We’ve had the Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 Click and Grow for about two months now. It’s given us two small lettuces, and we have been picking here and there at mustard greens, basil, and parsley. Two months in I think we have a pretty decent understanding of the device and its pros and cons and feel good writing this Click and Grow Review. This isn’t a device to grow food at home, it’s not a substitute for a garden, but it is a great tool to accent the herbs you have in your kitchen, and if you have kids, then the Click & Grow is definitely for you.
Methodology: When reviewing this, or any other product, our first goals at GreenerPods is to see how well the device can help you grow your greens or food at home to make any measurable impact on nutrition and budget, followed by how seamlessly it blends into the home environment, and lastly how well it’s designed as a product.
Click and Grow Review : Our thoughts
On it’s homepage Click & Grow claims:
“No more tasteless store-bought herbs! Save money, time and invest in better health. Grow your own food with an indoor garden!”
Does it stack up to its claims? Yes and no. It grew herbs, and greens at home, we’ve even got three little tomatoes coming, the mustard greens were awesome, and basil we ate was pretty solid. The lettuce and kale were, however, a bit bland. Fine considering you’re growing at home with imperfect conditions.
Economics: Does the Click and save you money? No. You’re looking at about $3.33 a plant with Click and Grow – more or less comparable to what you’d be paying at Whole Foods for the same plant. Except that the Click and Grow produces less quantity than what you’d get at Whole Foods for more or less the same price, but it’s fresher as it’s literally growing at home, and lasts longer. The benefit here is that the herbs from Click and Grow are fresher as you’re cutting the plant and consuming it, so nutrition levels should be optimal, albeit less what you’d get for growing it outdoors.
Time: I’m not sure how to handle the claim that it saves you time? What’s the claim against, growing the same green on a windowsill? Perhaps it does, the Click and Grow blasts the plants with about 16 hours of light a day, accelerating plant growth. Seed germination speed is also increased due to the substrate the seeds come in.
Better health: Absolutely. Plant nutrition is directly tied to freshness, so the longer the plant is laying there on the shelf the less nutritious it will be. Problem is, there’s just not enough plant with the Click & Grow.
So what about the product?
The build is made of plastic (we were unable to identify if it’s from recycled plastic or not) and the assembly is fairly straightforward. The light can be moved up or down by removing a piece of plastic on either side and a floating buoy indicates the amount of water the device is holding.
Click and Grow claims that it’s a “set-it-and-forget-it garden system that will grow herbs, flowers and salad greens with zero effort.” which is how we approached this, but after 2 weeks we noticed that ~ weekly water refills were needed. So if you buy this smart garden remember to water it.
The design aesthetic is pleasant, and as a unit, the 9 plants Click and Grow live on a kitchen island or table if you have one. For urban or international environs where space is more of an issue, it’s a bit big and bulky and a 3 plant device may be better suited for a hobbyist because the yield from the plants isn’t really substantial.
Plants and growing: the Click and Grow come with three varieties of plant capsules, and you can order additional ones on their site. Fine and good, except that plants will grow better or worse based on what’s planted next to them. Put mustard greens next to lettuce, and the lettuce will flourish at the expense of the mustard. Click and Grow provides no such information to the consumer, so you have to experiment a bit. Space is also an issue, overcrowding started happening at about the 4-week point. Plants should also have air circulation, it helps them get CO2, and Oxygen and a slight breeze will help them stand up stronger. Something we saw lacking in our plants which after a month begin presenting themselves – limp, so if you want to get the most out of your click and grow, put a small fan on the plants.
And then there are the lights. This is maybe the one drawback, jarringly bright and on for 16 hours on a clock that you’re not able to set other than plugging it in at 6 am so it goes off at 10 pm, which I wouldn’t call a problem if you can house the click and grow in its own room, but the lights are jarringly bright, and this is just one of a number of minor design flaws that become apparent as you spend time with the Click and Grow.
Recommendation: Buy if you have kids, or if you want to grow herbs in your kitchen. Dont buy it to be a substitute for all your greens. The Click and Grow will deliver on growing the plants, but the yield is what you’d need for accents.
When it arrived I can only say that I was very much looking forward to “Growing my own food” as Click and Grow website claims, which I reckon I did if you count half a salad split between two people after growing for two months, food. Finally, the Click and Grow lights are possibly its worst feature, and the operational issues make dealing with the company difficult, like in the case of not being able to log into my account for a week to pick the plants I’m getting shipped early, and not a word from their help desk.
If you can overlook the little flaws, this product is awesome, it can teach your kids about photosynthesis, how plants pollinate, grow, it will teach them hydroponics, and responsibility to keep plants alive. It’ll make a good since the project, or even something for a classroom. For that – total buy.
Ranking is based on a five star (*****) scale.
Nutritional Impact: **** Good if you’re growing the right things.
Impact on the wallet: ** Neutral.
Aesthetics: **** It’s a good looking hunk of plastic
Product design: ** Some positive elements, but clunky in areas.