The future is now -- not just inside the house with your robot vacuum cleaner and your smart thermostat and low-flow toilets. Your yard can be high-tech too, and take away the time-consuming chores of mowing, weeding, and watering, leaving you with more time to do other things. Here are some smart garden gadgets you have to have in your backyard.
Mower on a Mission
It’s like a Roomba, except it’s for the lawn. That’s right -- there’s a robotic lawn mower that you can set a schedule and control with an app on your phone. What was once a futuristic fantasy can now free up your time by taking care of this regular chore through the growing season.
Bonus: it runs on a rechargeable battery, not a gas-powered engine, making it more eco-friendly than the push mower your neighbors have. It’s also quiet, meaning your robot lawn mower can cut the lawn any time of day without disrupting the folks next door.
Automatic sprinklers are old news, but smart sprinklers are the newest, hottest technology in home irrigation. In fact, smart sprinklers monitor the weather and adjust to it so you won’t be watering the lawn in the middle of a rainstorm anymore. Add the convenience of controlling your smart sprinkler with your phone or through Alexa or other voice-activated assistants. A smart sprinkler saves you time, money, and water.
Know When to Water
Moisture meters take smart sprinklers a step further. These gadgets let even the least talented gardeners make a go at growing a beautiful yard and garden. The simple, low-tech moisture meters let you know when to water. The newer, high-tech smart plant meters can tell you a whole lot more. One variety -- the Netro Whisperer -- analyzes soil moisture and sunlight exposure and can come up with a watering schedule for you. Other brands measure plant nutrient levels and more. This class of gadgets takes the guesswork out of lawn and garden maintenance. No more guessing how much water your yard is getting or if there’s enough sunlight exposure for your plants to thrive.
Weeds Be Gone
Weeding ranks up there among the most tedious, albeit important gardening chores, and until now, the alternative to pulling those suckers out by hand is often harsh chemical herbicides. Now, thanks to technology, there’s a smart option -- a weeding robot that gets rid of unwanted plants. There’s no surprise that one brand looks like its indoor cousin, the Roomba -- it was developed by one of the cofounders of the robotic vacuum cleaners. The weeding robot gets high marks from PC Magazine for eliminating small weeds and even tilling the soil.
Your yard chores are definitely not like your grandfather’s yard work. Thanks to robotics and smart technology, a lot of what used to take all day or all weekend, now takes a set-it-and-forget-it schedule. These smart yard gadgets mean better living through technology -- so you can kick back while the robots do the work.
By Barb Ambrose
Barb Ambrose is a home stager and landscape design writer. She loves entertaining and playing in her backyard, but she despises yard work. She recently expanded her patio and added an outdoor kitchen so she has less grass to mow.