PlowBox is a gardening subscription that sends you certified organic, non-GMO seeds from Seattle Seed Co., specific to your region’s climate.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
This review is of the PlowBox Classic, $45 a quarter, box. The climate we chose was Mild.
The Subscription Box: PlowBox
The Cost: $45 a quarter for PlowBox Classic or $14.95 a month for PlowBox Green. Save with longer pre-paid subscriptions.
COUPON: Use code TRYPLOWBOX to save 20% off your first PlowBox Classic box!
The Products: 5-10 packs of certified organic, non-GMO seeds, planting instructions, and other products related to gardening and/or a healthy lifestyle.
Ships to: The US for free and Canada for $25
PlowBox Spring 2018 Review
Greek Oregano Seeds, .07g —Retail Value $3.25
Oregon Giant Snow Pea Seeds, 20g —Retail Value $3.25
Golden Cal Wonder (Sweet) Pepper Seeds. 10g — Retail Value $3.25
Dragon Carrot Seeds, .50g — Retail Value $3.25
Outredgeous Lettuce Seeds, .30g — Retail Value $3.25
Roma Tomato Seeds, .10g — Retail Value $3.25
Red Express Cabbage Seeds, .30g — Retail Value $3.25
Zohar Sunflower Seeds, 1g — Retail Value $3.25
Just having this quarter's PlowBox in my hands made me so, so excited for spring. Winter really seems to be hanging on here in Pittsburgh, so I should have a good few weeks to start my seeds indoors before transplanting them outside. This quarter's mix of mostly veggies, an herb, and a flower make for a nice variety. I'll plan to place the veggies in my garden bed, the oregano in a large felt pot that I received in a different gardening box last season and the sunflowers along a different sunny side of my house. I can't wait! I'm also happy to have a second chance at planting carrots. I received this same variety in my Fall 2017 PlowBox and they didn't do so hot for me. Carrots are allegedly a more difficult vegetable to grow, so I didn't take it too hard, but again I'm excited to give it another go.
PlowBox always includes a pamphlet with notes about each packet of seeds in the box. As per usual, the info on this tri-fold isn't conclusive, but it offers good supplementary notes to my other research about each herb or vegetable; it's a good place to start.
This time around, the tri-fold was paired with a seed starting guide that gives some good jumping-off points for starting seeds in general. I imagine most beginner gardeners start in the spring, so this seems like a fitting box to have this info included in. I myself am finding it to be useful, because, while I have several seasons of experience with gardening, I'm pretty scattered in how I go about it. I envy my neighbors and friends who are truly knowledgeable and use thoughtful gardening techniques...for whatever reason, I just can't seem to get my act together in that same way! Back to this seed starting guide: if you are a beginner gardener who's newly subscribed to this box, be prepared to Google some of the terminologies! It certainly doesn't spoon-feed you a how-to; it's more of a reference that should be paired with other research.
This month's recipe is for spring vegetable stir-fry. My mum used to make stir-fry all the time when I was growing up, but I can't say I've ever made it myself. This recipe advises you to use a wok, but I can't see myself buying a special skillet just for one recipe, so I'll probably give it a try in a normal frying pan. Making it with fresh garden veggies sounds next level! Yum!
Floral Greeting Card — Estimated Value $6
Each quarter's PlowBox comes with a card for re-gifting, which I love. I couldn't find this card on the Seattle Seed Co. website, so I linked to a different one that I liked. Last quarter, I ended up sending my card and winter seed selection to my aunt who lives in Maryland (where it's a teeny bit warmer than it is here in Pennsylvania) and keeps a really impressive garden complete with a spiffy sprinkler system that's motion-sensored to keep critters away. Who else gets a kick out of the idea of deer being spritzed away? It keeps her from having to fence in her beds, which is really nice. This quarter's blank card features purslane flowers printed in black and white. This is a good one to have on hand for those occasions that don't fit neatly into the boxes of "thank you" or "congratulations," etc.
Seattle Seed Co. Pencil — Estimated Value $1
When I think of the urban farmers I know, I totally picture them with a pencil behind their ear! When I took a local permaculture class a couple of years ago, I was surprised at how much I needed to write down during the gardening process (aside from taking notes as a student), and a pencil totally did the trick. I couldn't find pencils in the Seattle Seed Co. online shop, but I did have a ton of fun perusing the goods they sell. So many rustic garden supplies that just make my heart flutter!
Again, I linked to a similar product from another site for these plant markers. My PlowBox came with 8, which is the appropriate amount for the seeds I was provided. In the past, I've used plastic plant markers and written on them with a Sharpie, but these wooden ones allow for me to use my new pencil to mark my seeds. That worked out well!
Finally, this quarter's box included a super-nice bar of soap. Again, this exact soap wasn't available online, so I linked to a similar one. It smells like tea tree oil, which is to say, it smells incredible! It's made with 100% organic plant ingredients, featuring activated charcoal to help remove toxins. I can't wait to use it in the shower. I am big on traditionally masculine scents for my cleaning products and candles, so this soap will surely serve me (and my husband) well.
I've had it on my agenda for over a week to go out and buy horticultural vermiculite and sphagnum moss to start my seeds with, based on the seed starting guide that was included. But, alas, I ended up just falling back on my old, rogue gardening ways and just grabbing some soil that had been chillin' in my garden bed since last summer. It felt good to get some dirt under my nails. I fetched these plastic pots from my basement, filled them with soil (which was a little frosty), and am now letting them sit on my dining room table for a day or two so the soil can warm up before I add my seeds in. Since I could only find 12 little pots, I figured I'd divide the seeds from 6 of the packets between two pots and save the sunflowers & lettuce to plant directly into the ground/garden when it's warmer.
Verdict: I've been longing for spring ever since we had a mini heatwave a few weeks ago, and this Spring 2018 PlowBox has been such a gift in that it's giving me something tangible to do to prepare for the upcoming season! I'm so excited to grow and eat these organic veggies. This box costs $45 with free shipping for US customers, and the items added up to about $43, but that's not accounting for the added value of the gardening information and recipe. I'm comfortable with the $45 cost of this box since the contents are such high-quality and well-curated.
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? PlowBox is a quarterly box, so you will receive a box every 3 months from the time you sign up.
Coupon - Use code TRYPLOWBOX to save 20% off your first PlowBox Classic box!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $45 with free shipping. I received a total of 12 products this month with is an average of $3.75 per item.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What are your thoughts on the Spring 2018 PlowBox offerings?