February 27, 2020 Rodney Cowled

Smart Tech for Your Green Thumb.

Do you prefer spending time in the garden, over time in a lounge chair? Are you interested in smart home tech, but consider yourself an outdoorsy individual? Well, these ideas are for you – Turn your garden into a smart garden with these smart gardening tech tips.

Smart Garden Watering Tech

Watering your garden correctly; the right volumes at the right frequencies is one of the biggest keys to the success of a great garden. Prior to installing my own smart watering system, I used to water my garden using sprinklers on manual rotatory-knob style timer. Occasionally, with the addition of hand watering when required due to weather changes.

Using this schedule my garden looked good. Though once I implemented my own smart watering system, I realised how much my garden had been held back by my sufficient-yet-irregular manual watering.

Using a smart watering system allows you to easily, and even automatically, adjust watering frequency and volumes.

As an added bonus, if your area is under government-imposed water restrictions, a smart watering system may be compliant enough to use when more conventional hoses/sprinklers are not. To be sure, always check the specifics of your restrictions as they vary from area to area.

Try these:

Or build your own, like I did, using a smart plug (details coming soon.)

Smart Weather Systems

Netatmo Indoor & Outdoor Units – Source: Netatmo

The additional benefit of having a smart watering system & a smart weather station is that they can work together. Compatible systems can adjust watering schedules when weather conditions or forecasts change.

When you’ve just received a lot of rain, your smart watering system can reduce the amount of water it uses.

It’s always weird to see a sprinkler running during the rain. Be “smart” and don’t do that. wink

Try These:

It’s also interesting to track & observe your local weather. But, hey that could just be me, the guy who read several books on cloud formations and weather patterns as a 14-year-old (yep, I was that cool).

Water Features – Go OTT in your Smart Garden

In a very OTT (over the top) move, I added a smart Alexa-controlled water feature to my garden. From my kitchen I say “Alexa, turn on the fountain” (it’s far from a fountain), Alexa obliges and my water feature turns on. Bringing that all-too-relaxing bubbling brook sound to my back yard.

Not my actual fountain…

I semi-DIY’ed this water feature together; this sounds daunting but it really wasn’t that hard. Ultimately, all it took was a smart plug, a weather-proof box, a pond pump & big pot from a hardware store. I’ll be detailing how in a post soon.

Outdoor Lighting for your Smart Garden

Garden lighting instantly changes the look and feel of your garden & backyard. A combination of both functional and design lighting throughout your garden creates a space which can be admired day & night.

There is a multitude of outdoor smart lighting systems so many so that I’ve written multiple posts on smart lighting.

More Details on Smart Outdoor lighting or Smart Lighting generally check out these previous posts.

The summary is, you can either buy a smart plug to turn your existing garden lighting smart or buy new smart garden lighting. For smart plugs, any weatherproof option will do & for smart outdoor lights check out the growing Phillips Hue range.

Smart Outdoor Music

Music indoors is commonplace. Music outdoors is an added luxury. A luxury which can be achieved across a range of budgets. There is a range of options which I’ve detailed previously: Smart Outdoor Audio or Smart Home Audio.

Smart Audio
Sonos Play 5 – Source: Sonos

At the more affordable end smart garden audio can be achieved through a portable Bluetooth speaker & at the higher-end, you can go with an immersive ground-shaking full outdoor audio system.

Smart Gardening Tech: The ultimate in IoT excess or a smart choice?

It’s possible that it’s the ultimate in IoT excess, but my plants have never been happier. This is hardly substantial or conclusive evidence. The ultimate answer? I’ll leave this up to you.

Smart watering may also reduce overall water usage, due to its timing & accuracy. Rather than leaving the sprinkler on watering your driveway, a properly calibrated smart watering system, (that might be weather activated) will leave you, your plants & the planet happier.

If you, like me, have a passion for both tech & gardening, then this strange niche of the smart tech market is for you.

Got any questions, or ideas for things I should try hit, me up. I’d love to hear from you.