Smart Gardens and indoor gardens are all the rage this year, and it’s no wonder why. People are looking for options that connect them with nature, even when they can’t leave their homes. Click and Grow is a top company in the smart garden space, making it an excellent option for gardeners stretching their green thumbs for the first time.
But is this brand worth the hype? This article will give you the information you need to decide if this hydroponic system is right for you. We’ll look at the following:
So join us as we discover this indoor garden together!
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What Is Click And Grow?
Click and Grow is a countertop indoor smart garden brand that started in Estonia in 2009.
After reading a NASA paper on growing plants in space, founder Mattias Lepp started working on a method that would automate plants’ growth using simple hydroponics.
He worked with universities worldwide to fine-tune the technology, and soon the concept of the Click & Grow Smart Garden was born.
Here’s a timeline of the Click and Grow business so far:
- 2012 – The first Smart pot launched
- 2013 – The prototype (made of cardboard) is proposed of a second-generation garden
- 2014 – A Smart Herb Garden launches
- 2017 – The Smart Garden 9 launches
How Does Click And Grow Work?
Click and Grow products rely on simple hydroponics, in which the water drips on the roots of plants, causing them to grow significantly faster than traditional growing methods. You also use less water, and you don’t have to deal with dirt. So a win-win-win!
An automated LED grow light is suspended above the plants, giving your veggies, salad greens, or anything else 16 hours of simulated sunlight and eight hours of darkness.
And when your water level is low, the light blinks, indicating that you don’t have enough water.
While it’s not a completely hands-off garden, it’s about as close as you can get!
How Much Does Click And Grow Cost?
This countertop hydroponic system has a range of costs, depending on the model you choose. Here are the retail pricing for each of that smart garden models by Click and Grow:
- The Smart Garden 3 – Starting from $99.95
- The Smart Garden 9 – $199.95
- The Smart Garden 9 PRO – $259.95
- The Smart Garden 27 – $599.95
- The Wall Farm -$2,499.95
Where Can I Purchase Click And Grow?
You can purchase these models from either Amazon or through the Click And Grow website.
How Much Does Click And Grow Cost To Run?
This indoor garden won’t cause your electricity bill to spike. Their LED light needs relatively few watts of energy to run efficiently. Here’s the breakdown:
Smart Garden 3
- Wattage: 8W
- Power Consumption Monthly: 3.8 kWh
Smart Garden 9
- Wattage: 13W
- Power Consumption Monthly: 6.2 kWh
Smart Garden 27
- Wattage: 39W
- Power Consumption Monthly: 18.9 kWh
- Wattage: 110W
- Power Consumption Monthly: 53 kWh
Click And Grow Model Comparison
These smart herb gardens have a wide range of costs and features. Here are the main differences between the different models.
How To Set Up Click And Grow
The click and grow is one of the most manageable indoor smart gardens to set up. From unboxing to planting takes all of ten minutes. Here’s a quick video and written steps for set up Smart Garden 3-27.
Unbox the components and start assembling your lamp by adding the lamp arm extensions.
Put one extension arm on each side. Put the lamp in place. If it doesn’t go all the way, it could be a sign that you put it on backward.
insert your smart soil plant pods into the garden. Remove the u-shaped lids from plant cups and set them aside.
Remove the pods from their package and insert them into your plant cups.
Put the plant cups, and the U-shaped lids in place – The plant cups and lids are reusable, so make sure you don’t throw them away after your first growing experience.
Add the transparent germination domes to the top of your plant cups. This creates a greenhouse environment for your seeds and helps them germinate faster.
To label your plants, you can do so with a non-permanent marker or sticker.
Remove your domes as soon as the seedlings reach the top of the plastic.
Fill the water reservoir with 135 fluid oz (4 liters). Pour the water on the “float” until it’s at the same level as the top of the growing deck. This much water should last nearly a month. You can set reminders on the app to refill the water tank.
Turn on your unit. The lights and water should automatically start. You can expect your plants to germinate 1-3 weeks after planting, but the plant growth rate will depend on the plant.
