On December 4th 2017, or over 6 months ago, I ordered a Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 for reviewing it on this site, and to grow some fresh greens at home. When we first reviewed the product after 2 months and weren’t very excited about it. After tinkering with it, I do think it requires a second review.
When I first ordered the Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 I received three marketing emails in quick succession. One to get $25 off and refer a friend. One for a free Smart Garden 3 (received on the same day that I placed my order). The last marketing communication to buy another garden and some flowers to grow in said garden.
Starting first with the customer experience.
- I had no idea where my Smart Garden was, whether the order was being fulfilled, if it was en route, or being assembled in China.
- I just knew that I was billed the $50.
- I soon followed up by sending the people at Click and Grow an email, asking what was the order status.
- I took them 2 weeks to respond stating high volume.
Having built digital businesses for fortune 500 brands, to me this was more a fault of poor customer experience and service design than anything else.
Out of curiosity I looked a bit deeper at the company, the Click and Grow team has raised about ~$7MM to develop and bring the product to market. Honestly for this amount in raised capital, it seems there’s general mismanagement and lack of focus at the corporate level. Either way they’re doing good things, so I figure let it slide.
Next up, we’ve got their ordering and fulfillment system, which is a total nightmare to get started with. Their ordering system doesn’t seem to be integrated. I had to create a second Click and Grow account in order to change the plant pods that were being delivered. Once we got going though it was ok. It could use a user experience / customer experience overhaul, but not the end of the world.
Growing with the Click and Grow Smart Garden 9
Here’s where it gets interesting. The Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 isn’t for everything and the plant selection on the site is a bit misleading. Some plants like parsley, basil, mustard greens will flourish, whereas other plants, i.e. kale, tomatoes don’t do so well. It’s a bit hit and miss with the plant selection and at $3/plant it’s all a bit expensive for sub par quality.
That said when it does it work, it works great. We’ve used the lick and Grow Smart Garden 9 to grow 9 of the same plant and withing a few weeks were able to have a salad of mustard greens that we mixed into out sore bought romaine.
The other issue I’ve noticed is that the growing medium will sometimes get moldy, though the company assured me this is normal. And the growing medium will sometimes dry out. I’m not sure as to why this is the case but will have to investigate it further. The Click and Grow does have to be cleaned out every so often as it can get overgrown. I’ve also started adding in my own hydroponic fertilizer which has definitely helped in seeing better plant growth.
Check out the original review, or read about how we grew microgreens with the hamama greens kit. If you’d like to get a garden for yourself – head over to the Click and Grow site, and get what suits you best.
Updated Recommendation: Buy if you have kids. For them, this product is awesome, and can teach them about photosynthesis, pollination, hydroponics, and responsibility to keep plants alive. It’ll make a good since project, or even something for a classroom. For that – total buy.
Ranking is based on a five star (*****) scale.
Nutritional Impact: ** Low, doesn’t produce enough.
Impact on wallet: * Negative, more expensive than store bought veggies.
Aesthetics: *** It’s a good looking hunk of plastic, but the lights are blinding.
Product design: ** Some positive elements, but clunky in areas, at the top of its field. A lot of room for improvement in the field.