AeroGarden Sprout vs. Click & Grow vs. Grobo Start
Which grow system is right for you?
Click & Grow
Why should I grow at home?
Have you ever tasted a fresh tomato right off the vine? Or maybe you've pinched off some fresh basil leaves? Or even enjoyed some home grown cannabis? The taste and freshness is quite simply unmatched. Being able to grow at home gives you these flavours, all year long. While using home growing systems reduces the work required to grow these amazing plants.
With consistently high quality yields and a small time commitment a countertop growing system can make a great addition to any home. In this article, we'll be comparing three of the grow boxes on the market today: the Aerogarden Sprout, Click & Grow, and the Grobo Start.
1. System Cost.
At the time of writing this article, Aerogarden Start was out of stock and it's not clear when it will be available again. The Click & Grow and Grobo Start systems are both priced the same at $99.95 USD per unit.
On this front, all both the Click&Grow 3 and the Grobo Start are tied.
2. Pod Cost.
Pods are really where the differences in products begin to show. The AeroGarden Sprout and Click&Grow both sell pods sets in the ~$10 price range. Click & Grow, for example, sells their 3-pack of pods for $9.95 USD. You select which plant you want to grow and the pods include seeds in them.
The starter kits that both AeroGarden and Click&Grow offer are single variety pods. That means that if you choose the basil packet, for example, you will get three basil pods. When browsing their site it's also worth noting that many of their pods only come in 9-pack formats which are more expensive.
With the Grobo Start, a set of 3 Peat Pods is only 9.99 USD. Seeds are not included so you can pick any plants you want to grow. Just plant your favourite seeds and pick from hundreds of grow recipes in the Grobo App.
Grobo Start is also the only system designed to handle germination and up to 4 weeks of cannabis or large vegetable plant growth (we'll get into that later!).
How loud are they? Great question!
The Grobo Start and Click & Grow are both completely silent systems that contain no moving parts. Their grow pods use wicks to absorb the perfect amount of water. Weekly water changes are easy and help with aerating the water.
The AeroGarden on the other hand is louder. It uses a built-in air pump to aerate the water which some users have reported can make a noticeable amount of noise.
When it comes to noise, the Click & Grow and Grobo Start are the clear winners here.
4. LED Lighting System.
All three systems use LEDs which is awesome! It means they'll have a minimal impact on your electrical bill. They can also run for tens of thousands of hours so there's no need to worry about replacing them over time.
The Click & Grow 3 has only one setting for light duration, while the Grobo Start and Aerogarden have 2 settings. This will let you set the duration of light to match your plant's needs.
All lights have height adjustability built in. In terms of width, the Click&Grow uses a thin set of three lights. This results in lower light penetration when compared o the wider LED patterns featured on the Aerogarden and the Grobo Start.
5. EASE of use.
All three systems definitely make hydroponic growing easier than trying to set up on your own. Hydroponic growing is really great for growing plants faster but it can be difficult to get right. By containing an integrated light and a nutrient plan, each system makes growing easier than it would be to set up on your own.
Of the three systems, the AeroGarden sprout is the most complex to use due to their nutrient program.
Grobo Start, on the other hand is the easiest to use. Their nutrient boosters are quick and easy to add to the water every time you change it... and the Grobo App is there to walk you through your grow. It's available on web, iOS and Android. Once you're set up and have started your grow, it will send you water change reminders and educational tips to help you get the most out of your grow.
6. Plant Selection.
At the time of writing, Click & Grow offered 48 plant varieties to choose from in their seed kits while Aerogarden offered 20 seed kits to choose from.
Grobo's grow recipe library currently contains over 500 grow recipes to choose from.
7. Control Panel.
"Houston, are we cleared for growing?"
Okay, maybe none of the control panels are that complex. Click & Grow doesn't actually have any buttons or controls on their system. If you want it on, plug it in. To turn it off, unplug it.
Both AeroGarden and Grobo Start feature a single button to control them.
Click & Grow uses Smart Soil for their grow in which they have embedded nutrients. As their website states, the level of nutrients in Smart Soil is not necessarily as high as in hydroponic systems. It is sufficient for short grows of greens and other small plants.
