Plants dying, grass wilting? Connect your garden to the web
Tomato plants too dry? The Edyn garden sensor analyzes soil and light conditions to help users treat their plants well. (Facebook.com/Edyn)
Published Tuesday, May 19, 2015 6:30AM EDT
If you want to be a green thumb but don’t actually like getting down and dirty in your garden, just let the web do the work.
The push to automate and connect your home to the Internet of Things now extends to cutting the grass, watering plants and knowing how to plant.
For some, a built-in sprinkler system saves time and effort. Gardens and lawns can get a regular watering to grow deep, strong roots. Meanwhile, you can just schedule the system and forget about it.
The problem, however, is that the sprinkler timer in your garage has no clue what mother nature has in store.
Sometimes, it’ll sprinkle the lawn hours before a thunderstorm dumps enough water to overflow eavestroughs.
The Rachio Iro sprinkler controller connects to the web and downloads weather reports for your neighbourhood.
This way, it’ll skip a watering if rain is in the forecast. Likewise, it can water longer or more often during a hot, dry spell.
Not sure if your garden is as thirsty as a marathoner after 42 kilometres?
The Edyn garden sensor is supposed to monitor several aspects of your yard to help you grow the right type of plants in the best possible way.
From a water sensor to sunlight tracking, the Edyn is designed to capture the big picture of a garden.
With the help of an accompanying app, it’ll suggest which plants you should grow, when to plant them, and where to plant. That’s in addition to water, fertilizer and harvesting reminders.
The Edyn sensor is best for smaller gardens, measuring up to 250 square feet.
Finally available for pre-order, it’s the product of a Kickstarter campaign that saw more than 2,300 backers raise roughly $384,000 for this to become a reality.
It was also recognized at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show with a “Best Innovation” honour.
Robotic lawnmowers aren’t new. The City of Toronto, for example, has one to cut hard-to-reach places. But arriving on a trailer, using a giant remote and requiring ear protection might be over-the-top. So, what’s around for the average homeowner?
Costing about a grand each, the latest models from Robomow aren’t exactly cheap.
These self-mowing lawnmower droids do require some initial work. First-time users must set boundaries with special wiring.
But then you’re set, and the machine mows your lawn on its own.
Plus, there’s an app.
Just as you can control flying drones with a smartphone, Robomow now has an app for you to drive the robotic mower from the comfort of your porch (or the cottage).
It’s kind of like James Bond’s remote-controlled car in Tomorrow Never Dies, just without the rocket launchers.