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Be Your Own Big Brother: Going to pot

Cloud computing for gardeners

Automated horticulture

If watering your own plants seems like too much hard work, even that can be automated. The Parrot Flower Power can work with the Growatch box, which also links to other sensors, and can either just monitor or control equipment via smart plugs. So it can turn on and off pumps, for example, controlling a hydroponic system for you.

groWatch box

The GroWatch can use data from a Flower Power, as well as its own sensors, to control pumps and other devices

Similarly, the GreenIQ box is designed to control an irrigation system using a combination of schedules and internet weather reports, as well as turning lights on and off at set times. They're working on an updated model, due out later this year.

For a more DIY approach, the EcoDuino from DF Robot is an arduino-based kit that controls a water pump based on a moisture sensor, and at around £32 is priced fairly attractively.

DF Robot EcoDuino

EcoDuino DIY from DF Robot

In a similar vein are projects like HarvestGeek and Bitponics, both of which aim to help with a mixture of cloud-based services, automated alerts and reminders and device control. However, despite there appearing to be plenty of interest, both these products seem to have gone a little quiet of late, which is a shame.

Edyn is one new entrant that is aiming to ship product in the spring of 2015. Its system, like Flower Power and Koubachi, is based around a soil sensor. In Edyn's case, it's designed to be used outside, and is topped by a photovoltaic cell to charge the internal battery. It communicates by Wi-Fi and the $100 sensor is complemented by a $60 water valve which is used to control your irrigation system.

Edyn valve

With a soil sensor and Wi-Fi water valve, Edyn aims to make life idyllic

As well as looking after the plants you already have, Edyn can make recommendations for the sort of plants that will grow well in your conditions. That may make it particularly appealing to those who are starting from scratch.

Edyn app

The Edyn app can not only tell you what to do, but will suggest what to grow

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