Bindweed – The Serial Plant Strangler

Bindweed – The Serial Plant Strangler

When Bindweed Strikes

On a mid-summer afternoon, Alice walks through her garden. She stops to admire the beauty. Flowers everywhere, a perfect spectrum of pepper colors, and the squash. It’s huge! She delights in how great the harvest will be this year. Then suddenly, horror strikes!

movies_movies_h_home_alone_010009_Alice notices a dainty vine plant, loosely swaying its white and pink flowers in the wind, while it’s dancing arrow-head shaped leaves—–OH NO! *gasp* Could this be Bindweed!?! Alice’s garden invasion is unfortunately not an isolated incident.

Several types of bindweed plague crops, including field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), observed in both narrow and broad leaf varieties, and hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium).

Arrowhead-shaped leaves and trumpet shaped white flowers


Bindweed is native to Europe and Asia but it can now also be found throughout the United States. It presumably entered North America as a crop seed contaminant during the 1700s.

Description & Damages

Identifiable by its arrowhead-shaped leaves and its pink and white trumpet-shaped flower, bindweed presents a valid reason for concern. The climbing vine with a vast, deep (up to 4 meter depth, and 20 meters laterally) root network will grow to literally strangle any plant that it can. Every year, bindweed causes a significant amount of crop loss throughout the world.

Bindweed can sometimes be confused with Morning Glory, a climbing vine plant with purple trumpet-shaped flowers and heart shaped leaves.

morning glory

Although Morning Glory is not a high threat to other plants, it can grow and re-seed quickly. Some varieties also have poisonous properties that can affect both pets and humans. If it does not have the arrowhead-shaped leaves, it is most likely not bindweed.

bindweed leaves
Arrowhead-shaped leaves for different varieties of bindweed

According to a Bindweed Biological Control brochure, issued by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, bindweed caused for up to 60% of crop yield loss and in 2003.  This caused losses to exceed $377 million every year.  

Considerations for Removal

If you identify bindweed as soon as it starts growing–maybe by it’s crawling vines or first few leaves, removal will be significantly easier than if you notice it when it starts to flower. If you fail to catch this malicious vine until it flowers, by then it will have released its seeds into the air. Once this happens, you can expect its continued proliferation throughout your crops or yard space, and even in pavement cracks, for years to come.

While it may be tempting to let a young plant flourish, especially if their beautiful flowers mesmerize you, if you invest any time, money, or efforts into your lawn, fields, garden beds, or crop space, it is in your best interest to remove every bit of the plant immediately.

Bindweed’s reputable stubbornness is not only limited to its ability to grow in the places where it is most undesirable. It will also re-grow from even the smallest leaf clipping. Therefore, you should dispose of as much of the plant as possible and to collect any loose leaves that may have fallen due to wind, pruning or pulling. For this reason, you should not leave bindweed stem, leaf, flower, or root pieces to die on their own. More importantly, you should never compost bindweed (or else you will unleash their wrath upon all of your plants).

bindweed growing in asphalt
Field bindweed growing in asphalt pavement cracks

Alternatively, if you are among the few individuals who have no personal investment in your yard or plant space, or if their anti-cancer properties interest you, or you just want to contribute to the Earth’s plant life, you can continue to enjoy the benefit of seeing nice flowers in the early summer months. (Just don’t be surprised when you hear your neighbors complain about their new unfortunate bindweed infestations). 

Organic Removal

Frequent Pruning – The slow but effective method

Regardless of if your bindweed plant has flowered, if you want to remove it, you should remove as much of it as you can, immediately. It might be nearly impossible to dig up the entire root network in one attempt, so the next best solution is to gently cut the entire plant down to the soil-level. Avoid trying to rip the plant from the ground, as it can cause some plant parts to break off and leaves to fall, which will lead to spreading the bindweed.

While it may seem counterintuitive to leave the root network underground, you should continue to frequently cut the vines all the way to ground level. Although it sounds like they will simply continue to grow, due the the persistence of the root network (and they will!), repeated pruning stresses the roots by requiring the plant to use some of its stored energy for plant growth and repair. If you do this repeatedly enough times, you will have sufficiently used up the bindweed’s root energy stores in order to kill the plant and prevent it from continuing to grow.

