Getting started with Pico

Hello there! We are here to show you a way to happiness by guiding you step-by-step through the process of growing your own stylish bountiful garden with Pico

Once you receive your package, it’ll only take you a few minutes to get started with growing. We promise it’ll be simple, quick, and definitely, easy. Sounds good?  

While all the information here is mainly written with PICO in mind, the process can be easily adapted to Herbstation, Altifarm, or any sort of other home gardening system you may have.

Awesome, let’s dive into it! 

1. Unbox happiness

Unboxing the Pico

Unboxing the Pico is super easy & fun! So, with a smile, unbox the parcel and make sure you’ve received all the parts. You should have: 

  • 1X Pico (preassembled and ready to use)
  •  1X Power cable- 2.5m
  •  1X Daisy chain cable- 0.3m
  •  2X Interchangeable mounts (Magnetic, Velcro/Wall mount)
  •  2X Funnel  
  •  5X Cable organizer
  •  1X LED diffuser  
  •  1X Spare wick

2. Pick a good place

PICO Wall Garden

The first thing you should do is find an awesome place for your cute green friend where you can grow, cherish, and of course, show off.  

Pico is excellent for people living in small spaces or for those who just love to garden. Any place is a good place with Pico thanks to its three interchangeable mounts that allow you to stick, hang, or place it anywhere.

3. Select a plant 

Grow Plant in PICO

The first step on your growing journey is to choose what you want to grow. One of the biggest perks of Pico is that it gives you control over what and how to grow. Amazing, right?  

Pico is ideal for growing short plants with shallow root systems. Plants such as spinach, arugula, mini varieties of tomato, capsicum, pea, and flowering plants like petunia, pansy, cockscomb, and many others are easy to grow from seeds.  

Easy to grow herbs like basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley are other great options. Even ornamental plants like succulents can be easily grown. 

For those of us who want to get quick results or are growing with kids, microgreens are great choices as they can be eaten in as little as seven days, are super tasty, and easy to grow.  

Now, once you’ve decided on what you want to grow, you’ll need to start out either with seeds, seedlings, or a transplant. If you have access to the mother, plant you can start with a transplant but if you don’t, seeds are your best (and also only) option.  

4. Choose a growing media

Choose best SOIL for Indoor Gardening

The next important step is to decide on the growing media you want to use for your plants. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with the soil. You can use normal garden soil from your yard or buy it from a store.  

If you’re an adventurous grower, get a head start with a soilless growing medium like cocopeat. Use hydroponic nutrients to fortify your water.  If you’re a hobbyist and want to grow with minimal effort, go for seed pods. Seed pods are pre-packed with nutrients and seeds. So, all you need to do is to add water every week.  

It is advisable to use potting soil that is lightweight and absorbent with good drainage properties. It consists of soil, cocopeat, perlite, and clay balls that retain moisture and ensure fast root growth.

5. Add growing media

Now, for the fun bit!

grow microgreens in PICO

Fill the inner cup with the growing media (soil, cocopeat, or other seed pods). Plant seeds, seedlings, or transplant 1-inch from the top of the soil. Use only a pair of seeds as overcrowding can compromise the space that plants need to grow. In the case of microgreens, use 8-10 seeds.  

Gently cover the seeds with the growing medium that will quicken the germination process.

Grower’s tip: Fill the bottom layer of the inner pod cone with pebbles, clay balls, or gravels to ensure further drainage and proper aeration of the soil.

6. Add water

self watering pico planter

And add water gradually to the reservoir through the funnel provided. Keep a check on the water window and ensure that the reservoir is filled to its maximum level. Refill when the water reaches the lowest level, which should take 5-6 days.  

Now, all you have to do is watch the growing medium soak water from the reservoir. If you are starting with seeds, simply fill the reservoir with plain water up to the maximum line and don’t add any nutrients yet. In case you are starting with a transplant in a soilless growing medium, fill up the reservoir with low strength nutrients. 

So, how do you know how much water a particular plant wants? Well, now you don’t need to, your PICO is there to do it all for you.  

7. Light 

grow led light with pico

Pico’s grow lights turn on automatically when plugged in. You can manually set the lamp’s cycle as per your need, however, keep in mind that plants need at least 8 hours of darkness per day as it is important for their growth. You can automate the turning on and off of the lamp with our Pico-timer. It comes with a working schedule of 16 hours on and 8 hours off. The cycle starts from the beginning every time you plug in the Pico. For example: if you plug it in at 6 AM, it will turn itself off at 10 PM (after being on for 16 hours) and on again at 6 AM. 

Grower’s tip: Keep the light 3-4 inches above your plants as they grow to encourage strong and full growth and can prevent foliage burn or leggy seedling.

8. Plant care

pico self plant care pot

Watering and maintaining a balanced moisture level in the soil by adding water every 5-6 days are vital to the plant caring process. 

Prune your plant regularly to maintain proper and adequate growth.  If growth becomes stagnant, you can remove the plants from the Pico and plant them in a larger pot with soil.  

Make sure to regularly pollinate your plant if you’re growing fruiting plants like mini varieties of tomato, capsicum, or pea.  Harvest the plant when it reaches a usable size, making sure to avoid early harvesting. Simply pluck the leaves or clip them just above the Pico and brighten your meals with a dash of freshly grown herbs or microgreens.

And that’s it! We’re more than confident this will help you avoid some of the initial growing pains.  

Now, you should be ready to go! 

Lastly,  If by some unfortunate circumstances you get stuck or have any questions for us, just get in touch with us at support@altifarm.com, we’ll help you out with any problems. 

Happy growing!