x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Technophile: Devices to wirelessly manage your garden's health

Curt Brandao reviews three devices that monitor the conditions in your garden or potplants and send updates to your smartphone.

The PlantSmart Digital Sensor. Courtesy Black and Decker
The PlantSmart Digital Sensor. Courtesy Black and Decker

PlantSmart Digital Sensor

What it is Some would-be horticulturists are guilty of getting the cart before the horse, of picking plants they want with no regard for the needs and wishes of the soil in their gardens. The PlantSmart Digital Sensor is a kind of matchmaker that can tell you what kind of plants will fall in love with your dirt and vice versa.

How it does it Simply set the device, which runs on one AAA battery, for "recommend" and stick it in the ground for 24 hours. Then remove the sensor and plug it into your computer to get the results. The sensor can also offer care advice through its online database.

Who it's for Tech-enabled gardeners who know vibrant growth comes from communicating and forming a compromise with nature.


Rapitest Electronic Soil Tester

What it is The Rapitest Electronic Soil Tester is a quick, simple device that can give you accurate data about conditions on (or in) the ground of your garden. Its four-in-one meter measures moisture and pH levels in the soil, light intensity and total combined nitrogen, phosphorus and salt levels.

How it does it Just insert the Rapitest device into a soil sample and it will gauge results within seconds. You can then compare those results with preference checklists and charts that come with the device.

Who it's for For the more pro-active gardener who wants immediate, objective data on all their greenery.



Koubachi Plant Sensor

What it is Let's face it, some of us spend so much time on our smartphones or are otherwise occupied in our digital universes that our real-world relationships can suffer (and in the case of plants, wither and die). The Koubachi Plant Sensor, which sort of looks like a golf club for a garden gnome, can send a distress message from our outside greenery that can reach us where we now mostly live: inside our browsers or hovering over our mobile touch-screen displays.

How it does it Once you stick it in your garden or pot of dirt, the wireless, battery-operated sensor will soon know as much about your soil chemistry as the plants you left there to deal with it. It then connects to your wireless network and sends updates on your plant's moisture needs, light access and temperature exposure. It even creates care plans for individual plants and transmits this data to your iPhone or via e-mail.

Who it's for People who brag about having green thumbs on Facebook, but actually don't; in part, because they are on Facebook bragging about it all the time.