Inspired gardening apps and tech tools to help grow the garden of your dreams – gloves optional.
I’ll admit that my thumbs are more geared for texting than gardening. So when my kids asked if they could start “growing stuff” in our backyard, I was admittedly stumped on where to begin in exploring their request – but I knew apps and tech would be involved in any gardening future of mine.
That led me on a hunt for hi-tech but simple ways to begin growing produce at home, both indoors and outside. Thanks to a new wave of tech, we can all get our ‘farm on.’ Check out gardening apps and a few high tech, turnkey options for even the advanced horticulturist, to create tech-inspired gardens. I even threw in an app, for those who want to start really, really small.
Lettuce Grow – premium outdoor planters
Ideal for compact spaces, this self-watering, self-fertilizing farmstand makes it easy to grow your own food at home. Simply select the size of your Farmstand (which allows you to grow anywhere from 12-36 plants at once and can stand up to 6 feet tall). The rest is shipped to you, including seedlings, water pump and timers.
Lettuce Grow is ideal for spots with access to more than 6 hours of sunlight, though it can be used indoors with additional lighting (sold separately). It requires at least 4 (2 x 2) square feet of open space. The farmstead does need access to a power outlet, as well.
After set up, the weekly commitment needed is about 5 minutes for this hydroponic growing systems. Your weekly tasks include adding water & nutrients, adjusting the pH, harvesting and ordering new seedlings. Every 3-4 months the farmstead needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, as well. With the Lettuce Grow, you can grow a variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables like cucumbers, chamomile and marigolds. The fruit selection is limited to strawberries.
Basic farmstead and seedlings begin at $372, learn more here.
Gardyn – premium indoor planters
Designed specifically for indoor gardening, Gardyn was designed for small spaces and requires limited time commitment. This is a turnkey solution for growing. It measures 2 feet wide by 1 foot deep and 5’4″ tall. Gardyn comes with a 6 gallon reservoir, which you will need to fill periodically with fresh water and plant food. The rest is done for you. Without WiFi, Gardyn will run on its default settings, which include our recommended automatic lighting and watering schedule. Once paired to your WiFi network, Gardyn automatic adjusts lighting and watering to a schedule that suits your lifestyle. Even without WiFi, Gardyn will run on its remembered settings. Also included are two cameras that photograph your Gardyn every half hour. Photos are stored in the Gardyn gardening app. Also captured: data including current temperature, humidity, water level, watering schedule and light intensity of your unit. You can control your lighting and water scheduling remotely via the app.
The farmstead does need access to a power outlet and should be attached to the wall with the included wall strap.
There are more than 50 varieties of seeds available including herbs, flowers and vegetables, including wheat grass, peppers and lavender. A nice feature of this product is that you can also use your own seeds.
Basic farmstead pricing begins at $799 with 30 plants, food and growing accessories. Learn more here.
Click and Grow – compact, low cost for indoor spaces
Small, cost-effective and ideal for small spaces, the Smart Garden 3 (and its larger kin) is ideal for skeptical beginners. The basic model measures 11.8in x 4.7in x 13.4in with extensions to grow additional items. Requiring just a few steps for set up, the Click and Grow will start running the minute you plug it in. Be sure to turn the lamp on in the morning, to ensure the lamp isn’t running when you sleep. This product requires more care than the previously mentioned products, with details like lamp height adjustments and removal of germination domes the responsibility of the grower.
Basic farmstead pricing begins at $84 and comes with 3 basil seed pods with more than 80 different herbs, flowers and vegetable pods to choose from at an additional cost. Learn more here.
Urban Garden by Glow Pear – low cost and low-frills indoor/outdoor planter
More robust than the Click and Grow models, Glow Pear makes versatile models compact enough to fit into the smallest apartment balcony or living room. With a classic modern style, modular construction allows the connection of multiple Urban Gardens to provide a bigger plot. Plants take what water they need when they need it due to the integrated self-watering system. Just top up the reservoir and your plants self-water. The clip-on drip tray takes all the worry out of indoor use. Every 3-6 months, the planter’s water reservoir should be flushed, as well.
The basic model measures 29.5in x 18.9in x 19.7in and can be combined with additional models for additional scale.
Basic farmstead pricing begins at $89 though fasteners, soil and seeds are additional. Learn more here.
Smart Plant Gardening App for gardeners at every level
Gardenize is a gardening app that helps you keep track of all your plants, in your garden or indoors, offering helpful tips and simple advice on how to care for them. Gardenize helps you to keep notes and photos of your plants in one single place with access to a dynamic news feed that gives you all the information you need to make your garden thrive while staying beautiful and healthy.
Learn more here