AeroGarden sponges-the things that you can find in your seed pods are made from Canadian Sphagnum Peat, which is an organic and all natural soil conditioner. It is harvested from peat bogs that grows mainly in Canada and Russia. Canada alone produces about 25% of the entire world’s peat.
There are more reasons why Peat Moss is so popular and used as a main ingredient of your sponge.
1. Sponges that are made of it can contain a big amount of water, even up to 20 times its own weight
2. Aeration is really good because of the fibrous structure
3. Exchange sites inside reduce the amount of nutrient leaching, which means that less nutrients are needed
4. The material is purely natural and therefore compost friendly
Importance of grow sponges
Are grow sponges really that important? Yes. They play a crucial role in the whole growing process of your plants. Whatever you are planting; vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc. your sponges will provide a small storage for the roots of the plant, which will also contain a mixture of water and nutrients. Nutrient mixed water will then be absorbed by the roots on a daily basis, dependent on how much the plant requires for the best and optimal growth.
Now keep in mind that you have to check your AeroGarden often to not run out of either water or nutrients. The sponge itself only acts as a container and is therefore useless without the right amount of food for your plant.
The structure of the sponge will provide your plant with the best air to water ratio. You do know that air is really important as well don’t you?
Can I replace my grow sponges?
I highly recommend that you stick to them as they are the best possible solution. Another great benefit they have is that they are 100% organic and natural. To be honest.. isn’t 100% pure organic and natural what you have aimed for when you have purchased your AeroGarden?
I did do an article on how to make your own DIY seed pods in which I have replaced Sphagnum Peat Moss made sponges that come with every seed pod kit with regular kitchen sponges. Although this is doable there are some cons. For example regular sponges will block your roots more and will not contain as much water and nutrients as the original. If you want to make your own pods I would still highly recommend buying at least the seed starter refill pack which contains sponges and nutrients.
How long do grow sponges last?
Every sponge should last you as long as the whole seed pod does. By my knowledge, this number is around 6 months. After your plant has died and you threw it out, you can still reuse the two plastic parts (the dome and the bottom part) and the paper label but the sponge will get ruined by roots that are by now reaching all the way outside the sponge. Again if you want to reuse as much as you can just buy new sponges and nutrients. They are being sold in packs of 50 and will not cost as much.
Are grow sponges nature friendly?
A big yes! Grow sponges are made from Peat Moss and are in no way chemically modified, because that would only harm them. Another benefit that I should mention is that when you throw your used grow sponge away it will still benefit you…well only if you throw it on a compost.
Peat Moss makes your compost better! How you ask? It will speed up the whole process of composting with controlling the amount of air and water in your compost pile. Keep in mind that for this effect to take place, you need to have the right amount of Peat Moss inside your compost pile. So that makes for another great benefit right? But not only that.. It has been known that Peat Moss made sponges will heavily reduce all the nasty odors that are produced by your compost.
I really hope that this article helped and answered the questions you might have had about this product. Overall I would say that the producers of seed pods have made the best choice when they’ve decided to use Peat Moss as a grow sponge. It is important for the plant and lasts until your plant dies or you decide to replace it. It also has a lot of benefits for nature, so you do not have to worry when you are throwing the sponges away-In fact composting them is going to have great effects!
Thank you for reading and let me know what you think in the comments below. Have a nice day!