7 Garden Tools and Gadgets to Make Your Garden Smarter
by Jess Bolluyt, The Cheat Sheet
Whether you’ve got an expansive yard off a country road or a tiny container garden on your balcony or kitchen counter, planting a garden can help you eat healthier, enjoy the outdoors, and take your mind off of the stresses of work and your busy everyday life. But a garden can be a tricky thing to take care of, whether you have a natural green thumb or whether you struggle to get seeds to sprout or to keep plants alive until it’s time to harvest. Fortunately, a few smart gardening tools can help you out. Whether you need a gadget to keep tabs on the soil in your garden, help you figure out when to water your vegetables, or just make it easier to grow the vegetables and fruits you love, planting and managing a garden can be made a lot easier by a few great gadgets. Here are seven of our favorites.
Edyn Garden Sensor
The Edyn Garden Sensor is pretty easy to install: just plant it in the soil in your garden. Once it’s there, it’ll monitor the environmental conditions in your garden and send real-time information to your phone via the corresponding Edyn app. The sensor will track the light, moisture, humidity, and nutrition that the plants in your garden are getting, and by cross-referencing that information with plant databases, soil sciences, and weather information to give you customized advice on what will grow best where, when you should harvest or prune, and how to care for each plant.
Green IQ Smart Garden Hub
If you’ve already installed devices like sprinklers and garden lights, the Green IQ Smart Garden Hub may be the best way to get them to work exactly the way you want. The hub, which you can control from your smartphone, has everything you need to manage your garden’s irrigation and lighting. Using the hub, you can create watering cycles based on your preferences and the weather forecast (so that your sprinklers don’t turn on in the middle of a rainstorm, for instance) and save up to 50% of your garden’s water consumption. The app will give you notifications and water savings reports, and the hub will even enable you to control other gardening tools like Parrot’s Flower Power (more on that one soon) in the same way that a smart home hub enables you to control all the connected tech inside your home.
Netatmo Weather Station
The Netatmo Weather Station is a great gadget for people who want to understand their indoor or outdoor environment better. The Weather Station’s outdoor module gives you real-time information on the outdoor temperature, outdoor relative humidity, and the outdoor air quality. You can analyze past readings, observe the cycles and forecast variations going on around you, and forecast what things will look like in the future. The Weather Station has an elegant aluminum body, and while the basic Weather Station includes one indoor and one outdoor module, you can add a rain gauge or a wind gauge for a better understanding of the conditions in your yard or garden.
If you live in a city and have just a small balcony or patio, but still want to grow some delicious produce this summer, you could try an automated hydroponic system like the Niwa. The connected device makes it easy to grow vegetables, fruits, or herbs right in your home. All you have to do is plant your seeds and tell the Niwa app what you’re growing. The software includes a library of growing programs, and Niwa will control the feeding and watering cycles for your plants, giving them exactly what they need, when they need it. Right from the companion app, you can monitor how your plants are doing, and adjust lights, temperature, and feeding cycles to see how the plants respond. You can choose between different sizes and configurations, or even opt for a kit to build your own custom hydroponic unit.
Parrot Flower Power
If you’re starting small with developing your gardening skills and sticking to a couple of potted plants this summer, you might appreciate the guidance offered by the Parrot Flower Power sensor. Whether you stick it in a pot or in the ground, the sensor monitors and analyzes the temperature, light, fertilizer, and moisture that your plant is getting. Then, whenever it detects that your plant needs attention, the sensor sends a notification to your smartphone. The companion app will advise you on when to water or add fertilizer. The app also enables you to look up more than 7,000 plants, see a real-time log, and even plan your gardening schedule by predicting when you’re going to need to water. The device is available to purchase in several different colors, and you can use it either indoors or outdoors.
Even the most well-intentioned plant owners can struggle to figure out what their plants need. If that sounds like you, the PlantLink link may be the garden gadget for you. The link is a soil moisture sensor that works with any plant type, and you can choose whether you want to get notifications via text, email, or a push notification from the app. You’ll get watering reminders according to the schedule that’s convenient for you (or add a PlantLink valve, which can automatically water your plant or garden for you). It offers an easy way to avoid underwatering or overwatering your plants, and you can use multiple links and valves to make your whole garden smarter.
Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
If you’re serious about taking control of the amount of water you use to keep your garden or lawn alive this summer, then the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller may be the perfect garden gadget for you. Plenty of people have sprinklers that keep their plants alive, but waste lots of water and money in the process. Rachio makes sure that you’re not one of them by adjusting your sprinklers’ schedule for the weather, watering only when necessary, and preventing runoff. It also helps you to better understand your yard and the plants in it by tracking watering and precipitation and viewing reports on your garden’s health. The controller uses EPA-certified methods to keep your yard healthy and efficient, and EPA rebates are even available to purchasers.