The first time we heard about the Click and Grow Smart Garden, without reading up anything much about it, we thought that it will be a device that comes with soil humidity, PH level, auto-watering/lighting features, connected to an app that tells you all the vital signs of the plant. The word "Smart" seemed to suggest all the above. Unfortunately, it is not the usual gadget we were expecting and the smart-ness lies somewhere else.
The Click and Grow Smart Garden comes with 3 pre-seeded pots of basil. According to the company, it comes with specially formulated soil that contains pockets of oxygen and optimum nutrients inspired from NASA technology. It is also advertised to grow 30% faster and uses 95% less water.
The starter kit has a reservoir for water that needs to be refilled around every 4-6 weeks, and a light strip that simulates sunlight. Click and Grow claims that that users need only plug the device into the mains and keep it topped up with water. It all sounds very simple.
We are not gardener to start with and did not have any experience in growing anything, not to mention basils. However, setting up was really easy and the instructions provided got us up and running in no time.
There are plastic caps that simulates a greenhouse effect to kick start the growth and also a visual water indicator that tells you when you should top up water. The app that comes with it also sends you reminders to do so. The visual indicator is actually just a simple mechanism that floats on the water. We were quite tempted to put in a water level sensor to make it more automated.
Turn in the wall plug on turns on the LED lighting for the plants. Please note that the lighting cycle for the device is 18 hours of lights followed by 6 hours of darkness. The inbuilt timer would handle the schedule from the moment you turn on the power. Thus you actually have to turn it on early in the morning for the cycle to be more in line with your timezone. The height of the LED lights can also be adjusted as the plant grows and it takes around 4-6 weeks before you can "harvest" the herb for use in your kitchen.
The Smart Garden isn't really a connected device but does what it is expected. It is really a no fuss setup to grow outdoor edible herbs fully indoor. You can also purchase refill cartridge (sounds like a printer) to grow other herbs/food like mint, chillies, tomatoes or even strawberries.
Maybe as we get older, we begin to enjoy stuff like growing herbs and cooking them even though it is not really a gadget. Maybe because there is a tinge of technology in this setup that attracted us to this and there isn't any much care required of us to grow them.
Here's how a 4-weeks old basil looks like and it gives a different kind of satisfaction from playing with gadgets and smart home stuff. Maybe it is time to make your garden smarter in your smart home. The Click and Grow Smart Garden will be available in EpiCentre Singapore soon.
Automate Asia Team