Updated for 2021
Let’s face it – a lot of us spent more time than ever in our gardens in 2020. As we head into 2021, it’s time to get prepared to maintain or develop your garden with the top gardening gadgets and technology.
With uncertainty over the pandemic and politics on the rise, people are growing their own food at levels not seen since World War II.[i] As more and more people realise the money they can save and the stress they can overcome with home gardens, polytunnels are more popular than ever. While First Tunnels polytunnels make it a lot easier to grow delicious and abundant vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers, they aren’t the only gadgets and technology for a lush garden.
Here are our top picks for 2021’s best Garden Gadgets and Apps.
1) The Botanium Self-Watering Planter
Do you want something ultra high-tech for your garden that will also delight the kids in your life? This futuristic self-watering planter will give everyone a laugh, but it’s far more than just a gag – it’s a very useful gadget! Looking like Wall-E meets the garden, the Botanium is a self-watering planter you can use both indoors and outdoors. It’s perfect on your kitchen counter for growing veggies, or outside along the house (it needs to be plugged into the mains) for tomatoes. The Botanium makes an excellent gift for both people without gardens and avid gardeners alike.
2) The Hexa Smart Plant Pot
Another entry into the smart plant pot market, the Hexa is even more futuristic than the Botanium! Like a spider meets a robot, the Hexa will navigate all-terrain in order to seek its ideal growing conditions.[ii] Plant a shrub or plant in the top of the Hexa, and it will march into the sunshine when it needs rays, and retreat back to the shade when it’s had its fill. Best of all? It stomps its feet and has a mini temper tantrum when it needs watering. It comes in at a cool £769, so this is truly a gift for someone who has everything.
3) The Click and Grow Smart 9
Not all gardeners want to grow their food outdoors. After all, it’s always nice to have some plants adding life and brightness to your kitchen or sunroom. The Click & Grow Smart 9 grows food and herbs indoors, using innovative technology, integrated pro lights, and self-watering functionality. It couldn’t be easier to set it up and get it growing, so it’s great for beginners and kids.
4) A Garden Audio System
Nothing is better than listening to some great music (or gardening podcasts) when you’re working in the garden or entertaining outdoors. For the best al fresco audio in the garden, you need speakers that can stand up to the elements. Outdoor speakers need to throw sound more widely than interior speakers to allow you to hear the subtleties of the music across the span of your garden.
According to Best Products, here are some of the best outdoor speakers for 2021.[iii] Their best overall choice is the Polk Audio Atrium Outdoor Speakers, with the Klipsch AW-650 Outdoor Speakers in the runner-up rank. If you’re on a budget, go for the Yamaha NS-AW150 Outdoor Speakers. However, if money is no object, the Sonos Outdoor Speakers provide the finest quality sound.
5) A Stihl Cordless Garden Pruner
This cordless garden pruner may look unassuming, but it packs a powerful punch and gets the job down swiftly and without any elbow grease. The GTA 26 Stihl hand chainsaw is loaded with a 10.8V lithium battery, and it tackles thick logs and branches with ease.
6) The Netamo Weather Station
If you enjoy growing plants in your home, a shed, or a greenhouse, the Netatmo Weather Station will make your task far easier and more accurate. Compatible with Apple’s HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, this weather station helps you track data, including air temperature, humidity, pollution, and more. You simply check the information on your smartphone – you’ll soon know exactly when your plants need a spritz of water or a top-up of fertiliser. Simply put, the Netamo allows you to garden indoors smarter, not harder.
7) Gardena Smart Water Control
Wouldn’t you love a break from watering your garden night after night? Or be able to go on holiday without worrying about finding someone to come and look after your plants? The Gardena Smart Water Control will keep your garden hydrated and looking its best without any effort on your part. The system is discreet and blends in well with your foliage, but it keeps your plants, flowers, and shrubs perfectly watered.
8) A Robotic Lawnmower
Imagine having pristine trimmed grass without ever (or very rarely) having to pull out the cumbersome old lawnmower out of your shed. With the best robotic lawnmowers for 2021, this dream can become a reality.[iv] If you suffer with mobility issues, take a lot of trips away from home, or simply don’t want to mow the lawn often (if ever), a robotic lawn mower can be the perfect solution. They use boundary cables to mow the correct areas and avoid obstacles and your flowerbeds.
9) Farmer’s Cottage Rotating Garden Pod
There’s no denying that 2020 has been a tough year, so our list demands something really over the top. The Farmer’s Cottage Rotating Garden Pod fits the bill and then same! This is the ultimate deluxe socially distancing accessory – a high tech pod that allows al fresco relaxation. The Farmer’s Cottage pod revolves 360 degrees to access the best sunlight, and seats seven people in absolute comfort and style. It can even be turned into a spare bedroom! Gorgeous stainless-steel touches, mirrored louvres, and UV protected acrylic tinted windows – it looks a good as it feels. Now, you might need to sit down to hear about the price – it comes in at a cool £7999.
Best Gardening Apps UK 2021
Of course, we can’t talk about the best gardening gadgets for 2021 without mentioning apps.[v] People all over the UK are harnessing the power of online resources to boost their beautiful gardens. There are a ton of effective apps for both iOS and Android phones and tablets. They can help you identify wildflowers, weeds, and plants, connect you with other gardeners and provide you with valuable tips and tricks. Some of our favourite gardening apps UK for 2021 include:
- Garden Answers – There are tons of plant identifying apps out there, but we love the ease and simplicity of Garden Answers. It does what the other apps do, but it does it a lot better! Identify more than 20,000 species of plants with just a wave of your phone.
- BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
You likely already read the BBC’s Gardeners’ World Magazine and follow their tried and true advice. Now you can use their digital edition, take advantage of all of their tips, design ideas, and wisdom from Alan Titchmarsh.
- MySoil – Learn all about your soil and its unique blend of minerals, the organic material present, and pH level. This intuitive app can help you make the most of your soil and learn more about the soil types in your region. MySoil is an invaluable tool for any British gardener.
- iScape – Need some hints and ideas for landscaping your garden? iScape helps you visualise the results of your garden landscaping before you start digging new beds or making permanent changes.
Which 2021 Gardening Apps and Gadgets do you want most?
With these gadgets, apps, and your tried-and-true gardening tools, you’re ready to get back into the garden. Here’s to a great 2021 in your garden and beyond!
Avis-Riordan, K. (2018). 10 gardening apps perfect for summer upskilling. [online] Country Living. Available at: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes-interiors/gardens/a20728042/best-gardening-apps-download-garden/ [Accessed 14 Dec. 2020].
BBC Gardener’s World (2020). Eight of the best robotic lawn mowers. [online] BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. Available at: https://www.gardenersworld.com/reviews/lawn-mowers/best-robotic-mowers/ [Accessed 14 Dec. 2020].
Howard, E. (2020). Victory gardens: A war-time hobby that’s back in fashion. [online] www.bbc.com. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20200524-victory-gardens-a-war-time-hobby-thats-back-in-fashion [Accessed 14 Dec. 2020].
Vazharov, S. (2020). Your Yard Needs These Outdoor Speakers — ASAP. [online] Best Products. Available at: https://www.bestproducts.com/tech/electronics/g1329/best-outdoor-speakers-with-wires/ [Accessed 14 Dec. 2020].
Vincent, J. (2018). This sun-chasing robot looks after the plant on its head. [online] The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/12/17563688/robot-plant-hybrid-hexa-vincross-succulent [Accessed 14 Dec. 2020].
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.
To get in touch, visit https://ewspconsultancy.com.