Going Deeper: Models Of Click And Grow
This smart herb garden has several models, each with different features and capabilities. The smart garden system’s name typically tells you the amount of plants you can grow at a time. In a Smart Garden 9, for instance, you can grow up to nine plants at any given time. The Smart Garden 27 allows you to grow up to 27 plants.
Smart Garden 3
This innovative indoor garden is the smallest unit offered by Click and Grow. You can grow three different plants at a single time. This unit provides automated watering, light, and nutrients you need to get started. You also get access to the app, which offers you some basic tips for getting started.
When you purchase this model, you receive a complimentary set of three basil plant pods.
The Smart Garden 3 is comparable to the hydroponic systems of a few other brands, such as the following:
Smart Garden 9
With the Smart Garden 9, you can grow up to nine different plants at the same time. Like the Smart Garden 3, this hydroponic system gives your plants all the light, water, and nutrients needed to thrive and includes access to the Click and Grow app.
When you purchase this model, you receive a complimentary set of three tomato, three basil, and three lettuce plant pods.
The Smart Garden 9 is comparable to the following models from competing brands:
Smart Garden 9 Pro
The Smart Garden 9 Pro seems to be a response to many of Click and Grow’s competitors, such as that of AeroGarden. It’s the only system in this brand that is connected to the app. The others use the app for basic tips.
But the Smart Garden 9 uses the app to control the grow light, which is a handy feature if you want to quickly adjust the hours that your system is on.
Beyond the app control, there is also a touch control option that lets you snooze the light or turn it back on again.
Smart Garden 27
The Smart Garden 27 allows a gardener to grow 27 plants at a single time. This system is really three Smart Garden 9s stacked together on a plant stand frame made from pine and birch plywood.
The benefits of this larger system is that you can harvest larger yields. This is really the first unit that could make an impact on your grocery budget.
You can also save over $300 when you buy this system, compared to purchasing three Smart Garden 9s and the other components separately.
This model comes with the following complimentary plant pods: nine basil, nine lettuce, and nine mini tomato plant pods.
The Smart Garden 27 is comparable to these system:
The Wall Farm Indoor Vertical Farm
The Wall Farm is the most extensive hydroponic system provided by Click and Grow. It includes three shelves fully stacked with automatic lights and watering – the app is currently not connected to this system. It can grow up to 51 plants at a single time.
With this system, you can choose between six different complementary starter plant kids:
- Herb Kit: Nine rosemary, nine basil, nine thyme, nine cilantro, nine chives, and nine arugula plants.
- Salad Kit: 18 romaine lettuce, 19 green lettuce, nine kale, and nine leaf mustard plants
- Herb and Salad Kit: Nine romaine lettuce, nine arugula, nine green lettuce, nine basil, nice chives, and nine curly parsley plants.
- Dark Greens Kit: Nine red kale, nine blood sorrel, nine leaf mustard, nine arugula, nine romaine, and nine pad Choi plants.
- Flower Kit: 18 petunia, 18 moss rose, and 18 busy Lizzie plants.
- Variety Kit: Nine chili peppers, nine mini tomatoes, nine curly parsley, nine basil, nine arugula, and nine green lettuce plants.
It’s important to note that this system is large and takes up a lot of room – much more so than the other countertop gardens offered Click and Grow. It’s also a beautiful hydroponic unit that looks like an art installation in any home.
I’m adding some specs here so you can decide if it will fit in your home:
Height: 79.6″; Width: 53.1″ Depth: 15.7″
This unit is comparable to these brands:
Click and Grow Review
Click and Grow is one of the most interesting personal hydroponic gardens on the market. While it doesn’t have as many features as AeroGarden units or the connectivity of the Gardyn, it still offers a simple hydroponic system that can grow indoors. Its different products also allow for different yields, with the Wall Farm producing more plants than any of Click and Grow’s major competitors.
Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of Click and Grow systems
You Don’t Have To Add Nutrients
Of all the hydroponic systems we’ve reviewed, this is the only one where you don’t have to add nutrients to the water reservoir. All the nutrients the plant needs comes from the smart soil. You never need to add fertilizer or anything else! What a relief.
