New devices are intended to digitize hobby gardening. But the stakeholder group is small. There are few trends in gardening. New plants cannot always arise. Garden development is generally considered slow. However, with the internet, this is accelerated. In 2021 Smart Garden was a big topic. How does gardening continue with connected devices?
After the prospects fair, the topic becomes even more relevant. Products of the future were already presented there. One thing became clear: the horticultural sector attaches more importance to digitization. Almost all companies offer network equipment or even a whole range of products.
The director of the Garden Industry Association explains that smart gardening makes a special contribution to the self-sufficiency of the garden. This means that the lawn no longer needs to be mowed by people. That’s what robots do, which constantly roll perfectly over the grass. The automatic watering means you no longer need to water on a hot day. Programming or soil sensors recognize when it needs green water. Commands can also be sent via an app, which can be found on the smartphone while the garden owner is on vacation.
Is that needed?
Some gardening enthusiasts will ask about the meaning behind it. After all, gardeners want to dig, cut and get garden hands. Does smart gardening fit in there? An important factor is that smart devices can do work that hobby gardeners don’t like to do – somewhat tedious and monotonous tasks. Still, there are some hurdles that keep hobby gardeners from buying. Despite this, experts report strong growth and more and more entry-level products. Still, interest among hobby gardeners seems to be low. According to studies, fewer products such as an automatic pond pump or robotic lawnmower are used.
Cost and effort
New smart products require a lot of effort. Many are expensive and time-consuming to install. For example, fully automatic irrigation systems are expensive and can be installed with the help of a landscape gardener. The products are also expensive. In 2021, a robotic lawnmower for the home had prices ranging from 500 to 2850 euros.
Add to this the installation costs. The director of the Association of German Garden Centers admits that this is a barrier for many when buying. A signal wire must be laid so that the robotic lawnmower knows the way. But the robotic lawnmower shows that some hobby gardeners are interested in smart products. The reason is convenience. Hardly anyone likes pushing a lawn mower at 30°C. As a result, robotic lawnmowers improve the mowing result. For many, the lawn has to look great and yet not be a lot of work.