Additionally, if you have been careful to pick up every single bit of bindweed plant, this process will help to prevent its spreading while you wait for it to disappear. It is worth repeating that you must never leave even the slightest leaf clipping to dry out or die on its own!!

If you choose to remove your bindweed by following this method, it is important to be both patient and diligent. It may take several months, up to several years, to fully eradicate your bindweed using this method.

Mites – Effective, but Very Slow

The bindweed gall mite (Aceria malherbae) effectively attacks only bindweed and leaves other plants unharmed. The mites stunt plant growth, limits flowering and seed production by feeding on the bindweed leaves. Adult mites are yellowish white and worm-like. They are microscopic in size. If you are lucky enough to live in a state where bindweed gall mites are available, such as Colorado, New Mexico, or Texas, you will be able to find an insectary where you can purchase the mites as infected plant clippings or “gall” (abnormal growth in infested bindweed plants). In order to transport mites to a state where they are not available, you will have to get a permit through the USDA APHIS that complies with your state’s regulations.

Once you have acquired the bindweed gall mite, you should store the mite in a cool, humid place, where the mites can breathe fresh air easily. It is okay to place them in a plastic bag, inside a cooler or refrigerator, but the bag must remain open so that the mites do not suffocate. In order to achieve a high survival rate, it is imperative to release mites during hours of cooler day temperatures. Mites can be released by placing infected bindweed gall, next to the healthy bindweed. The mites will transfer to the new bindweed on their own, so that they can feed from it. Because the mites prefer dry conditions, it is best to refrain from irrigating the affected area.

It will take about one week to observe the effects of the mites on the bindweed. Curled, or shriveled leaves, or leaves and stems that suddenly appear fuzzy, are a good sign that the mites enjoy their feast.

Bindweed Gall
Bindweed gall

After the appearance of new bindweed gall, it is best to leave the recently infected site resting for several weeks. If the mites consume the bindweed plant to the point of death, they, too, will die of starvation. Therefore, after a few weeks of allowing the mites to rest on the bindweed, it is important to find them a new food source–more bindweed!! Trimming gall and stems from the infected plant, and placing it next to healthy bindweed plants will help to spread the mites and provide them with a new food source. Mowing the infected area can also help to spread the mites. Keep the mites dry (without irrigating).

This method will require a substantial amount of patience and dedication to make sure that your mites do not perish from hunger. It is a very slow process and it is far from being an overnight miracle solution (those miracles do not coexist with bindweed). Bindweed gall mites can eliminate your bindweed, but it will take at least a year of commitment to keeping them alive. The amount of time required to rid your farm of bindweed depends on your access to mites, their health, your ability to keep them alive, and the size of your bindweed-troubled area. For large areas, even if all goes well, vanquishing the bindweed may require several years.

Light Deprivation – Not 100% Effective

Like most other leafy green plants, bindweed loves and needs sunlight in order to thrive. Without sunlight, the plant cannot make its own food and nutrients and will eventually die. Many small-scale gardeners have reported success with covering their bindweed infested garden areas with cardboard and layering it with mulch or manure. While light deprivation kills most weeds, it unfortunately is not foolproof for creeping thistle, docks, or our spotlight strangler–bindweed. Most weeds will die and decay beneath the cardboard, but the length, depth and persistence of bindweed’s root network means that it may find its way around the cardboard before completely exhausting their energy stores.

Cardboard to block light and Kill Weeds
Using cardboard to block light and kill weeds

Inorganic Removal – Herbicides

If you do not grow plants meant for consumption, chemical means can let the bindweed know that it has overstayed its welcome (though it was probably never welcome).

Glyphosate has been used for decades, even on common commercial crops, to remove stubborn weeds (such as bindweed) that threaten crop yield. Glyphosate resistant seeds have been genetically engineered, so farmers can spray their entire fields. In recent years, however, studies have determined that glyphosate is a likely carcinogen, and even small doses can be harmful over a long period of time.

Even if you do not directly grow food, if you are the least bit concerned about where glyphosate ends up after demolishing your bindweed, please refer to the suggestions for organic removal.

