Smarten up your garden with these easy-to-install plant sensors

smarten garden season plant sensors plantlinkk

Now that spring is upon us and summer is on the horizon, it’s time to get back outside and whip your garden back into shape. It usually takes a fair bit of work to get things growing again, but why work hard when you can work smart? In the past couple years, a handful of new soil monitoring gizmos have hit the market. These things make gardening easier than ever, and in case you missed them, we’ve rounded a few of the best ones up to get you pointed in the right direction.

PlantLink

plantlinkBorn from a successful Kickstarter campaign that concluded in the first few months of 2013, PlantLink is one of the most simple and straightforward garden monitoring systems in the biz. It consists of an array of two-pronged indoor/outdoor soil sensors and a central hub you plug into your router. Thanks to little radios built into the sensors, they can wirelessly communicate all the data they collect to your smartphone, tablet, or PC, and give you alerts when your plants need more water. Unfortunately the sensors aren’t able to track things like pH and sunlight, but PlantLink is one of the few products in this category that’s completely wireless. Find out more here.

EasyBloom

easybloomUnlike PlantLink, EasyBloom can’t communicate data wirelessly – but it can measure a hell of a lot more. In addition to soil moisture, these little suckers can monitor sunlight, temperature, and soil chemistry. And it even looks like an ugly little alien flower, so it’ll blend in to your garden … sort of. To upload/analyze the data it collects, you’ll need to plug the sensor into your computer’s USB port, but once you do that, EasyBloom’s online dashboard can give you extremely detailed suggestions on how to best tend to your plants. Click the link above for more info. 

FlowerPower

flowerpowerDesigned by Parisian startup Parrot, FlowerPower is almost like a mixture of the previous two sensors we’ve listed here. Much like EasyBloom, this device also measures temperature, sunlight, moisture, and soil chemistry. It’s also capable of beaming data to your smartphone or PC wirelessly like PlantLink, but does so via Bluetooth rather than WiFi, which makes it more power-efficient. In terms of aesthetics, it’s designed to look like a stick, so it’ll also blend into your garden fairly well. Find out more at the link above.  

Koubachi

Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.58.47 PMKoubachi is the granddaddy of the group. It’s been around for the better part of three years at this point, but don’t let its age fool you – it’s just as capable as most of the others on this list. Packed inside this badboy there sits a range of temperature sensors, sunlight sensors, humidity sensors, soil moisture sensors, and a WiFi radio to beam all that sweet, sweet plant data to your computer or mobile device. The only downside is that it looks like a golf club for garden gnomes that was designed by Apple. Which is fitting, actually, because at one point it was available in the Apple Store. Click the link above for more info.

News

This ridiculous GE video shows just how tough troubleshooting smart bulbs can be

A video instructing customers how to get through the 11-step process to factory reset a General Electric smart bulb shows just how ridiculous fixing some connected appliances can be. You have to turn the bulb off and on again...eleven…
Smart Home

Getting down to the nitty-gritty: The best vacuums you can buy

Our expert reviewers took some vacuum cleaners for a spin to see which worked best. Whether you're looking for a traditional upright, stick, or robot vacuum, check out our picks for the best vacuums on the market.
Smart Home

Amazon has the best deal on the Dyson V8 Animal cordless vacuum right now

Amazon dropped its price for the Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum more than it did for other Dyson V-series Animal models. The Dyson V8 Animal is the sweet spot in the lineup with features of later generations but the price of earlier…
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

The best oven ranges, whether you’re a chef or just need to heat up a pizza

Finding an oven that is right for you is hard. Whether you're a novice looking for an entry-level gas oven or a master chef looking to upgrade to the best, here are some of the best oven ranges available now.
Smart Home

Laundry taking forever? Dry your clothes faster with the best dryers of 2019

Dryers may be the afterthought when it comes to buying a laundry pair, but the best dryers should have key features that you want in your new appliance, whether it's sanitizing or energy efficiency.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Hate messy wires? Check out the best wireless home security cameras

Home security cameras can give you piece of mind, but if they have wires, you are limited in where you can put them. We've rounded up the best battery-operated home security cameras to give you flexibility along with your security.
Smart Home

Dishwasher not draining or drying? These are the best dishwashers of 2019

Need a new dishwasher? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available, and get cleaner, dryer dishes in less time each day.
Smart Home

Protect yourself with the best home security cameras of 2019

When it comes to the best home security cameras, the choice often comes down to the one that simply knows how to stay out of your way. Here are some of our favorites, both indoor and outdoor.
Deals

Best cheap air conditioner deals for 2019: Frigidaire, LG, and more

Spring is in full swing and summer is on the way, and now is the time time to shop for some deals on air conditioning units. We rounded up a selection of the best deals on cheap air conditioners and dehumidifiers going right now.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Google Home smart speakers ahead of Prime Day 2019

Smart speakers are the future of home automation. If you’re thinking about getting one, now's a great time as Walmart is offering Google Home on sale. Normally $129, it is now available for only $99.
Smart Home

Google fixes Nest camera bug that allowed old owners to still see through them

The previous owner of a Nest Cam Indoor discovered that he was still able to access images from the device, even after a factory reset. Google has said that it has fixed the problem.
Deals

The best 4th of July sales 2019: Best Buy, Home Depot, and REI

Whether you're looking for price cuts on mattresses, major appliances, kitchen gadgets, outdoor gear, and just about anything you can think of for summer, there's bound to be a sale with your name on it.