From how we shop to how we chat, technology is constantly amending how we live our lives for the better — and the same is true when it comes to gardening. Many innovations are designed to help out keen gardeners and broaden their horizons so that they can grow more within the constraints of their garden. Read on as we take a look at the top must-have pieces of technology for gardeners in 2018.
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Almost all of us have at least a few apps on our phones or tablets! Which apps should you consider downloading?
- Garden Compass — ideal for sharing your gardening snaps with others. With this app, you can upload photos to the website, ask questions to horticultural experts and create your personalised garden care calendar.
- GrowIt! — useful if you’re in a new garden or are a beginner. Growlt can connect you with local gardeners who are used to the climate and soil type and can give you some advice. You can also upload photos of your own plants to share your gardening knowledge with others.
We’ve all been guilty of forgetting to water our plants now and then, which is where the help of a pot watering kit comes in. These kits can water up to 25 plants automatically and can sense what time of the day it is to water your plants. You can set up the gadget so that it slowly releases water to the root of the plant which will save you the effort! Connect it to your outdoor garden tap for even less hassle and keep your plants and hanging baskets going strong.
The UK climate often doesn’t allow us to grow certain produce. If you want to grow something more exotic, why not invest in a heated propagator? A heated propagator allows seeds to germinate earlier and more successfully (meaning that less goes to waste). This isn’t necessarily a new idea, years ago, it was heated greenhouses and heated benches that were on the market. But, they can add to your energy costs as the heat can quickly dissipate and therefore must be on all the time to be successful. Instead, the propagator has walls and a lid which can retain the warmth.
But what features do you get with a heated propagator? Firstly, you can usually adapt the temperature between 5°C to 30°C to grow your seeds. Some of the more exotic seeds and hot chillies require warmer temperatures and it could be impossible to grow them in cooler climates without this piece of technology. Being able to grow from seed is more cost-effective than buying an already germinated young plant too — saving you some pennies!
Luckily, many of these products have installed lights. This can help seedlings grow healthily and provide high output for low energy as often the propagator contains a reflector that can reflect lost light and diffuse light deep into the plant leaves.
With the rise of social media, why not show off your garden online? Often the beauty of the plant is in the detail of its leaves, or perhaps you enjoy watching the wildlife in the garden. Either way, to take the best photos in the garden you should invest in an Olloclip Pro Lens.
The best thing about this gadget is that it fits securely onto your iPhone. Simply clip it over the lens of your phone and it combines with your phone’s digital zoom — letting you take macro photos with up to 100x magnification. It’s ideal for capturing the details that aren’t visible to the human eye or even monitoring insects as they enjoy your garden. You’re guaranteed to get some wonderful shots without the need for purchasing a professional camera.
Observing your plants
Keeping a close check on your plants is essential to making sure they stay healthy. However, there is one gadget that can help — the Parrot Flower Power plant monitor.
With a battery life of half a year and up to 7,000 plants in its database, this device is extremely handy. Simply place the monitor into the soil next to your plant and the monitor can detect; sunlight, temperature and fertilizer. This information then is sent straight to your smartphone, so you know when to water it or add more fertilizer.
Clearly, you have plenty to choose from to make your gardening more tech-savvy! From making the germination process that little bit easier, to being able to water your 25 pots at once, there’s not a lot that technology can’t do these days.