From drones to phones, new tech is making gardening easier

New technology is easing the way we garden, store equipment, monitor watering and re-shape landscapes. And some of those tasks can be done remotely, using phones or tablets.

The innovations extend well beyond downloading a few apps. New to the horticultural mix are 3-D modeling, GPS mapping, laser technology, drones, robotics, devices that can read the weather and moisture in the soil for precision planting and irrigation, and battery-powered and low- or no-emission equipment.

“We are seeing an uptick in landscape professionals using advanced technology to plan designs for clients,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

“Today, professionals are using drones to survey homeowner properties to get a birds-eye view before and during the design-creation phase,” she said. “Drones can also help landscape companies save valuable operational and manpower time that can be used elsewhere on a project.”

Three-D modeling also helps streamline landscape design. It can provide a clear picture for homeowners of their property’s potential, Henriksen said.

Upgrades in battery technology have hastened the move toward lighter, easier-to-carry garden tools.

“Cordless tools that use storage batteries offer the most flexibility and freedom to move around your yard because you don’t have to worry about cords getting in your way,” Henriksen said.

A number of companies build multi-purpose engines that are used to equip a variety of implements ranging from walk-behind and rider mowers to power washers, snowblowers and more.

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