In this article, we will give you a detailed review of gardening kits by Click and Grow and Aerogarden, along with their similarities and differences. Find out which indoor gardening system is our pick. Let the battle of Click and Grow vs AeroGarden begin!
Choosing between two similar gardening brands can often be a problem. If you have recently stepped into the indoor gardening market, you may face the problem of choosing one brand. Click & Grow and AeroGarden are probably the biggest names in this market right now.
These brands cater to a large customer base, whether it is hydroponics or an indoor smart gardening kit. So, stay tuned to know which brand might cater to your gardening needs better.
Our Pick: Click and Grow
According to our research, we think Click and Grow kits are the better choice here, at least for a medium-sized (nine-pod) garden. Their kits look great, and if you are in for the whole package, their Smart Soil plant pods help a lot. However, AeroGarden kits are more economical, especially in the three-pod and six-pod kit ranges.
About Click and Grow
Founded by Mattias Lepp, the current CEO, Click and Grow came into being in 2009.
As they mention plenty of times on their website, the inspiration for the Smart Gardens came from NASA. Smart Gardens are the main product of Click and Grow.
The goal was to design an indoor gardening system that takes care of itself. So neither do you have to water this garden frequently nor is nutrition a problem. The CPI wick watering system takes care of the watering.
And the Smart Soil ensures ample nutrition and a stable pH.Their most popular kits include the Smart Garden 3, the Smart Garden 9, and the 9 Pro. They also have larger kits, like the Smart Garden 25 and the Smart Garden 27. And the highest capacity kit they offer is the Wall Garden.
AeroGarden gardening kits are a product of AeroGrow International, Inc.
These kits were around much earlier than Click and Grow’s Smart Gardens. Their goal seems to be to give everybody a chance to grow greens in their homes, no green thumb required. They have a family of kits on offer.
The smallest one is the three-pod Sprout, then come the six-pod Harvests, the nine-pod Bounty family, and finally the Farm family. So they have a much more extensive range of products than Click and Grow.
I have both a Bounty Elite and Bounty Basic. Both are wonderful at growing herbs and other plants, but are different than the Click and Grow.
AeroGarden gardening kits are a product of AeroGrow International, Inc. These kits were around much earlier than Click and Grow’s Smart Gardens. Their goal seems to be to give everybody a chance to grow greens in their homes, no green thumb required.
They have a family of kits on offer. The smallest one is the three-pod Sprout, then come the six-pod Harvests, the nine-pod Bounty family, and finally the Farm family. So they have a much more extensive range of products than Click and Grow.
Similarities between Click and Grow and AeroGarden
The first obvious similarity between these two brands is hydroponics. Both make indoor gardening kits and related products, and neither brand makes nor offers any traditional gardening kits.
- Kit Sizes
In the AeroGarden families, all of the standard Click and Grow kits have a similar-capacity analog. So, for the C&G Smart Garden 3, you have the AeroGarden Sprout. Similarly, for the Smart Garden 9 and 9 Pro, you have the AeroGarden Bounty and Bounty Elite. There may be some differences between the capacities of the larger kits and the smaller ones, but they are still comparable.
The only exception is in the six-pod range. While there is no such kit from Click and Grow, the AeroGarden Harvest family has six-pod kits. And interestingly, AeroGarden refers to these kits as “our most popular countertop garden.”
- Ease of Use
The kits from each of these brands are straightforward to use. When it comes to the typical AeroGarden kits, the panel displays everything you need to know. For example, in the Harvest Elite, you can see the water level, the number of days planted, and when the next nutrition round is due.
Similarly, with Click and Grow kits, a lot of gardening chores are automated. So the plants are watered by a wick, which should supply the plants with abundant moisture. The ‘Smart Soil’ used with the pods takes self-maintenance a step further. We will talk about this in a bit.
Kits from each of these brands can retain water for up to 3 weeks at a time. AeroGarden kits also have a ‘vacation mode’ that ensures your plants survive on lower water consumption while you are away.
- Reviews and After-Sales Services
Both brands are doing well on the customer service front. Both of them offer free replacements for seed pods that do not germinate. And the reviews that people leave are also mostly positive.
