SproutRobot, No More?

SproutRobot planting suggestions for May 2012

SproutRobot planting suggestions for May 2012

As a gardener, the beginning of February is always exciting for me. I flip through seed catalogs and click through websites, gawking at seeds I lack the money to buy & room to grow. I take stock of what’s already growing in my garden and immediately visit SproutRobot to see what I can possibly grow in the upcoming season. That’s what I did this morning and was given a blank white page. Since I’m a Time Warner Cable customer, the inability to reach a web page isn’t new or earth-shattering. Then I saw this tweet from yesterday:

I thought it was just me. Then I did a little social media searching. SproutRobot hasn’t updated their Twitter feed since August 2013. Their Tumblr microblog, hasn’t been updated in a year.

Uh-oh.

I started using SproutRobot in March of 2012. I needed a weather-proof way of keeping track of my planting schedule and I wanted something that would allow me to forgo thinking too hard about what goes into the ground and when. I’ve mentioned using them several times on my Tumblr site. You can see posts here and here for why I enjoyed using the site. I loved the fact that the site told me when to start seeds indoors, as that has always been my one failure. I really liked the hand-drawn graphics for planting depths and sunlight/water needs. I like that there was a journal on the site that allowed me to remember which brand of seeds didn’t set right, weather fluctuations and if I liked or didn’t like a particular variety I planted. I won’t pretend I was consistent with using the site. February, May, September were the 3 times of year I made sure to use the site. I could have been more consistent with it.

Dead page

Dead page

To be completely selfish about it, I hope that the site is just down for whatever reason (a redesign?!). The lack of movement on the other social media sites indicate that it’s probably not that. I feel kind of bad for not noticing the lack of updates. We’ve all heard, “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” That is certainly half true here. I knew what I had, I just wish I had been alerted that it would go away, even if only for a few days. If SproutRobot is actually gone for good, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work for making such a wonderfully useful site. There are several gardening sites online geared toward planning and plotting your seasonal garden. Not a single one can compare to what SproutRobot offered.

I did reach out to the creator of SproutRobot, but have yet to hear back from him. If I do, I’ll be sure to update.

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6 thoughts on “SproutRobot, No More?

  1. You should have a look and see if there’s a community seed swap near you. It always makes me sad when people’s growing is limited by prohibitive prices. There’s a lot more saved seed going than you think. I’ve written about the history of it here: http://wp.me/p5dlyf-16 Happy planting – and thanks for the tip RE: SproutRobot, even if it’s currently inactive!

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    • We have official seed swaps in my area and swap seeds with neighbors and parents from school all the time. I also have tons of seeds saved in my library. I guess you could say I’m being greedy in wanting the various strains and hybrids. Like, do I really need to grow pink tomatoes and white cucumbers?

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      • Hahaha, they do look cool on the plate though, don’t they? I’m not against F1s, it’s just a shame that a lot of people aren’t aware of the myriad of open pollinated, beautiful seed available out there.

        What are you most looking forward to growing this year?

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      • I usually grow 5 kinds of tomatoes, 2-3 types of cukes, 3 kinds of eggplant, along with various herbs and flowers. It’s rare that I get fancy-pants hybrids. Actually, I’m not sure what to get. This is the first time in decades I haven’t received my seed catalogs by now.

        My kids want me to grow more fruit. Definitely trying to find some strawberries again. The plants I got in 2007 have all died out & subsequent plants didn’t last a month.

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      • Hm, that’s a shame about the strawbs. What variety were you trying to grow? They’re usually fairly resilient and should last five years or so…

        Painted Lady is a lovely Victorian runner bean that is beautifully ornamental and tastes delicious, and Italian borlotti beans are brilliant, too.

        How much space do you have, and what kind of climate are you in?

        Also, what aubergine varieties are you growing? I inherited a random set of plants I found on a wall last year that grow yellow then purple – no idea what they are, but they taste great and grew well here.

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      • The eggplant are usually just the regular ones, Thai & Japanese. I grow the latter mostly for the flowers.

        I’m in Los Angeles. The problem last year was that we had no rain, it was summer temps for a year and I couldn’t get out to water due to immobility. I don’t have much space to garden in ground, but I usually grown strawberries in pots anyway & I have tons of those.

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