I’ve always envisioned myself having an herb garden after moving into my own place. I do love my cooking every now and then, but having to buy loads of herbs for only one dish only to see them wilted away.. it just feels like a complete food wastage to me that I can’t avoid. And so, I reduced my cooking and ate out instead. When the husband and I were searching for our home place, I did try to make it happen but the place of my dreams do that have a balcony. Instead, I searched for an alternative after seeing my colleagues successfully growing some greens in the office.
Scheduled to be delivered in August’17 but I reckon there were some cock ups from their production end so we finally receive it in early November instead! I chose the Smart Garden 9 from Click & Grow (USD$199) because the original trio is just too little for me. Ideally, you can depot them to a bigger one if they grow too big… and so the journey begins!
Smart Garden 9 comes with 3 x 3 complimentary set of plant capsules.. mine is lettuce – each pack comes with 3 plant capsules, so once you open it you kinda got to use them all. It’s not like you can’t stick them back, but I doubt it will be as “fresh”?
Fixing it up is pretty idiot-proof as seen on the one and only “instruction manual” printed on the box.
How they look like, dismantled. Really easy to fix; I did it all by myself while my husband was unloading the groceries 😂
Bought a few more edible plant capsules alongside my preorder: Chili Pepper, Thai Basil and Cornflower.
This is the old refill concept where you plant then directly in, but has since been discontinued. Now, you’ll just pill them off the packaging and reuse the capsules that comes along in your smart garden to reduce plastic waste and be more environmentally-friendly.
All ready to grow!
Basically the lights are on for 16 hours and dimmed (more like off) for 8 hours. As they use led lights, your electricity bill will only increase by approx $4-5/year. We made it so that the lights are switched on at night and off during the day, just so that we can save electricity by not switching on the rest unless necessary. It’s really bright!
Most of them sprouted really quickly, within a week to be exact. But I noticed that 2 out of my 3 lettuce pods had no signs of life. Above picture was taken on Day 6.
My babies on Day 8. It was really fun coming home each day and having something to look forward to. They became my greatest pride and I might have been a little too obsessed with them..
So obsessed I was, I bought a one year subscription (which is only once every four months?) during their pre Black Friday special and received the original Smart Garden for free! Was quite shocked at how small they are, considering my Smart Garden 9 was humongous! This time round, my order arrived in only 4 days; I decided to gift my parents with an assortment of plants to get them started too~
2 from the subscription and an another 3 from a credit note earlier this year (cuz the change in packaging resulted in a cheaper cost price 💪🏻) Note that not all plants are included in the subscription though..
One month in. By then I’ve given up on the two lettuce, which the very help IG team from Click & Grow advised me to raise a ticket (but I got lazy :/) to get a refund. Perhaps I should do that too. Nevertheless, my babies are growing up so well, I felt like a proud mama.
Two months later. My basil plants on the left are growing like weeds but smells good (I should be transferring it to a pot soon), I don’t know what to infer out of the lettuce anymore but it’ll most probably go into my steamboat, the flowers and peppermint are still growing whereas Chili Peppers on the right are blooming soon! Exciting times ahead!
Apparently my lettuce was indeed abnormal afterall; the service staffs are always prompt on IG though my dad begs to differ when it comes to their CS email. Therefore, if you ever need anything, go via the IG route first guys~
Last month, I decided to depot one basil and one peppermint before they reached the end of their supposed cycle. Thankfully, Click & Grow’s website have tips for us to follow through so it was pretty straight forward for me.
While I was at it, I decided to give my peppermint plant a good trim as their stems were too weak and leggy for my liking. That’s a problem I find with most of my plants with Click & Grow.. they don’t have very strong stems? I do hope they will grow much stronger eventually with regular trimming!
Made virgin mojito with the peppermint I harvested this morning and ripe kumquat plant that was bought by my parents for my housewarming ❤️ Topped with some sugar syrup, ice and soda water for a refreshing treat! Love that I only have to cut what I need while the rest continue thriving.
3 months and my Cornflower finally bloomed! Looking for recipes on this one – it seems really rare. Decided to dry them up instead for future use 🙂
Basil updates after a week of depotting! It certainly looks much healthier than its counterpart that spent an extra week at my Click & Grow – though it certainly requires constant watering. Gave them both a little trim anyhows because we’re going to attempt cooking 三杯鸡 today~ Husband did such a good job cooking the dish, I couldn’t stop eating even the basil!
Mint harvest ❤️
Wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous this round so I made refreshing hot mint tea instead! I choose a light fragrant blend (TWG Geisha Blossom in this case) and paired a 1:1 ratio with the mint plant, resulting in a light minty aftertaste from each sip that’s delightful and comforting for this cool weather. Husband wanted the iced version again but I rejected his request. It’s too cold!
Depotted the remaining plants from my first round, I call them the adult herb corner, lol. Finally moved my chili peppers out as the leaves were wilting at an alarming rate while the fruits remained unripe for almost a month. I’m pleased that all of them ripen up within 2 weeks of sunshine. Unfortunately, my cornflower didn’t make it and just died. I would attribute it to a bad batch of seeds as I tried growing another capsule from the same batch but nothing happens?
I reckon that’s the “bad” thing about Click & Grow where it doesn’t guarantee a 100% success rate (1/5 were bad for me), though I won’t blame it entirely on them. The good thing is, it’s pretty much idiot proof even if you’ve a brown thumb like me.
Right now I’ve moved on to my second round and also took the additional pillar off so that the light source is much closer to my plants. Have a feeling they are not getting sufficient light that’s why nothing grows straight but the 🍅 duo. At the forefront, we have lavender! Though there’s no flowers budding at the moment, but just by touching the plant it already gives off a subtle lavender scent 😍😍 Please grow upwards instead of sideways now!
In the meantime, crazy girl here is trying to recycle by moving my peppermint plant into the recently finished candle tin instead. What do you guys think? I just felt that instead of wasting money buying more tins, I might as well recycle and commemorate the brands I get to work with by recycling their containers whenever possible! It’s definitely so much better than throwing them away right?
P.S need another round of pruningsoon!