Grobo Start - Hard Pass

After taking a look at the Grobo Start I have decided it is going to be a hard pass for me. Here’s my feedback and a couple questions.

Sorry @Stephen and @bjorn, but forcing your customers, who spent $2000+ on their Grobo’s, to purchase a different lid for their Grobo if they want to use the peat pods was a terrible idea. You made it super easy for me to decide whether or not to purchase one. I will never purchase the Start. For a fraction of the price I have a germination system that does the same thing minus the LED light.

Questions:

  1. Why peat? Getting away from soilless?

  2. How is this going to affect stuff being grown in the Grobo, such as nute dosing and pH?

  3. Will there need to be adjustments to dosing Cal-Mag seeing as peat doesn’t have the same issue that coco does?

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@VermontGrobo - you flipped? I just went through yesterday’s post about the Grobo Start and you were totally onboard then?

The concept sounds great in that you could save a few weeks starting your seedling in the Start while you are finishing flush & dry in the Grobo. I wonder about how the transplant will go from the Start to the Grobo. Is there anymore guidance on when to move the seedling from the Start to the Grobo? IE When the plant is at 3 Nodes you transplant it?

The idea of having to use a new lid and hole/basket adapter is a bit of a turnoff. Transitioning away from cocopods to peat pods could be a good decision. I’m not sure what the difference is between the material but I would imagine they are similar. Does it help at all with damping issues?

I do have to agree that it seems a little nickel and dime. The new tray needs to come with new Grobo. I ordered another unit yesterday. While I appreciate the discount for Black Friday, I think it should have been a package deal with a Grobo, Start, and tray. This would have been a great way to get people using and talking about it. As a newbie, I would have loved to try it. But I was also a bit turned off by the need to purchase basically an adapter to use with the primary products. But I am limited to 2 plants at a time, so I may not be the target demographic.

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I was along these same lines in the “New Grobo Gear” post. The big reveal was something I had to purchase even more things just to use. My issues:

  1. You only need one “pod” to save the 4 weeks per grow in the Grobo, so why 3 spots.

  2. Seeing the size of the “pod” the Start has, I can only imagine it will be NECESSARY. It’s very short, even shorter than the net pots I’m using for my hydroton grow in the Grobo, which makes me think the bubbles will get nowhere near the pod to keep moist during germ in the Grobo (I could be wrong).

  3. From my reading, peat requires initial soak in 5.5ph water as it’s more acidic(?). Not sure how detrimental this is, but from the original video of germinating from Grobo, I don’t believe you need to soak in ph’d water. This could lead to a lot of people losing their seeds.

  4. It requires a new lid. As Bjorn said in his response on the other post, they tried to keep the cost of the lid as low as possible and it comes with extra peat pods. Kudos on that, however as I said on the other post…I’m a little disappointed they didn’t come out with something designed for the current users. My thought is, they should have designed one that uses the current coco pods, and if they planned on switching to peat in the new Grobos, THEN come out with this model.

I love the idea, and after the videos come out I may pull the trigger, but as for now it’s a no from me as well. Just my 2 cents.

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Did the new unit say whether it was peat or coco?

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I’m betting it DOES help with damping off issues and that’s probably why they switch to the basket and peat. No idea really, but as many issues as there seem to be with it and people having to move their pods all the time, it seems they would be working on some way to combat that. That said, I’m personally STOCKED up on coco pods. I mean, I could probably crush 'em into a small pot and start a plant there if I wanted to. :rofl: For that reason, it’s not for me at this time, and I agree it should fit the current lid.

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Now that I think about it, I’m interested to know the dimensions of the Start pod holders. Depending on the size, I may still be able to use the Start with my hydroton net pots :thinking:

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Doesn’t look like the new Grobos are coming with peat…yet. I have to imagine if they designed the Start with peat, the change to the actual Grobo can’t be far behind.

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That was before I found out that I would have to purchase a separate lid so the peat pods would fit.

