Gardening is a very popular pastime in the UK and in lots of other countries. Over 51% of people are reported to get a lot out of their garden and over 88% of people think that having access to a private garden or a public green space is important to them (YouGov for HTA (2020)). Over lock-down gardening was one of the very few things we could do outside. Here are some ideas to make your garden into a smart garden.
Would you like to enjoy a lovely garden without doing the work to maintain it? Actually I think half of the enjoyment is in the toil and labour to make something you’re proud of. This might be true, but a little help never hurts, and maybe you don’t find enough time to look after it?
Over the summer months irrigation should be one of your top priorities. The weather is always unpredictable and even more so nowadays with the globe warming up. Gardena has quite a sizable range of scheduling attachments for water outlets. These allow you to set a schedule for when your sprinkler or whatever is attached to your outdoor tap, to be turned off or on at a certain time. Perhaps you can’t have more than one on at the same time due to water pressure? These will solve the problem as you can have one on for a certain amount of time and then switch to the other one for the same amount. All without having to go outside and change things over.
You can go even further with automation as the range also includes a smart sensor. Just insert some batteries into it and tether it to it’s WiFi hub, and plant it with your prize azaleas. The sensor measures soil moisture, sunlight and temperature, and this information is forwarded to your smartphone. It’s almost like having a weather station in the garden. With this information you can go ahead and water your garden sufficiently. The sensor can also be paired with a smart water control, so watering the garden is that much simpler. The sensor and the water controller will stop watering if there’s too much moisture in the soil.
Keep an eye on the weather outside with a smart weather station. Not only will it give you a good picture of what’s going on outside you can see the temperature inside. This well made and colourful display shows you temperature, and humidity from up to three remote sensors placed around your home or garden. You can also keep and eye on atmospheric pressure with the barometer reading in the bottom right hand corner. It’s easy to set up as it can connect to radio signals to automatically set and keep the time display accurate.
Would you like to attract more birds into the garden? A birdbox is nice idea to provide a home to a new bird family and wouldn’t it be great to see inside their nesting box? Try this lovely RSPB approved nesting box with a fitted cctv camera. It will bring the birdbox into clear view on your TV screen.
Indoor Smart Gardening
iDOO Hydroponics Growing System. This device looks like it could be in a sci fi film but it’s actually a real life product. You can use hydroponics to grow herbs and types of fruit much faster than just putting seeds in a tray of earth or planting in a herb garden. It uses a system that circulates nutrients in the water encouraging more oxygen to the plant’s roots. There’s also a 24 watt LED adjustable light to give your plants an ensured amount of ultraviolet light throughout the day to help them photosynthesise. You can adjust the amount of light for different growth cycles, and there’s two different water circulation modes. It’s less messy than other methods of growing herbs or flowers, it doesn’t even make a lot of noise and it looks great.
Robotic Lawn Mower
Have you got a massive lawn that needs tending at least once a week? Do you have to employ a gardener so it doesn’t turn into a massive patch of long grass and daisies? You might want to think about employing a robot lawn mower to do it for you. Much like a robot vacuum cleaner it has a docking point in the garden it goes back to when it’s finished. Now if you’re looking for perfect stripes and the grass to be collected then this might not be for you, but they use an intelligent algorithm to make sure there are no patches missed, and the grass is mulched and put back into the lawn to help keep it fertilised. Steep inclines and narrow sections aren’t a problem to these intrepid electric grass guzzlers as they’re shaped to get around efficiently. They have a low centre of gravity and rubber tyres that make sure it can get up hills.
The Flymo has an adjustable cutting height of 20-50 mm, and an 18v battery to make mowing your garden effortless. It can be scheduled via bluetooth from your smartphone, so you could just set it going from your armchair. It’s extremely quiet too, so you could set it to mow at night and wake up to a freshly cut lawn. Make those kids do something else to earn their pocket money, let’s face it they never did a great job anyway!
So here’s just a few ideas of what technology can offer the humble gardener nowadays. There’s no reason why your humble garden can’t be now considered smart. Science can let us do things that were out of reach just a few years ago, and it’s always looking at ways to save us time so we can spend more time doing the things we enjoy.