A little box with a four inch coco coir cup (grow cup), expandable coir peat disc, packet of seeds, plant marker, and brochure will be in the hands of 1,000-odd guests who will attend a wedding in Pollachi soon. The vegetable grow kit will be distributed as a gift to all the invitees.
Apart from its use as an eco-friendly return gift at weddings and special occasions, the grow kit can also be distributed to school children to encourage them in raising their own kitchen gardens. And that’s what 25-year-old Maithili Deepak of Pollachi-based Premier Coir Products plans to do.
Ms. Deepak wanted to take up a project that will make gardening easier and simpler in urban communities. She visited overseas expos and learnt more about different varieties of grow kits. After trying out grow cups made of paper pulp, she decided to develop the kits using coir mats. The mats are made into small cups and the peat tablets serve as the growth medium. The kits come in different sizes - four inch, two inch, and miniature cups specially designed for school children.
“In several countries, growing plants is part of the studies at schools. Indian schools, even the Government-run ones, should do so. The grow kits can be an educational aid,” she says. She took about four months to develop the kits.
The plant can grow in these grow cups for a few weeks or months, depending on the variety. After that the entire cup can be planted in the soil. Coir is biodegradable and so it will not affect the growth of the plants, she says.
The company is reaching out to schools and plans to conduct workshops on how to use the environment-friendly grow kits, she adds.