Modern Sprout Garden Jars review Reviews

Garden Jars from Modern Sprout: Product Review

Modern Sprout Garden Jars reviewThese four Garden Jars from Modern Sprout, designed to sit on your kitchen counter and grow herbs, arrived at my house in late March, 2014, and I’ve spent the last 6 months tending the plants in hopes of harvesting herbs for dinner.

broken Modern Sprout jar

Broken jar due to poor packaging

The jars arrived with seeds, plant food, and soilless growing medium.The seeds included basil, Greek oregano, parsley, and mint (this has since been replaced with cilantro on the company’s website). There was no indication about whether or not the plant food or grow medium was organic.  Refills are not currently available from the vendor, but the jars and insert can be reused for the same purpose by obtaining your own seeds and a similar growing medium.

When the Garden Jars arrived, one glass jar was broken due to poor packaging.  The insert in which the plant grows, which is called a “net pot,” fit into one of my husband’s beer steins quite nicely, so I used that instead of the broken jar.

The jars resembled oversize canning jars, in different colors (blue, amber, green, and pink).  The colors were somewhat off-putting, and I would have preferred plain transparent glass, but that is just an esthetic preference.

Hydroponic Growing System

The Modern Sprout Garden Jars use a type of hydroponic system in which a wick (basically a piece of polypropylene fabric) is placed in water and brings moisture to the plants. The plants are grown in a soilless grow medium that’s held in “pots” made out of netting (net pots) that don’t come in direct contact with the water.

[contextly_sidebar id=”ajDOut5O21iXGjy0NW4TG0zJhDEvUKzD”]Following the directions, I inserted the wicks into the net pots, filled the net pots with grow medium, and sprinkled the seeds on the grow medium.  The directions were reasonably straightforward so this part was easy.

However, the kit includes a screw top, such as you would use with a canning jar, but it doesn’t seem to serve any purpose.  I screwed the tops onto the jars anyway, which anchored down the net pot to the jar, but they were awkward to use, as I discovered when I went to refill the water about a week later.  It was difficult to unscrew and I had trouble to not disturb the grow medium.  So you can throw away the screw tops.

keeping Modern Sprout garden jars moist

Covering the jars with a plastic bag helped keep the grow medium moist during seed germination

Keeping the Grow Medium Moist

I live in Arizona, which is a very dry environment, so I put the empty grow medium bags over the top of the jars, as suggested in the directions, to create a more humid environment, until the herbs grew up to 2″ tall.  This worked fine; although a little white mold grew on the soil, it did not affect the herbs.

Difficult to Water From Above – The directions suggest that you can refill the water by putting it directly on the grow medium.  I found that this disturbed the grow medium too much, and had to lift the net pot out of the jar to refill the water.  This was ok, since my finger nails are long enough to get under the lip of the net pot, but if your nails are shorter you’ll need some sort of implement to help you get the net pot out of the jar (a knife would probably work well).

I refilled the water approximately weekly, although this will vary depending on the humidity of your home.

plants growing in Modern Sprout jars

After 3 months, the seedlings were still growing slowly and got quite leggy despite plenty of light

Slow Growth …

The plants seemed to me to grow rather slowly.  The instructions suggest that harvest will be ready in 2-3 months.  My plants were still quite small on June 30, which was 3 months after planting.  They grew leggy after that, and the parsley died.  The basil subsequently died after I left it for 10 days while on vacation, as the water dried out faster than I expected (the mint and oregano survived the drought).

mint and oregano in Modern Sprout Garden Jars

After 6 months, the oregano was still too small to harvest. Mint will grow anywhere, I think…

Made in USA

Made in USAThe Modern Sprout Garden Jars are made in Chicago.


2_shovelsI give the Modern Sprout Garden Jars a 2-shovel rating. Overall, this product is not an improvement over simply growing herbs in regular soil on the kitchen counter, unless you need plants that require less frequent watering.   I was disappointed in the growing time to harvest, and I think that the limited size of the net pot may be the reason for the slow growth to bonsai size herbs.  More plant food might solve this issue, as might transplanting the herbs outdoors once they reach a size at which you can handle them without damaging the plants.

Where to Buy

The Garden Jars can be purchased on the Modern Sprout website  Each color jar comes with a different type of herb seed (organic basil, Greek oregano, organic parsley, or cilantro). The price includes free ground shipping on all domestic orders.

You can also buy the Garden Jars on Amazon. Updates have included several different kit options, as well as additional growing options such as daisies or zinnias.

Modern Sprout Cocktail Herb Kit
  • Complete Cocktail Inspired Kit for Fresh Herbs Year Round - Self-Watering Planters - Easy-To-Grow
  • Includes Organic Basil & Non-GMO Mint Seeds, Plant Food, Grow Medium & More
  • Reusable Planter - Includes Instructions For Replanting - Get Years of Herbs from One Kit
  • Never Forget to Water Your Plants Again - Herbs Will Thrive, Even While Your Away
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee - We Know You Will Love Our Products - But In Case You Don't, We Accept Returns
Modern Sprout Sage Grow Kit
  • Sage Herb Kit and Self-Watering Planter
  • Made With A Vintage Inspired Mason Jar
  • For Year-Round Gardening: Includes Organic, Non-GMO Sage Seeds, Plant Food And Grow Medium
  • Easy To Set Up & Use: Take The Guesswork Out Of Gardening. Enjoy Video Tutorials For Set-Up, Plant Care, Recipes
  • Never Forget To Water Your Plants Again; Your Sage Will Thrive Even When You're Away!

No products found.

Modern Sprout English Daisy Flower Kit
  • English Daisy Flower Kit - NEW for Spring 2017!
  • Vintage-Inspired Seaglass Colored Quart Mason Jar
  • Self Watering Planter - Great For Your Kitchen Windowsill
  • Certified Organic Seeds - Non-GMO
  • Passive Hydroponic System Known As “Wicking"

No products found.

Modern Sprout Pansy Flower Kit
  • Garden Jars are designed for indoor use, but can be put outside. Be mindful that the planter does not have a drain hole, and if the reservoir floods it may drown the roots. Bring your Garden Jar...
  • Size: 6†h x 3.5†w (quart jar)
  • Weight: 1lb
  • Designed to be reused
  • Assembled in the USA
Modern Sprout Parsley Herb Kit

No products found.

Modern Sprout Zinnia Flower Kit
  • Modern Sprout Zinnia Flower Kit - NEW for Spring 2017!
  • Self Watering Planter In A Stylish Mason Jar
  • Certified Organic Seeds - Non-GMO
  • Zinnia Seeds Take 5-10 Days To Sprout And Will Start Flowering In 2-3 Months
  • Passive Hydroponic System Known As “Wicking.”

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Modern Sprout for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

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4 Comments on Garden Jars from Modern Sprout: Product Review

  1. Thank you for the review! Looks like that product is a lot of work to grow herbs, which typically is pretty easy. I like to keep hardwood herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage growing year around. I’ve never had much luck growing basil inside in the winter, I think my house is too dry. I agree with you regarding mint, I think it can grow anywhere. Great post, I will be back to read more:)

    • Personally, I’ve never had much luck with indoor herbs at all. I can grow anything outdoors but as soon as I bring it inside it dies… But I think Patricia is a much better indoor gardener than I am so if she couldn’t make these things grow then I tend to agree with you that it looks like more effort than it’s worth. It would be nice to have fresh herbs in winter though!

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