Should you decide to proceed with chemical removal, please be sure to follow product directions carefully and to handle the herbicide with caution, always using gloves.

The most popular glyphosate herbicide on the market is Roundup. You can find it in most stores that sell garden or lawn care products. If you use glyphosate products, play close attention to the dilution instructions on the package. Glyphosate solutions become most effective if they are applied in temperatures below 50°F and when the air is humid, to prevent the herbicide from evaporating. Glyphosate will kill, or badly damage, any plants that it come in contact with it–it will kill more than just your weeds. For infestations located close to other plants or trees, it is possible to “paint” bindweed leaves with glyphosate, using something like a cloth or a soft brush. (Make sure to wear non permeable gloves to protect your skin!)

A dilute solution may fail to kill the bindweed. The bindweed will continue to thrive in mockery of your failed attempt. Too strong of a glyphosate solution (insufficiently diluted) will, however, break down plant components too quickly. All though a few leaves, stems and flowers may appear to have died, if the glyphosate fails to reach the depths of the root network, the bindweed will recuperate its health and reflourish.

Some home gardeners have found that mixing their glyphosate solution with dish soap helps to break down leaves’ protective layer so that they can better absorb the chemicals into their roots.

Living in peace with Bindweed

Ibindweed peacef you really enjoy seeing the bindweed flowers, but you don’t want them to continue strangling your plants, another solution is to give them something else to do. Small wire fences and trellises can help give your friendly bindweed something else to climb (instead of strangle).



bindweed growing on fence
Bindweed finds a new target – the fence.

DISCLAIMER: Do not attempt a peace offering with your bindweed if you are even the slightest bit financially invested in your crops, plants, flowers, or harvest.

If you choose to follow this method, it is imperative that you keep check on the bindweed vine daily and tuck any loose parts back onto its “ladder.” Make sure that you prune it regularly and disposing of any pieces of bindweed properly so that it does not begin to grow in unwelcoming places.

Be vigilant for the presence of these herbal intruders, especially if you take a long summertime vacation. Even if you manage to eradicate bindweed from your crops, be aware that it can return at any time, especially if bindweed traces tag along on shoes, seed contamination, wind or other weather conditions.

Regardless of what you choose to do about the relentless strangler, we wish you the best of luck with your mission. Have you personally been affected by bindweed? Which methods did you try or find most effective? Please share your experiences with us!

If you have any questions, personal stories, or concerns, please comment below!


Weeds You Can Eat

Weeds You Can Eat

Many people say that the difference between a plant and a weed is judgement. This is especially true for these amazing plants that are often dismissed as weeds to be sent to the compost! This article will give you a brief description for the benefits of 6 common weeds that you can add to your diet.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Image via.


purslane2Weeds you can eat

This is a common garden weed that has tons of benefits! Purslane is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin C, iron, and calcium. You can eat the whole plant, which is crunchy and has a slight lemony taste. It adds a great crunch to salads and can be cooked in many different ways!

Check out these yummy ways to use purslane!


Weeds you can eat
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Dandelions are one of my favorite weeds; you can eat the whole plant, roots and all! The yellow flower portion of the plant has more beta-carotene than carrots, which is great for your eyesight! Additionally, Dandelions have vitamins A, B, C and D on top of having iron, potassium, and zinc!

Here are some great recipes for every part of the plant!


Weeds you can eat
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Amaranth is a traditional foraged food in the Southwest by many Indigenous Americans. The seeds have high quality oil content called tocotrienols, which is a rare form of vitamin E. The seeds also have a significantly higher protein content than other grains. The leaves contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate as well as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and manganese.

Here are some recipes for Amaranth leaves and grains!


Mallow1Mallow Leaves

Mallow Flowers
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Mallow is frequently used in herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory, diuretic, demulcent, emollient, laxative and expectorant. The leaves have vitamins A and C as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium. The whole plant is edible! The leaves, fruit, and flowers are good added to salads. The leaves produce a sticky substance when cooked that is similar to okra, so Mallow is also a great thickener for soups!

Here is a great recipe for Mallow Leaf and White Bean Burgers!

