FAQs

 

AVA (Automated Vertical Agriculture) is a Canadian startup comprised of tech-savvy food-lovers who want to empower others to Get Growing! Learn more about the team on our "About Us" Page.

We believe everyone deserves healthy, sustainably-produced food so we created the AVA Byte to make growing that food easy and fun!

The AVA Byte is the indoor garden that is so simple and smart, it's just like magic. The AVA Byte functions without soil or sunlight so water is all you need and it comes equipped with smart sensors that provide feedback about the external environment and water level. Plus, the AVA Byte has a built-in horticultural LED lights that will make your plants happy! Pair it with our smartphone app so you can get updates on your plants, harvesting tips and more!

AVA Byte gives users year-round access to pesticide-free, fresh and delicious ingredients grown right in their own home.

The AVA Byte uses a gardening technique known as hybrid hydroponics. This means the plants are grown in a soil-free environment that puts roots in direct contact with water, nutrients and oxygen.

Each AVA Byte unit has a quiet pump that delivers the perfect balance of water and oxygen to your plants’ roots. The reservoir can hold up to 4 weeks worth of water and the pump provides the oxygen so all you have to do is add the water! Red, white, and blue LEDs tune to your plants’ needs, acting like a “happy light” even when it’s cloudy outside.

As for the plant pods, we’ve blended all the nutrients your plants need in its life cycle together with organic plant fibres and then, we pre-seed it with organic, non-GMO seeds (unless you get the Grow Your Own pod pack).

Altogether, the AVA Byte and the pods create an environment with the perfect pH, oxygen and air-to-water ratio, and lighting. So, even though the AVA Byte has over 300 parts, we made it as easy as 1-2-3 to use. You simply plug it in, fill up the water reservoir, add your pods and then get growing!

The pods are soil-free inserts that are made from plant-based materials and contain all the nutrients for the plant’s life cycle. They come either pre-seeded or empty so that you can plant your own seeds. Our organic pods house everything you need to grow your own delicious plants year-round and are compostable in your own backyard!

Each pod pack has a shelf life of two years, so feel free to stock up and get growing!

Yes, you can mix/match different plant pods to grow in the device! Each of our pod packs is carefully curated with compatible plants and comes with a unique growing recipe that adjusts lighting and watering for that set.

However, you can choose to grow your own or plant pods from different packs together but results may vary compared to a curated pod pack.

The AVA Byte’s height ranges from 31 cm (12.2”) high up to 47 cm (18.5”) high because the extendable neck is adjustable. AVA Byte is 55 cm (21.65”) wide and about 19 cm (7.4”) deep. Without water, the device weighs about 2.5 kgs. The power cord extends to a total length of 2 m (6’5”).

Simply put, the HD Time Lapse camera gives you enhanced ability to watch over your plants remotely (e.g. while you’re on vacation), record time-lapse footage of your garden growing to share with friends, and to unlock our AI features (growing recipes catered to your plants and your environment that allow our customer service to provide smart recommendations on how to improve your plant growth).

Over time, the HD Camera allows to look back at all your growing success!

Yes, we offer blank pods with standard nutrients and this is called the Grow Your Own pack. Simply place your seeds into our seed slot, scan your QR code and away you grow!

However, we cannot provide the 100% germination guarantee that we do for the other pod packs.

Because the plants get consistent lighting, watering, and nutrients in our system, they can grow faster than traditional gardens. The AVA Byte also has sensors to tell you about the external environment so make sure to connect it to the app to see what your AVA Byte is telling you! This will help you keep your plants happy and healthy!

We recommend that you replenish your pods on average at least once every 2 months. This is because the more you cut and consume your plants, the more stressed a plant can become. When stressed, plants will start to produce more bitter flavours or naturally die off.

Anything longer than 2 months, herbs and greens start to reduce flavour and grow thicker stalks. You can yield a large quantity (e.g. a salad a week, herbs to garnish every day) if you are consistently planting!

