carnegie downhill with mud
Review: Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden
By Stu Robarts May 29, 2014
Click and Grow's Smart Herb Garden aims to help people grow herbs at home with a minimum of effort
It's rare that reviewing a device takes six weeks, but then, we don't usually have to wait for nature to let us actually write the review. Click and Grow's Smart Herb garden was released earlier this year. It aims to help users grow perfect herbs with a minimum of effort.
The Smart Herb Garden comes packaged in a handy carry-case with instructions printed on th...Users receive three herb cartridges of basil, thyme and lemon balm with the Smart Herb Gar...Plastic covers act as small greenhouses when the growing process first beginsThe Smart Herb Garden has three slots into which the plant cartridges are pluggedView all
The review device was a long-time in the making, having been the subject of a Kickstarter project early last year. It follows on from Click and Grow's first-generation version, which accommodated just one plant. The new version has room for three.
The herbs are provided in pre-seeded pots with Click and Grow's specially formulated soil. According to the company, the soil "contains pockets for oxygen even when it's wet and supplies plants with an optimal amount of nutrients."
Users receive three herb cartridges of basil, thyme and lemon balm with the Smart Herb Garden, which also has a reservoir for water that needs to be refilled around every 4-6 weeks, and a light strip that encourages plant growth. Click and Grow says that users need only plug the device into the mains and keep it topped up with water. It all sounds very simple.
And, to be honest, it is. Setting up the Smart Herb Garden was easy. The instructions on the box got us up and running and there's more detailed information on the website.
If anything, the Smart Herb Garden was more basic than I was expecting. Firstly, the use of "smart" in a device's name nowadays tends to denote that it's connected to the internet. One could argue that this is a touch misleading, although in isolation it's not a big deal (a website showing data about how your herbs are doing could be quite fun though).
Click and Grow says the herbs take about six weeks to grow to a good size
For me, however, some of the language used on the Smart Herb Garden page of the Click and Grow website is also a bit questionable. It talks of "sensors and software" that "measure the conditions and make sure your plant is feeling well," and references the "high tech" that is involved in the device. I was surprised, therefore, to discover that none of the above really held true.
The Smart Herb Garden is, basically, a large reservoir of water into which the herb cartridges are suspended to keep them moist. The light is on a timer, but that's about the most technological aspect of the device itself. The specially formulated soil in the herb cartridges, meanwhile, is the most sophisticated aspect of the whole thing, which Click and Grow rightly makes a point of noting.
I put this to Click and Grow's representatives and was advised that the "sensor" to which the site refers is, in fact, the plastic float that sinks as the water level drops and the "software" that is mentioned is actually for another product, the Smartpot. Why it's mentioned on the Smart Herb Garden page, therefore, I don't know.
The light is on a timer that comes on and off at set times to help the herbs grow
The Smart Herb Garden is a fun piece of kit to have around in the kitchen. It does what's expected of it and grows great herbs, as you can see from our lead image. As per the guidance provided, it took about six weeks for each of the herb plants to get to a good size, growing especially rapidly between the fourth and sixth weeks. The plants clearly responded to the light too, which I'm sure helps things along significantly. There are also a variety of refill cartridges to choose from.
Having said all of that, it feels like the device is perhaps being oversold a touch on the website and when you factor in the price of US$99.95, it's hard not to see a reason why that could be the case. Although that price includes three cartridges, it still seems fairly steep.
When you break everything down here, you have some pre-seeded fancy soil, a water trough and a light. Perhaps if it was more high-tech I'd find the price more reasonable. And perhaps Click and Grow thinks the same.
Product page: Smart Herb Garden
Chili Pepper Refill for Smart Herb Garden $9.95
Lemon Balm Refill for Smart Herb Garden $6.95
Mini Tomato Refill for Smart Herb Garden $9.95
Basil Refill for Smart Herb Garden $6.95
How does the Click & Grow work?
Plants thrive in our smart soil
Our nano-tech growth medium gives plants the right amount of water, oxygen and nutrients at all times.
Technology does all the work
Our sensors and software measure the conditions and make sure your plant is feeling well.
Just plug it in and add water
It's easy to get started with a smart flowerpot. Just plug it into a wall socket and fill the water tank once a month or so.
Plants still need a little love and common sense
Despite the high tech involved, remember it's a live plant. Please don't place your plant away from light and don't cut off all the leaves at once.
Products are dispatched on the same working day and usually reach their intended recipients in less than a week. Due to strict customs regulations for live seeds we don't ship our products to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Russia and Brazil.