Lamb’s Quarters

Lamb's Quarters
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Lamb's Quarters

This weed is related to Quinoa, which you can see later in the season when it begins to go to seed. Often called wild spinach, Lamb’s Quarters is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, protein, and many other minerals!

You can use Lamb’s Quarters as a replacement for spinach or chard in your cooking!


Image via
Image via

This is an invasive species originating from Japan, found all over the Southern United States. Kudzu has been used in Chinese medicine to treat alcoholism, heart and circulatory problems, symptoms of menopause, as well as upper respiratory problems. Almost the whole plant is edible, from the root to the leaves. Do not eat the pods and seeds!

Here is more information and recipes for this amazing plant!

Knowing how to use these amazing plants can transform your weeding day into a fun harvest day! Give these plants a chance and enjoy your new tasty garden treats!

*** Make sure you wash every plant carefully, especially if you use pesticides and/or chemical fertilizers in your garden!

Benefits of Gardening

Benefits of Gardening

BeeSprout garden

Have you started your summer garden yet? Gardening is a wonderful pastime that can provide a solace from busy day-to-day life. Any gardener can express how satisfying it is to eat home-grown tomatoes and fresh herbs. In addition to amazing culinary experiences, gardening has numerous benefits! Gardening is fun, connects people to the earth, saves money, improves mental and physical health, and nurtures the environment. Here are some of the benefits of gardening:

  1. Growing your own vegetables and herbs saves you money on groceries!
  2. Studies have shown that having your home surrounded by green spaces can help cut down on heating and cooling costs!
  3. Having a garden increases property values and neighborhood satisfaction overall.
  4. Several studies have shown that gardening relieves stress.
  5. Bacteria that lives in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been proven to release serotonin, which makes people happier!BeeSprout garden
  6. Gardeners are 36% less likely to develop dementia.
  7. Being around plants can improve memory by up to 20%!
  8. Home grown food is often more nutritious than store-bought food, thus improving health overall.
  9. People who grow fruits and vegetables eat more fruits and vegetables!  
  10. Regular gardening reduces the chance of obesity and are 66% less likely to experience cardiac arrest; one study suggests that gardeners have lower BMI’s.
  11. Gardening can reduce carbon emissions and waste because it reduces the emissions that normally come from shipping and packaging produce!

Having a garden is a rewarding and fulfilling hobby as well as having many health benefits. It provides a mental reprieve from the stress of daily life. Having a garden can save money in addition to improving neighborhood satisfaction simply because of its aesthetic beauty. Having a garden can vastly improve your life, so get outside and start growing!  

BeeSprout Garden

Home Composting Guide

Home Composting Guide

Composting can be a wonderful addition to any backyard gardener’s skill set. Many people avoid composting, because they think it’ll be too hard or too gross – Neither of these things are true! When you have a compost method that works for you, composting can be really easy! Additionally, composting shouldn’t smell as long as you have the right balance of ingredients. This article will help breakdown the compost fear and help you get started on your very own adventure with compost!


What is Composting?

Composting is nature’s recycling system! This is when organic waste is broken down into smaller particles back into healthy soil for new plants to thrive off of. By having a compost pile in your garden you are helping this natural process occur and you’ll have extra healthy soil which means extra happy plants!


Why Compost?

  1. Composting helps reduce food waste!
  2. It provides healthy soil for your garden by fixing the pH levels and promoting healthy bacteria!
  3. Without food decomposing in your trash your house will smell better and you can take out the trash less often!
  4. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint!
  5. Composting helps the environment!
  6. You will save money on store bought fertilizers!
  7. Composting helps with moisture retention, so you’ll use less water in your garden!
  8. It attracts earthworms, which help aerate soil and aerated soil makes plants happy!


Compost Ingredients:

You should alternate two main layers of material in your compost pile. These layers are referred to as green layers (which add nitrogen) and brown layers (which add carbon). In your compost, you’ll want to have equal parts of both so ensure a healthy balance. If these layers are done correctly your compost should not smell bad and it will heat up and break down faster!

The green layer consists of garden plants, food scraps, grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc. If your compost isn’t hot enough, add more greens!

The brown layer consists of dried leaves, newspaper, small wood clippings, sawdust, etc. If your compost is starting to smell bad, add more browns!


