Patch Planter isn't the first self-watering herb planter to cross our radar: that would be the AeroGarden. But where that product was an all-singing, all-dancing "kitchen garden appliance," Patch is a much more down to earth and affordable piece of design, and one that doesn't require a power supply.

Unlike AeroGaden, Patch embraces good old soil (or better yet, Potting Mix) as its growing medium. The planter uses a method of irrigation called subirrigation, which involves keeping a reservoir of water below the soil, from where water is absorbed upwards.

UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS

More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.

UPGRADE

The planter is simply an open-topped Tyvek cuboid with a perforated shelf separating the growth medium from the water below. In the corner is a cylinder through which the reservoir is topped up, apparently as little as once a week in the early stages of growth, though every 2 or 3 days once they grow large. Whether this meets your expectation of "self-watering" will depend on your outlook. However, Let's Patch (apparently the makers of the planter, but also sometimes the name for the planter itself) claims this renders over- or under-watering impossible, saves water and maximizes yield overall.

Each Patch measures 12 x 6 x 6 in (30 x 15 x 15 cm), holding 4 liters of soil and 2 liters of water (0.9 and 0.4 gallons respectively). But Patch is really more of a bag than a box, folding down to only an inch thickness for postage.

Where this differs from AeroGarden is the lack of built-in lighting, which should be unnecessary for anyone with a bright patch in his or her home. Obviously this much simpler design makes the Patch the more affordable option. At the time of writing a second-tier Patch can be secured for a US$33 sum, rising to $38 when that tier is exhausted (or if you're in generous spirits).

The Kickstarter campaign video below gives a few more glimpses of the Patch, and should serve to mightily confuse you regarding the product and company branding (it did me, anyway).

Sources: Let's Patch, Kickstarter via Inhabitat

View gallery - 7 images