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This is the only reason I would consider purchasing the lid for the peat pods. I have had nothing but problems with the latest batch of coco pods. Two plants stopped growing as soon as the seedling popped up above the top of the pod. The one I am growing right now is having it’s own set of issues, which I can’t help but wonder if it is related to the coco pods. It seems like the coco pods they were selling recently were not from the same source as the ones I purchased back in June/July.

I may switch to the peat pods if I see people having good and/or better results than they were having with the coco pods.

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My honest assessment on the Start is that it is a gimmick, and once the novelty of having one wears off it will end up being shelved. It may save you time on each grow, but is just another piece of equipment that takes up space. The Start is really similar to the Aero-Garden, a system that is OK, but has it’s own set of issues such as being a pain in the ass to clean even though you can take the top completely off.

It will allow an extra full grow cycle in a year so in theory it could be looked at as you will make your money back in 6 months or less. I agree that the cost invested per ounce continues to rise and there needs to be some sort of plan to reduce grower’s costs for the grobo system to stay viable.

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This is precisely why I started growing in a tent, about the same cost upfront, but once everything is dialed in there isn’t much of a hassle. Depending on how this grow goes I may end up selling my Grobo. With the Grobo I’ve had 5 failed grows, 2 of those the seeds never germinated. Of the 3 that failed to grow after popping above the coco pod, all of them were started in coco pods that I purchased from Grobo back in October. Which is why I am thinking that the coco pod source was changed, they were not packaged the same as the ones I purchased back in May/June.

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@VermontGrobo Do you think they couldn’t get the same pods and the best workaround they could find was the peat change? There has been debris in pods, they stay soaking wet, failed grows, failed germs, cases of damping off, people’s money spent on seeds (and other cannabis!) and time and love invested in failed grows to be paid back in more faulty coco pods because grobo feels bad - is that about the gist? Cuz that’s about what I’m feeling right now tbh, especially considering my own short experiences with the pods while reading this thread over

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Could be. I had 2 seeds not pop at all back to back and one pod was greenish when i pulled the seed and the other was not. Sometimes they arrive quite wet in the pack which means it was tested, but never dried out before sending to me.

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@Angiebaby my current grow in my Grobo is recovering from damping down. Never had any issues with their coco pods until the ones I purchased back in October. 3 stopped growing, probably from damping off after popping. I don’t expect this one to survive, unless it is able to repair the damage and start growing

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@ToddYYC I’m thinking the batch of coco pods I purchased came with some bad fungus already growing in them. I bit the bullet and purchased the new lid and peat pods, going to give those a try once this one either dies or I decide to throw in the towel.

@Stephen I didn’t change anything between my successful grow and the 3, soon to be 4 failed grows. The only thing that changed was the coco pods, the ones I purchased back in early summer were packaged differently than the ones I purchased back in September/October. With the batch that I purchased back in Sept/Oct I had 3 failed grows (seed popped but stopped growing once it broke the surface). Which is why I cannot help to think that the coco pods are why none of those plants survived.

I am 99% sure that the first 3 that failed were due to damping off, which will be the C.o.D. for this one also. I had to suck it up and spend even more money to get the lid adapter and peat pods to see if those will make any different. I have now had 5 failed grows out of 6.5 attempts, which doesn’t include the seeds that failed to germinate which would add another 3. When I pull the plug on the current plant that will mark 6 failed grows in 7 attempts, not exactly a good track record for the Grobo.

That is an 86% failure rate.

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Harsh. Seeds arent cheap either.
Ive only ever used the pod method and i think im at 6 failed of maybe 4 successful harvests and like 8 fails in flower due to one reason or another.
How are your seeds shipped. If not packed in a squash proof (for the seed) container, they could be damaged.
I usually use my fill water in a glass and soak the pod for a few hours.
If the pod is too moist i push it up lots. Ive got tooth picks holding it up now because it dried out and would have dropped the plant in when i didnt want it to.
Ive had dampening off kill two plants @VermontGrobo i hear ya man.
I did also buy 5 or 6 pods at once on my last order maybeb in 2019.
No new toys for todd until he gets a job !

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Meh. I’m a sucker for toys. Ordered mine.

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Ordered mine mainly to see if I could cut some time and will be posting the results and anwering questions as soon as its shipped out, under The new Grobo Start.

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