Compost Methods:

There are countless variations on composting! With so many options it can be hard to determine how you want to proceed.  Here are some of the most popular compost options:


Vermicomposting –

Vermicomposting is what most people imagine when they think of composting. This method uses red worms (note – grubs and night crawlers will not work) to help break down small amounts of organic matter. One pound of these worms can break down about half a pound of organic matter every day. Worm bins are easy to build, or if you’re not feeling exceptionally handy they are available to purchase!

Vermicomposting is best for people living in moderate climates or those who are willing to have their compost bins indoors, as the worms are sensitive to direct sunlight and temperatures under 55 degrees and over 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  Thankfully, this method doesn’t require much space and can even be done in apartments! This process only takes about 3-4 months for useable compost to be produced.

Worm bin for vermicomposting composting method for home garden

Bin Method-

Many backyard gardeners prefer this method, as it takes up less space and keeps the compost contained. Depending on the style of the bin, you’ll utilize different techniques and strategies. Always start with a layer of brown material, layer with green materials, add a layer of soil, and then add another of brown. Make sure to add some water and keep your compost pile moist. Once this is established, you can continuously add to your compost pile, making sure that you have enough of each type of material. To ensure that your compost is happily decomposing properly, water it on occasion to ensure that it is always moist and take care to turn the compost every couple of weeks. If you have a barrel shaped bin, turning the compost is significantly easier. This method takes about 3 months to produce healthy soil.

Bin method for composting in home garden

Pile Method-

If you don’t want to build or invest in a compost bin you can easily create a compost pile in your yard! Clear a space that is at least 3 feet by 3 feet wide. Start with a layer of coarse dry brown materials, then layer of green stuff, then a layer of soil, and top it off with a final layer of brown stuff. Water the compost pile, and let it sit. You’ll want your compost pile to get at least three feet high, so make sure you’re continuously adding to it.

Every week, make sure to water the compost to it is always moist. Every couple weeks, you’ll want to grab a pitchfork and turn your compost pile. These two steps ensure that the compost will continue to break down at a helpful and steady rate.  On average, this method takes about three months to produce happy compost that you can use in your garden.

Composting in home garden with pile method

Trench Composting-

This is by far the easiest method. Simply collect your food scraps for a couple weeks. When you have enough you can go your to your garden and find a section that you aren’t currently using. You’ll then dig a trench in one of your unused beds and then bury all your scraps in it! It will take about a month or so before the waste decomposes and you’ll be able to plant in that bed with healthy happy soil!


Common Mistakes:

  1. Don’t start too small – you need a lot of organic material for a proper breakdown!
  2. Use lots of different materials – your compost needs more than just food waste.
  3. Don’t put meat, fat, or bone products into your compost!
  4. Keep your compost moist – water is essential for the breakdown of organic materials.
  5. Make sure you are turning your compost regularly; air is a key component for decomposition.
  6. Do not add weeds to your compost! If the compost doesn’t get hot enough, they won’t fully break down and you’ll be essentially replanting weeds in your garden.

Now that you have learned the basics of composting you are ready to start planning your compost options in your own home! Composting isn’t nearly as scary or complicated as people think. With the right ingredients and some extra enthusiasm, you can start the process and have healthy happy soil for your garden. Start composting – the earth, your pocketbook, and your plants will thank you!


Food Scraps You Can Regrow in Your Garden

Food Scraps You Can Regrow in Your Garden

Eating local produce is an amazing way to reduce your carbon footprint. On average, the produce you buy from a grocery store has already traveled 4,108 miles by the time it gets to your kitchen (!  You can decrease food miles by buying from local farmer’s markets, but this can get expensive.

One way to cut back on these costs is by growing your own food at home. An easy and fun way to start this process is by regrowing food from food scraps! This helps decrease food waste, decrease your carbon footprint, and save money!


Here are some foods you can regrow from food scraps:


Greens (Bok Choy, Lettuce, Cabbage, Celery):

Take the base of your leafy greens in a small bowl full of about half an inch of water (with cabbage you can just place leftover leaves in the bowl). Place the bowl in an area with lots of sunlight. Replace the water once a day or every other day and mist the leaves with water. Once you see roots sprouting, transplant your greens into the garden. This process can be repeated indefinitely! With leafy greens, you can continuously pluck off leaves to use and as long as you leave some it will continue to produce for you!



