If staying on top of yard work seems an uphill struggle, there’s plenty of routes to a smart yard.
Just like connected tech inside your home, automating outdoor drudgery adds an invaluable layer of convenience to your life.
Security, the other central pillar of smart technology, is also available in the form of motion-activated outdoor lighting.
On top of this, since you’ll likely be spending plenty of time outdoors entertaining, you can build in some devices to liven things up.
So, since every garden is different, we’ll skip any kind of general guidance today. Instead, we’ll double down on eight areas where you can embrace smart tech.
8 Ways To a Smart Yard
- Robotic Lawnmower
- Connected Plant Tracker
- Smart Sprinkler Controller
- WiFi Weather Station
- Smart Smoker
- Outdoor Smart Lighting
- Weatherproof Smart TV
- Indoor Smart Garden
Robotic lawnmowers have still not been adopted in enough numbers to bring the price down, so you will need to dig deep.
Also, just like with robot vacuums, it’s advisable to spend a little more. Buy a cheap robot and you might very well end up regretting it.
Husqvarna manufactures a wide range of robot lawnmowers that have been selling well in Europe since the 1990s. If you don’t have the budget for the hill-climbing range-topper, the 435X AWD, there are plenty of other capable performers in the Automower line.
The 430XH certainly isn’t cheap, but you won’t need to dig as deep as for the all-wheel-drive model. Is it any good for your smart yard, though?
In a word, yes. Control in-app is seamless and you can automate your mowing to suit. You can always keep tabs on where your robot is with the app, even if you’re not at home. There’s also anti-theft GPS tracking in place.
Before you break it into action, there’s a little installation involved. You’ll need to pop in the boundary wire so your mower will only cut within those limits.
If you can stretch to the stiff price tag, you’ll need to make sure your yard is no larger than the 0.8-acre maximum coverage area. The Husqvarna can cope with slopes up to 24 degrees. If your landscaping is more steeply inclined, you’ll need to invest in the hill-climbing AWD model.
Battery-powered, you won’t disturb the neighbors as you relax with your feet up and the robomower gets to work.
Designed for continuous cutting even if it’s raining, the blades can cut grass up to 3 ½ inches tall.
While this robotic lawnmower would undoubtedly be classified as a luxury for some, if you’re struggling with mobility and you could use a helping hand, this is essential.
If you like the idea of gardening but you have black thumbs, smart tech can be highly beneficial.
This connected plant tracker allows you to search for the plant you’re not sure how to care for in-app.
Once the app finds the plant, Bluetooth allows you to monitor your plant remotely. You’ll be sent all the key metrics on moisture levels, lighting, temperature, and fertilizer requirements. Apply this and you’ll have flourishing plants even if you’re a gardening novice.
Live progress updates in the app show you how your plant is thriving. You can also benefit from daily, weekly and monthly stats of what's going on in your smart yard. Longer-term tracking is possible, too.
The definite limitation here is that the sensor can only be used in one plant. While it’s not a whole-garden solution, though, it has definite potential if you want to grow a single tricky plant the easy way.
You can also automate your sprinkler system, which is more beneficial for the whole garden.
This sprinkler controller slots neatly in and replaces your existing controller so you can automate irrigation in-app. It’s compatible with master valves, indexing valves, and pump relays.
Once you’re up and running – it should take 30 minutes or so – take remote control using the seamless app. You’ll be able to monitor upcoming schedules, activate your sprinklers and keep an eye on estimated water usage in your smart yard.
Rachio’s controller plays nicely with Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also HomeKit-enabled. Interoperability with other smart devices is wide-ranging.
The intelligent controller is capable of building out smart schedules by taking into account the specific needs of your planting.
Weather Intelligence Plus technology ensures you won’t get any redundant watering if it’s raining outside. This tech was introduced in this polished third iteration and it’s a key reason to consider this model rather than the cheaper outgoing second generation.
A true smart home should also be energy-efficient. By using less water, the Rachio controller qualifies as WaterSense certified. This means you could qualify for a rebate, so look into this.
