No matter the climate or season, automated hydroponic gardens make growing herbs, veggies, spices, or even flowers a breeze all year-round.
In today’s guide, we are taking a detailed look at two industry leaders – the Aerogarden Bounty and the Click & Grown Smart Garden 9 – to see how they stack up against each other.
Which smart garden is best? That depends on your budget, what your specific needs are, what you are growing, and even your aesthetic preferences. Our growing tests and performance analysis should hopefully give you a better idea of which garden fulfills your needs the best.
Bounty VS Smart Garden 9 Comparison Chart
- Model: AeroGarden Bounty
- Pods: 9
- Size: 16 x 6 x 8 inches
- Score: 96%
- Model: Click and Grow Smart Garden 9
- Pods: 9
- Size: 23.8 x 7.3 x 15.8 inches
- Score: 92%
Table of Contents:
- AeroGarden Bounty Overview
- AeroGarden Bounty Features
- AeroGarden Bounty Growspeed
- Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 Overview
- Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 Features
- Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 Growspeed
- Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 VS AeroGarden Bounty Pros & Cons
The Aerogarden Bounty boasts the ability to grow plants 5x faster than traditional soil-based gardening.
If you can follow simple instructions, you’ll have your seeds sprouting in 1-2 weeks and healthy, harvestable plants in 4-6 weeks time!
What is the AeroGarden Bounty?
You can think of the AeroGarden Bounty as a miniature grow room packed with the following features:
- Soil-free grow pods
- LED light source
- Liquid nutrients
- A timed, self-watering system
All Aerogarden systems use a unique hydroponic technique called aeroponics. Many other automated grow kits simply use a nutrient-rich solution to soak plant roots over time; AeroGarden’s aeroponic system mists plant roots at optimal time intervals for accelerated plant growth.
Aerogarden Bounty Features
The AeroGarden Bounty comes equipt with a few key features:
1. Aerogarden Grow Pods:
The Seed Kit comes with:
- 9 Labels
- 9 all-natural grow sponges
- 9 plastic grow baskets (to hold the grow sponge)
- 9 reusable biodomes that create a greenhouse effect to speed up the sprouting process.
- 3-Ounce bottle of Aerogarden Liquid Plant Food (liquid nutrients)
The Aerogarden Bounty has 9 grow pods, meaning you can grow up to 9 plants at a time!
The grow sponges are soil-free – made from Sphagnum Peat Moss – which is perfect for absorbing the nutrient solution that is sprayed from the reservoir below.
The Bounty is also available with a Gourmet Herb Seed Kit which contains 9 pre-seeded grow pods (Genovese Basil (x2), Thai Basil, Curly Parsley, Italian Parsley, Thyme, Chives, Dill, & Mint) included free of charge!
2. Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights:
The Aerogarden Bounty contains a 45-watt grow light panel comprised of energy-efficient red, white, and blue LED lights.
The grow lights are automatic: they use a timer to mimic the day/night. You can adjust the height of the lamp up to 24 inches, allowing plenty of room for your taller plants to mature fully.
3. LED Touch Screen Control Panel:
The beauty of the Bounty is how easy it is to get started. First off, the assembly is stress-free. No tools are required and the instructions that come with the unit are well written and easy to follow.
Plugin your device and the LED touch screen will light up. Just click the Quick Plant option for an automated step by step growing guide.
After the initial set-up, the control panel will display your current light cycle, water, and nutrient levels; you will also get automated alerts for when your reservoir is running low on nutrient solution.
Bounty Grow Speed
Within one week, all of my planted seed pods had sprouted. In fact, the Genovese basil sprouted within 5 days and already had some considerable growth.
Within roughly three weeks the Bounty was booming with life: the Dill began to tower over the rest of the herbs while the Thai and Genovese Basil had big, beautiful leaves ready to be eaten.
Some of the plants, like the Curly Parsley, weren’t growing at the same pace as the Dill, Thai, or Genovese Basil, but seemed to be healthy nevertheless.
Six weeks in and the Dill and Basil pods are absolutely enormous. The Curly Parsley is growing tall and some of the peppers are even starting to form little buds. At this point, we were harvesting fresh basil and dill almost every day!
On the 44th day of the grow, I realized that the Dill and both Basil Plants were hogging up most of the light, so I decided to fully harvest them. Overall, I was extremely impressed by the yields that I got from only 3 plants. Check it out!
Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 Review
The Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 is another countertop hydroponic system that makes indoor growing possible all year round.
It’s very similar to the Aerogarden Bounty, but there are a few key differences.
The most obvious being the design. Click & Grow has a sleek, modern build – it sort of looks like it was designed by Apple.
It may look better but does it perform better? Let’s see how the first grow went!
Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 Features
The Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 has a few impressive features… some are similar to the AeroGarden Bounty, others are entirely unique.
1. Click & Grow, Grow Pods
The Smart Garden 9 holds… 9 pods. The pods use Smart Soil which was inspired by NASA technology and contains no pesticides, fungicides, or other hormones. You can buy pre-seeded pods or empty ones and experiment with your own seeds!
The interesting part about these pods is that they contain nutrients within the soil so there is no need to add liquid nutrients. Each Smart Soil pod comes with a label and a reusable plastic biodome.
Quick Tip: The domes should be removed when the sprouts start to touch them.
2. Self-Watering System:
All you need to do is fill the 4-liter water tank and then the Smart Garden does all the watering work for you! The water should last 3-4 weeks before needing to be refilled but it can vary on plant size and type.
You will know it needs refilling when the float on the water intake valve is considerably below the surface.
3. Powerful LED Lights
The lights stay on for 16 hours and shut off for 8 hours automatically and this, unfortunately, cannot be adjusted. This model has 9 larger bulbs arranged in a straight line (6 white, 3 red).
The Smart Garden comes with 4 light bar supports so you can adjust the height according to your plant’s growth. Click & Grow says it has a height of 23.2 inches when all 4 light supports are being used.
Smart Garden 9 Grow Speed
Seven days into the grow and every seed (except 1 lettuce pod) had sprouted!
The Basil plants were, once again, the first to sprout and already had noticeable growth at the 1-week mark. The tomato plant was coming in nicely and 2 little Lettuce seedlings had just broken the surface of the soil. Overall a great start!
The next picture is from a little over 2 weeks into the grow. The Basil plants were starting to grow a lot of leaves that would soon be harvestable. The Tomato plants were growing a lot of leaves as well.
The lettuce plants were starting to become more full and vibrant green. The one Lettuce seed that sprouted slightly later than the rest appeared to be completely healthy, just smaller than the other lettuce plants.
Below is a picture from about 40 days after a nice pruning. The basil plants were providing fresh, peppery leaves almost every day. As you can see the lettuce was growing out of control! Even the late bloomer lettuce was growing big, luscious leaves.
The Tomato plants are healthy but they aren’t growing nearly as quickly as I expected. 40 days in and just one plant had grown small yellow flowers. These yellow flowers – if everything goes according to plan – should turn into Baby Green Tomatoes in a week or so.
Which is Better?
- Red & Blue LED Lights
- Touch Screen Control Panel
- Adjustable Light Cycle
- Aeroponic Watering System
- Can Get Crowded – 9 Plants is a lot!
- Can Be Hard to Fully Remove Plants from Growing Pods
Aerogarden’s control panel is what sets it a tier above the competitors: it allows the user to have a clear reading of the current water level, nutrient levels, and time cycle that the lights are on. The “Quick Plant” guide is easy to follow and sets you up for a good harvest right off the bat.
Using the control panel you can also set custom light cycles for different types of plants, whereas the time cycle on the Smart Garden 9 (16 hours on/8 hours off) is not adjustable.
- Sleek, Modern Design
- Plenty of Room for 9 Plants
- No Need to Add Nutrients
- Large, 4-Liter Water Reservoir
- Can’t Customize the Light Cycle
- Only Red & White Lights
- Can’t Accurately Measure Water Levels
With the Click & Grow you judge the water level from the height of the float in the intake valve. Not only is the float not nearly as accurate or noticeable as the control panel, but it also makes filling the water tank rather tedious. If you don’t fill it slowly, you’ll end up with water flooding the growing surface.
Both units kept their promise of being able to grow fresh, healthy plants in a considerably short amount of time. In the grand scheme of things, you really can’t go wrong with either brand. However, due to the reasons above, I preferred my growing experience with the Aerogarden.
I hope this article helped better inform you about the Bounty & Smart Garden 9. Thanks for reading!