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Ever dream of having friends over for dinner and being able to smugly coyly say “I grew the basil and tomatoes in this caprese. So delicious, right?” Just me?

Over the last year, NYC living + the pandemic got me really into that #PlantMom life. Many pothos, succulents, and various houseplants later, I wanted to try my green thumb at growing edible plants. After a few microgreens mishaps (they’re surprisingly tricky to grow!), my partner gifted me a smart garden that took all the guesswork out of growing produce.

Trust me when I say this Click and Grow indoor garden is your best secret weapon for harvesting delicious veggies, fruits, and more at home.

  1. Pop in the plant pods.
  2. Fill the tank.
  3. Plug it in.
  4. Enjoy!

It’s really that simple. The garden comes with pre-seeded and soiled plant pods (yep, just like your Keurig). Once you’ve chosen your plant pods and plugged them into the base of the garden, fill the water tank (which holds up to a MONTH’S worth of water supply), and plug in the light. Within a few weeks my lettuce and basil were overflowing, and I had done practically nothing. Not to mention, they tasted SO flavorful. If you like low effort, high reward gardening, you’ve hit the jackpot.

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Photo by Brittany Ladin

Lemme explain why you need this in your life.

  • The “pro-grow” lights are on an automatic timer. 16 hours on, 8 hours off. The timer starts automatically when you plug it in, so you can easily time the light to be off during your snoozin’ hours.
  • The garden’s water tank keeps the roots of your plants at the perfect moisture level and it holds enough water for up to one month. 🙏
  • The seeds come already planted in a “smart” soil that automatically releases nutrients, oxygen, and water, helping your plants to thrive.
  • There are no pesticides, fungicides, hormones, or other harmful substances.

There are also a ton of plants to choose from. I started off growing lettuce, basil, and yellow tomatoes because those are the seeds that came with my garden, but check out just a few of the things you could grow:

  • wild strawberries
  • cornflower
  • calming tea mix
  • catnip
  • lavender
  • pak choi
  • and an experimental kit that includes pineapple (?!)

Design-wise, it just *looks* chic. When committing precious counter space to an indoor garden, we appreciate the attention given to style and function. You can choose between white, gray, and black versions of the smart garden that are compact and blend in well, no matter your space.

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Photo by Brittany Ladin

Be patient! While most of the plants should sprout between 1 to 2 weeks, it can take up to 3 weeks or longer in some cases. Plus, remember: Sprouting is different than having enough produce to harvest. I’ve had my Click and Grow for about a month and I’ve harvested my lettuce twice and my basil once, but I’ve yet to see a tomato. Patience is a virtue, right?

Now let’s talk mold, folks. Around the second week of my seedlings’ lives, I was freaked out to find white fuzzies growing on the top of the soil on nearly all my plants. I immediately panic-Googled, but thankfully, this is apparently a super common worry among newbie gardeners. Click and Grow’s site reassured me that the mold was totally normal and harmless.

Sure enough, it never spread to any part of my plants, and didn’t affect me or the produce at all. While it’s rare the mold would cause an issue for your plants, apparently you can sprinkle a little cinnamon on the soil to work as a natural deterrent.

The Click and Grow promises zero effort, and in my opinion, it delivers. I’ve enjoyed delicious fresh salads, pesto, and more with the produce I’ve grown on my little New York window sill, and there’s something just *so* satisfying about eating food I’ve grown.

If the Smart Garden 9 (the model I own) is a bit more than you’d like to pay, you can start growing your own produce with the Smart Garden 3 for around $100. And when you think about all of the amazing food you can grow at home, I would definitely call it an investment in your health!

Brittany Ladin is a content creator and social media enthusiast who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She’s most likely thinking about her cats right now.