The best garden tools for your new planting resolutions are likely to include those controlled or monitored by your smartphone. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be getting your hands dirty as you create a thriving backyard oasis or terrace container garden. However, it does mean that your forays can be much more efficient, and your garden dreams are less likely to be thwarted by the whims of insects, soil pH, and an ever-changing schedule. Read on to learn more about some of the best garden tools and systems available right now.
Garden Landscaping Robots
While it might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, landscaping robots using AI technology are already here. Launched by Whirly Max, their landscaping robot (the Yardroid) resembles a mini-tank. It can turn to avoid obstacles or climb over short ones. It can handle garden slopes and follow a mowing pattern that you set ahead of time. This futuristic gadget can spray pest and weed control chemicals and has an integrated leaf blower, making it one of the best garden tools to hit the market.
It’s not alone. The Husqvarna Automower 450X is also turning heads. According to the manufacturer, it can easily handle mowing duties of up to 1.25 acres. The design is reminiscent of a sports car, and it is gaining a reputation for being able to work in tight spaces, handle obstacles, and survive even torrential downpours as it works. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home and effectively handles slopes and spiral cutting jobs. Of course, it’s also among the priciest landscaping robots (at approximately $4,000) available today, which probably is why it comes with built-in theft protection.
Wi-Fi Sprinkler Systems
Smart sprinkler systems are ideal for anyone who works outside the home, travels, or wants to adjust their watering from their smartphone. It might sound like a dream, but Better Homes & Gardens has already tested several systems and named the LinkTap Wireless Water Timer as the “Best Wi-Fi-Controlled Lawn Sprinkler.” The Magazine loves it because “you can set a watering schedule that works best for your lawn, and even log into the app to cancel a watering session if you’re expecting rain.” It’s mid-range in terms of price and widely available.
The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler is slightly more expensive but entices with the promise of adjusting watering schedules and amounts based on things like sun exposure and soil. The Rachio 3e can also be integrated with your existing systems, like the Google Nest or Alexa, making it a flexible garden tool that is simple to install and easy to use.
Smart Garden Planning Tools
An augmented reality app is waiting to revolutionize the way you plan your garden. The Connected Garden Super Sensor first grabbed attention at CES back in 2019, and it has continued to spark the imagination of seasoned garden designers and new home-growers alike. The sensor starts by analyzing your garden plot’s soil, sunlight, moisture, and other critical details before you ever get out your gloves. From there, things get very interesting. Better Homes & Gardens explains: “The synced app suggests plants that will thrive in the space where you put your sensor. Colored pins will be dropped at certain points in your garden: Each pin will indicate where your garden needs attention, i.e. the pH is too high, or the soil is soggy.”
Another thing that makes this tool so unique is that it will also give you an augmented reality view of what your garden will look like once you’ve chosen where to stage your plants. Not only does this mean that your plants and flowers will take up residence in the optimal areas, but it allows you to shift design plans for things like fountains, pathways, seating, and entertainment areas before you make hard-to-reverse decisions. Having this advanced look at your new space undoubtedly will save you time and money while also producing a lush, envy-inducing garden.
Self-watering planters grabbed headlines as gardening enthusiasts sang their praises and magazines, like Southern Living, declared these tools their “new garden obsession.” The planters started fairly low-tech, but they brought much-needed assistance to everyone who wanted to start growing fresh herbs in their homes or greenhouses. As Southern Living explains, even their favorite “compact herb garden waters itself as needed, thanks to a water level indicator that lets you know when you need to refill it every couple of weeks.”
It’s not a surprise that the planters took off and were quickly upgraded to feature Wi-Fi-enabled elements and even more eco-friendly technology. Enter the Dewplanter. This smart garden tool claims to provide a water generation system that essentially captures condensation out of the moisture in the air of your garden and turns it into a daily water drip. The predictability of the schedule that you can set makes it a treat for any gardener, but its patented energy- and water-efficient technology will make it one of the best garden tools available to people living in areas that see little rainfall.
Indoor Smart Gardens
Indoor smart gardens like the AeroGarden or the ēdn SmallGarden have also sought to take the benefits of the self-watering planter into a decidedly high-tech direction. Wi-Fi enabled, these indoor smart gardens can be programmed to regulate light, water, and nutrients for everything from small herb gardens to multi-tiered farm stands. The ēdn SmallGarden caught the eye of editors at Southern Living because this “nifty smart garden also integrates with the ēdn app, which allows you to control your garden’s lighting schedule, receive alerts, and enjoy detailed guidance on your plants’ progress.”
Both the AeroGarden and the ēdn SmallGarden utilize seed pods that allow you to grow different plants at any given time – they are only restricted by the size of the units you order. The more extensive indoor gardens can be quite expensive, but you’ll love having the tools to produce the best garden-fresh herbs, vegetables, and flowers no matter what the season or weather conditions.
Gardening Companion Apps
Some of the best garden tools available are the latest generation of apps that can turn your brown thumb into a green one. Martha Stewart Living raves about apps like the Plant Light Meter, available on Apple devices. This gem takes the guesswork out of determining the quality of light available to your garden at any time of year. It can also be used indoors to judge whether your houseplants are getting enough (or too much) light where you currently have them perched.
The Grow It! app caught Martha Stewart Living’s attention because the app “connects you with local gardeners in your community to get questions answered and hopefully, inspiration for future gardening endeavors.” The Magazine applauds apps like the Plant Alarm (for Android users) that help you set fertilizing and watering alarms for all of your plants, inside and out. There are also numerous apps that will help you identify plants from their leaves and those that give you information about the best ways to care for houseplants and backyard seedlings. Sometimes the best garden tool truly is information!
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