AeroGarden sells liquid nutrient bottles. These need to be measured and added weekly to your plant for them to success. These nutrients provide the plant with what it needs for growth, but they do require additional measurement and knowledge to know when to dose and how much.
Grobo Start has developed a program of nutrient boosters. Just add in a sachet every time you change the water and you'll see your plant flourish! Planning on transferring into a Grobo Premium or Solid? Then you can actually use no nutrients at all. Your plant will be happy for 2-3 weeks in the Grobo Start without any additions.
Style is subjective by nature, so we'll let you decide on this one.
The AeroGarden Sprout is available in both gloss black and gloss white. The system is much more "busy" with an instruction decal on the front, a water viewing window, and both versions have a white plastic top that the plants grow in.
Click & Grow features a sleek, all matte white design. There are no controls on this system.
Grobo Start also features a sleek, all matte white design. There is a capacitive on/off switch with an indicator LED that slowly pulses to let you know everything is growing well.
10. Grow Ecosystem.
All three companies have other products, but do they play together nicely?
Click & Grow offers their 3-Pod and 9-Pod systems. Both are similar in design and plants can be moved between them. That said, you don't gain any extra space by doing this for the plant to continue growing. A thin light bar is used in both products which reduces the amount of light available to your plants as they grow.
AeroGarden has a wide variety of system sizes. Their pods are not designed to be moved from one to the other. There is very little room around the pod opening making it very difficult and risky to remove a plant from the Sprout once it has started growing. It's quite easy to severely damage the roots of the plant.
Grobo Start is designed specifically to be used with the Grobo Premium and Grobo Solid grow boxes. The Peat Pods move easily between systems. With one click in the app, you can transfer for grow journal, plant start date, and more to the WiFi connected grow boxes. The Premium or Solid will then pick up your grow exactly where you left off. You will continue receiving notifications and educational tips and your plant will grow on to do great things!
11. ADDED FEATURES.
When looking at all three units, the presence of apps is the main added feature.
AeroGarden - They have an app for some of their other products. The AeroGarden Sprout does not work with the app.
Click & Grow - Their companion app is supposed to help you track your grow, but it comes up short. The app has a 2.2 star rating on the Apple App Store and a 2 star rating on the Android App Store. It's rarely updated and has a number of bugs. The notifications are sparse with minimal education on how to grow your plants better. The app allows you to take very basic notes on your grow, but you cannot save or upload any photos to your grow journal.
Grobo Start - The Grobo App is available on Web, iOS and Android and is very simple to use. It sends timely notifications to keep you up to take on your grow. In addition, the Grow Journal feature allows you to keep detailed notes and photos to document your grow.
Hands down, the 5 star Grobo app wins this contest for adding the most value.
12. Overall Recommendation.
The Grobo Solid
Price: $1,999 USD.
Included in this price is the Grobo Solid itself as well as one welcome kit. The kit contains a power supply for your Grobo Solid, a carbon filter, five liquid nutrients packs and a Coco pod. This is everything that you need to get your growbox up and running right away. This way you can start growing your plant as soon as you receive your growbox. The 5 nutrient bottles are used to adjust the pH level of the water. This ensures that your plant has all nutrients required for steady healthy growth.
The Grobo Premium
Price: $2,199 USD.
Included in this price is the Grobo Premium itself as well as one welcome kit. The kit contains a power supply for your Grobo Solid, a carbon filter, five liquid nutrients packs and a Coco pod. This is everything that you need to get your growbox up and running right away. This way you can start growing your plant as soon as you receive your growbox. The 5 nutrient bottles are used to adjust the pH level of the water. This ensures that your plant has all nutrients required for steady healthy growth.
The Leaf Grow Box
Price: $3,000 USD.
This will get you the LEAF Growbox itself as well as one batch of nutrients, a carbon filter, air stones, Clay pebble (Hydroton) growing media, starter plugs, pH and TDS calibration fluids, and pruning shears.
While all three systems can grow plants for you, the Grobo Start will do it in a stylish package, give you the most flexibility to decide what you want to grow, and with a ton of support through the app and our support teams to ensure you have success growing.
At Grobo, we are on a mission to make growing easy and we promise to that we're here for you every step of the way.
To learn more, you can check out the Grobo Start or the AllGrowers Community.