Gardening and growing are primarily about understanding nature, but it certainly helps to have some gadgets to guide us through our growing ventures. Yes, technology can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of easy ways to include tech in your home garden, whether indoors or outdoors. The possibilities are endless, but get started with the edition’s list of 5 Cool Ways to incorporate simple technology in the garden.
“Quench” Your Plant’s Thirst
You might talk to your houseplants sometimes, but wouldn’t it be nice if your plants could speak to you? Now they can, thanks to an incredible tool created by Canada’s Andy Burke. The Edmonton, Alberta native wanted a tool for those of us who might be more forgetful when it comes to watering and have lost one too many plants as a result. His brainchild is called Quench, a compact device equipped with an advanced moisture detection algorithm. Push it deep into the soil of plants that love dry conditions or shallower for thirstier ones. Select from over 10,000 unique melodies and listen for it; when you hear that tune, you know it’s time to grab the watering can again. Worried it’ll disturb your slumber at night? Not a chance; Quench knows to keep quiet when it’s dark and lights up instead. Robust and corrosion-resistant, this gadget is built to last and has a three-year battery span. Burke knows a good thing when he invents one; after putting Quench on Kickstarter, he was able to raise nearly $96,000, well above his original $12,000 goal. Goodbye thirsty plants, hello beautiful indoor garden!
Get Your Instant Pot Out
The Instant Pot is a kitchen appliance well-loved by busy people everywhere to cook delicious food incredibly fast. But could this popular gadget also be used for our home gardening purposes? Ottawa scientist Lyanne Betit made headlines earlier this year when she discovered that she could speed the germination rate of many seeds on the Instant Pot’s yoghurt setting. How did she come by this cool gardening hack? Seed shortages caused by the global pandemic meant she was forced to start slow-growing peppers and eggplants late in the season. She wrapped them in damp pieces of paper towel and a ziplock bag, popped them into the Instant Pot, and enjoyed instant success! The optimal temperature of about 24°C meant all of her seeds sprouted in record time. When she posted her success story on Facebook, many gardeners in the Ottawa area tried it and experienced the same results. Betit tells CBC News she believes this gardening trick results in greater yields down the road! Talk about simple.
An App A Day
Need help keeping your plant babies alive? There’s an app for that. Not sure if your little green buddy is getting enough light in that windowsill? There’s an app that will measure that for you, too. There’s even one that’ll make you feel like a total badass regarding your houseplant knowledge. We’ve come a long way where it comes to learning the skills needed to hone our green thumbs. There is no need for textbooks; all you need is your iPhone or tablet, and a wealth of information is instantly available to you. Of course, making mistakes is all part of the learning process, but the many apps available today can help you make sure your mistakes are few and far between. Who doesn’t want that?
Check out the App Store for a wide selection of gardening apps.
Vibrate and Pollinate
Got an old electric toothbrush that needs repurposing? It doesn’t have to live under the bathroom sink; find it a new home in your indoor garden. As many of us look to become more self-sustainable and grow food year-round, we know depending on the help of essential pollinators indoors isn’t an option. An old electric toothbrush is perfect for the job as it gently vibrates the flowers and sends pollen adrift. If you’d rather reserve your electric toothbrush for your pearly whites, there are plenty of robotic hand pollinators available on the market that will also get the job done. They’re inexpensive, require a couple of standard batteries, and help evenly distribute pollen from flower to flower. Enjoying a bumper crop of tomatoes and peppers year-round is possible if you have the right gadgets working for you!
Light It Up
Grow lights aren’t just for extensive hydroponic operations; every home gardener should have some! The sun doesn’t shine as bright or as strong throughout the year as it does throughout the summer. So you need to imitate nature’s way by offering indoor plants the light they need for photosynthesis when it gets dark. There are many easy-to-use and affordable options on the market these days; LEDs have evolved leaps and bounds over the years and offer a whole slew of benefits to our growing plants. Even better? Indoor lighting doesn’t have to suck a whole lot of energy to be effective. Many companies offer eco-friendly options that pave the way for both greener dinner plates year-round and a greener planet. Read all about these amazing products in this issue of Garden Culture!