We all know how satisfying it is to grow your own food. For lots of us, however, weather, climate and space considerations can make having a garden difficult or impractical. That’s why Click and Grow is such a great idea. I recently received a sample of the Smart Garden 3 by Click and Grow Canada to test out for this review. I’ve also updated this review with my current thoughts after owning one for a few years. Spoiler alert: As of 2023, we still use this garden and grow herbs year round.
Click and Grow Smart Garden
I absolutely love this device. Growing my own fresh herbs was a treat. Plus the fact this garden is so low maintenance makes it so easy.
- Water & light makes growing easy
- Lots of plants to choose from
- Pods are easy & low maintenence
- Adjustable as plants grow
- Plants grow quickly
- Plants stay healthy for a long time
- App doesn’t do much
- Pods are pricey
What is Click and Grow Smart Garden 3?
Click and Grow is a small planter box with built in lighting and water where you can grow an astonishing variety of plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables. The Smart Garden 3 planter box holds 3 seed pods and is designed to be self-watering, holding enough water to properly irrigate the seeds for about a month at a time. There’s special LED grow lights that arc over top, and they come with extensions so you can raise the lights as your plants grow. The photo on the box seems to indicate you’ll get a pretty abundant supply of herbs when they mature. We’ll see.
How does Click and Grow Smart Garden work?
You plant the box with special pre-planted soil-and-seed pods that come in handy peel-and-pop-out packages. Fertilizer is already part of the soil so you get healthy plants from the start. There’s no pesticides, plant hormones, or any other harmful substances. You can plant a whole garden with one crop, or mix and match.
The Smart Garden 3 is quite compact, and a good size for a kitchen counter. There’s a bigger version, the Smart Garden 9 which can grow up to 9 pods.
My hands-on Click and Grow review
Setting up Click and Grow Smart Garden 3
Getting growing is easy; open up your soil and seed pods (my kit came with three basil capsules) and pop them into the cups and add the small plastic covers and the clear biodomes to create a greenhouse effect. Fill the side opening with enough water to make the small float even with the top of the planter, then plug it in to power up the lights.
It’s worth noting that the lights stay on for 16 hours straight and then turn off for 8 hours. So whenever you plug them in, that’s when your ‘day’ begins. Do this at 5pm and your lights will be on all night. Not that that’s a problem, but if you don’t want that bright light all night, it’s best to plug it in to start the timer in the morning.
Once the plants start growing in Smart smart Garden by click and grow and reach the inside of the biodomes, you can remove them and save them somewhere safe for your next crop.
Thanks to its energy efficient LED lighting system, the Smart Garden only consumes 6W of power.
App for Smart Garden 3: not really that smart
Sign up for the app and then use the camera to scan the QR code on your plant capsules or add them manually by searching the plant database.
The app tells you a bit about what to expect from your plant, how long a lifespan it should have, and allows you to set watering reminders, create a photo album or otherwise journal your crop. There’s not really any smart connectivity to speak of; the app isn’t monitoring your crop in real time, and can’t for example tell you if the light is on or off, or offer that kind of remote control or time adjustments. I think that would be a great new feature for the Smart Garden, and hopefully that kind of smarts is in the works for the future.
How soon can you harvest Smart Garden 3 by click and grow?
It was fun watching my seeds sprout and grow, changing every day, and after just 3-4 weeks, the basil I planted was big enough to begin harvesting. After about three weeks I needed to add one of the extenders for the lights, since my plants were already touching it. I should have acted a little faster to move up the light bar, since when I went to adjust it, the lights were actually burning the delicate leaves a bit; more sunburn, less fire, if you get my drift.
I probably could have started plucking leaves even earlier, but I wanted to give the plants a chance to grow fully this time around.
How big do the plants get with Click and Grow?
After about 3 weeks, I had three strong plants. I’d say at this point, they’re about half to three quarters the size of one of those grocery store clamshells of herbs. By about week six, they were rather large bunches and we couldn’t keep up by eating them!
