Manual work in the garden is sometimes gratifying, but over time the grind becomes tedious. Thankfully, there are a host of smart gardening products out there that can help save you time and money. Which smart garden devices are worth the investment?
Here are my top 4 smart gadget recommendations for gardeners seeking to save time and spend less money on their edible plots.
I recently purchased and installed an automatic watering timer to water my front yard flower patch. This section of my garden sits under my home’s roof overhang so it rarely receives any natural water and my regular hose doesn’t reach that far, so it’s a pain to water manually. I got some cheap irrigation hoses and connected them to this digital timer (both the hoses and timer cost under $50) and now this perma-dry spot gets watered on a regular basis. There’s a neat option to skip watering days (in case of rain), which I make sure to do so as not to waste water. The whole set up was inexpensive and it saves me loads of time in the long run. Last year, I relied on rainwater to wet this area and I lost quite a few plants, which I had spent time and money starting from seed.
I don’t quite know what I was doing before I had this kind of hose. Now, watering is such a breeze it barely feels like a chore. Lugging around a heavy, clunky hose that’s hard to put away? That’s far from ideal. I’d sometimes skip watering because I hated to untangle the easily kinked hose. A flexible, expandable hose has its own challenges—it’s a fair bit more delicate than a heavy-duty hose—but it’s always easy to carry throughout the garden and it’s a delight to put away since it shrinks down to size once drained. Just be sure to store it away for the winter to prevent the casing from cracking. While this isn’t technically a smart device, I think the design is clever enough to qualify. It has saved me time and money because it makes watering a lot easier and I haven’t neglected my watering duties since getting this type of hose.
When it comes to gardening, I rely on the weather forecast a lot. No matter how diligent I am in checking the weekly weather predictions, I can’t accurately measure the amount of rain my garden gets without the help of a gadget. A plain rain gauge does the trick, but if you like smart technology, this nifty wireless device is a handy monitoring tool. It’s a self-emptying collector that’s useful for checking how much rainwater your garden is getting. It’s also an excellent device for people in flood-prone areas. And it costs under $50!
This intelligent garden system is on the higher end of the price scale, but it’s well worth the investment. I’ve grown so many herbs in this little automated garden that I never buy them at the grocery store anymore. The hydroponic unit makes it possible to grow greens, herbs, and other plants indoors all year round. All you need to do is add water and harvest away!
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.