Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

Review: Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden

By

May 29, 2014

Click and Grow's Smart Herb Garden aims to help people grow herbs at home with a minimum o...

Click and Grow's Smart Herb Garden aims to help people grow herbs at home with a minimum of effort

Image Gallery (10 images)

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 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 Gar...

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

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds.   All articles by Stu Robarts
Tags
10 Comments

I question the non-inclusion of chives, for a start, lemon balm might be counted as an alternative, but I am not sure.

Other seed choices should be there, how about radishes for one? They grow as fast as most herbs and would make as good a contribution for my household.

The Skud
29th May, 2014 @ 07:12 pm PDT

It would be interesting to see an analysis of the soil to see exactly how special it is.

Rt1583
30th May, 2014 @ 12:26 am PDT

When my twins were 8, they were struggling to find age-appropriate ways to earn money. We came up with the idea of growing/selling herb gardens in the neighborhood. It worked out very well. They learned a lot and made a few bucks. Theirs, of course, was low tech. But had the virtue of costing $10 to make at full retail on supplies.

Michael Brendzel
30th May, 2014 @ 03:02 am PDT

What everybody wants to know is can you grow pot with it?

ezeflyer
30th May, 2014 @ 09:33 am PDT

I was one of those original Kickstarter funders. As swag I received this unit. I even ordered a few more plants. The basil and thyme are being harvested now seem fine. But the third plant ,tomato, is blowing my mind! It is a Bonsai, really!

6" tall and has a little green tomato budding out.

I will be able to make a nice pasta sauce for a garden fairy soon.

Talking to the makers of this product and hope the produce non seeded pots for starting anything you want, to transfer outside after the frost.

It did what it said, in miniature....

KeNTKB
30th May, 2014 @ 10:42 am PDT

http://www.ikea.com/ie/en/catalog/products/80270168/

same without a light for €6...

Cathal Davis
30th May, 2014 @ 11:06 am PDT

Had to think about this a bit after I read it this morning. I am also an early Kickstarter supporter. I must say I don't care for the fact that they are already selling these commercially when they have yet to send me the one they promised a year ago. They also do not respond to messages I have left. This might be fine for folks in Europe, but for the USA, I have to advise you steer clear.

MBadgero
30th May, 2014 @ 01:48 pm PDT

I got mine from Kickstarter campaign after I was able to let the company now I had not gotten mine yet they said I was lost in a glitch then I took another contact with the company to get them to actually sending unit I got the impression they were overwhelmed.

As far as using the product the biggest challenge was setting it up using the very limited and ambiguous instructions I logged on to the site in order to get more clarity but there was no clarity to be found there. I did eventually get it set up and 6 weeks later I had my three plants it healthy basil some lemon balm which I would never have chosen but it was nice to try and my spindly little time that looks nothing like the one in the picture on gizmag.

The light bar appears to be adjustable in heights but I'm not sure if that's the case when I try to move mine the light turns off and starts flashing I'm not sure if it's supposed to be adjustable again the instructions are vague so I'll just leave it alone.

Paul Anthony
2nd June, 2014 @ 09:47 am PDT

$100 and you can't choose what to grow? I've picked up a competitor option for 1/2 the cost and am growing mint, oregano, and basil.

David Ling
10th June, 2014 @ 04:32 pm PDT

I love my Click and Grow. FYI There is a design flaw with the water sensor (it made the light blink all the time) but when I emailed them they just told me to remove the sensor. It worked. I'm an avid gardening in the summer so I got this to use in the winter. I wouldn't use this just for seed starting and transplanting outside, the pods are really expensive for that.

They said they are going to come out with an empty pot so you can plant your own seeds but I just scratched off the seeds with my fingernail and planted what I wanted. You can only have so much lemon balm. If you want to plant your own seeds but you can't see them just get it started as usual and pull out all the seedlings that sprout. Then plant what you want.

Jess McCormick
28th June, 2014 @ 10:58 pm PDT
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 28,140 articles