Wish you could grow your own food but don’t have access to outdoor space? Worry not, because there are some pretty innovative companies that are paving the way to make this a problem of the past, and Click and Grow is one of them.
Click and Grow solved a problem that many people can relate to – the desire to be sustainable, reduce waste and grow their own food without any outside space at all. No gardens. No balconies. Nothing.
Martin Laidla, Public Relations Manager for Click and Grow, says: “Our gardens have grown in popularity alongside several different trends. Gardening in general has increased in recent years and has been boosted during the shutdowns, as has attention to healthier eating and concerns about mental health, food safety and availability. A recent survey showed that in 2020, seven percent more people chose gardening as a hobby globally.
I know I can understand that. Not only did I fall down the houseplant rabbit hole, but I also started caring more about what I was eating and incorporated lots of fresh herbs into my meals. I started growing basil, parsley and chives near my windowsill in the kitchen, but wanted to do more. I saw friends who had gardens growing tomatoes, lettuce, and other vegetables, and it frustrated me that I couldn’t do it just because I didn’t have a garden.
Martin explains, “The ‘classic’ way of gardening and growing some of your own food is great, but most of us don’t have the knowledge, time or space for it. Sourcing greens from the Farmer’s Market is a healthy option, but again, they’re not close enough for everyone, and the fresh produce you get often ends up as waste.
“We help people grow their own fresh, clean food with little to no effort and no gardening knowledge required. Ease of use is the number one reason people choose us over other indoor gardening options. And people also love that it’s even more sustainable than buying greens at farmers’ markets – greens grown in your home with our gardens are beyond organic, have no miles food and create no waste.
As someone truly passionate about sustainability and waste, Click and Grow was a no-brainer for me. I wanted to stop being someone who bought plastic bags full of weed and only used half of them before I had to throw them in the trash. Click and Grow gave me the opportunity to change that.
But what is Click and Grow?
Click and grow sell smart gardens that allow you to grow plants 365 days a year. They eliminate the need to worry about any kind of watering schedule or whether your plants are getting enough light. The base of each unit houses a water reservoir which can store enough water for up to a month – I have found this to vary depending on the age of your plants. There’s a water indicator that lets you know when you need to top up, making it much easier than watering a plant in the ground.
There are nine places to add your plant pods. These plant pods are made with a very specific blend of soil called ‘Smart Soil’, which provides the nutrients your plant needs to survive and thrive. When you first plant your pods, you’ll place a small biodome on top to create a greenhouse effect that will help your plants sprout faster. Attached by extendable arms is a grow light that is on for 16 hours a day and off for eight hours. Don’t worry if that sounds like a lot – since I got the Click and Grow (I have three gardens) my electric bill has only increased by around 25p a month.
You can choose from a variety of plant pods ranging from herbs to greens, fruits to vegetables, and even flowers. They ship to around 50 countries, becoming hugely popular around the world and there’s really no surprise why.
Martin adds: “Our clientele is quite large as you can imagine for a garden and a household appliance. There are seasoned and novice gardeners; people who are excellent home cooks and are interested in certain specific herbs for their dishes and are not satisfied with the inferior herbs they would get from the store; there are those who mainly seek to decorate their rooms with our gardens and plants because they are aesthetic; there are those who use gardens to teach their children about nature or get them to eat healthier foods; there are those who want to live more sustainably and get clean food without food miles, waste or excessive packaging; there are those who use gardens to de-stress.
My experience with Click and Grow
I received my Click and Grow Smart Garden 27 in August 2021. I was really excited to set it up and was impressed with how quickly and easily it was possible to do so. It took me just under an hour to set up the stand, set up all the gardens and plant the pods. Everything was clearly labeled and all the tools you might need are provided.
Each smart garden comes with a variety of plants to get you started. Mine came with green lettuce, yellow cherry tomatoes and basil. Most pods come in packs of three or nine. I also got a few extra botanicals like cilantro, dill, rosemary, thyme, chives, arugula, and mint. I set up the top to be all my herbs, then I had the middle with my tomatoes and the bottom with my arugula lettuce. Since I had more space to grow different things, I also ordered sweet red peppers, wild strawberries, bush peas, bok choi, green kale, romaine lettuce and Swiss chard. card. As you can see, there is a huge variety of things you can grow at home!
It took a few weeks for something super exciting to happen, but only a few days for some of the pods to start sprouting. I have found that herbs grow the fastest. However, I had a problem with my mint. Nothing sprouted from my pod. Luckily, Click and Grow has a policy that if your pod doesn’t grow in three weeks, they’ll help you with a refund or replacement.
I’ve had my smart garden for just over three months now and I can honestly say it’s changed the way I cook. I love using fresh herbs in just about everything and having the pods ready to harvest when I need them is amazing. I don’t feel like I’m wasting food like I used to. I made a delicious fresh pesto with my basil, I used my thyme and rosemary to season roasted potatoes and my dill to make fresh tzatziki, and I made salads with my green lettuce which was probably the most exciting because I never thought I would be able to grow lettuce in my apartment.
My yellow tomatoes are almost ripe as well as my dwarf peas. I plan on making ramen with my pak choi and kale chips with my green kale once it’s ready. I’m still waiting for my wild strawberries, my red peppers and my red peppers to bloom. Once they flower, all I have to do is shake the plant to pollinate them and then I’ll have delicious food to eat.
I will say that some plants can take much longer than others to grow anything. Click and Grow has this great app that you can use to track your plant’s growth cycle. It’s not very accurate as it won’t be able to tell how far away the plant is, but it’s a good guideline to follow. It gives you plant care tips and makes it easy to remember which plants came from which pod (you can label the actual garden, but if you’re like me and forget or have bad handwriting, using the app is a little easier).
You cannot keep pods forever, you will need to replace them. However, the type of waste you have when you grow your own plants at home is all organic waste, whereas if you were buying it from a store you would have plastic. I still have most of my plant pods in my Click and Grow since I planted them in August. I had to replace a few herbs but that’s because they bloomed while I was away. If you don’t want to throw the pods away completely, some of them can be replanted in pots or outdoors if you have a place to put them.
All in all, I would say the Click and Grow is definitely worth it. Prices range from £85.95 to £685.95. The Smart Garden 27, which is the one I have, costs £515.95. Three packs of pods cost £8.95 and nine packs cost £20.95. They too offer subscriptions which can save you a bit of money, so if there’s something you really like to grow, you can have it on hand when you need it.
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