Cut your potato into small pieces, making sure that every section has at least two sprouts. Let the pieces sit out in a room temperature area until they are dry to the touch. Then, you can plant the sections outside about a foot apart in 8 inches of soil. In about a month they will start growing!



These are surprisingly easy to grow! All you have to do is take the seeds, dry them out, and plant them in a sunny area outside. If you have a whole pumpkin, you can even plant that in your yard!



Next time you cut open a tomato, save some of the seeds! Rinse off the tomato seeds and allow them to dry on a paper towel. Then, plant them in an indoor planter and keep the soil moist. Once the sprouts are a few inches high, you can transplant them outdoors in a sunny area. Water them a few times a week.



BeeSprout shows how you can grow a pineapple from food scraps in your garden.

This one can take up to two years for your re-planted pineapple to start producing fruit! Make sure you have a pineapple with happy green leaves. Remove the leafy top and suspend it with toothpicks in a container with water. Make sure that the water touches the base of the pineapple at all times. Place this in a sunny area and change the water every few days.

Roots will start to appear in a few weeks. Once they are fully formed, replant the pineapple in soil with lots of sun!

Tip: If you live in a colder area, keep your pineapple inside.



These are extremely easy to grow! Simply cut off the base of the onion (leaving about half an inch of onion) and plant it in a sunny area. The roots will regenerate and once they do you can remove the old onion and allow the roots to grow into a new plant.



Mushrooms are a little tricky, because they need to be planted in a warm and humid area. Simply cut off the caps, and place the stems into some soil. Leave the top exposed and the base will produce a new head!



For these, simply cut off the tops of the stalks and place them in water. Change the water every few days. In a few weeks, roots will begin to sprout. Once the stems have grown strongly, you can plant the stalks into soil in a warm area of your garden.


Hot Peppers:

Peppers are another easy thing to grow! Simply save seeds, let them dry out, and plant them in a sunny area.


Green Onions, Leeks, Scallions:

These are extra wonderful for food scraps saving! Simply take the green parts of these veggies and place them in a jar full of water in a sunny space. Change the water every 3-4 days. In about a week the plant should replenish itself and you can use it right away! Make sure to leave the roots in the water and you can easily continue this cycle!



Place a chunk of ginger in indirect sunlight with the smaller buds facing down. The ginger will sprout new shoots and roots and can continue to be harvested as a whole and reused in this way!


Garlic/Garlic Sprouts:

This can be done in two different ways!

You can easily replant garlic by placing a clove in a sunny area of the soil with the bottom of the clove facing downwards. The garlic will begin to sprout, you can either cut off the tops and have garlic sprouts that way, or you can wait until the tops die and you’ll have a whole new clove.

Alternatively, you can place a garlic clove(or a whole bulb) into a jar with a little bit of water in the bottom. Make sure the water covers the bottom of the cloves but do not fully submerge them or the garlic will likely rot. Be sure to place the garlic in a sunny area and change the water every other day. Once they reach about three inches tall you can begin to chop off up to a third of the tops at a time and they will continue to replenish themselves.


Basil and Cilantro:

Fresh herbs can be very expensive, so being able to grow your own is a fantastic experience! These plants can easily regrow their roots and create new plants. Just place the stems (with a couple of leaves still on top) in a bowl of water in a sunny area. Be sure to change the water every other day.  Once the roots sprout, you can plant the stems into the soil. Within a few months these stems will turn into a whole new plant that you can continuously harvest leaves from. As long as you don’t overharvest the leaves, you’ll continuously have fresh herbs.


Root Vegetables (Carrots, Beets, Parsnips, and Turnips):

These are extremely easy to grow! Simply cut off the tops and place them in some water. Change the water every few days. Once the tops being to resprout and roots begin to form, you can place them outside in a garden bed and they will grow!



