Back to roots: Connected tools for your own smart garden
How does your garden grow? Very well… with a little kick from connectivity.
In an increasingly connected world, your garden shouldn’t have to miss out on the benefits of innovation!
There are a range of products on the market and in development that are bringing your veggie patch online, many of which require some equipment to measure things like water and temperature before connecting with your smartphone or house for easier operation.
Here are some interesting new products for those of us with a green thumb.
Parrot Flower Power
Video courtesy: Parrot on YouTube
Now available in Australia, Parrot Flower Power is the smartest stick you're likely to find in your garden. Pop it into your flower pots and connect it to a smartphone app to get constant updates on exactly how to make sure your green babies flourish.
The Parrot Flower Power sensor measures sunlight, temperature, fertilizer and moisture, sending you an alert whenever attention is needed.
With a six month battery life, it is also able to send you information about the specific plant it is working with, based on a database of over 7,000 different species.
Image courtesy: Gardenate on the Google Play store
Kitchen gardeners will love the Gardenate app, which plants a database right in your pocket for growing vegetables.
This app localises itself to your climate zone then gives you the options for what to plant during which season, sharing advice on methods and techniques.
Keen growers can post and share tips and comments with the community in order to make the most of their crops. You can also add your own notes and keep track of what you’ve got waiting to sprout.
Robot lawn mowers
If vacuums can operate unassisted, why not lawn mowers? Using similar technology to robot vacuums, models such as the Husqvarna Automower come in a range of sizes and claim to operate “in any weather”.
Smart lawn mowers are a completely hands free experience, clipping the grass of gardens while you live the easy life.
Even if you don’t have a fence, you can set up an electronic boundary to prevent it from taking off down the road and never being seen again.
This boundary will guide it back to its little charging station, where it can power up before heading out again when the time is right.
A smartphone app lets you remotely control your robot mower in a pinch, however these devices are very autonomous and can change directions on their own if they hit an obstacle.
Robomowers can cost upwards of $1000, but if you truly despise mowing the lawn they might definitely feel like a worthy investment.
Smart sprinkler systems
Image courtesy: Hydrawise on the Google Plays store
Now that you have cut your grass, it’s time to water it. A smart sprinkler system can connect to your household wi-fi to let you control your irrigation from anywhere in the world (assuming you have connectivity) via an app or online login.
Connected sprinklers like Hydrawise reduce water usage by tapping into local weather stations. Using up to date information, they will automatically suspend watering based on temperature, forecast rain or actual rainfall.
You can even set up alerts that will notify you if something is amiss, such as a sudden increase in water that may have been caused by a faulty pipe.
Connected garden lights
Video courtesy: Mipow Channel on YouTube
Solar garden lights are nothing new, but automatic flashing disco garden lights sure are! PLAYBULB’s garden lights charge by day and turn your garden into a rainbow wonderland by night.
You can control them using an app, choosing from flashing, pulsing rainbow or candlelight effects.
Once you have set up your garden (the lights will work up to 20 metres from your wi-fi router) you can find other PLAYBULB products, all of which are controlled from an iPhone or Android smartphone app.
Wireless security cameras
Prevent intruders from making it to your house with a smart security camera that can send you an alert as soon as it detects a disturbance.
These cameras allow you to check in yourself so that you can see if the unwelcome guest is a would-be thief or a hungry possum looking for some of the delicious fresh produce that you have been growing with the help of your fleet of gardening gadgets.
Talk to your local hardware store or security expert for wireless outdoor camera recommendations.
These amazing innovations will help even people who travel a lot or those who aren’t known for their gardening skills to have an outdoor area to be envied.
Connectivity is changing the number of connected devices we use around the home. Check out how much more data the average Aussie is consuming, compared to where we were just a few short years ago.