When you first think about it, you’d believe that nature and technology wouldn’t find any common ground. You can’t possibly integrate technology into something as fundamentally traditional as gardening, right? But, in fact, you can make gardening “smart”. Just like you can make every other aspect of your home smart.
There are ways in which smart technology is transforming the way we garden. It’s all about the tools we use and the efforts we make to take advantage of the internet. And what it can do to simplify and streamline even things that have to do with nature.
What is smart home technology?
Smart home technology is the newest generation of super cool gadgets that help streamline certain processes and appliances, increase efficiency, convenience, and generally improve your quality of life.
Smart home technology typically relies on Wi-Fi and is highly convenient and customizable. Anything you need to control is literally at your fingertips, because most of these devices have special apps that you can install on your phone. You set everything up, monitor and control it on your smart phone, remotely. That means that you can always have the features you want, when you want them, and they’re only a tap away.
When it comes to homes, smart technology usually includes things like smart home hubs, smart TVs, smart speakers, smart fridges and washing machines. But more and more, people are finding that every aspect of the home can be made “smart”.
What does it have to do with gardening?
Okay, but a garden is all-natural. There is no Wi-Fi here or anything to make smart. Right? Well, that is not entirely true. There are plenty of aspects of your typical garden that can be improved or made easier through the advent of smart technology.
Gardening as we know it is changing, as it becomes a more and more automatic process. No one is saying that you’re losing the pleasure of tending to your plants. Just that certain chores are made easier – like mowing or watering the lawn. In addition, you get greater knowledge and information about your garden, the air, the soil, the weather, and the plants themselves. And that can only improve the care you provide for them.
What are some smart devices that can change gardening?
- Smart sprinklers
What it is? Automatic sprinklers are nothing new, but they can certainly be made better through smart technology. The newest generation of smart sprinklers benefits from amazing, internet-based technology. It allows you to adjust, control, and monitor your sprinklers and their activity via your smart phone.
That means that no matter where you are, you can take a look at how your garden is doing. Not only that, but you can turn your sprinklers on or off, adjust the volume of water being dispensed, which areas are being watered, how often, etc.
How does it help? Obviously, the convenience is incredible. You no longer need to be at home to water your lawn. Or worse, suffer at the hands of a forgetful neighbor who is supposedly doing you a favor and murdering your plants in the process.
You’ve got full control over your plant care and how much water your plants are receiving. You can even program the sprinklers to adjust automatically, depending on weather considerations, temperatures, humidity, etc. Smart sprinklers can truly bring you the garden of the future.
- Smart lawnmower
What it is? Smart lawnmowers are a bit like Roombas – you know, the small, automatic vacuum cleaners that move around on their own all over your house and vacuum to their heart’s content.
Just like a Roomba, a smart lawnmower does not need to be manned, per se. You just turn it on and allow it to do its own thing until the job is done.
The way it works is that it creates a map of your yard. It then knows what space it needs to cover, and how much of it there is. Once that’s done, you don’t need to interfere. You can sit back and enjoy the beautiful day – just don’t get in your lawnmower’s way! – or you can do some work inside.
How does it help? Is there anyone who actually enjoys mowing the lawn? Probably not. It’s a labor-intensive job, it takes a long time. Not many people would be sad to say goodbye to this chore.
Well, this nifty little gadget takes all the sweat out of the job and enables you to take this time back to do whatever. And in the meantime, your lawn is magically being manicured. How cool is that?
- Plant sensors
What it is? Plant sensors are one of those incredible devices that can change the way you garden. All you need to do is set them up in a nearby area, in the soil your plants share.
They will be able to collect valuable information about the type of dirt your plants are growing in, whether that’s appropriate for them, what kind of minerals are contained by that kind of soil, the light they are receiving, etc. All these details will be sent directly to your smart device.
This category of information is not normally available, unless you get the soil tested specifically, in order to learn more about it and its idiosyncrasies.
How does it help? Having this kind of information at your fingertips can really change and improve the way you care for your plants. Not only can plant sensors be used in your garden, they can also be used in your potted plants.
The software will indicate when and how much you need to water each plant, depending on the moisture in the soil and the type of plant. You can even set up notifications to remind you to water each plant when it needs it, so you can make sure that you never accidentally skip it.
This kind of device is great because it can be used by complete newbies, but also by certified green thumb gardeners.
- Weather sensors
What it is? Just like plant sensors analyze the soil your plants are growing in, a weather sensor analyzes the weather and surroundings. It’s not a very common piece of equipment, but it is one that is believed to grow in popularity in the coming years.
What this does is alert you to the state of the weather. You can also receive useful info about how your plants are likely to fare in certain weather conditions. It can also be used indoors, to monitor things like the humidity of the space or whether it’s too hot for specific plants to thrive, etc. You can even compare air quality from different spaces.
How does it help? A good gardener is always aware of what their plants need, what the optimum conditions are, and what is likely to damage their garden. That’s why closely monitoring the weather is one of those absolute musts. Of course, one could very well use an app for that. But you can benefit from the highly accurate results from this device, especially if you’re looking to find out more about the conditions in an isolated area of your home.
Does any gardener need this? Probably not. But it’s a really nifty gadget to have, and it’s going to help you step up your gardening game and help your plants thrive.
As you can see, making gardening “smart” hardly means that robots are taking over and robbing you of the joy of taking care of your garden. On the contrary – smart technology is merely helping us take better care of our gardens or facilitating certain chores and processes.
If you love mowing your lawn the old-fashioned way, more power to you! But some of us would love to be able to sit back and let the lawn mower take care of it. More importantly, this type of technology can actually help you learn more about what your garden needs and how you can take better care of it, and that is invaluable.