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This Indoor Garden Is An Almost Fool-Proof Way to Grow Your Own Vegetables

The Click and Grow line of indoor gardening kits is as simple as its name — you click, then you grow.

click and grow
Tyler Chin

Not everyone has the luxury of a patio, backyard or balcony, which could make growing your own produce impossible. But indoor gardening kits make the impossible possible. These homebound devices won't let you grow enough herbs or vegetables to start selling at your local farmer's market (and they won't really help you eat salads every day), but they're an ingenious way to maintain a manageable edible garden with very little effort.

One of the most recognized indoor garden kit brands is Click and Grow. Despite its uncreative name, which plays into just how simple the thing is to use, Click and Grow is about as foolproof as they come. To test just how well Click and Grow works, we grew some basil in the brand's entry-level model, the Smart Garden 3. Here's how it worked.

Price (Click and Grow): $100 | Price (Amazon): $100

SHOP NOW (CLICK AND GROW) | SHOP NOW (AMAZON)

What's Good

It's impossible to screw up: Out of the box, you literally click in the basil pods — included in the kit — cover them with a plastic dome, fill a reservoir with water and plug in the device. All you need to worry about is making sure the reservoir, which self-waters the plants, is full and you plug in the unit at a time that makes sense to you (more on that later). Little sprouts will sprout in no time, and all you need to do is let the greens reach the skies. As your plants get taller, you'll need to extend the lamp with the included lamp extenders to give more space to grow and also provide some distance between the light and the plant.

My basil started to grow almost immediately, with green poking out of the soil before I even realized it. In a couple weeks, I was already harvesting a few basil leaves to sprinkle into tomato sauces. All I had really done since setting up the device was give it water and let it do its thing.

It's compact: While I'm already tight on kitchen counter space, it wasn't hard to find somewhere to put the Smart Garden 3. It measures 12 inches by 5 inches, and because the overall device has a sleek, clean look, I didn't mind keeping this on my dresser. Some may find placing it in the bedroom to be annoying because the light is just so damn bright, but I can sleep through anything and I haven't had an issue with being disturbed by the brightness.

You can grow almost anything: Click and Grow offers over 50 plant pods, ranging from the edible (herbs, vegetables and fruit) to the decorative (flowers). The pods' Smart Soil utilize NASA-inspired technology, which evenly waters thee plant and ensures the plants maintain the proper pH level while getting adequate moisture, oxygen and nutrients. They're also sans pesticides, fungicides, hormones and other bad stuff.

click and grow
Think of the Click and Grow pods as Keurig pods except smarter, and (eventually) much better tasting.
Click and Grow

What's Not as Good

It's not completely smart: While it's called the "Smart Garden," the device as a whole isn't truly smart. The "smart" more applies to the self-caring soil rather than how you interact with the Smart Garden 3. You can't sync up the Smart Garden with an app, which would be nice to keep track of plant growth. And once you plug in the garden, it stays lit for 16 hours with no way to turn it off without unplugging it. A simple switch to turn on and off the lights would have made much more sense.

Alternatives

We found six other indoor garden kits that can rival the Click and Grow's Smart Garden 3. Its direct competitor is the Aerogarden Harvest, which for $150, has a comparable ease of use albeit with the ability to grow six plants versus three, as well as a switch for the lights. The light arm is also extendable on its own — no need to store separate light extenders like the Smart Garden 3.

Within the Click and Grow inventory is the Smart Garden 9 ($200) and the app compatible Smart Garden 9 PRO ($260), as well as the standing unit, the Smart Garden 27 ($600), and The Wall Farm ($2,500). Each adds more space for grow pods, and the Smart Garden 9 may be better than the entry-level model if you're hoping to grow more variety at the same time. If you're really obsessed with growing edible plants, The Wall Farm is a splurge, though its $2,500 price tag may not justify its existence.

click
Click and Grow

Verdict

The Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 is an entry-level indoor garden kit for those who need some herbs every now and again. Don't expect to ever grow enough produce to make a salad for a week, let alone a single meal. As long as you remember to water your device, your greens will continue to thrive. It's fairly forgiving if you forget to fill the water reservoir for a couple days after it's dried up or forgot to extend the lamp arm, and that's what makes this a worthy purchase if you're looking to kickstart a green thumb — even if you don't have one.

Price (Click and Grow): $100 | Price (Amazon): $100

SHOP NOW (CLICK AND GROW) | SHOP NOW (AMAZON)

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