Overall review of Click and Grow Smart Garden 3
I absolutely love this device. Growing my own fresh herbs was a treat. Plus the fact this garden is so low maintenance makes it so easy. There’s enough water to care for the garden for weeks, and the lighting self timer keeps my plants growing regularly and evenly. Because the lights are placed overhead on a sturdy arm, the plants grow straight and even.
The basil in particular was very sturdy, leafy and vibrantly green. It would be a good idea too to plant your individual pods a week or two apart, to ensure a constant supply.
The taste is really good! It’s bold, vibrant and a bit spicy; not bland like that grocery store clamshell basil you buy. I’m duly impressed!
The Smart Garden 3 sells for about $99USD or $129CAD and comes with a starter pack of 3 basil pods. Additional pods including a wide variety of herbs, lettuces, small fruits and veggies and even flowers are all available from Click and Grow’s website or from Amazon (links below) and from Best Buy too. They sell for $12.99 for a 3-pack of seed and soil pods, and Click and Grow also sells larger 9-pack pod bundles too.
Despite the fact the garden isn’t app-connected in a way I’d appreciate, I’m hooked, and will be ordering cilantro next.
Click & Grow Update: 2 years after getting one, do I still like Smart garden by Click and Grow?
People often ask me what some products are like and what kind of use I get from them after the camera stops rolling. So in this post I’ll look at what I’ve learned after using Click and Grow for about 2 years now. The garden is still with me; not only this garden but I’ve actually ended up gifting these gardens to my mother law, aunt and sister in law. I’m definitely still using and enjoying this garden.
How durable is Click and Grow lighting?
The lighting still works great after two years; and if you’ve seen the full review here on the blog you know Click and Grow is designed to be self-watering, holding enough water to properly irrigate the seeds for about a month at a time. There’s special LED grow lights that arc overtop, and they come with extensions so you can raise the lights as your plants grow. I can say the lighting still works great; it will come on and stay on for the lights stay on for 16 hours straight and then turn off for 8 hours. So whenever you plug them in, that’s when your ‘day’ begins. While I do still have the lighting extensions, I never use them any more; I just keep the lights on the tallest setting and that still seems to work even at seed germination stage. When it comes to the seed and pods themselves; earlier this year there was a pretty wicked supply issue and I couldn’t get pods for moths. That seems to have been resolved and I recently received a new order which includes lots of new seed types.
How well do smart garden by Click and Grow seed pods grow?
I will say everything grows really well; I did have some issues with one package of mint that just never sprouted, but that’s not happened with other seeds, or since then and I did ask for and get a replacement. In terms of how I’m using this, I keep it in the kitchen and grow fresh herbs all winter long. I find the built in LED lighting makes a huge difference in keeping the plants flourishing all winter. In spring, I’ve been suing it to sport seeds indoors then I transfer them to pots outside. For the most part I don’t grow things in it in the summer, just because outdoors is easier. Many of the plants, like basil and mint last for about 1-3 months before they need to be replanted.
Can you use your own seeds and soil? Yes, but…
I have tried growing a few things with both the available fertilized pods and my own soil and seeds had mixed success; I do find Click and Grow’s pods work best of all. And honestly it’s much less messy.
Aphids & bugs with Click and Grow
I have had it happen where I’ve gotten aphids; tiny little sticky bugs that are all over the plant. I have no idea why, but they do seem to come in the spring… as doors and windows start to get thrown open. In each case, I’ve either relocated the plants outside where they seem to get over the infestation, or I did have to throw several plants out and thoroughly scrub the garden to prevent it from reoccurring. In my review I complained about the app; since it doesn’t really do anything; the app tells you a bit about what to expect from your plant, how long a lifespan it should have, and allows you to set watering reminders, create a photo album or otherwise journal your crop.
There’s not really any smart connectivity to speak of; the app isn’t monitoring your crop in real time, and can’t for example tell you if the light is on or off, or offer that kind of remote control or time adjustments. I think that would be a great new feature for the Smart Garden, and hopefully that kind of smarts is in the works for the future. But I doubt it, since the app hasn’t been updated since about 2018, so that’s a bit of a disappointment. Overall though I am definitely loving the Click and Grow for keeping fresh herbs and greens in my house and I can still say I recommend it even after over many years.
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