One thing that I’m curious about is the longevity of this method. Click and Grow claims that your plants can grow for two to six months, depending on the variety. This is similar to other indoor gardens that tell you to add nutrients. It seems strange that a seed pod – even with smart soil – could have enough nutrients to feed the plant over six months. Further, if it were to have enough nutrients for six months, I think this could be dangerous to the plant.
This is all just conjecture, but I have questions about this and no answers yet. As I learn more, I’ll provide updates about this.
The Smart Garden 9 appears to be the flagship model of the Click and Grow brand. It’s commonly promoted on their site and through and paid sponsorships. The Smart Garden 9 is only $199.95, which is still expensive – but comparable to other competitors in the space. For instance, The AeroGarden Bounty Basic Hydroponic Herb Garden is also under $200 and has similar features.
Plant Pods Price
The price of plant pods is pretty reasonable – $9.95 for most three-packs. That comes out to be about $3.32 per plant pod. And if these plants last 2-6 months, that’s not a bad price at all. You can also subscribe to get a year’s worth of seeds and get a discount. In total, you can save up to 50% on plant pods when you subscribe to their plant service.
On the smaller countertop models, the directions are straightforward and easy. The whole process takes only about ten minutes if you’re following the directions.
Bigger Models Provide Large Yields
The Wall Farm allows you to produce more plants at a single time than any of the competitors in the space. While exact yield numbers will depend on the type of plant, we know that the AeroGarden Farm24 can produce about three side salads a week with only twenty-four plants. This means, if you ultimately grew salad greens and harvested similar yields, you could likely meet a lot of a small family’s veggie needs. As someone who’s low-key preparing for the apocalypse, this is a big draw.
Long-lasting Grow Lights
Click and Grow has a grow light that can last for seven years. That’s insane. AeroGarden, for instance, suggests you replace their bulbs every six months. That’s a massive pro.
I’m calling this both a pro and a con. There aren’t nearly as many bells and whistles on this system as there are in some of the competitors. Personally, I like the simplicity. Many negative reviews you see from AeroGarden or Gardyn are that their features break or malfunction. Besides the Smart Garden 9 Pro, you don’t connect the units to an app, and there aren’t any complex moving parts. It’s just a water irrigation and a light on a timer.
The Click and Grow models look great on a kitchen countertop. The sleek design makes it an accent piece for your home. That said, this isn’t uncommon among top competitors. Most of them look amazing. The only system that’s a little clunky is iHarvest, and it’s still a beautiful indoor garden.
The Click and Grow models use a method of hydroponics called Capillary Precision Irrigation. This is just a fancy way of saying that a string material sits in the reservoir and draws water to the plant pods. This is an incredibly simple version of hydroponics, and it doesn’t require any pumps or aerators – like other competitors in the space. That means that you don’t have to worry about any loud pumps making noises throughout the night. As someone who has had issues with the noise levels from the AeroGarden Sprout, I can say that this is absolutely a benefit.
As someone who’s cleaned out a lot of hydroponic units, this is a perk. The roots are contained to the pods, so you don’t have to worry about roots or other debris dirtying your water tank. AeroGarden products – and most other competitors – need to be cleaned out between harvests (at minimum). For most growers, I recommend cleaning their gardens out every two to four weeks. So there’s much less to worry about when it comes to the Click and Grow models.
Like any indoor smart garden, Click and Grow has some downsides. Here are some of the specific issues with these units.
Limited Root Growth
The smart soil capsules limit the amount of root growth. It’s debatable if this could cause plants not to grow as large as they would in competitor units. This isn’t as much of a problem with greens (although you may have smaller yields), but it could be a bigger problem with tomatoes.
I honestly don’t like to grow tomatoes hydroponically anyway – they take too long, and I’m rarely happy with the results. But if you’re dead set on growing tomatoes indoors, this may not be the unit for you.
Unlike other systems, you don’t add fertilizer to your water tank. All the nutrients the plant uses comes from the smart soil. For longer-lived plants, this could be a problem for growth.
