Richard Cree 20 Apr 2017 04:01pm

The best garden tech

This is a great time of year to get out into the garden, whether it's to enjoy the fruits of all your hard work earlier in the year or simply to knock it into shape for summer. Either way, more gardeners are turning to technology and here Richard Cree examines the best of the booming garden tech market
Caption: Urban gardening in Malacca, Malaysia.

1. Snap

We all like to take snaps of the garden when it’s looking good (and it’s a handy way to compare year on year). Here, the experts in upgrading mobile phone photography, ExoLens, offer the ExoLens Case for iPhone 7. It manages to both turn the phone into a camera capable of taking decent pictures, while also keeping it in one piece.

2. GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub

The concepts of clouds and watering the garden have been closely connected for a while. But here, we’re talking about the digital cloud and the GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub uses internet, cloud and mobile technology to manage irrigation and lighting. That means no more times wasted watering the garden just to see it tip down with rain. And it can allegedly save 50% on your outdoor water bill.

3. Sensors

The makers claim it will “take the guesswork out of gardening”, and the Edyn Sensor - a gadget that plugs into the soil – lets you know what’s going on beneath the surface, with feedback sent to an app on your phone.

4. The app

More or less every garden problem today – from planning gardens to identifying plants, sharing pictures with friends and growing better vegetables – can be solved with an app. One of the best is GardenTags, which draws on the wisdom of crowds to help you grow better.

5. The tunes

While being outdoors often brings its own delightful soundtrack, sometimes a menial task is made more bearable when accompanied by tunes. There’s no shortage of excellent Bluetooth speakers to take out with you. The Braven BRV-X is rugged and waterproof and even allows you to make hands-free phone calls.

6. But don’t forget the basics…

But while all those fancy apps and gadgets can help, what you really can’t do without if you want to create a successful garden is a decent spade and an exceptional fork. Wigan-based Bulldog has been using single pieces of forged steel to turn out some of England’s finest since 1780.

Richard Cree is editor-in-chief of economia