Gardening and Landscaping the Smart Home Way
Gardening and Landscaping the Smart Home Way
The grass is getting greener, the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are making their slow march ever upward.
Spring is in the air—at least on the Northern Hemisphere.
And a smart home owner’s fancy turns to growth and efficiency of another sort—the lawn and garden.
The seasonal struggle to cultivate an enviable landscape and flower- or food-producing garden has taken new shape in this era of intelligent technology. While Saturdays of springs past were spent sweating on an unforgiving earth, we now have automated devices that’ll do the lion’s share of the work with greater results, and certainly less complaining.
Below, we show you how to get your hands dirty in the garden without actually getting your hands dirty in the garden.
A Wiser Way to Water
We have previously sung the praises of the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. This highly customizable sprinkler system, which constantly monitors the weather forecast and can automatically adjust watering schedules on the fly, remains a solid solution for luxury home owners looking to maintain a lush lawn.
Regardless of your lawn’s size or shape, Rachio ($199-$249) will work in conjunction with Mother Nature to keep your grass green.
However, homeowners who are also large garden owners might want to invest in Edyn.
The Edyn smart garden system consists of three elements. First, the Edyn Garden Sensor, a solar-powered probe which tracks the humidity, temperature, nutrition and moisture of your garden soil. The Sensor then cross-references that information with real-time weather information, plant databases, soil science and regional data to offer advice and gardening guidance, tailored to your exact garden, via the accompanying Edyn smart device app. In addition to providing tips for maintaining a flower bed of the first order, Edyn’s app will keep users apprised of their garden’s exact water needs and soil health, as well as any weather that could impact garden growth.
The final element of the Edyn system, the Edyn Water Valve, works off the actionable intelligence gathered by the Garden Sensor. Pairing with your existing irrigation system, the Edyn Water Valve will automatically control water flow to plants that need it based on the deep data gleaned from the soil sensor and real-time weather reports.
The end result is a garden with a lot more healthy flora and a lot less guesswork.
The Edyn Garden Sensor and Water Valve are available for $99 and $69, respectively. The Edyn Garden App can be downloaded for free.
In the long list of laborious lawn maintenance tasks, perhaps none is more arduous than the act of mowing.
The smell of fresh cut grass, while pleasant to some, can conjure memories in others of an adolescence spent behind a push mower at the prodding of parental forces in pursuit of such noble goals as character-building and a clean-looking landscape.
Now the scent of a freshly mowed lawn, and none of the psychological trauma, can be enjoyed by all thanks to the Husqvarna 450X Robot Automower.
Like a Roomba for the great outdoors, the Automower patrols your yard, based on guide-wire defined boundaries, shaving overgrown grass as it makes its rounds. The cutting machine is clever enough to navigate narrow passages and difficult terrain, as well as scale slopes of 45 degrees. Better still, the robot will recognize when it’s running out of battery and automatically return to its charging station.
With the Automower’s accompanying app, you can control the automaton from anywhere in the world, allowing you to return home from business or pleasure to the sights and smell of freshly groomed grounds.
The Husqvarna 450X Robot Automower is available for $3,499.
And how are you going to power the growing army of outdoor electronics? With the thematically and environmentally appropriate SmartFlower.
This plug-and-play solar power solution is all you could ask for in an energy provider—automated and intelligent.
After an installation process that takes about an hour, the SmartFlower will unfurl its flat petals and begin storing and supplying energy, automatically tracking the sun’s movement throughout the sky and allowing the unit to generate an optimal amount of solar power.
The weather-proof device constantly monitors wind speed and will automatically fold and conceal its petals should the gusts become a safety hazard. This retraction process has the added benefit of automatically cleaning the solar panels.
If you are interested in the The SmartFlower, you must first provide some information at SmartFlowerSolar.com to determine if the product is a good fit for your residence.
The joys of gardening are not restricted to homeowners in more rural or suburban environs.
The Wall Farm from Click & Grow brings fresh, healthy, pesticide-free fruits, herbs and greens into your urban dwelling—provided you have at least five feet to spare and a ceiling over six-and-a-half feet tall.
Resembling a bookshelf (but for buds), the Wall Farm comes equipped with full spectrum LED lighting that encourages growth from a diversity of plant life, and water tanks that are large enough to last for month-long intervals.
The vertical farming solution is seeded with “Smart Soil” capsules, provided by Click and Grow, that sprout up to 51 fruits and vegetables plants across 51 spots and three levels.
Low maintenance and silent, you wouldn’t even notice that you have a green grocer in your home if not for the verdant and abundant offerings.
The Wall Farm is available for $1,299. A monthly mini-subscription of $59 for 18 Smart Soil capsules is recommended.