Many weather stations are bulky and unwieldy, so we’ve chosen Netatmo Weather Station at least in part for its slimline form factor. What else can it do, though?
Control your weather station remotely from your iOS or Android device accessing these metrics:
- Barometric Pressure
- Indoor CO2 Levels
This is a versatile set-up and you can connect several stations to a phone or, conversely, use a single station across multiple phones.
You’ll get a free lifetime data package bundled with purchase.
Enabling you to get the most from the environment both inside your smart home and out in your smart yard, the app is a pleasure to use.
Get alerts pinged to your cell phone so you can take prompt action if the weather looks hostile. If you don’t have a sprinkler controller, the climatic data can be used to great effect. You can cut back on watering when it’s raining. You’ll know, too, when it’s hot and dry enough that your lawn needs a little bit more moisture.
You’ll be able to use Alexa as well if you have an Echo smart speaker or smart display.
The sleek and rugged aluminum build plus the skinny on all environmental factors that count, this weather station is one of the finest ways to smarten up your yard. The inbuilt benefits when it comes to indoor air quality are a welcome bonus.
5) Smart Smoker
So, now your lawn is neatly trimmed without lifting a finger and watering is automated. You even have some assistance with the trickier plants you're interested in trying out.
That leaves you with more time to do what the yard is made for: relaxing and entertaining.
Are you sold on the benefits of a smoker? They’re already great for entertaining as you can leave your food cooking in the background, but how can you make your life even easier?
This hard-hitting model is Bluetooth-enabled so you’ll be free to control temperature and manipulate cooking time from your phone. Spend more time with your guests and less attending to food.
The side loading system for chips is ideal since you won’t need to keep opening the smoker.
There’s a trio of cooking racks along with another you can use to hang a Masterbuilt pan from. This is sold separately.
Smarten up your decking with this neatly connected smoker and you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in this smart yard device sooner.
Ring has a superb range of outdoor smart lighting, so you can take care of all aspects of landscape lighting and security lighting under one ecosystem.
The Pathlight works well for illuminating longer pathways or outdoor stairways.
As with all this lighting line-up, you’ll need the Ring Bridge to enjoy smart control, but the gateway is very affordable.
As you’d fully expect from Ring, you’ll enjoy great computability with other smart home devices, too.
Personalize your outdoor lighting to suit and bathe your garden in brightness.
This second-generation SunBriteTV is specifically designed to be used outdoors, so you can liven up your BBQs or invite a few friends over to watch the match.
The Ultra 4K HDR screen has a direct LED backlight. This allows brightness levels to be increased by 50% to cope with outdoor viewing.
All components are completely weatherproofed, which brings the cost up somewhat.
You’ll get speakers onboard and plenty of slots for your media devices, too.
If you want to get the same quality picture as you’d expect in your home theater, SunBriteTV will not disappoint. While not exactly cheap, it’s much less expensive than you’d imagine a device like this would be.
Note: This TV is designed for use in fully shaded areas. If you need a TV for full-sun viewing, look at the Pro Series which will deliver fully.
To round out, we have something for you apartment livers who might want some greenery but lack the outside space.
Why not bring on some fresh herbs and veggies indoors instead?
This pod system allows you pop in some seedless pods – you’ll get some basil included – fill the reservoir, then hook up this self-watering system.
Choose from a selection of more than 50 plants, from cilantro and lavender to wild strawberries and chili peppers, don’t let not having a garden stop you from growing organic produce at home.
Ideal for anyone with a busy lifestyle, limited outdoor space and a taste for fresh herbs, road test this indoor smart garden today. With everything done for you, all you need to do is wait for harvest time.
Well, we hope you got some inspiration and you’re tempted to take some tech out into the garden. Whether you want to streamline entertainment, ratchet up security, or eliminate manual work, there are solutions on all counts.
We have a busy week planned out, so come back daily for more of the latest smart home news. If you’d like even more product updates and handy hints, why not sign up for our email newsletter? Beyond more great content, we’ll also throw in 20% off your first Smarthome order. What are you waiting for?