Lawn & Order: Gadgets for your garden

Whether you’re an amateur gardener or a seasoned pro, technology can help you play nice with Mother Nature. These smart gadgets harness the power of the Internet – and, therefore, an infinitesimal amount of data – to keep both your plants and your thumb looking their greenest

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PRIME CUT

The cousin to the robot vacuum cleaner, the Robomow RC312 robot lawnmower meticulously cuts your grass and minds those edging details that your grandson blithely ignores. Clever enough to duck for cover when it rains, this mechanoid can whip through a 1,200-square metre lawn with 20-degree slopes and lock itself with a PIN code to deter neighbours and kids. Those with a distrust of evil artificial intelligence can take remote control with their smart phone but, in the end, it’ll be a futile move anyway, puny human. $1,599, robomow.com

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JUST ADD WATER

The Droplet Sprinkler saves your water consumption by a whopping 90 per cent simply by being smart, precise and frugal. Attach it to your garden hose and use the app to describe and locate the plants and flowers in your garden. It’ll then devise a watering strategy based on the particular target. For example, grass is best watered row by row; trees absorb most moisture at the drip line; and your neighbour’s tulip-destroying cat will scram when shot squarely in the butt. US$299, smartdroplet.com

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FAST FOOD
The Niwa lets you grow your own vegetables, fruits and plants all year round while ignoring Canada’s tempestuous growing seasons. Smart, compact and interactive, this hydroponic chamber will water, light, ventilate, heat, irrigate and feed your garden and use an array of sensors and actuators to keep them healthy and you in heirloom tomatoes all year long. Also, looking like something Steve Jobs conceived, it’s the perfect marriage of home and garden and will fit great in your living room. US$279,  getniwa.com

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BEST-LAID PLANTS

Stick the Parrot Flower Power into the soil, and it’ll monitor and analyze the four metrics of healthy greenery: sunlight, temperature, fertilizer and moisture. When these resources dip, the smartphone app will notify you so you can take action. The device also lets you know which plants should grow together, where your soil is most fertile and if you’re over-hydrating your plants. Congrats – your low-maintenance shrubbery is now as needy as a baby! $50, www.parrot.com, Indigo. Future Shop

Zoomer Magazine, May 2015