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Tackle your backyard to-do list with this collection of high-tech garden tools that can be used with your Apple iPhone and iPad.
Spring has sprung, which means it's time to head outside. For many of us, that often means tending to yards, gardens, or plants on our patio/balcony.
While there's something inherently nice about getting down in the dirt while gardening, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to work smarter, not harder. That's why we put together this list of tech tools that can help you keep your plants thriving all summer long.
Tertill Weeding Robot
Gardens are great but can be a lot of work, especially if you've got an abundance of weeds to pull every day.
The Tertill Weeding Robot is a small, weatherproof, solar-powered robot that lives in your garden and chops down weeds as they emerge. It does this by rolling over weeds and cutting them down with a string, similar to other handheld weed whackers.
Tertill weeds in 2-5 minute increments for about two hours a day. In addition to cutting down weeds, Tertill's wheels keep the topmost layer of soil tilled, preventing weeds from being able to take root.
Tertill avoids rolling over larger plants — that is, plants that are taller than 2-inches — by sensing when they touch the sides of its body. It's similar to how robotic vacuum cleaners can reposition themselves after bumping against a chair or table leg.
Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, Tertill can kill small plants that aren't tall enough to be detected. That's why it comes with ten metal plant guards and ten row guards, ensuring that you don't accidentally lop the tops off of your lettuce seedlings.
You'll also need to plan your garden with Tertill in mind. For example, rows and plants will need to be 9-12 inches apart, allowing Tertill to crawl around freely.
While Tertill does have an app, it's primarily used to monitor the robot. It will tell you the battery level and temperature outside. The app does not allow you to control Tertill, nor does it offer alerts if the robot becomes stuck or needs its trimming string replaced.
However, reviews on Tertill have mainly been positive. Many reviewers have noted that it did an excellent job keeping their gardens weed-free all season long.
Tertill is available for purchase from Amazon and retails for $349.
Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller
If you're looking for a way to automate your home's existing sprinkler system, look no further than the Rachio 3, a HomeKit Compatible smart sprinkler controller.
The Rachio 3 is available in 8-zone and 16-zone models and features a helpful app that allows you to customize your sprinkler system schedule based on season, soil moisture, and atmospheric conditions.
You can easily control the Rachio 3 from your iPhone, and it responds to Siri and Alexa voice prompts as well.
If you run into any problems during the season, the Rachio 3 features a robust troubleshooting tool. It helps you identify issues like lawn pests and diseases, test sprinkler coverage, and notify you when your sprinkler system needs routine maintenance.
Additionally, it's an EPA WaterSense labeled device, which means it's at least 20% more water-efficient than average controllers.
Rachio notes that this controller works with most existing sprinkler systems on the market. All you'll need to do is remove the current controller, plug the wires into the Rachio controller, and complete the setup in the Rachio app.
The Rachio 3 is available to purchase from Rachio's site, along with Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot. An 8-zone controller runs $199.99, while a 16-zone controller is priced at $249.99. You will need to have an existing sprinkler system installed to use the Rachio 3.
Even if you don't own a sprinkler system, that doesn't mean you have to forgo automating your plants' watering schedule. As long as you've got an outdoor spigot, you can easily water a small yard or garden with the Eve Aqua.
This smart device screws onto the end of your outdoor spigot, allowing you to screw in a garden hose at the other. Then, you'll need to attach a sprinkler to the end of that hose, and you'll have your own automatic sprinkler system.
The Eve Aqua automatically turns on and off the water when it comes time to maintain your lawn, and the companion app allows you to track how much water you've used. Set your own schedules, which will be stored directly on Eve Aqua, ensuring that the water can be turned on and off regardless of whether the device is connected to your iPhone or the internet.
You can also control the system with your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or a Siri voice prompt.
It's HomeKit, Bluetooth, and Thread compatible and works with most hoses on the market. It also works with the Gardena Micro-Drop system, perfect for keeping patio gardens thriving in the summer heat.
The Eve Aqua is available directly from Eve's website and can be purchased on sale for $69.95. B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon and Best Buy also carry the HomeKit-compatible smart water controller, although it is not on sale at press time.
AeroGarden Bounty Elite
So, maybe you don't have a backyard garden, a patio, or a balcony — that doesn't mean you can't grow your plants. AeroGarden makes it easy for anyone to grow their herbs, vegetables, or flowers year-round with their countertop Bounty Elite.
The Bounty line is Aerogarden's mid-range lineup of countertop gardens. The Bounty Elite is perfect for couples and small families, allowing users to grow up to nine plants at once.
Just add water, plant food, and then pop in the AeroGarden pods — the Bounty Elite takes care of the rest. It automates light cycles with its built-in 50W full-spectrum grow light, monitors water levels, and even has a vacation mode to keep plants thriving while you're away.
Additionally, you can also monitor your plants' progress and adjust lighting from the AeroGarden app.
eufyCam 2 Pro
If you're looking for a great way to monitor what is going on in your backyard, you can't go wrong with a good security camera. It allows you to see how well your plants are doing while away and can help you find out what's been eating your plants late at night.
The eufyCam 2 Pro is a 2K security camera system compatible with Apple's HomeKit framework. In addition, with an upgraded iCloud storage plan, it's also compatible with HomeKit Secure Video.
Like other eufy cameras, the eufyCam 2 Pro features a 12-month rechargeable battery. It also sports a 140-degree field of view, two-way audio, night vision and infrared support, and customizable notification settings.
Being HomeKit Secure Video-compatible means that footage is encrypted in iCloud, and data isn't sent to Anker. A 200GB iCloud storage plan supports one camera, while the 1TB plan is compatible with up to five.