Smart garden makes urban farming easy

Estonia-based Click and Grow preview its latest 'smart garden' at the IFA tech fair in Berlin, a window box for the the modern age that grows vegetables and herbs automatically.

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Growing your own vegetables and herbs can be a laborious process.

Lack of space in urban environments makes it even harder. However, this smart garden is bringing the window box into the modern age. Much like Nespresso coffee capsules, users "plant" this soil pod containing the seeds and all the nutrients which are released in sync with the plant's life cycle.

Click And Grow sales manager Karel Kask said users put the growing substrate in the plastic container.

"It has a wick solution, so basically it starts to drain the water from the water tank, and the lamp does the rest of the job. The lamp imitates daylight time, so it's 16 hours on and 8 hours off. So far we have tested some 7,000 different plants and each growing substrate is designed specifically for this plant," he explained.

Estonia-based Click And Grow added it had tested up to a thousand lighting solutions to ensure optimal growth. The red and white lights deliver the perfect spectrum, speeding up growth by 30 to 50 per cent, depending on the plant.

Each soil pod provides up to three harvests.

Click And Grow was inspired by Nasa technology used to grow food in space. 

"They're using quite similar soil-based solutions, so they take the soil substrate into space and grow them already in there. They have an automated watering solution. It's quite similar to the solution that we do," said Mr Kask.