#TerribleGardener introduction to Click and Grow

Jake Basford

Essex-boy living in Cardiff, Jake is a writer, PR/Media officer, and Social Media consultant.
Obsessed with video games, American culture and Buffy. Can usually be found at his laptop working.

Alright so here is the thing – I started wanting to garden as a child. I watched Blue Peter turn out beautiful gardens (which I had the privilege to actually visit, scoring an autograph from Katy Hill in my copy of Harry Potter), got involved in gardening projects at school, grew fascinated about allotments and listened intently to my mum going on about trying to grow tomatoes like her mother.

So I tried it the old fashioned way – by turning over the soil and planting some seeds – but it didn’t quite work.

Whilst the seeds took and the carrots grew, they became misshapen because of the soil type, and ended up coming out not at all like they looked in the many books on gardening we had.

I have successfully killed off more herbs than I care to count – by over-watering, under-watering, using inappropriate pot sizes and trying to rescue them when I should have just left them alone. We won’t even go into the time I tried urban-style gardening and produced accidental pygmy veg due to inappropriate potting arrangements.

When I spotted a friend from school tweeting about Click and Grow, it automatically brought back all these fears, ones which soon became allayed as I dug deeper for more information.

Click and Grow is exactly what it says on the tin – you click the pieces together and it will grow.

No, seriously –  just click it together, plug it in, fill the water receptacle once a month and it will grow. Over a month on, I have a cute collection of baby herbs, basil, thyme and lemon balm.

You plug the Click and Grow in so that the herb garden (or whichever variety you go for) has a light source, as this helps regulate the UV the plant is getting so you can’t even kill it by not putting it in the right lighting environment. You can’t over- or under-water the plants, because the plants are all regulated by the machine itself, and you can check the water level on the receptacle by tapping it to make sure it is still floating – if it isn’t then just sling some water in again.

You get check-up emails from Click and Grow themselves asking if there are any issues, with all sorts of threats of ominous sounding lights that flash certain colours depending on the severity of the issue (which haven’t, thankfully, been needed). Once your tomato plant or herb garden has produced its crop, you can plant a new herb garden or one of the other plants you can grow through Click and Grow for a fraction of the price.

My experience with it so far has been very pleasant – it arrived with a US connection, but I have an adaptor I keep for emergencies (slash stolen off a mate), and since I live in a shared house there is a daily chance someone will switch it off (why keep a herb garden in your room?) but switches go back on so there is no drama there. In fact my housemates have been thrillingly lovely about my attempt to grow something in the kitchen other than mould.

I am a #TerribleGardener and so will be experimenting with different ways of killing/not killing plants over the next few months. If you have any plant stories you want sharing, or have an idea of a planting system that helps people like me not kill things (because let’s face it, life is not Infamous and we try not to kill things on purpose – hopefully!) let me know by emailing me at jakebasford@vadamagazine.com.

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