High-Tech Gardening for Millennials: New Dallas Startup Uses Dating App Smarts to Find Your Perfect Plant MatchBY Natalie Gempel // 11.16.17
Gardenuity sells herbs and harder-to-grow vegetables as live plants.
Gardenuity provides a plant kit with everything you need to get growing.
The service is perfect for people with little space and no experience.
Gardening has long been associated with a certain type of person: they’re retired or a bit of a hippie, they have a sprawling yard, an abundance of free time and an arsenal of straw hats. Most importantly, they possess the ever-elusive green thumb – an attribute that seems to have skipped over much of the millennial generation. But what happens when the age-old practice of gardening meets modern technology?
One Dallas startup is taking the hassle out of gardening to help the next generation grow.
Gardenuity is a technology platform for people who want to grow their own food but don’t know where to begin. The website helps you find appropriate plants based on season, location and provides you with everything that you need for fruitful results.
“It’s for somebody who appreciates the idea of healthy and fun flavors but doesn’t want to put in too much time, doesn’t have too much space, and really doesn’t have the know-how,” says co-founder Donna Letier.
Say, for instance, a city-dwelling professional with a tiny balcony and a busy schedule wants to grow their own arugula (now’s a great time). Gardenuity sends over a portable plant container, pre-portioned soil, an organic seed square, custom compost, and provides concierge support throughout the process. Herbs and some harder-to-grow veggies like lettuce and tomatoes are sold as live plants.
Other than the grow kit, the most helpful part of the service is that it figures out what will actually work for your lifestyle. Gardenuity matches people to plants using a similar method to dating sites. The system takes into account what flavors you prefer, and shows you what plants will thrive in the next 10 days.
“One of the challenges people have when they try gardening and they don’t find success is they’re really planting the wrong thing at the wrong time,” Leiter says. “I knew I wanted an algorithm that really matched plants to people, so i joined like five different dating websites
“I told my business partner, ‘Please, if I die tomorrow and my husband gets on my computer, tell him I’m super happy but I really wanted the science behind it! ’” she laughs.
It may sound silly, but it’s really just taking eating clean to the next level. Gardenuity also sends out recipes, and its sister site, Garden Inspired Living offers everything from stylish planters to literature on “foodscaping.”
Yes, getting dirty and growing clean can be foolproof and chic.