Tech Toys for Indoor Gardeners: Plug-and-play Grow Tools

By Cory Hughes
Published: March 1, 2016 | Last updated: February 28, 2019 08:57:21
Key Takeaways

These days, you can do just about anything from your smartphone or computer—you can even grow plants! The set-it-and-forget-it trend is on the rise in the indoor gardening industry. Here are some cool grow tech toys to be on the lookout for.

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If you’re hoping to combine your love of technology with your green thumb, you’re in luck! There are a slew of new plug-and-play devices that make indoor gardening easier than ever. Being able to monitor or even run your home garden from anywhere in the world is a welcome—and rising—trend. The smartphone revolution never seems to stop peaking. Now moving into the home grow app market, grow product manufacturers have a plethora of new toys to help you maximize your yields from the comfort of your armchair.


First off, you have the all-in-one grow boxes that come with everything you need to start a small indoor garden. There are a handful of home grow solutions scheduled to come out this year that can be controlled from your smartphone, offering cloud-based solutions to help care for your crops.


Users can customize and upload their profiles, which become available to all who use the same system. Pick your crop from a drop-down menu or icon and voila! The grow box system adapts to the needs of that particular plant and sets all parameters automatically.

The majority of these grow boxes look to be about the size of a mini-fridge, so big enough for a handful of plants, and they include everything you need to grow, including lights, a fan, a heating system, grow media and fertilizers.


Another set of plug-and-play tools I’m excited about are wireless soil sensors with app-based monitoring. These devices monitor moisture levels, EC, pH and just about everything you’d need to know about your plants’ health and fertility.

Modern designs in this tech provide waterproof sensors and Wifi-based stations able to relay all the data. The base station hooks up to your router and delivers readings to your smartphone, tablet or computer. Moving into this new era of cloud-based grow tech is exciting, especially when essential tasks can be simplified by wireless devices.


The final round of products to make my list of plug-and-play grow tools to look out for are complete room monitoring systems, which have been growing in popularity. There are a handful of hardware/software solutions available to monitor and control every aspect of your indoor grow.

Fully controllable from your smartphone, these comprehensive systems can do everything you could want them to. From the basics like climate and CO2 controls, to more advanced functions like time-lapse video and security, modern all-in-one systems are fully programmable with a swipe of your phone or tablet.

Data appears on your phone in a beautiful array of charts and graphs, depending on which system you are using. Software, a network interface, temperature and humidity sensors, and controllable power outlets are all typically included in basic kits, with add-ons available.

While these may appear to be geared toward more advanced growers, the ease-of-use promised by the apps and computer software may make them a worthy purchase for even novice growers. The ability to consolidate the functions of multiple systems into a single app is priceless.

These are just a few of the many new technologies to look out for as the year progresses. Technology has always made our lives easier and these new home grow products are no exception. Not only do these tools make growing easier for all of us, they make entry into growing less scary for those who want to discover their green thumb.


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Written by Cory Hughes | Commercial Grower

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Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned full-time commercial grower in Denver, Colorado.

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