You also have the option to transplant what you are growing. Our app provides details about the best way to do this but you can always reach out to our support team (support@avagrows.com) if you have more questions.

Yes, we use a food-grade PC/ABS plastic for the device. This is compostable in industrial composting too which means less waste!

If you’ve never connected, the device will work on the offline mode with default lighting and watering recipes. If you have previously connected but lost the connection, it will continue with the original recipe you set up. You may not get the photos in your timelapse but your plant will keep growing.

We use organic, non-GMO seeds unless otherwise specified. Exceptions include rare plant varieties and certain heirloom seeds, but this will always be clearly labelled. We always source our seeds from trusted seed farmers and suppliers.

Under USDA and Canadian Organic Standards, non-soil growing methods cannot be certified organic.

Yes, the pods we use are made out of an upcycled plant material that is biodegradable, even in a backyard compost.

The pod holder is made from non-GMO corn plastic so it can be industrially composted. The pod holders are reusable, but because of their plant-based source, they will eventually start to break down. When you notice this starting to happen, you can order more through our store. How often they need to be replaced will depend entirely on how much you plant but on average they should last about 1.5 years if you take care of them.

Our packaging is also made from compostable and recyclable materials. No industrial compost required so, just like our pods, a backyard compost is all you!

Our soilless pods are tested to be less prone to attracting flies than traditional plant pots, however, if you put the AVA Byte near an existing attractant, there may be some crossover.

Fungus gnats are attracted to fungus and microbes; with your current materials, you can try using hydrogen peroxide to sanitize your device first, let it dry, and then grow your seeds in it.

Fun plant fact: Did you know that chives are a natural pest repellent? Plant some of those in your Byte and see how they run (well, fly).

Great question. The AVA Byte is adaptive for each type of plant to give you optimal growing conditions! We use smart tech and AI to bring you environmental sensors and data collection to create different “growth recipes” which are a combination of lighting, watering, and nutrient schedules.

The AVA Byte also has an HD time-lapse camera and it is much cuter... but we’re a little biased! Best of all, the AVA Byte allows you to talk with your plants through our smart home integration with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Each pod pack is $29 and a year’s supply is $110. Right now, our pods only come in packs of five. These plants are curated to encourage each other’s growth and give you the best harvest possible..

We are confident that all of our pre-seeded pods will germinate. If however, they do not germinate, all you need to do is contact our customer support team and we will send you a replacement pack for free.

Our guarantee does not apply to Grow Your Own pod packs. While it’s likely that your seeds will grow in our pods, we cannot guarantee desired results.

Yes! Just do not forget to top up your water reservoir as a full reservoir should last about 4 weeks. We also recommend setting the adjustable neck to the highest setting in case your plants hit their growth spurt while you are away! If you are worried about your plants, you can always check up on them by looking at the photos stored in the gallery on our app.

Yes! The AVA Byte comes with a 1-year warranty.

Yes, AVA Byte does connect to wifi! This is how it communicates with you via the app. You can take this one step further and connect your Byte to either your Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

The AVA Byte is FCC and UL certified.

We are based in Canada and currently are planning on shipping within Canada and the United States only.

We plan to expand internationally as soon as we can but the current timeline is 2021 for international shipping. Because each country has different rules and regulations, it may be earlier or later depending on where you live.

We are working toward a target shipping date of December 2019 and would love to add you to our growing list of pre-orders. Shipping times may vary depending on your local service but it should take between 2-4 weeks.

Yes, it is compatible with both iOS & Android operating systems.

When your plants are ready to harvest; when you need to water; light, temperature and humidity readings; walkthroughs on how to harvesting and transplanting, and; how to clean your Byte.

No, you do not need to download the app for the AVA Byte to work however we highly encourage it!

If you do not have a smartphone and want to grow using the AVA Byte, then there is a default recipe that activates as soon as you plug the AVA Byte in. It takes about 1 minute for it to start and you can grow in offline mode.

 

If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch.