Growing your own food, even just herbs, is a powerful and satisfying act. But who has the time? These gardening gadgets ensure that even the laziest black thumbs among us can still enjoy a fresh tomato now and then.
A lack of space, time, cooperative weather and/or gardening know-how doesn’t mean you can’t revel in the taste of a home-grown tomato. You just need a shortcut past all the planning and digging so you can get straight to the growing and eating. Below are four growing technologies that make gardening approachable again, no matter how many house plants you’ve killed or how little yard space you enjoy.
1. Woolly Pocket
I know I already mentioned this device as a way to bring spring indoors, but I think they’re so neat, it’s worth another look. Woolly Pockets (pictured, top) are available as wall hangers, table planters, or raised beds. The newest offering, the Living Wall Planter, features a hard vented shell, a sturdy shape and is equipped with a self-watering tank–all designed to make planting easier. Just hang, fill with starters from your local nursery, and enjoy.
2. Auxano Hydroponic Vegetable and Herb Grower
Urban apartments may not have much space to spare, but one thing most do have is sunlight. The Auxano hydroponic growing system aims to capitalize on this under-appreciated resource with a window mounted design that turns previously unused space into a vertical garden. Its innovative oxygenating pump system further keeps water flowing to plant roots without the need for electricity. Check out designer Philip Houiellebecq’s Facebook page to find out when this device will be available for purchase.
3. Click and Grow
We’ve got smart phones and smart meters, so why not smart gardens? The Click and Grow is an easy-to-use electronic smartpot that grows plants without watering and fertilizing. Forget about constant watering, guesswork and worrying whether your plant is getting exactly what it needs. Just slide in the plant cartridge, and Click & Grow measures all the necessary parameters and doses an exact amount of water, fertilizer and air, according to the plant’s needs. The company is currently funding its second offering, an automatic herb garden complete with LED grow lights, on Kickstarter.
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of smart gardening gadgets, look no further than the AeroGarden. This counter-top hydroponic growing system is literally fool proof. I’ve been testing one out for the past few months, and it’s mind-blowing just how easy it is to go from nothing to harvest-ready plants without lifting a finger. The picture above was taken after just 2 weeks! AeroGarden comes in several different sizes and offers a wide variety of plant cartridges. You can mix and match, or purchase empty cartridges for starting plants from seed. Just add water and nutrients when the display tells you to, and you can’t go wrong.