On hydroponic gardens

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Kiya and I were talking about how we miss having access to fresh veggies at home a few days ago. We used to have easy access to my parent’s garden when I lived with them and they’d regularly have onions, garlic, tomatoes, dill, basil, etc. that we could snag for cooking. In looking for indoor apartment-friendly alternatives, I fell down a bit of a YouTube/blog rabbit hole on indoor hydroponic gardening systems.

After a few hours of internet sleuthing, we decided on the “Click and Grow Smart Garden 3”. It’s a pretty simple unit. All you need to do is pour in your water, drop these nutrient packed soil and seed pods into some slots, and plug it into the wall. It handles the rest for you, besides occasional tasks like refilling water, extending the lighting arm, and trimming your plants.

The only issue I have with it so far is that you can’t alter the lighting schedule (which is 16 hours on, 8 hours off). They literally add a little warning on the plug that says “hey! don’t plug this in until morning because it’s gonna be on for 16 hours!“. Seems a little less “smart” than advertised 😉. The light is also really bright; Like I know we’re supposed to be growing plants with this thing but wow! This is probably more of an issue with me personally than the product though.

Either way, I’m excited to see how this little indoor garden experiment goes. We have three varieties of Basil loaded in right now so we should have our first “harvest” around 3-4 weeks from now. I’ll be sure to make another post then about how things turned out.

This project is also giving me the urge to finally bite the bullet and learn some microcontroller programming with a Raspberry Pi Pico-W so I can build out a monitoring tool for the garden (temperature, water level, humidity, etc.).