Gardening with tech

Updated: May 17, 2020, 08:24 IST | Jaison Lewis | Mumbai

Not all are born with a green thumb. Some of us have no idea how to take care of a plant. Fortunately, now there are apps, gadgets and channels to teach you everything from planting a seed to growing fruits outside your window

Video

Home and garden

Home and garden
Home and garden is a fun YouTube channel that shows you how to grow vegetables, fruits and other greens in plastic bottles, empty egg cartons and a variety of other junk. The channel is not based out of India, but the methods shown can be used here very easily. The YouTuber provides all the information in English text and sometimes they include recipes that feature the vegetable or fruit that was grown. It's a good channel for people who want to reduce their garbage and grow something edible.
Link: https://bit.ly/smdhomegarden

Garden Up

Garden Up
Garden Up is a Mumbai-based YouTube channel. It focuses on growing things with minimum space and mostly indoors. Ekta Chaudhary shares great tips and tricks for indoor plants, kitchen gardens and even terrariums. The channel makes sense for most of us as we do face a lot of space issues and growing plants around restrictions can be hard.
Link: https://bit.ly/smdgardenup

Urban Gardening

Urban Gardening
This Indian YouTube channel provides basic information on how to grow everything from flowers to fruits. It's easy to follow. This includes information about potential pitfalls and things you need to take care of. It helps you know what to expect while growing a particular plant. The YouTuber also lets you know what the health benefit of the plant is. However, he does seem to have a lot of space and this may not be conducive to all Mumbaikars.
Link: https://bit.ly/smdurban

Apps

Plantix—your crop doctor

Plantix—your crop doctor
Plantix can help identify any ailment your plant might have and offers solutions to save them. All you have to do is click a couple of pictures and send them through the app. The problem is identified and you will receive a diagnosis and treatment tips. The app is a little focused on popular crops but it is rapidly expanding its list. Currently, it covers around 45 varieties. For the home gardener, there are a few popular items like chillies, tomatoes and beans that are covered, amongst others.
Android: https://bit.ly/smdplantix

My Vegetable Garden

My Vegetable Garden
Keeping track of a plant can be tedious. With My Vegetable Garden this becomes a little easy. The app lets you choose a seed you are about to plant and creates a virtual clone.
The plant is grown according to the moon cycle which is supposed to help it grow better. It gives a harvest timeline and watering information.
Android: https://bit.ly/smdmygarden

Waterbot

Waterbot
Waterbot is a great app if you keep forgetting to water your plants. It lets you add all your favourite plants using their pictures and you can also name them. Once added, you can include additional information like watering and fertiliser interval. The app will remind you when it is time to fertilise and water. This ensures that your plants are healthy and most importantly, alive.
Android: https://bit.ly/smdwaterbot

Gadgets

Click & Grow Smart Garden

Click & Grow Smart Garden
Click & Grow Smart Garden takes away all the guesswork from growing indoors. It is a self-contained hydroponic garden with grow lights that are available in various sizes with the capacity to grow up to nine plants at the same time. The device has slots where you have to use one of their custom pods to grow what you want, each set of three pods costs R899. They even have seedless pods where you can plant what you want in it. The inbuilt sensors detect everything inside, including PH balance, nutrients and oxygen, keeping them at ideal conditions for growth. The device is available on
Click & Grow's website starting from R6,355 going all the way up to R14,999 for the nine-
plant version.
Link: https://growsmartgreens.com

WE Hydroponics Smart Planter

WE Hydroponics Smart Planter
The WE Hydroponics Smart Planter system makes taking care of plants a lot easier. It is a completely hydroponic setup, which means it doesn't use any soil to grow. It also has grow lights which make it perfect if you want to grow plants indoors. There is an indicator for water level and sections, which let you plant different plants in the same planter. This is great for small plants like herbs and decorative flowers. The gadget is available on the company website for R4,400.
Link: https://www.wehydroponics.com

Farmbot

Farmbot
Farmbot is royalty as far as low maintenance is concerned. The open-source farming robot can be produced by using a 3D printer and locally available parts. However, because some parts are hard to source the organisation that has designed it also sells kits. Once assembled, the Farmbot depending on the model, can automatically cultivate a huge space with little to no interaction from the user. The software that runs the robot is also free. However, this setup at the very minimum would cost
R1.5 lakh approximately including shipping.
Link: https://farm.bot

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