The Future of Plant Maintenance?

Curious about how much sunlight and water your front garden bed is getting? There’s an app for that. 

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As a grower of all things green, this seems like the lazy man’s way to growing things. However, this could very well be the future of plant maintenance.  For $50, the wireless Flower Power Plant monitor can be found online here. This wireless plant monitor measures sunlight, temperature, soil moisture and soil electrical conductivity.  It links to your smart phone so that one can access real time data about the plants in your home. As Director of the Youth Tree Team and to the youth hired to help plant and maintain Keep Indianapolis Beautiful trees in the city, this could have very practical applications for our current watering system.  Currently, we rely on Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), a citizen-scientist driven website, which allows users all over Marion County to enter their rain data from a storm event.  This allows us to compare rainfall in different areas of the county; often times Irvington ends up 2-4” of rainfall but less than an inch up in Broad Ripple.  CoCoRaHS’s data allows us to send our resources where they are most needed so the trees that have the greatest watering requirement are watered first.   Though the Flower Power tool is currently too expensive for us to use practically, any homeowner could add this to their home pots to help them better maintain their plants.   This could be the future of plant maintenance if producers can reduce costs to a point where we could afford one of these for every tree or tree planting that we have.  This would give us the most accurate data for determining our watering priorities.   In the meantime, we will stick with our tried and true CoCoRaHS and hope that more people will sign up to collect this data in our great city of Indianapolis! If you’re interested in becoming a citizen-scientist, visit cocorahs.org! 

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