Geek my garden: Techie tips for the urban farmer

Nowadays, if you have a smartphone and a thumb with the slightest hint of green, you can wire your garden to produce high yields, monitor conditions, and even remind you when to water and fertilize. There are a whole host of new gadgets, applications, and technologies that can help create the perfect backyard farm, regardless of size or skill level.

HarvestGeek- Automate your entire setup with HarvestGeek, a web based application that allows you to not only keep track of soil, water, air, and temperature conditions, but also automate equipment like watering timers, fans, and lamps to switch on and off. Designed by Mike Alt, the HarvestGeek uses the HarvestBot sensors to keep tabs your plants and alert you via social media, email, or smartphone when adjustments need to be made to create the highest yields possible. The HarvestGeek platform also allows users to talk to other gardeners, sharing tips and methods as well as aggregating data that can be used to predict when to plant and when to harvest.

Flower Power- Enabled by Bluetooth, the Flower Power  by Parrot is a twig-shaped sensor that you can stick directly into the soil. It keeps an eye on moisture, sunlight,, humidity, temperature, and fertilizer levels. The corresponding application holds the optimal growing conditions for over 6,000 plants, and will send you reminders on your smartphone when it is time to give your plant a little TLC. It is powered by a simple AAA battery that remains charged for 6 months.

Future Tech  Farm- For those with restricted space, Future Tech Farm takes advantage of limited areas with their modular gardens. The small, aquaponic grow systems are connected to the internet, and once they fill the units with water, fish, and plants, they can plug them in and watch them flourish. Participants can track all of their info online, and compare with a community of other techies.

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