7 Reasons to Fall in Love with Click and Grow Systems

I am learning to garden indoors for many reasons — chiefly wind, heat, and brutal sunshine. I don’t attempt to grow much stuff outside on the patio since seeing my Topsy Turvy tomato plant hangers snapping in the breeze over the fence like extremely expensive wind socks.

Not since seeing our ‘normal wind’ rip the cover off my VegTrug and nearly fling it out across the valley, despite hefty tie-downs, duct tape and zip ties.

The compost system is now tied down with concrete blocks and is going nowhere now. You’re welcome, neighbor.

So, yes, the dream of an indoor grow system has crossed my mind on more than one occasion.

Smashing Some Preconceived Notions about Grow Systems

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I’ve thought of grow systems as being along the lines of the coolest one I’ve ever seen – from the 1972 sci-fi movie Silent Running with Bruce Dern – and that one didn’t even exist.

Since I never had the urge to colonize Mars or boldly go where no person has gone before, grow systems didn’t make much sense to worry about. Now, 42 years later, real life technology has caught up with and surpassed my sci-fi-conceived notions.

This is not a grow systems review, but it’s some good reasons to fall in love…

Under the best conditions, I would be writing a review of a system with which I’ve had a few months of experience. In this case, I haven’t tried the grow systems I just ‘met’ – Click & Grow – but I can hardly wait for my Smart Herb Garden to arrive!

  1. For one thing, the Click & Grow system is small (13.9″ x 4.96″ x 12.1″ – weighs 2.19 pounds), so I will not have to build a space-traversing bubble-enclosed space vessel to use it. That’s a good thing, given how difficult air travel is these days.
  2. The Click & Grow systems only need to be watered every few weeks, and the system will tell me when to do so. I’ll take that peace of mind any day! No more need to guess which plant needs how much water and when – or fretting about over-watering, under-watering, or feeding.
  3. Click & Grow systems modules are available with mini tomato, chili pepper, basil, thyme, garden sage, lemon balm, sugar leaf.  You can also grow decorative plants: busy lizzy, china pink, cockscomb, lamb’s ear, painted nettle, and more plants are in line to be offered.
  4. They’re in the process of setting up to provide Pro refills for those who want to sow their own seeds – that’ll be me in a few months, given that I love starting stuff from seeds!
  5. There are no pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, plant hormones or other suspicious substances. And not a single GMO in the bunch.
  6. To quote their Facebook page: What makes Click & Grow special is that plants grow in [the system] on their own, without any outside help. A plant that grows in the Click & Grow flowerpot does not need watering, fertilizing or any other kind of care. The whole process of plant growth is taken care of by the sensors, processor and special software in the pot. A truly remarkable gadget for the modern person! (I’m a modern person; I want that!)
  7. The dang thing runs on batteries (although I’m getting the Click & Grow Smart Herb Garden that’s supposed to plug into a wall).

Click and Grow Systems are More than Just Cool Tech Stuff

One of the coolest things about Click & Grow is that it was ‘grown’ with the help of Kickstarter. I’m a major fan of and constant participant in crowdsourced innovation at Kickstarter. Participating companies can run fast and low to the ground, eyes open and on high alert, listening to their crowd.

“What’s that got to do with gardening?” I hear you ask. Not much… and everything. Lots of gardeners are innovators and inventors. As our planet’s climate rock ‘n rolls in chaotic directions, we’ve gotten smarter and better, more creative, more responsive. I’m all for getting behind products and processes that will keep us getting smarter and better – and Click & Grow feels like one of them.

Herb Garden Cautions for New Gardeners [Video]

Sometimes when I write tips and clues, I get advice from more masterful gardeners. This time, though, I’m writing about the indoor herb garden I started myself and my tips and clues come from my own personal experience.

P Allen Smith planting herbs

P Allen Smith does herb planting right in his video about Herbs for Beginners

How Not to Start a Herb Garden

First, I am not going to name brands, especially as the results were probably not the brand’s fault – good or bad. I followed the instructions up until the point I lost the package.

  • Wet the soil,
  • sprinkle with seed,
  • cover with a thin layer of soil,
  • water,
  • grow.

Then, once I found the package a few months later, I noticed that there really weren’t any more instructions to follow – so I don’t go overboard trying to follow what isn’t there.

My first mistake was looking at the pretty pictures. I was enticed into thinking I was actually going to grow lush circles of tasty herbs in a long rectangular’ish oval pot – on my very first try.

My second mistake was believing that it was going to grow everything in the package:

  • Sweet basil,
  • oregano,
  • flat leaf parsley,
  • sage,
  • thyme,
  • cilantro.

It grew basil. LOTS of basil – and one reedy, rangy, thin-leafed gangle of a plant that looked as out of place as a concert violinist at a sumo wrestler convention.

Sprinkle Herb Garden with Seed – NOT

The fact that nothing else grew in my herb garden – no oregano, parsley, sage, cilantro – and MAYBE that rangy stuff is thyme – tells me that broadcasting a handful of seed over a long narrow pot full of dubious soil is not the best way to begin.

It was supposed to sprout better in temperatures over 70F, so I was careful to ensure the herb garden had a nice even temperature, no breezes, good sunlight. Even so, when something did sprout, it was most certainly not the variety I was told to expect. Even now, three months after planting, I have lots of sweet basil and – whatever that is.

Next Time I Plant a “First” Herb Garden

Well, the next time I plant a herb garden, I’m going to follow the advice that I found in this video by P. Allen Smith, and buy individual pots of seedlings, plant them in individual growing pots, and tend them as individual plants with different needs and personalities. I’d like to think I’m done with kits – except they’re so durn fun, and I just know then next time I see one, I’ll have to buy it and try it out – and I’ll be wide-eyed and enthusiastic again like a new gardener should be.

Bottom Line

I am having too much fun to let a little herb garden failure wreck my joy. Any projects that don’t thrill me get taken outside to the evergreen and placed in the Bunny Buffet. I predict that we’ll have many very happy, well-fed neighborhood bunnies for many years to come!