Gadgets for humans

The Connected Yard is about to make gardening a whole lot smarter

The ‘connected home’ is a concept we’ve heard a lot about over the past few years, but how about the connected yard?

At SXSW, Scotts – the company behind gardening brands like Miracle-Gro and Weedol – has been showing off its Gro ‘Connected Yard’ offering that is set to launch in the USA next month.

The heart of the concept is a mobile app called Gro that allows you to set goals for your garden, regardless of whether you have a huge yard or a tiny apartment balcony to work with. Maybe you want to grow a gorgeous flowerbed, or your own ingredients to go into cocktails, for example, or just improve the state your lawn.

Whatever your goal, the app will give you step-by-step instructions over days and weeks. The tips are tailored to your location, weather reports and data received from an accompanying range of internet-connected sensors made by third-party manufacturers, that do things like check the health of your plants. The ‘Works with Gro’ program is launching with products from Blossom, Rachio, Green IQ, Lono, PlantLink and Parrot.

gro platform

Scotts also plans interactive installations in retail outlets that will sync with your Gro app and help you buy exactly the right gear. It’s all well and good to be told to buy a hose, but which one is exactly right? The app will guide you to the specific shelf in the store.

The company hopes that the Connected Yard will help get more millennials into gardening by offering an 21st century approach to a pastime that can seem offputtingly complicated to beginners. I hope Scotts rolls the Connected Yard idea out beyond the USA, as it might well encourage me to do more with my humble European garden.

➤ Scotts Gro

Published March 13, 2016 — 17:47 UTC