Yes, there is a growing system that is almost 100% foolproof. No complex calculations of nutrients. No guessing when to add more water. You just add some batteries, fill the reservoir, provide enough light and the Smart Pot does it all. While this isn’t a hydroponics system, this is the best category to put it in, because its not soil based, or aquaponics either. It is however, high tech and uses biomimicry practices.
The phenomenal loss of house plants in Europe every year is what started the thought process that would grow into the perfect indoor flower pot, and launch a company called Click & Grow about 4 years ago. Small herbs and veggies are also grown with this system that has been quite a success with people around the world enjoying growing plants without the learning curve. Just a few weeks ago they unveiled their new Smart Farm system that will be available for purchase in March of 2014.
“The Click & Grow smartpot actually cannot be considered a hydroponic or aeroponic device. The growing medium inside the Click & Grow cassette is not water. It is an elegant matrix with the chemico-physical buffer abilities comparable to the best soils in the world.
Our system eliminates all drawbacks of home-use aeroponic systems – problems caused by fluctucating water quality and unprecise fertilizing. Superior root aeration and hygiene in our device is achieved by giving the matrix a stabilized structure.
Efficient power use is attained by a prudential irrigation mechanism. 99.9% of the day the pot runs completely silently.” — Click & Grow blog
The materials used in the growth medium isn’t identified, and is said to be created with nano technology to mimic natural soil with smaller, more numerous pathways than regular potting mix has from what can be seen in images on the Click & Grow website. Nutrients are slow-release, and like those used in hydroponics, can’t be stated as organic. Smart Farm will use the same thing. The difference is the size of the system, with a minimum of 10 plants in a farm container, along with scalable options that can fit bigger growing needs.
Smart Pot is a cool little gizmo that allows growing fresh herbs, tomatoes and chilies without failure no matter how hectic your life may be. Self-irrigating, and functioning on specially designed sensors that deliver moisture only when needed, it’s gotten a lot of attention by big retailers and the media alike. Last year the Smart Herb Garden was added following a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to get the seed money for manufacturing the units up and running. They asked for $75,000 and the crowd got pretty excited – the project was funded with a whopping $625,871.
Precision indoor gardening minus the room for error is obviously in big demand.
Food or beauty without all the fuss. Crops are limited though. Replanting your Smart pot or garden is done with sealed cartridges. Choices currently available: 7 types of herbs, mini tomato, mini chili pepper, and strawberries are coming soon. You can also grow impatiens, cottage pinks, coleus, or celiosia if adding some color to the room with live flowers is more your style. They’ve got an LED light for the systems too, though without tons of sunshine streaming in, a high output T5 or CFL light would give you a far better harvest.
Images courtesy of Click & Grow