There’s no doubt, nature is often lacking in modern city life. Living an urban lifestyle makes it difficult to find both the space and time to take care of a garden - a great shame, as growing your own plants can provide a whole wealth of benefits. Not only do they supply the body with nutrients, they also improve indoor air quality and are proven to reduce stress levels and increase your overall happiness.
The extraordinary findings from the University of Technology in Sydney, suggest that employee stress levels significantly drop in the presence of indoor plants. There was a 58% decrease in depression, 44% decrease in hostility, 38% people experiencing less fatigue, and a 37% drop in anxiety. Another study done by the University of Exeter suggests that productivity can increase by 15%, whilst others show that plant life increases creativity in the office and can even decrease the level of noise in a room! We're finding it hard to find a reason not to start an indoor garden ourselves.
To help you keep your fingers green, here are a selection of smart gardens to help you grow your perfect indoor garden all year round.
The Click and Grow Indoor Smart Garden
Click and Grow is easy to set up, clean and has a modern design perfect for your kitchen counter. Like a coffee machine, the system incorporates capsules packed with seeds and smart soil, which slot into the plastic garden. It has a built in light on a timer and a water reservoir which can keep the garden watered for weeks at a time. All you have to do is click in the capsule, fill it with water, plug it in and off you go!
The Click and Grow technology is 10 years in the making, inspired by studies done by NASA on plant growth in space and developed by Estonian creator, Mattias Lepp. Water is distributed evenly through the smart soil, so the plants’ roots always have access to water. The smart garden ensures that your plants have the right ph level and the optimal balance of nutrients, water and oxygen. The patented, nano-tech growth medium is also made from natural and renewable materials which contain no harmful substances such as pesticides or hormones.
Whilst you can grow an array of herbs, greens, fruit and veg, the Click & Grow uses minimal maintenance and care, with no previous gardening experience needed. It can be placed anywhere in the house because of the LED lighting system, making it one of the more power efficient models in the market. The two main models are The Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 and The Click and Grow Smart Garden 9. The former allows you to grow 3 herbs and flowers and the latter allows you to grow 9 different herbs, flowers, fruit and vegetables. The company even has a “sprouting guarantee” so if your plant doesn’t sprout it will be replaced with no questions asked.
Veritable Indoor Smart Garden
The Veritable smart indoor garden is a sleek kitchen counter accessory designed for those who love to cook. Like Click and Grow, It requires custom designed pellets, or “lingots”, which contain organic seeds, nutrients and ‘biological substrate’ that slot into the appliance. This, they claim, allows you to grow herbs, flowers and even small veggies in your kitchen all year round.
This brand of smart garden ensures that your plants have the perfect environment in which to thrive. The water tank holds all the water and nutrients needed for your plants to grow and it only needs to be refilled every three weeks. An warning light will indicate when this is necessary. Another impressive aspect of the Veritable indoor smart garden is the two distinctive LED lights which help the plants photosynthesise, emitting the optimal intensity and wavelengths for the types of edible plants that can be grown in the smart garden. These lights can be adjusted in a room with decent natural light.
Coming in a number of different styles, the Veritable is easy to use. All you have to do it plug in, fill the reservoir, insert the Lingot pods and let the planter do it’s thing. Your plants could be ready to taste in a month.
LeGrow Smart Garden
The LeGrow smart garden is an indoor planter system which allows you to design your smart garden like lego blocks. By connecting your planters by the base, you can stack and extend them however you like.
The system has many accessories to be added so you can watch your garden grow. LED grow lights, humidifiers and USB charging docs can be additionally purchased too. The humidifier is an excellent addition for health, as the air benefits to your skin and breathing have been documented. As LeGrow is modular, it can be inexpensive as you have to buy multiple parts, dependent on how much you enjoy it and wish to add to it.
Though the base tray does accommodate a small amount of water, there is no automatic watering system so this is more appropriate for the more attentive gardener. Available in all different formations, and dependent on your own vision, a smart garden can make both a calming and fruitful feature to your home.
For a more natural and less hands-on approach to growing plants, we have the Pikaplant Geo H2O. The design is simple and if you’re looking for an easy way into introducing plants indoors, then here’s the system for you. The Geo is suitable to grow edible herbs, succulents or even beautiful flowers. The clean ceramic design is handcrafted in Amsterdam and was designed with sustainability in mind. Made from glass, which is easily recycled, and natural clay, the materials bear no negative impact on the environment.
The ceramic planter waters your plant through the integrated water reservoir which is designed to mimic a natural aquifer, filtering water into the soil when it’s needed. Adopting a balanced wet and dry cycle means that your plants both absorb water and are left to breath, mimicking the natural process of plant growth in order to produce strong and healthy roots. The only downside to this product is that you still require natural light for the plant to grow.
The Geo H20 is great for someone who travels as the reservoir provides enough water for your plant over extended periods so you’ll never return from a trip to your wilted companion.
Ikea, Krydda/Vaxer Indoor Smart Kitchen
Fulfilling the prophecy that Ikea truly does sell everything, here is our final smart garden suggestion. Meet the indoor hydroponic gardening kit, with cultivators and accessories promising plant growth throughout the seasons.
What are hydroponics, do I hear you say? Hydroponics is a method by which plants are grown without soil, strange right? In order to grow, plants need carbon dioxide, water and light. So, in actual fact some plants can be grown in nutrient solutions rather than needing soil to flourish. Plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers are often grown in this way.
This good value kit comes in a range of sizes and you can select one or two tiers. It has LED grow lights which sit above the nutrient reservoir, so watering only needs to happen weekly. It also provides fertilizer, seeds, and additional grow lights if necessary - an extra bonus.