Personal Tech For Women: 5 Things To Know About The Smart Garden

Monday, June 08, 2015

 

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Even if your thumb is nowhere near the fairest shade of green, there are helpful devices out there to keep your garden growing – and glowing. And as roses are blooming – alongside other seasonal blossoms and rows of residential veggies gardens – here are 5 smart tools that purport to make any form of gardening fun, easy and environmentally conscious. You might be inspired to turn your casual patch of random sprouts and meandering weeds into a pristinely manicured showstopper. 

In the garden of Edyn

This Internet of Things gardening tool takes the natural, organic process of gardening and turns it into a heady system of tightly controlled sensors. Edyn Garden Sensor, initially launched as a Kickstarter campaign, tracks and monitors temperature, humidity, light and soil nutrients of your garden bed, and then cross-references that info with plant, soil science, and weather databases to offer suggestions about what plants will work best for your garden bed. The Wi-Fi enabled sensor gives you all the details on your smartphone. It also comes with a Water Valve, which automatically controls your existing water system based on the Garden Sensor data and adapts to every change in the weather forecast. Like deploying a “robot gardener”, you can use the Edyn app to control the Water Valve, which means you can water your plants from work or vacation. Pre-order both parts now for $159.98. Shipments go out in summer. 

Quick herbs, easy as a printing 

This gadget assists those too afraid to tackle the kitchen window herb box. Using nano-technology, Click & Grow’s “smart soil” keeps indoor plants nourished at all times, delicately balancing water and oxygen. “It’s a bit like giving plants a personal trainer, a chef, Harvard schooling, loving parents and a dog,” says its website. There are two components here: the first is the Smart Herb Garden planter (think printer) that comes with an adjustable lamp and “water tank” compartment at the base; and the second are the replaceable plant “cartridges”, that include everything from blooming flowers to herbs and spices like basil, chili pepper and rosemary. Set it up and plug it in. The system allows you to grow three plants at a time, and ranges from $99 to $120. 

Personalized vegetable garden planner

Smart Gardener is an online vegetable garden planner that collects, calculates and creates a smart personal profile of a garden made just for you. Start by entering your zip code and the number of people in your family. The Smart Gardener will create a profile of your growing season to track your garden. You then plug in all the info – the layout, size and shape of your garden. Maybe you’ve chosen raised beds instead of earth-based? Then, select seeds from over 500 organic, GMO free, edible varieties that the Smart Gardener can help you locate. Combing your layout with your seeds, the Smart Gardener chooses a plan for you and starts tracking all the steps needed to accomplish your garden. It will even send you “To Do” reminders so you can stay on top on your gardening chores – from when to plant to when to harvest.

Be considerate of drought

As drought is becoming a tough reality in Oregon, you might be want to think about cutting back on your sprinkler use, even before the government forces you to. Blossom, the Smart Watering Controller says it all in the name. According to the company, we waste 50 percent of irrigation water. So Blossom programs itself with the proper watering schedule for your lawn, so you don’t over water. And like the Edyn Water Valve, Blossom is another example of connected sensors in the Internet of Things network. The hardware can be installed outside, while the corresponding app lets you monitor and control your yard’s watering schedule from anywhere. Apart from being good to the environment, Blossom claims to lower your water bill by up to 30 percent, for $199. Or try its competitor, the disc-shaped Smart Garden Hub by GreenIQ, which nestles into your garden’s soil like a long-tossed and forgotten Frisbee. 

Smart pruning 

This tool is “smart” in a traditional sense – clever and intelligently designed, but with no operating system or “life-simulating” sensors. Nope, it’s just a darn good pair of scissors. After you’ve used the aforementioned gadgets and apps, you’ll probably need a sharp pruning tool to keep your plants, flowers and harvest at optimal health. Smart Garden Products offer the world’s first self-cleaning scissors. A spring-loaded handle meets Smart Blade Technology (ultra-thin cutting edge and an angled blade), so gardeners never to have scrap or wipe garden gunk off these shears.

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Melanie Sevcenko is a journalist for radio, print and online. She reports internationally for BBC World Service and Monocle Radio (M24) in the UK, and for Deutsche Welle in Germany. Melanie also reports for the online news source GoLocalPDX, in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been broadcast by CBC in Canada and the Northwest News Network, and published by Al Jazeera English, Global Post, Pacific Standard, the Toronto Star and USA Today, amongst others.

 

Related Slideshow: Tech Candy: RI-based Andrea Valentini’s Colorful Cases for iPads, Tablets & Laptops

Rhode Island-based designer Andrea Valentini "Tech Candy Collection" offers colorful technology sleeves in a signature BUMP texture, designed for iPads, tablets and laptops.

 

See a small sampling of some of the expansive Tech Candy Collection in the slides below...

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UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Peppermint Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
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UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Rock Candy Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
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Prev Next

UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Peppermint Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
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Prev Next

UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Lemon Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
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Prev Next

UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Raspberry Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
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Prev Next

MIDTOWN 13” LAPTOP SLEEVE
 
Raspberry Bump 
 
RETAIL $39.95
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Prev Next

UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Lemon Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
View Larger +
Prev Next

UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Rock Candy Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
View Larger +
Prev Next

DOWNTOWN 15” LAPTOP SLEEVE
 
Lemon Bump 
 
16” x 12” x 1” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $39.95
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Prev Next

DOWNTOWN 15” LAPTOP SLEEVE
 
Raspberry Bump 
 
16” x 12” x 1” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $39.95
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Prev Next

UPTOWN IPAD SLEEVE
 
Spearmint Bump 
 
10 x 8.5” x 0.75” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $29.95
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Prev Next

MIDTOWN 13” LAPTOP SLEEVE
 
Rock Candy Bump 
 
14.75” x 11” x 1” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $39.95
View Larger +
Prev Next

DOWNTOWN 15” LAPTOP SLEEVE
 
Peppermint Bump 
 
16” x 12” x 1” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $39.95
View Larger +
Prev Next

MIDTOWN 13” LAPTOP SLEEVE
 
Spearmint Bump 
 
14.75” x 11” x 1” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $39.95
View Larger +
Prev Next

MIDTOWN 13” LAPTOP SLEEVE
 
Melon Bump 
 
14.75” x 11” x 1” bifold sleeve
 
RETAIL $39.95
 
 

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