Gadgets that make gardening fun

Take out the effort and put the fun back into gardening

Fall is here and winter is coming, but that’s no reason to stop gardening.A beautifully tended garden is a wonderful thing to gaze at but it’s equally tough to maintain on a regular basis especially with falling temperatures. Sure, you can take most plants indoors, however, taking mother nature partially out of the equation also means the life of your now greenery lies entirely in your hands.

Fortunately, there’s a growing trend in gardening gadgets designed specifically to take the hassle out of mundane yard work and the guesswork out of potted plants. 

Here are a selection of devices that go some way to making gardening fun and attractive again.

Robomow RC306 

Mowing a lawn is one of the simplest ways of instantly improving the look of your garden. Like spending 10 minutes tidying up clutter, it immediately makes everything look better. Finding the time to mow regularly, though, is another matter especially in the colder months. 

Weeds grow quickly and a once attractively well cut lawn can soon turn into a nightmare of scruffy edges. Luckily Robomow aims to make the entire process faster and a lot more enjoyable. 

Working in conjunction with your smartphone or independently, Robomow does all the hard work so you don’t have to. You simply set up zones on your lawn so it knows what area to cut, and the robotic lawnmower does the rest. Further options allow you to set how often it cuts the lawn and on what day. 

It’ll also know if the weather is too bad and to retreat to its base station until conditions improve. You can even take over the controls directly and use your smartphone to move it around, easily getting to those tricky patches away from your main lawn. 

The garden will look instantly better, and you’ll find some joy from the most monotonous of gardening chores.

Price: $999 at Walmart / £1,199 at Amazon UK

PlantLink

One of the most frustrating parts of amateur gardening is not knowing when to water your plant. PlantLink takes out all the guess work by monitoring the soil moisture surrounding your plant, and evaluating what needs to change. It adapts according to the type of plant involved, too.

Once PlantLink determines that the plant requires watering, you’ll be notified via a push notification, email, or text, ensuring you know to water it immediately. 

An Internet-connected PlantLink Valve is currently in development, enabling you to automatically water your plants, no matter where you are. Regular watering schedules can also be programmed with weather prediction to help keep plants topped off without drowning them.

Price: $79 at Best Buy

Edyn

Edyn works a lot like PlantLink but it goes one step further - it monitors a lot more than just soil moisture. Comprised of a sensor and a valve, the Edyn garden sensor tracks how much light your plant is enjoying, the humidity levels, as well as moisture and general nutrition. Cross-referencing such information with a plant database, you can determine exactly what your plant needs.

When connected to a Wi-Fi network, Edyn gives you a heads up on the condition of your plants, before using the Edyn water valve to irrigate your plants to an appropriate amount. 

The app archives all the information so it’s easy to see what trends are developing, and how past seasons may have affected your perennial plants. Taking out the guesswork from indoor and outdoor gardening, it’s a convenient solution for inexperienced green thumbs.

Price: $99 at The Home Depot

Netatmo Weather Station

Gardening when the weather is pleasant and dry is a huge factor in making it more enjoyable. While no gadget can create the perfect climate, the Netatmo Weather Station can at least give you a more accurate heads up on what’s going on. 

Providing you with weather reports that are directly relevant to you, the Weather Station’s outdoor module keeps you well informed on the current outdoor temperature, relative humidity, and air quality. 

It’s easy to upload these stats to irrigation devices and keep your plants well cared for, plus you’ll know exactly what to do before the winter frost comes so your plants will be ready for that next big summer party or family BBQ.

Parrot Flower Power

Parrot doesn’t just make drones and car kits - it’s also delving into connected gardening tech. Flower Power is a cute and stylish sensor work equally as well in a pot, as it does outdoors. 

Monitoring attributes like sunlight, temperature, moisture, and how well fertilized the soil is, Flower Power uses attractive alerts to encourage you to do the right thing, without intimidating you. Its greatest strength is how it works so well with other gardening devices. 

Working in conjunction with IFTTT recipes, as well as tying into things like the GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub, Parrot Flower Power takes out all the guesswork, and gives you back control over your green fingered ways.

GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub

Some modern homes have smart hubs controlling everything from the lights to an Internet-connected washing machine. Gardens can enjoy such flexibility with the GreenIQ’s Smart Garden Hub

The hub not only works as a smart irrigation system, watering your plants on a regular schedule, but it also controls the lighting in your garden. Even when you’re not around to keep an eye on things, the Smart Garden Hub gathers information from local weather stations, before calculating an optimal watering program for your plants and lawn. 

Aside from keeping your greenery healthy, it works towards reducing your water bills by carefully lowering consumption.

You can access it via your smartphone, PC, Mac, or web browser, ensuring you’re always kept in the loop, even while travelling. It pairs up with other devices too, such as Netatmo Weather Stations, and Parrot Flower Power sensors. 

Price: $189 at Amazon / £199 at Vesternet/ AU$389 G-Store

Click & Grow Smart Garden

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a patch of land they can call their own. Click & Grow Smart Garden is aimed at those apartment owners who still want to be able to grow plants at home. The unit simply requires a power source and for you to water it regularly. No soil or outdoors presence is required, thanks to its NASA-inspired technology. 

There’s room for three plant capsules focused squarely on growing for the kitchen. These include herbs such as sage, but fruits such as tomatoes and strawberries can also be grown here. A smartphone app also keeps you up to date on development, along with providing recipes for once your plants are fully grown.

Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Ultra

Miracle-Gro’s AeroGarden uses hydroponics to allow you to grow fruit and vegetables indoors all year round. The plastic unit is ideal for those without an outdoor space, and can grow plants significantly faster than through conventional methods. 

Grow lights work as an artificial sun, while soil is replaced with liquid nutrients. Though Click & Grow employs a similar method, pretty much anything can be grown in the AeroGarden including flowers. 

Instead of a smartphone app, AeroGarden uses a control panel attached to the unit, letting you tweak various settings, so it does all the hard work for you. It also doubles as a kind of science project for kids who don’t like to get their hands dirty. Plus you can grow a lot with the largest unit being able to hold up to 9 plants at once.

Price: $199 at Amazon / £199 at AeroGarden