BeeSprout shows how to grow an avocado from food scrapsThis is another tricky one! If the seed is too damaged at all it will not be able to grow and not every avocado will grow regardless. First, clean off the avocado pit, then stick toothpicks through the sides at an equal distance. Now, balance the pit with the toothpicks in a wide-mouthed jar with the pointy end facing up. Fill the jar with water so about half of the avocado seed is covered at all times. Finally, place the jar in a sunny area and replace the water every couple days. Within a couple months, the pit will begin to split and the avocado will start to grow roots and a stem. Be patient, and once you see leaves grow you can plant the avocado into soil. Make sure about half the pit it above ground.


Go forth, and regrow your food scraps with confidence.

Regrowing plants from food scraps is a rewarding and amazingly easy way to utilize existing produce and help cut down on food waste! Most of these techniques can continuously produce new food. This process saves you money and helps save the earth!


Cultivating the Home Garden of the Future

Cultivating the Home Garden of the Future

I am busy, and so are you. I want to eat healthier, and I hope you do too. In a busy lifestyle, it is important to take time to ground yourself while keeping up with your health.

An abundant amount of research indicates that spending time outdoors, enjoying sunshine and fresh air is beneficial to our health and stress management; it only

Tiny tomatoes from Maria Bocanegra's garden
Tiny garden tomatoes

takes is a few minutes outside to experience the benefits for yourself.

I find gardening therapeutic and enjoy harvesting the veggies of my efforts. With my busy schedule, however, it is nearly impossible to find time for leisure. My garden is usually the first to suffer from my lack of time. Living in a dry Arizona climate where temperatures can fluctuate quickly, all it takes is one busy day of negligence for my tomatoes to perish, alongside all of my hard work. Still, I love gardening so much, that I needed to find a better way to keep my plants alive. With a team of motivated developers and entrepreneurs, I want to introduce my garden and yours into the Internet of Things.

The Problem

Tending to my own garden, I came across a challenge that needed to be remediated, and along came the vision for BeeSprout.

No matter how much time we devote or how much we desire for our garden to thrive, sometimes it just doesn’t. This can be immensely frustrating and giving up becomes a tempting option. It is important to note that the quality and life of a plant depends on so many factors that can vary throughout the day; these include but are not limited to amount of light, soil moisture, soil pH, humidity, and season. In simpler words, it’s not you (or your self-fulfilling lack of Green Thumb prophecy), it’s your plant that was having issues.

The Garden Bot Solution

A device that monitors garden conditions and keeps me connected through my phone struck me as an ideal solution. Within the limitations of a small gardening space, I strive to get the highest quality of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. While the outcome is important, it is not worth sacrificing process and experience.

Peppers harvested from the garden by Maria Bocanegra in testing for the BeeSprout Garden Bot
Extra spicy jalapeños

I would never want to trade the authentic feeling of being in touch with nature for an automated gardening system that grows herbs for me. Rather, I envision a device that enhances your gardening experience and will prevent plant deaths even when you are most busy.

While there are a few products that have garden monitoring abilities, I was looking for something to monitor the moisture of my plants so that I can avoid over or under watering. My rosemary plant needs much less water than my tomato plant, and trying to provide a happy medium can lead to root rot and bug invasion in the rosemary, while still leaving the tomato plant thirsty. With the BeeSprout Garden Bot, I will be able to adjust irrigation based on individual plants’ needs.

The BeeSprout Garden Bot will connect to multiple soil moisture sensors. To further facilitate irrigation, I can group my plants based on sunlight and watering needs. The BeeSprout iPhone app alerts me if either the weather or soil is unusually dry for the current season, or if my plants simply need more water.

Living in a dry climate susceptible to drought, such as California and Arizona. The BeeSprout Garden Bot will prevent excess irrigation without depriving plants of their required water supply.

The BeeSprout Garden Bot is truly the future of home gardening because it enriches the natural gardening experience while increasing plant longevity and decreasing accidental or brief negligence-related plant deaths. No more dead plants!! (Hopefully.) We are still in the early stages of development. To learn more about BeeSprout, you can visit our website

Sign up to stay informed of our progress and receive updates on when the BeeSprout Garden Bot becomes available to the public. In the meantime, we would also really appreciate your feedback and support. Help us to make a gardening product that can help you.