The country seems to have gone gardening tech crazy. We can’t get enough of it. And we also see this type of list all the time. Top ten gadgets for Christmas, or five must-have gardening tech gadgets for 2019.
It seemed only right for the Lazy Susan team and I to compile a list of our current favourite garden gadgets.
I may of mentioned it once or twice but I recently moved into a new house last year. New garden means that over the last month or so our attention has turned to getting it ready for the summer. And I like gadgets.
We want things that make our lives easier, that make them a little better in some way. Or maybe they are just good fun to use. Why not? If I can find something that helps me garden smarter or easier, I’m all in.
Gardening is no different to other parts of lives where tech has helped us. We want things that will help us grow better, smarter and easier. Stuff that will help us maintain our gardens and maybe reduce a bit of the effort.
However, for me, a lot of it just comes back to good old fashioned fun. They put a smile on your face, from opening the box, to using it. You can’t put a price on fun surely?
How we use our gardens is changing, we want multi-functional spaces. Dining, play area, planting, storage, veg plot, relaxation must all compete for space. The small to medium-sized garden of tomorrow is for so much more than just looking pretty. Of course we want that too. But many of us lead busy lives, finding time to tend to our gardens can be tricky, we want to enjoy them but not spend hours working on them.
Technology is helping us to automate many of the more mundane gardening jobs. The top two best selling garden tech gadgets in 2018 were automated irrigation systems and robot lawn mowers. More on them in a moment.
Most popular in our shop right now
Of course many of us find the actual job of gardening relaxing too. I don’t actually mind cutting the lawn, if I can find the time to do it. However, if I can find a gadget to do a job for me, then I’m always open to giving it a go.
Robot lawn mowers for example have come an incredibly long way in a recent years. And as for automated irrigation systems, they save a massive amount of time and energy. Not to mention you can go away on holiday and not have to worry about your lawn and plants.
Yes, as with any new tech there is initial investment, but surely the benefits pay for themselves in the long run. All that said, paying a bit extra for a cordless lawn mower was a difficult decision for me to take, so I’m not too sure I’m ready to take the plunge to robot just yet.
However, I’ve got together with a few of the Lazy Susan team, and we’ve compiled some of our favourite gardening tech of the last year. This is stuff we have ourselves, tried and tested, or we’ve seen at gardening trade shows etc. All designed to make our lives just that little bit easier, or at least more fun…
Herbert Hydroponic Garden
Here we’re heading into the realm of sci-fi. Hydroponics is basically growing without soil, and it is the perfect solution for gardening indoors or in smaller spaces.
The Herbert hydroponic gardening system is a self-contained vertical garden that requires minimum maintenance, and is equipped with its own LED light and automatic watering system.
With Herbert, the company behind it, Ponix, is changing how fresh food is grown. They’re making it possible for everyone to produce locally at home. Their LED technology and hydroponic system allows for optimal growth of plants all year around. Meaning, you can harvest up to 40% more.
However, for me what really sets Herbert apart, is that it looks great too. It’s like a piece of art. Just art that allows you grow your own salads and more all year around. You can find out more about the Herbert Kickstarter project here.
Smart Sprinkler Systems
Smart sprinklers are most definitely the must have garden tech for 2019. Something that as an idea sounds so simple, very few of us currently have them, but when you install one, you wonder how you’d gone so long without it.
They are not just easier to use too – you can save up to 70% on your water consumption with a smart sprinkler thanks to adjustable drip heads and drip watering. Not to mention all that time it takes to setup a regular sprinkler, move it around your garden etc.
Smart sprinklers and irrigation controllers simplify lawn and garden care, reducing water consumption. Instead of fixed timers, the more modern systems draw on data from sensors, weather forecasts and plant-care databases to determine watering needs and deliver just enough moisture at just the right time.
There’s a lot hitting the market, so please do your research, and be careful what you buy. Many promise that they’re all singing and dancing, but read the reviews and you’ll find that they struggle with things like poor wi-fi connection, apps that don’t work etc.
My advice would be to go to a specialist such as Easy Garden Irrigation. Their online store has a comprehensive range of garden irrigation kits from top brands like Hozelock and Claber. They also have a selection of their own irrigation kits designed by their expert team.
All the kits are easy to install and come with a full set of instructions to get you up and running. Plus, if you need any help choosing the right garden irrigation system, they have a great help and advice page, or you can get in touch with them.
It’s definitely better than buying some kit of eBay or Amazon. I just started simple, and added/improved an irrigation system of my own design over a number of months.
Garden Compass Smartphone App
Recycle those old gardening books, with the Garden Compass App, you don’t need them. With the SmartPlant App from Garden Compass, you just take a picture of a plant, upload it to the Garden Compass website and receive identification notifications, direct from a global network of gardening experts.
It’s geo-mapped to take into account your location, climate and soil type – premium membership allows the user unlimited questions and photo IDs and access to a personalised garden care calendar. All of their plant queries are returned within 24 hours – all of them spot on, and with comprehensive care advice.
Husqvarna Automower 450X
This one has the wow factor… OK so it may cost as much as a second-hand car, but this top-spec robo-mower will take away all the hassle of cutting the grass. Husqvarna’s top of the range model in their X-line series is smart enough to negotiate the challenges of large and complex lawns – like multiple narrow passages, obstacles, rough terrain and slopes up to 45%.
The 450X features GPS-assisted navigation and a host of features including Automower® Connect making it the intelligent way to keep your lawn green, healthy and mowed to golf green perfection. Remote Object Detection enables higher mowing speed and area capacity. The Automower® Connect app keeps you in control, and you can track, interact and stay updated at the touch of a screen, wherever you are in the world.
If if Q built James Bond a lawnmower, it would look a little something like this I think!
Battery Operated Lawn Mowers
Maybe not as futuristic, but if the price of the 450X is a little out of your price range, then STIHL have come up with a battery operated mower that is definitely value for money. OK its not a robo-mower but maybe you don’t want to be made redundant? You still want to cut the lawn, and the RMA 448 TC definitely delivers there.
This battery operated mower is one fantastic bit of kit. No petrol, no power cord to get in the way (or mow over), it is ideal for large gardens as it features an eco-mode where the blade automatically adapts the motor power according to the condition of the grass.
Single speed drive means that the mower is self-propelled and makes short work of steep lawns and six different blade settings make it easy for you to cut with both speed and precision. This is a truly outstanding lawnmower, it gives an excellent cut and is incredibly easy to use. I know, because I bought one about 3 months ago.
You can find places to buy over on stihl.co.uk but make sure you shop around online for the best price. Make sure battery is included in the price, as you might find a lower price but its not included and that’ll bump it up. Also, buy the higher-spec battery charger to avoid lengthy charging sessions too.
Solar Powered Parasol
Not something I think we are ready for here at Lazy Susan, we like our Parasols simple, functional and built to last. However, this is an impressive bit or gardening tech all the same. A state of the art parasol that will open at the press of a button and light up in the evening when the sun goes down.
This parasol features a solar panel on the top that charges the control mechanism. You can use a remote control to open and close and there are lights underneath the canopy. There is also the option of charging it on cloudy days. The Norfolk Leisure Solar Auto Parasol is available to order on Amazon.com.
So that’s a few of our favourite bits of gardening tech for summer 2019. Anything you’ve come across or swear by, share them with us in the comments section.