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Parsley "seedballs," ready to plant

Growing your own arugula and marigolds is a grand idea--in theory. But in reality (you know, where you have zero free time and no planting prowess), it never quite pans out.

Until now. Behold, the Nourishmat.

Consider it paint by numbers for gardening: Each color-coded mat is punched with clearly marked holes to indicate where you should plant what (tomatoes go in the upper left-hand corner; kale goes in the bottom right).

Here’s the dirt: You find a sunny, level growing area and put down a layer of topsoil. Secure the Nourishmat to the ground and hook it up to your garden hose--we recommend the $80 irrigated mat (nonirrigated is $65). Next, fill the holes in the mat with the enclosed “seedballs.” Water for 20 minutes twice a day and literally watch your garden grow.

The mat stays on the ground indefinitely, but you can vary what you plant each season. For September, we’re donning our favorite gardening getup (to each pastime may there be a corresponding outfit) and planting cilantro, spinach, basil and radish.

The Nourishmat produces an estimated $200 of food or blooms each season. And in case you had any doubt about the mat’s value, the company donates four meals to children in need per sale.

No tilling (and minimal thinking) required.

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