by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Time seems to slow in the garden. Without the continual noise from notifications sounding from my cell phone, it’s easy to lose track of time altogether. Admittedly I am addicted to technology, even in the gardens. If you define yourself as tech-savvy or an early adopter, then some of these garden gadgets can really help in the garden.
Garden App – GrowIt!™ The Plant Community
I like sipping coffee in the morning, scrolling through this garden app. You can connect with people to find inspiration for your next plant project, get questions answered, and have your plants identified. They host plant and seed giveaways available on both the Apple and Google stores. Join the community. FREE
Watch your flowers grow, or see which critters are grazing from the gardens. Super easy to use and fun. The time-lapse motion camera can be set to snapshots at intervals from 1 minute to every 24 hours. Just stick the camera outdoors and watch your garden grow. Amazon $159.
The most basic of garden gadgets you really can’t call yourself a gardener with one. Healthy garden soil can be challenging in an arid climate, and this simple tool lets you know when to water containers, raised beds, or simple houseplants. Available at Watters Garden Center $15.
Homes voice-activated via Alexa or Google smart irrigation is here. All interface with the Spruce phone app or laptop. Live weather data, predictive rain, and wind algorithms learn your gardens needed irrigation pattern, and it works. Flow Meters, moisture and, rain sensors can all be added for an even more data-driven garden, and all WiFi activated. Controller with Moisture Meter $230
The gadget for garden connoisseurs looking to fine-tune their craft. The VegiBeeimitates the high-frequency vibrations of a bee’s wings during pollination. The waves release pollen onto a spoon, which the gardener can use to hand-pollinate other plants for a 30 percent increase in crop yield. Plus, the satisfaction of giving Mother Nature a helping hand. Amazon $49.
Garden Plan Pro iPad
Having trouble plotting your plot? The Garden Plan Pro app acts as a visual aid in laying out your patches before you pick up a shovel. It also provides weather station data, gives advice on the best plants for your region, and offers information on more than 140 different species of flowers and vegetables. Apple store $8
Autonomous robots can now be employed to cut your lawn. Mowing up to 1/2 acre, they recharge themselves when battery power runs low and guided by GPS tracking. If you have large lawns, rough grass, or just like seeing a robot mow the grass for you, then this is your ideal tech. Amazon $1399
Organic Weed Killers
Weeding is one of the most challenging parts of gardening. Now there is an easy way to rid those pesky weeds and keep it all-natural. Burn Out by Bonide is New technology that blends super strength vinegar with organic oils, and it really works fast. Available in concentrated and ready-to-use sizes, your birds, dog, and cats will be perfectly safe roaming around the backyard again. Available a Watters Garden Center $15.
This personal weather station stands above the rest by monitoring the indoor environment as well as the outdoor weather. Among other features, this weather station measures indoor CO2 levels and provides the air quality index in real-time. Netatmo links to your smartphone, keeping track of what’s best for your home, plants, and garden. Amazon $180.
Free Garden Classes
October 31 @ 9:30 am – Showy Shrubs of Autumn
November 7 @ 9:30 am – Best Mountain Evergreens to Plant in November
Until next issue, I’ll be helping gardening friends with tech here at Watters Garden Center.