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Discovery Channel Store - Hydro Greenhouse

AAAS----Hydro-green-house1.jpg When the lovely ladies at The Parent Bloggers Network asked me to check out another great toy from the Discovery Store, I jumped at it. My kids loved the Spark Talking Microscope we tested - and being big science nerds, we all were eager to investigate the Hydro Greenhouse.

The box arrived and I put it in my office, ready to unveil it on the weekend. And then I forgot about it for a couple of weeks. With 6 weeks, left until my review date - I suddenly remembered (woke up from a dead sleep in a panic, in fact) and tore it from its packaging.

We did the basic set up in less than five minutes - the instructions were clear and easily followed. I appreciate that, especially now that my kids are old enough to want to do it all themselves. After spending a good 10 minutes happily raking the growing medium into zen garden-like patterns with the miniature green rake and then patting it smooth with the miniature green shovel, we headed out to the local garden center to buy seeds for the kit.

I urged my kids to select some herbs seeds, and I wandered around selecting some other goodies for the yard. When we got home, the kids planted their seeds, and we placed the greenhouse on the counter.

Flash forward one week - we've got a few little seedlings popping up, and we followed the instructions and changed out the water.

Week two - lots of little seedlings now - we switch the water again.

Week three - the seedlings are thick now, and we weed a bunch of them out. The little sprouts are starting to reach toward the window now. We switch out the water.

Week four - wow - the plants are really starting to take off. We've got lots of leafy goodness going on.

Week five - what. the. heck. happened? The plastic greenhouse top has been knocked asunder and the sides and swiped a bunch of the little plants out of the growing medium. We replant them as best as we can, and move the greenhouse up higher. My five-year-old disavows any knowledge of the plant mayhem.

Week six - miraculously, some of the plants have survived. The morning my review is due, I grab the camera, and wander out into the kitchen to snap a photo of our little victory garden.

Catastrophe. Literally. Our little garden lay on its side, with my cat crouching over it, looking drunk. It seems that we planted catnip, instead of the oregano seeds I had help the kids select.

Um, whoops!

I opted to clean up the growing medium and throw the cat outside, rather than take a photo of the mess.

The Hydro Greenhouse was a fun, easy project for the kids - as an all-around black-thumbed gardener, I appreciated the easy set-up, and the continuously fed watering system. The growing medium was really pretty cool, and the seedlings seemed to thrive in their little plastic house.

We're going to give the Hydro Greenhouse another shot - and this time? We're sticking with oregano.

To read what my fellow Parent Blogger reviewers had to say - check out the roundup
.