FAQs

What type of seeds can the Aurora+ germinate?

The Aurora+ can be used with any seed that fits inside the pods (25mm diameter,10mm total depth w/ 6mm lip) and can benefit from one of the two temperature settings available: 82-86 F (28-30 C) and 76-80 F (24-26 C). Some of our customers have germinated rocotto peppers, monstera, birds of paradise, basket asparagus, fire flash seeds, red sunflower, various types of tomato seeds. The possibilities are endless. We update our Aurora+ Milestones page regularly with reports from our customers.

 Where can I get more cotton pads?

Unfortunately we rarely have extra to sell as replacements. The manufacturer hand punches each pad with a hammer and 25mm punch tool. Every factory we've approached wants orders on a scale much larger than we can handle. One of our testers, Mitch Kamp, recommends 1" barrel cleaning pads for firearms cleaning. They're a thin cotton flannel and he uses 3 on the bottom, then seeds and 3 more on top. The tighter weave of these pads helps prevent tap roots from growing through the pads.

Pro Shot Products 300 Count

Pro Shot Products 600 Count

Amazon 7/8" 1,000 Count

Other customers cut makeup pads to size. One customer discovered a 1" hand punch that you can purchase on Amazon. We apologize for the lack of replacements. The next generation will use standard size makeup pads.

Why doesn't my unit feel warm?

The human body is approximately 98.6F making it difficult to feel 76-80F or 82-86F as "warm". Throughout a day of testing units, the same reading on the thermal temperature reader feels different if I've been holding my warm phone returning emails or holding a cold bottle of water. Make sure you're using the stick on feet for thermal efficiency.

I don't see a switch or dial, how do I change the temperature setting?

To change the temperature of your Aurora+ just unplug it and plug it back in. This will toggle between the solid light and flashing light settings.

Which temperature setting should I use?

The temperature setting you select will depend on the type of seed you're germinating. Most seeds, including pepper seeds, prefer the higher, flashing light setting. Others, like apples, lemons and strawberries, prefer the lower, solid light setting.

 

I just set my seeds in a container on a heat mat/light ballast.

This method of “warming” germinating seeds is inefficient and ultimately impossible to know or maintain the temperature of the environment you're creating. The heat provided is neither even nor consistent. If the temperature is too high, it can lead to stunted growth. If the temperature is too low, it can lead to mold and risk of other plant pathogens. Using the wrong container can leech harmful substances when heated. One method that may seem harmless is putting seeds on a modem/router with a towel over it. Let's forget about germination for a second and talk about expensive electronics. The average router costs at least $100. Setting something on it creates hot spots and limits air flow. Aside from dousing them in water, this is probably the worst thing you can do. This will decrease the lifespan and performance.

 

I just soak my seeds in a glass of water.

Seeds need oxygen to germinate properly. Leaving seeds soaking in water too long will hinder germination. A few hours soaking before using the Aurora+ is ok if you feel the need.

 

I just put my seeds right in the dirt!

This is another method that many have found to be effective. While using this technique, it is absolutely critical that the temperature of the soil is warm enough to allow a proper moisture level without risk of fungus and mold. There are many plant pathogens that can effect germination and growth. When germinating in soil, you must ensure the texture and composition of your substrate is light/fine enough to allow the seedling to push through, while also allowing it to retain the proper mix of moisture to soften the seed and air for oxygenation.

 

Why would I buy this when I can just use a paper towel?

While many people have relied on the paper towel method over the years, there is one detail that is often overlooked. Chlorine and formaldehyde (among other compounds) are often used to process/bleach paper products. Studies show that the use of chlorine in this process leads to harmful cancer causing compounds like dioxins and furans. These compounds “partition off” in our bodies like fat, leading to a build up over time. That is why we include cotton pads that have only been processed with hydrogen peroxide. We recommend replacing them with the same or with unbleached.

 

Sticker shock?

The Aurora+ Generation 2 is made of a unique, die cast aluminum compound with high thermal conductivity. It is powder coated to protect against wear and corrosion. The Aurora+ has been tested to extremes and is incredibly durable, unlike mass produced heat mats made of cheap plastic. While lighter than the previous version, each unit weighs just under 1 kg and is shipped from Seed Starter (small business) in South Africa where it was invented and manufactured, to Root Nerds (small business) in the United States for distribution. 

 

Depending on the type of seeds you're germinating, they can be expensive for top quality genetics. Some seed banks charge anywhere from $10-40 per seed for the latest and greatest types. With 12 pods in each unit, the first time you fill your Aurora+ you are entrusting it with over $100 in seeds. This is not to mention the hard to get varieties and those you're trying to get back for sentimental reasons, which leave NO margin for error. Are you still trusting a paper towel and a plastic bag?!

 

Not convinced? That's ok, the Aurora+ may not be for you. I personally love the peace of mind that comes with knowing my seeds are being cocooned in consistent, even heat and hydration. Whatever method you use, we wish you happy growing!

 

PCT International Patent Application No. PCT/IB2022/053634