13 Useful Gardening Gadgets
Photo By: Image courtesy of Antony Cook, ColdSnap! Frost Alert
Photo By: Image courtesy of TimesToCome Mobile, Fertilizer Calculator
Photo By: Image courtesy of Parrot.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Back to the Roots
Photo By: Image courtesy of RainCommander
Photo By: Image courtesy of ozPDA
Photo By: Image courtesy of Waterbot
Photo By: Image courtesy of SoilWeb
Photo By: Image courtesy of National Ground Water Association
Photo By: Image courtesy of Sun Surveyor
Photo By: Image courtesy of Aquascape, Inc.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Cyber Rain
Photo By: Image courtesy of Halperin Creative, LLC
ColdSnap! Frost Alarm
Afraid you'll get caught off guard by a sudden drop in temperature? With ColdSnap!, gardeners are notified when there is a danger of low temperatures outside the expected range, giving them time to cover up and protect plants, and take other measures against the cold. The app includes global forecast data and the ability to monitor up to four locations. Compatible with Android; $1.58.
If you want to get scientific about your gardening, here's an app that will help you become more precise in tasks like calculating how many square feet a bag of fertilizer will cover in your garden. You can find out what caused a plant's leaves to turn yellow, what nutrients can cure the problem and other essentials. Fertilizer Calculator is compatible with iOS; $2.99.
Parrot Flower Power
This unique gadget from the French company Parrot can sense levels of sunlight, moisture, temperature and fertilizer in your plants' environment and wirelessly send a signal to your smartphone or tablet to keep you informed on the health of your plants. Containing a database of over 6,000 plants, Parrot Flower Power can tailor its diagnoses to your specific plant. Currently compatible with iOS, but Parrot expects Android support to be released during the first half of 2014; $59.99.
Plants + Fish = Fun
The young entrepreneurial UC Berkeley students who brought you the grow your own mushroom kit have done it again, with the AquaFarm. This self-cleaning fish tank uses fish waste to feed the plants that grow above the tank. In turn, the plants clean the water in a perfect little ecosystem. $59.99.
The Ultimate Sprinkler System Control
Homeowners can now control their sprinkler system via RainCommander, a new device that pairs with a smartphone or tablet. Schedule watering cycles, create custom zones and learn how to bypass watering cycles in the event of a rainstorm. For price information and other details, visit the official website.
Ideal for gardeners, photographers and sun lovers, Sun Seeker uses GPS and magnetometer to find the correct solar position and path for your current location. You can use the app to find out how much sun exposure there is in different parts of your yard, how many hours of sunshine a particular spot will get from season to season and much more. Compatible with iOS and Android; $6.99.
Need a Reminder to Water Your Plants?
Always forgetting to water your plants at home or the office? Waterbot keeps track of the water needs of your plants and reminds you when they need water. You can create a flower avatar for each plant and set up a watering schedule for a set number of days. Android compatible; free.
Want Real-Time Access to Soil Survey Data?
SoilWeb from the California Soil Research Lab is a great resource for gardeners, homeowners, farmers and others who want real-time access to USDA-NRCS soil survey data for your current geographic location. An interactive map interface allows for panning and zooming with highways, streets and aerial photos to assist navigation. Compatible with iOS and Android; free.
An App for Water Conservation
Created by the National Ground Water Association, Water Use Calculator is a useful tool for anyone who wants to learn the best ways to conserve water. Learn to calculate how much water you are using in the shower, toilets, dishwasher and other appliances. Compatible with iOS; free.
Plan Your Garden by the Sun and Moon
Predict sun and moon positions with Sun Surveyor, which uses a 3D compass and interactive map with street view to help you plan your gardening and outdoor activities by every sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset. Visualize the sun and moon throughout the day or year for any location on Earth, in addition to a host of other detailed features. Compatible with iOS and Android; $6.99.
Virtual Water Features
Immerse yourself in the water garden lifestyle with Aquascape Pond. This free app serves up monthly articles on topics like how to install and maintain water gardens or the latest in top-selling pond products. It also includes an extensive photo and video library of spectacular water features. Compatible with iOS and Android; free.
Cyber Rain, which bears the subtitle "the irrigation controller with a brain," is exactly that—an app that checks the weather and automatically adjusts your irrigation schedule so you don't water in the rain. Use pictures to set up a water-site schedule customized to your landscape and more. Compatible with iOS, Android and Blackberry; free.
Do you know how to save up to $200 a year on your water bill? H20 Tracker is a water conservation game that helps you estimate water use in and around your home so you can conserve, save money and earn points toward prizes. See total water usage in terms of gallons and dollars, receive tips on how to reduce your consumption and more. Compatible with iOS and Android; free.