As soon as I got my hands on the Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 I immediately started thinking about how I could save a little money on consumables. I experimented a lot and had some success.
I can now confidently say that you can use your own seeds and soil in Click and Grow. However, you need to follow my further recommendations to get things right, because not all seeds and soil are equally good for Click and Grow.
How to use your own seeds and soil in the Click and Grow?
You should use only high-quality and sterile potting soil for seedlings. The potting soil should be made of peat or peat moss. It should be free of pests or diseases.
Make sure that the potting soil contains fertilizer. Some growers supply their potting soil with fertilizer. If your substrate does not contain fertilizer, be sure to add some and mix well. I use Osmocote slow-release multi-purpose fertilizer.
Never use ordinary garden soil. You will quickly lose your plants in that soil even if they sprout.
Next are seeds. It is best to use herb seeds or leafy greens. Mini tomatoes are also good to grow.
However, you might want to avoid sowing large plants that produce fruit. Plants like cucumbers or large tomato varieties will not grow well because of the small pot size.
In the following, I will tell you step by step how I sow my own seeds.
Read also: 5 Hydroponic Systems For Vegetables
Put the soil in the pot
Fill the pot almost completely with soil. Leave some space on top. Do not compact the soil in the pot, it should remain light and fluffy. This is so that when the roots grow, they will not squeeze the soil out of the pot.
Also, you do not need to wet the soil with water. The soil will draw water in after a while with a wick at the bottom of the pot.
Insert the pot into the hole
Insert the pot filled with potting soil into the hole in the grow deck. The pot should fit nicely into the hole and not wiggle.
Make sure there is enough water in the bowl beforehand. If not, then top up the water until the float is flush with the deck.
To be honest, loading my own soil into the pot and placing it on the deck is a very messy thing to do. I’ve had the unit itself and everything around it get very dirty with soil afterward.
Put 2-3 seeds in the pot
Make a small hole in the soil with a pencil or your little finger. Then put 2-3 seeds in it. Avoid putting the seeds too deep. The optimum depth is up to 1 inch.
After that, sprinkle the seeds with a little soil.
The reason I recommend putting in more than one seed is because some seeds may not germinate. If you only put one in, you may not get a seed to sprout.
In this particular case, I use basil seeds. My experience is that they sprout very well and quickly.
Put the growing dome on the pot
The next thing you need to be sure to do is put the growing dome on the pot.
The soil, after you put the pot in the bowl, will draw water from the bowl for a few hours using the wick. In order to keep it from drying out you need to install the dome that comes with the device.
For the germination of seeds, you need high humidity, which the dome can provide. When you see that the seeds sprouted be sure to remove the dome.
That is it, from now on all you need to do is to refill the water and get the harvest.
What is the alternative to Click and Grow capsules?
You can use sponges from other manufacturers instead of Click and Grow’s pre-seeded growing sponges. The main thing is that they should be the same size as the Click and Grow pots.
You can also use peat-moss-based potting soil.
You also need to make sure that the plants get fertilizer. You need to put slow-release fertilizer pellets in the alternate sponges or in the potting soil.
Can you use other pods in Click and Grow?
No, you cannot use other pots at Click and Grow. This is because the pots from this company have a unique design. At the bottom of each pot, there is a wick that draws water from the bowl. Such pots are still quite rare so you will have to use the ones that come with the device.
Can I use Aerogarden pods in Click and Grow?
You can’t use Aerogarden pods in Click and Grow because they are a different size and won’t fit in the pots. In addition, Aerogarden pods work differently, they need to be constantly watered, and Click and Grow is not able to provide this.
Can I use Click and Grow without pods?
You cannot use Click and Grow without pots. The design of this device requires the use of a pot to grow your plants. Without the pot, you simply have no place to put the plant.
Moreover, Click and Grow pots are quite special and you can hardly find a replacement for them.
Can you use any seeds for Smart Garden?
In general, you can use any seeds for the Smart Garden. However, because of the small size of the pots of this device, it is better to plant small plants. Herbs, leafy greens, or mini tomatoes are best.
You definitely don’t want to plant large varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, or other large vegetables there.