Like I said above, this is a pro and a con. As a con, you don’t have all the features you’d receive from a brand with full connectivity to an app. Some gardeners grow hydroponically for the convenience. Not having those extra features means that you may have to do slightly more to keep your plants thriving.
For most Click and Grow models, the app does a decent job of giving basic tips, but it doesn’t fully provide options to control the system. The exception to this is the Smart Garden 9 Pro, which does offer some basic control.
While I haven’t experienced this personally, several reviewers mention that it’s challenging to contact customer service – a person instead of a bot – especially regarding pods that don’t germinate or mold.
Here’s a comprehensive early review of this unit from Erin Lawrence. She does an excellent job of reviewing technology.
Review After Two Years
I also included her look-back review after two years of having this product. Erin highly recommends these indoor gardens and has even given them as gifts to family.
This is a good personal hydroponic brand that offers decent quality. Its simplicity can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preferences. The only big concern for me is the limited room for root growth rate, affecting your plant yields and longevity. But beyond this, the price and functionality are on par with the competition.
How Does Click And Grow Compare To Other Indoor Gardens?
While all indoor garden systems have pros and cons, The Click and Grow does well with price, functionality, and an easy set up. In terms of set up, it’s easier to get started than the AeroGarden Farm, Gardyn, or iHarvest brands. It’s also incredibly simple, so you don’t have to worry about complicated components breaking.
It doesn’t have as many features as the AeroGarden, Veritable, or the Gardyn, but it’s comparable to that of the iHarvest.
In terms of yields, it can grow a similar amount of plants as mid-tier hydroponic systems, like the AeroGarden Bounty. Still, its Vertical Garden Wall blows the competition away, with 51 plants growing at a single time. Talk about the yields.
Then again, the seed pods themselves could limit root growth, which could negatively affect the size of the plants.
So is this indoor garden right for you? The smaller systems would make great countertop options or planting experiments for children of all ages. And the simplicity of these models is refreshing.
When it comes down to it, it has different benefits than many of its competitors, so it’s up to you to decide what makes the most sense.
What Comes Inside A Click and Grow?
Water Tank and Grow Deck
The smart garden is a water reservoir with three or nine growing holes, depending on the model.
The watering system for this brand is just a simple drip irrigation that lives inside the water tank.
The plant cups hold your seed pods in place. As the water drip irrigation begins, the water goes through the plant cup and onto your plant pods and roots.
Your plants are grown from seed pods. Each Click and Grow model comes with complimentary seed pods. If you need more, you can purchase them individually or subscribe to receive more monthly.
The seed pods are made with smart soil, a growth medium that helps your plants balance oxygen, nutrient, and water levels. A unique part of this system is that the smart soil already has all the plants’ nutrients. This means you won’t need to add fertilizer.
All the seeds grown in Click and Grow seed pods lack harmful substances, such as dangerous pesticides.
The LED lights have a built-in timer that’s on for 16 hours and off for eight. To reset the timer, unplug it for at least ten seconds and then plug it in again.
The extension makes your grow light taller, allowing it to grow with the plants.
The Click & Grow comes with app access, which is typical for hydroponic units at this point. That said, it’s a little simplistic and brings into question if this product should truly be considered an “indoor smart garden.” This app gives customers an idea of what to expect. All models except the 9 Pro aren’t connected to the actual unit, like it would be for the AeroGarden or Gardyn.
But it does allow you to set watering reminders and gives you the ability to create a photo album of your plants as they grow. That said, the app is not monitoring your garden in real-time. It doesn’t know, for instance, if your light is on or off. And it doesn’t have any vacation mode functionality.
The lights are automatically on for 16 hours and off for eight hours a day. When you plug in the hydroponic unit, your “day” will begin. So you can adjust the time of day when the light is on.
What Can You Grow In A Click And Grow?
You can grow at least 76 fresh herbs, flowers and salad greens with Click and Grow, including basil plants, chili peppers, cilantro, peppermint, mini tomatoes, and romaine lettuce. And they have an experimental plant pack where you can grow your own seeds. So the sky’s the limit!