For me gardening is all about getting away from the busyness of life, switching off my phone and getting my hands in the dirt. There are a few high-tech gadgets though that give you more time to switch off as they really help out when it comes to maintaining the outdoors.
My number one garden gadget is my auto-mower, mine is a Husqvarna but other companies such as Gardena also make them and strangely, they haven’t been as popular as I first thought they would be. This is because, I believe, most Aussies love mowing their lawn, as did I until Nigel (that’s what I named my mower) started doing it for me. Set up is a little time consuming but easy enough with a guide wire around the perimeter of your lawn to keep your mower in the boundaries and a central line it finds when batteries are low, or its mowing time is up, it then goes back to its charging station for a sleep. Nigel comes out for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening come rain or shine he’s always there. The small razor blades on the underside of the mower take just the tips off the grass giving a clean cut which is a benefit as surface area of the cut is small and therefore less chance of diseases getting in, which is better for the grass. The clippings are also returned to the ground for recycling back to the soil, so it benefits the soil as well. I like it as the grass always looks great and I don’t have to sweat behind or fill a mower with fuel.
I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to watering my plants, I’m a stand and hose type of guy, I do this so I can inspect the plants I’m watering but also as I don’t like to waste water on plants that don’t need it. If you’re like me this can drag out to quite some time in the evenings, so I recently installed a water conservation hose nozzle. This has a simple led display that tells you the amount of water used in litres and it’s a real eyeopener when you see the actual amount of water used. My garden hoses run off tanks so it’s a great way to understand the amount of water used and what left in the tanks for another day.
If you have a reticulation watering system there are some hi-tech add ons that make your system more efficient such as rain sensors and wi-fi connectivity to the BOM website – so you don’t water when it’s not necessary, there are also soil probes that measure moisture in the soil so cut back on water wastage too. All of this can also be app based so if the afternoon really heats up and you can’t get home you can turn your irrigation system on without being there – Very handy as a fail-safe.
Soil probes are also getting more and more high-tech not only measuring soil moisture but PH levels, surrounding humidity, light levels and temperature. All again straight to your device for interpretation. You may ask, ‘why do I need this information?’ well when it comes to adding in plants to a garden bed it’s great to know exactly the conditions you’re planting into and you can pick the exact right plant for that spot.
If you are more of an indoor gardener then you’ll need to try the SUS-TEE a probe to insert into the soil of your potted plants that simply tells you how much moisture is in the potting mix and if your plants need water. The trick to indoor plants is getting the watering right, too little and they dry out, too much and plants suffer too so these simple probes help take all the stress out of it for you.