage to this subscription over going to your local plant store or CSA and buying a $2 pack of seeds. Usually the farmer or sales person is more than willing to tell you everything you need to know to plant them.

What did you think about Our Little Roots?

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Our Little Roots is a monthly garden in a box dedicated to teaching children and adults alike about nature and sustainability through a completely hands-on approach. Each month our "Little Roots" will receive a box based upon their seed selection (fruit, vegetable, herb, or flower) with all the g... read more.
Anna Rodriguez
Anna Rodriguez
Anna has been a fan of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013, but didn't become a true addict until discovering subscriptions she could share with her children. Her favorites include Kiwi Crate and Fab Kids.

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Guess we will stick with the Aerogarden for now. I got excited when I saw the review and then let down. Your review seems spot on. I’d love to share gardening with my 5 year old but I don’t know that much myself. I was hopeful this was an answer but it’s not. If they implemented your suggestions I might change my mind!

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Ugh I was so hopeful!!! Thank you for such a great and honest review. I am new to gardening, but my partner loves it. We start in the winter inside with grow lights and have a decently sized back yard garden. I was hoping this sub would be a cute thing for him but I think our money is better spent on locally produced organic peet and a seed catalog!

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I’m so glad there is a gardener reviewing for MSA! I’ve also been hoping for a good gardening subscription (for adults, though). I’m a Master Gardener, so getting interesting new gardening tools or rare seeds or newly released books in a well curated subscription box would be so much fun! But I don’t want unusable chintzy crap, and the fear of only getting stuff like that has kept me from subscribing to any gardening boxes.
I would be so interested in your experiences if you subscribe to any other gardening boxes like GrowJourney, Cratejoy, or Allotinabox.
I live in USDA zone 9b and basil seeds aren’t even appropriate here at this time of year, I can’t believe they sent them to you. Thank you for a really honest review, I agree with all of your points.

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Thanks LGB! I’m in 8b, so yes, same here. I’m not a master gardener by any means, but I’ve been growing my family’s vegetables for years. I bet it’s pretty hard to come up with good boxes for experienced gardeners! I will keep looking, though. And thanks for the suggestions!

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Melissa B

Yeah, what’s with the seeds. I live in Illinois and there’s no way I would do seed starts indoors or outdoors right now. Shouldn’t they be doing fall bulbs this time of year?

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Jessica L

I agree, I’d love to see a good gardening box! I took a gardening class last semester and one of the founders of Plontz http://www.plontz.com/#homepage-1 came to speak to us. It seemed like he knew what he was talking about! They aren’t catering specifically to kids, but iirc, part of their mission statement is imparting a lot of knowledge and they specifically mention that they’ll send seasonal seeds. It looks like they’re still in the beginning stages and not open to subscriptions, but maybe a possibility for the future?

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Your review was spot on. They need to take your advice. I was also thinking a huge part of this subscription IS the directions. I think they should have YOU as their marketer.

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LOL, thanks Katie!

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Interesting idea might just consider it thanks for the quality pictures. Btw there is a new target beauty box these usually sell fast.

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