What are the nutrients that actually feed the plants?
The plant food or nutrients that we are using are distiller’s grain (Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS)). This product is left over from making beer, whisky or ethanol. DDGS supplies protein and nitrogen that naturally benefits the plant growth.
Are the nutrients safe?
Yes! DDGS has been used as a food source to cattle. It contains protein, fiber and fat.
Why not Peat Moss?
Peat moss does not add any real nutrients to the plant’s roots and most studies show that it can take up to 100 years to restore a peat moss bog. Switchgrass, corn, sugarcane are harvested and restored annually.
Where are these pots actually made?
Proudly designed, manufactured, and assembled responsibly in Stillwater, MN.
What is the benefit to using this product rather then the existing biodegradable pots or mostly-peat free pots and a bag of fertilizer?
Traditionally, the feedback with existing biodegradable pots is that they do not hold up well in the commercial grower automated process. Other pots like peat, non-peat moss, or fabric containers usually get mushy and don't break down as fast when they compress on each other. These products also do not really have nutrients to feed the plants. The SelfEco pots have plant food built into the walls of the container. Regarding using added plant food or fertilizer, we prefer not exposing granular fertilizer to our children, pets, or waterways. The label on the back of their bag explains why. Eeek!
What is the shelf life of the SelfEco pots if they are not being used
If you keep them out of heat, direct sunlight and moisture, we would estimate a few years. Heat and moisture are the cause of the pots breaking down.
How is plastic made from plants?
Instead of drilling deep into the earth for oil to make plastics, scientists have found a way to breakdown plants into natural sugars which then can be used to produce a new breed of Earth-friendly plastics.
What is the significance of being "Tree-free"?
The plants used in our products are renewable annually vs. many years for tree-based products.
If your pots are made from NatureWorks PLA, how do they actually compost outiside of an industrial compost facility?
With our plant food additive, it is not 100% PLA. We are using a high percent of a natural product that allows the pot to break down faster than standard PLA. There is no easy answer when it comes to the material science and applications for it. We are not claiming bio-degradable. If anything is left after the growing season, you can till it up for the following season or take what is left and industrial compost it.
What happens if part of my pot is still left after the growing season?
The material that is being used is BPI certified for industrial compostability. Our product has not been tested yet and we are hoping with the support and funding that we can submit for the same testing. Since every gardening environment is different, your pot may breakdown into nothing over a growing season or you may have a little part of your pot left. Any product that is still recognizable can be tilled up for nutrients for your next growing season or you can industrial compost it with your organics.
How long do the pots last above ground with plant/soil in them?
You can preplant in the pots without any issue. You have around 6 months above ground with dirt and plants before the pot gets too soft.
I'm starting to see white mold growing on my pots before putting them in the ground. Is this normal?
This mold issue has come up when the pots are exposed to too much moisture. Because our pots are made from natural materials, it's in the nature of... well... nature to grow mold in extra moist conditions. Please don't over water your plants above ground!