As for buying more pods after purchasing the kit, Click and Grow’s pods can be more expensive than AeroGarden’s pods. This is because there are many types of pods on offer, so there is ample variety. But the overall price of buying a click and grow kit can go up. However, the price after the discount is pretty even for both AeroGarden and Click and Grow.
Differences between Click and Grow and AeroGarden
- Aesthetics and Footprint
Both brands make good-looking products. AeroGarden offers boxy, stainless steel, or brushed steel finish for their products. On the other hand, Click and Grow Smart Gardens are made of ABS plastic. They have shiny finishes, look elegant and sleek.
Click and Grow are shaped more like duffel bags than boxes. Moreover, they are longer than the typical AeroGarden kit. While an AeroGarden kit takes up more vertical space, the Click and Grow kits take more horizontal space.
When it comes to the footprint, the ‘better choice’ is subjective. For example, if you have a relatively narrow shelf and need more horizontal space, an AeroGarden kit would work better. However, a Click and Grow kit would look better if you have a reasonably wide shelf.
But as for the general aesthetics, while AeroGarden kits are certainly good-looking, we think the Click and Grow kits look more elegant and pleasing.
- Growth Media and Nutrition
You can use any growth medium you want with kits from both Click & Grow and AeroGarden. For example, you could use Hydroton pebbles, Rockwool, Coco, etc.
But Click and Grow pods come with an exclusive growth medium, i.e., the Smart Soil. It maintains the pH and retains the proper moisture. This eliminates the need to check the pH of the water now and then. It also ensures that the roots have enough moisture for healthy growth. And surprisingly, it also has all of the nutrients that a specific plant needs.
AeroGarden also provides its growth medium called the AeroGarden growth sponges. But these do not do as much as Click and Grow’s Smart Soil. However, they can still be good growing media.
Click and Grow kits seem to be consistently more expensive on the lower end. For example, the Smart Garden 3 is more costly than the AeroGarden Sprout. And the Smart Garden 9 is more costly than the AeroGarden Harvest and the Harvest Elite.
- Light Intensity
Click and Grow kits consistently use lights with lower wattage compared to AeroGarden kits. For example, while the Smart Garden 9 Pro’s LED lights only use 13W of electricity, the AeroGarden Bounty Elite’s LED lights can use up to 50W of electricity.
So as far as the light intensity goes, Click and Grow kits are not as good as AeroGarden kits.
Both the AeroGarden and the Click and Grow have a range of different indoor gardening kits. And they are somewhat similar.
Except for the AeroGarden Harvest (the six-pod kit), every Clicks and Grow kit has an AeroGarden analog. So, where the AeroGarden has the Sprout (three-pod), Click and Grow has the Smart Garden 3. Similarly, for the AeroGarden Bounty (nine-pod), there is the Click and Grow Smart Garden 9. For AeroGarden’s Elite versions, Click and Grow has the Pro version. But AeroGarden has about 20 different individual kits on offer, while Click and Grow only has around half a dozen.
So, both brands cover ample ground when it comes to variety. But AeroGarden takes the cake here because it still has more variety to offer than Click and Grow.
- Air Circulation and Noise
One of the obvious differences between the typical Click & Grow and AeroGarden kits is the air pump. As the name suggests, AeroGarden kits feature an air pump. This helps circulate air in the hydroponic solution. So, the water does not grow stagnant and has a healthy supply of oxygen at all times.
However, there is a drawback to this. Since the kit has a motor working, it makes some noise. So, it should not be too much of a distraction all over the house. But it is still something to consider. On the other hand, the Click and Grow kits do not have an air pump or a motor. So, they do not make any noise. This makes Click and Grow the winner in the noise department.
- Energy Consumption
Since AeroGarden kits have an air pump and typically have stronger LED lights, it naturally follows that they also consume more electricity.However, it is worth mentioning that they do not necessarily have to consume a ton of power. Because at least in the higher-end models like the Bounty Elite, you can dim the lights.
Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 vs AeroGarden Sprout
As we mentioned earlier, the most popular Click & Grow and AeroGarden kits feature similar pod capacities. So, let’s compare a couple of the comparable sizes here.
Looks and Design
Let’s start with the smaller three-pod kits. They both look pretty similar, unlike the larger kits. Both of them take up more horizontal space than vertical space. They also look equally sleek and modern. But the Click and Grow Smart Garden might be more appealing to some, especially in the gray color.
