by Rachel Gore
egular gardening has well-documented health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, relieving stress and alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even so, the prospect of growing a garden can be overwhelming to those of us without planting experience. Luckily, a number of smart gardening technologies have been developed so that even those of us without a natural green thumb can have plants that flourish.
Automatic lawn mowers
Tired of pushing or riding around on a lawnmower every weekend? Robotic lawn mowers are designed to automatically cut lawns with the click of a button. The Husqvarna Automower 310 robotic lawnmower can function in the rain and navigate obstacles, slopes and tight spaces on lawns up to one-quarter of an acre. Cutting height is adjustable from 0.8 to 2.4 inches and can connect to GPS, Bluetooth and cellular data. The more affordable Robomow RC306 lawn mower works on lawns up to one-eighth of an acre and has a cutting height of 0.5 to 1.75 inches. These mowers come with safety features that automatically detect and stop them from moving if an obstacle, such as a nearby person, is detected.
The Smart Garden 3 is an indoor gardening system that comes with updated LED lighting and automatically provides plants with the light, nutrients and water they need to prosper. It is pesticide, hormone and harmful-substance-free. For gardeners who want a larger, more comprehensive gardening tool, the Niwa smart garden system is another option. Niwa’s smart garden relies on hydroponics to allow plants to grow without soil. It promotes faster plant growth without pesticides or dangerous chemicals, comes with automatic water and climate control system and relies on LED lighting to provide energy to plants.
For an incredibly affordable option, gardeners can invest in the compact North plant monitor, which tracks water, light, temperature and fertilizer levels in the Plant Monitor app. Perfect for gardeners who are unsure about the needs of their plants, the North plant monitor comes with a database detailing the optimal soil moisture, temperature, fertilizer level and lighting levels of over 5,000 different plant species. Alternatively, the Vistefly Flowers Care Smart Sensor provides sunlight, humidity, temperature and soil fertility readings. It also tracks and saves plant growth records in its accompanying app’s database.
There are a slew of smartphone apps designed to help gardeners, each of which comes with its own set of unique features. Here are just a few of them:
- ColdSnap! Frost Alarm warns gardeners of dangerously low or high-temperature forecasts in their geographical area, giving them time to prepare plants for the adverse conditions.
- Gardenate uses gardeners’ locations to show the best plants for each month. It also stores planting and harvest dates and provides users with detailed information about the plants they are growing.
- Garden Plan Pro helps gardeners design the layout of their garden and plant arrangement, no matter the shape and size of their garden. It also allows users to track their garden’s progress over time.
- Plant Alarm is a simple app that allows users to set different gardening alarms (e.g., when it’s time to water plants).
- Plantr helps gardeners grow as plant caretakers through its plant identification technology, plant growth milestone track-ing and plant problem diagnosis capability.
Smart sprinklers water plants on their own and help conserve water. Some even come with irrigation controllers, which analyze the weather forecast before watering a garden. The most popular sprinkler system, the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, is an easy to set up sprinkler system that works alongside a smartphone app. It can be connected to and voice-controlled via Google Home or Alexa. The Rachio 3’s features include a customizable watering schedule and automatic adjustments based on the weather forecasts, amongst others.
While some may prefer “old school” gardening, even seasoned gardeners can benefit from the breadth of information and data available in these gadgets. For younger individuals, this technology could be the inspiration they need to pick up some seeds, start planting and reap the benefits of tending to a garden.