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Smart Gardening: How technology can help with gardening

16/02/2022 · Autor: Wolfram Gast, Chief Digital Officer


Whether a small herb bed in the kitchen or a lush green lawn in the garden: If you want to enjoy the greenery at home, you have to invest time in proper care. With Smart Gardening, intelligent technology helps with this job - and you as a hobby gardener have less work.

Intelligent applications are now used in many areas of life. For example, we highlighted just how valuable centralized digital control of electrical appliances can be for you in our 'Smart Home' article. In the following article, you'll learn how you can get technological support for gardening, too.

 

What to expect in this article:

  1. Definition 'Smart Gardening': what is meant by it
  2. Smart Outdoor Gardening: general introduction, robotic mowers and irrigation systems
  3. Smart Indoor Gardening: benefits, technology and suitable plants at a glance

In practice, the associated smart home apps are optimized for all common tablets and are clearly and attractively designed

Clarification of terms: what does 'smart garden' mean?

When work processes in gardens or plant beds are supported by interconnected and remotely controllable devices and systems, we can speak of 'smart' green spaces. Here, the operation and control is usually done manually by remote controls or by means of apps on devices such as the laptop, tablet or smartphone.

As a rule of thumb, it can be said that the 'smarter' the underlying system is, the less manual work you have as a garden friend. A 100% 'smart' garden would, in theory, be completely self-maintaining - a state that we don't quite achieve as of today, however. Nonetheless, technology-assisted gardening can bring an enormous reduction in labor. In the following, we elaborate for you in more detail on what this means in practice for outdoor and indoor areas.

 

Smart Garden Outdoor: successful lawn care with robotic mowers

The best-known variant for technology-based, intelligent gardening is probably robotic mowers. Anyone who strolls through owner-occupied housing estates today will now see them making their rounds in many gardens.

Five advantages of robotic mowers:

  • - emission-free and quiet lawn mowing thanks to electric drive
  • - significant time savings
  • - low operating costs compared to conventional gasoline lawn mowers
  • - easy operation (automatic start after programming)
  • - independent charging at the socket

 

Additionally, with a model that fertilizes at the same time, your lawn can also become denser and healthier. However, the price and quality differences are enormous for robotic mowers. So in any case, get advice from a specialist store and find out which device is right for your garden on relevant online portals. Especially if you have several smaller lawns and there are also curves to be driven off, it is important to select the right robotic mower version.

In practice, the associated smart home apps are optimized for all common tablets and are clearly and attractively designed

Smart gardening watering: This is important in automated watering

The right watering wants to be well planned. Because every garden is different - and not every plant or soil needs the same amount of water. For example, a soil with a high clay content can retain moisture better than a sandy soil. And while lawn and potted plants are already satisfied with about 10 l/m², other garden and vegetable plants need up to 30 l/m². Here you can find a more detailed overview, including a free consumption calculator, if desired.

It becomes clear that the topic of 'irrigation' can be somewhat more complicated. Therefore, a comprehensive consultation from a specialist or a more in-depth online research is the recommended way to clarify in advance crucial detailed questions.

What you should address during a consultation on 'smart' garden irrigation:

  • - Water quantities and intervals
  • - times of day for irrigation
  • - pipe paths and positioning of sprinklers
  • - on-demand irrigation for different plants and soils
  • - supply from the cistern or faucet

 

When you have a clearer idea of these parameters, an active smart gardening irrigation system - tailored to your needs - can be put together for you. As a rule, these systems work with fully automatic sensors ('Garden Smart Sensor'), which control the sprinkler system and water management.

A smart garden set is of course also available as a pure analysis tool. In this case, you receive information about water quantity and demand on your cell phone and can then reach for the hose yourself accordingly.

Smart home technology has become much simpler to use, making it something that even older adults can easily handle

Smart indoor gardening - for smarter greenery in your home

Not everyone has a balcony or garden available to grow herbs and vegetables. Those who move this project indoors will find: The indoor care of plants can certainly become a delicate matter.

'Intelligent gardening' can be the more comfortable alternative here. Here, smart lighting and watering technology monitors the plants and transmits care instructions via app. Monitoring usually takes place within a smart garden system via integrated, sensor-based climate control.

The advantages of smart indoor gardening at a glance:

  • - suitable for herbs, fruit, vegetables and, if necessary. decorative plants
  • - less effort in maintenance
  • - location-independent plant breeding (balcony, terrace or garden not necessary)
  • - cheaper in the long term than buying herbs and vegetables fresh
  • - constant care even during absences (for example, vacation)
  • - nutrient supply and light are optimally tailored to the plants regardless of the season
  • - edible plants do not require pesticides and can be harvested directly
  • - less plant-specific prior knowledge needed
  • - decorative green element in your own home

In practice, the associated smart home apps are optimized for all common tablets and are clearly and attractively designed

Clever gardening with smart garden apps and ready-made systems

There are various systems on the market for smart gardening in your own four walls. The selection is large, and the price spectrum is correspondingly wide. You can spend under 100 euros for relatively simple solutions - or invest several thousand euros if, for example, it should be a whole greenhouse for indoor use.

Important to know when smart indoor gardening: smart is not the same as smart. If you want to take care of as little as possible, the connectivity of the smartphone program ('app') used is crucial. Simple control is then provided via the app's user interface or even directly via voice input. Your cell phone then informs you about which nutrients, water supply and light conditions are currently required for your plants.

By the way, some providers include a starter set of seed capsules with the first delivery, which you can reorder accordingly. However, this also limits your gardening creativity, because you are not completely free to decide what you want to grow. You can quickly find detailed info on capsule systems by means of a search on Google, Amazon or Ebay.

Smart home technology has become much simpler to use, making it something that even older adults can easily handle

These are the plants you can grow with smart indoor gardening

Finally, we'll give you a brief overview of crops and herbs that are recommended for smart indoor gardening:

  • 'Microgreens' in the form of vegetable and herb seedlings
  • Herbs, for example basil varieties, rosemary, chives, coriander, dill, lovage, marjoram, peppermint, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme and savory
  • Salads, for example garden cress, arugula, pointed cabbage, kale, pak choi, garden lettuce, lamb's lettuce, watercress or wild rocket
  • flowers with edible flowers, for example, horned violet varieties, snapdragons, ruby red and gold
  • indoor plants - Yes, smart gardening technology can also be used for their optimal growth. Since the settings for light and nutrient supply are variable, many systems can be adapted if necessary so also to the needs of your lily or ivy or your bow hemp or houseleek - at least in the initial growth stage.

 

Conclusion: How 'smart' you want to be supported always depends on your personal wishes, plans and ideas. Both classic outdoor gardening and modern indoor gardening, you have many options to give yourself more comfort in gardening. However, in-depth expert advice is always recommended to find the right solution. You can also find more exciting info on the topic of 'Smart Garden' in our current issue of BESTE LAGE magazine - here's a direct link to the article.

 

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