As far as features go, both of these kits are reasonably well-equipped. They both have LED lights running on timers. And both of them remind you when to refill the water.
There are some differences here, however. Firstly, the Smart Garden 3 does not have an air pump. This is the same in all Click and Grow kits. It makes them more silent than the AeroGarden kits. However, the specific pump used in the Sprout should be relatively quiet.
Secondly, the LED lights on the Click and Grow kits consume less power than the AeroGarden Sprout. So, where the Smart Garden 3 only takes around 6W, the AeroGarden runs on 10W of electricity. This trend also runs throughout the bigger kits. And where the Smart Garden 3 runs on a set timer starting from the time you plug it in, the Sprout automatically turns the lights on and off. So overall, adjusting the lamps and their overall intensity on the AeroGarden Sprout beat the Click and Grow.
Lastly, the Smart Garden 3’s water tank will last much longer than the AeroGarden Sprout. So, where you may refill the Click and Grow kit every few weeks, you will replenish the Sprout’s water supply every few days.
Also, filling the Click and Grow can be annoying since the flat bar for filling it is so tiny. You can end up spilling water everywhere every other time. This makes filling the AeroGarden Sprout feel much more manageable.
The Better Choice
Ultimately, we think the AeroGarden Sprout is the better choice here. Even though it is a little less silent, consumes more power, and requires more frequent refills, it still has better lights, and the replacement pods are not as expensive. Not to mention, the AeroGarden Sprout itself is much cheaper than the Smart Garden 3.
Increased power consumption can pay off in terms of better growth. And the already quiet air pump shuts down at night, so it should not bother you much.
Design and Capacity
The differences in the look and aesthetics are almost the same as with the differences in the smaller kits. However, the Bounty Elite can be considerably larger than the AeroGarden Harvest or the Smart Garden 9. The grow light on the bounty goes up to 24” or two feet.
This is 12” taller than the Harvest Elite and gives your plants more space to grow than any Click and Grow kits.
Other than that, the Bounty Elite’s body is made out of stainless steel rather than plastic. This differentiates the AeroGarden Bounty from the AeroGarden Harvest and the Click and Grow Smart Garden 9, which use plastic.
Also, as with the other kits, the Smart Garden 9 Pro does not have a touch panel. On the other hand, the Bounty Elite has a great control panel with a full-color touchscreen for easy navigation and convenient display.
Connectivity and Automation
Both kits are about being smart. The Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 Pro is the only kit by the brand that has the “App-Controlled” tag. This means you get to switch the LED lights on and off with your phone. You can also connect to the kit using Amazon Echo devices.
The AeroGarden Bounty Elite is also app-controlled. You can keep track of all the vital stats, like the number of days till the next water or nutrient refill. Like the Smart Garden 9 Pro, you can also turn the lights on and off.
The Smart Garden 9 Pro uses 13W LEDs, whereas the AeroGarden Bounty Elite LEDs can consume 50W. You can adjust the AeroGarden’s lights with the touch screen panel and dim them down or up. It also has a Sunrise/Sunset Mode, where lights dim over an hour to keep in sync with the lights outside.
Overall, the Bounty Elite beats the Smart Garden 9 Pro. The light intensity can be adjusted, and so can the height up to 24”. And while you can schedule the Smart Garden 9 Pro’s lights, you cannot dim them.
Watering and Nutrients
The Smart Garden 9 Pro can hold water for up to a month. On the other hand, the Bounty Elite has the largest water capacity in AeroGarden’s countertop gardens.
If you choose to use Click and Grow pods in the future, you will not have to worry about maintaining the nutrient supply. But, on the other hand, if you use your growing medium, you will have to take care of that.
Similarly, you will have to refill the tank with nutrients every once in a while. But the kit itself and the app should both give you reminders for that.
Even though both these brands are quite similar, there are some notable distinctions between the individual Click and Grow and AeroGarden kits.
Click and Grow kits have a more aesthetically pleasing design, but they will take more horizontal space on your countertop. Their pods feature the Smart Soil growing medium, which does not require external nutrients, so you do not have to worry about nutrient replenishment. Their kits also retain water for longer.
On the other hand, AeroGarden kits are more economical, have air pumps, feature better lighting, and have more variety overall.