I’ve been a bit of a relic when it comes to trying out the plethora of new apps and digital tools to help me in the garden. I remind myself of my grandmother who refuses to even have a computer. Often my reason is quite practical – there aren’t any apps that really provide me with tools or information I need or care about (I’m not a beginner and I’d rather have a pencil sketch of my garden any day over a geolocated app that tells me about my plants). Plus, deeply rooted in my gardener psyche, there is fundamental love of the gritty romance of a garden – and every time I pull out my iPhone I feel like I squelch a little bit of that spirit, one distracted message at a time.
But…the Edyn garden sensor – which was launched through a hugely successful kickstarter project – caught my eye as perhaps something a little different, and when they asked me to team up with them to try out their new product, I thought I better start acting more like my GenX self – and be open to giving it a try.
The Edyn sensor is interesting and modern in a way that often eludes garden gear. It reminds me of a giant turkey baster to look at except it seems like it could have been designed by the same people who put together the packaging for any given Apple product. It is sleek and minimal to the point that if you didn’t know what it was – you might never be able to figure it out. But it looks cool and from the moment it arrived, it captured the attention of everyone who saw it. Mostly, it makes a person ask, ‘what is it?’
It is a modern garden tool. The idea is to gather essential information like temperature, humidity, nutrition, and moisture levels with the probe so that you can monitor growing conditions for your plants right from your phone.
That alone is interesting, but the creators are planning to follow it up with watering tools so that once you find out that your plants desperately need a drink you can remotely – from you phone – turn on the water. Now that is revelation.
The product took a bit of time to set up to the wifi, but after working with the customer service team, it just suddenly and inexplicably did.
Edyn has a range of at least 100 ft so it should work for most small to medium gardens. After finally connecting the wifi, I got data on my phone!… and for a science loving gal like me, it instantly had my attention.
I’ve since conducted a few small experiments with it (is it odd that is my first inclination?). I wanted to know how fast it responded… my first reading said that I was really low on water – so I watered… and within about 15 minutes it showed up. It also told me that I had lots of light – in an area of the garden that I generally consider to be shady. My first thought was how wrong it was, but then had to remind myself of all the clients I’ve had over the years who wildly inaccurately estimate their garden conditions. Perhaps I have some of the same blinders in my perceptions? It said the temp and humidity were somewhere in the range of what I knew them to be, and it also said that I had good nutrition.
The nutrient information tells you that you have ‘deficient’, ‘good’, or ‘excessive’ nutrition and if deficient it says you should add an organic fertilizer as soon as possible. Personally, I want to know more and I’m looking forward to experimenting with this and trying to understand it a little better.
I can tell you this though – in the first spot I put it – it said that my nutrition was good. I have no idea if that is correct….but I wonder, as I’ve never had good luck growing grass in that particular area. I moved it later to an area where I know that the soil is junk and the plants that are there are struggling because of it… and it told me it needed an organic fertilizer, so it is certainly on to something.
If you are interested in technology for your garden that takes some of the guess-work out of plant care, then I would certainly keep an eye on this product. It sells for about $99 and if you are tech gadget lover it provides an interesting view of what’s going on with your plants. I’m very interested to see and try out future features as this product evolves.
For myself, I am looking forward to using it as I can. Like right now – I am out-of-town and my sensor is telling me that the spot in my garden where the sensor is, is really dry – I’ve got a house sitter who is supposed to be watering every other day — and I am curious to see if I will be able to see his efforts come though in my data. I kind of like being able to spy… even if I’m actually like one of those sneaky mommys with a hidden nanny-cam in the teddy bear.
Images: Rochelle Greayer for PITH + VIGOR
Disclosure: This post was created in collaboration with Edyn. I am not an employee of Edyn and all opinions are my own.