Containers forum: New technology coming in 2013 for novice container gardeners.

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Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
Jan 9, 2013 6:45 PM CST
New technology coming in 2013 for novice container gardeners. Flower Power might be a good tool for someone struggling to keep indoor houseplants alive.
http://www.youtube.com/user/parrot

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 9, 2013 6:51 PM CST

Moderator

Wow, what interesting new technology. At first I thought it was a joke.
I could see where that would be very helpful for some of the more finicky plants. Thanks for posting.
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
Jan 10, 2013 12:07 PM CST
One of my garden friends replied, 'if it were really that easy they would make one for raising kids', lol.

I can't tell you how many times people have received a house plant for bereavement and expressed how much it meant to them to keep it alive after losing a loved one. I thought of them in particular when I saw the tool. Could turn into a hobby if you start off successful.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 10, 2013 1:13 PM CST

I would love to get a cell phone warning from a cold frame: "You should have opened the vents wider before going to work, Rick! It's a steam bath in here." Or, once I knew which pot or tray dried out first: "Water me! Water me, you dummy! Whaddaya think I am, a cactus?!?"

Less welcome but equally helpful would be a wakeup call if the temperature was dropping rapidly and/or approaching freezing too early in the night. "It might not be too late to throw a blanket over me!"

Running the user interface through cell phones with text messages and apps, seemed like a good idea. I'm glad this company is thinking along those lines.

Hmm, thank Google, someone named "Clover" has done this already with "Arduino".
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/build-your-own-au...

I've often thought that, after I retire, I might look into the cheapest possible way to automate a big cold frame or small greenhouse with microcontrollers and relays. Vents and fans and heaters. Maybe drip irrigation. I'm sure those already exist for commercial greenhouses, at astronomical prices.

Electronics have gotten so cheap that a waterproof casing would cost more than the chips. Power relays for fan and heaters, solenoids for water valves, and waterproof 120 V AC outlets outdoors, would each cost more than the electronics.

I wonder if there is a uniform "building code" for 120 V AC in buildings that aren't residences. Or would it have to be designed to satisfy all the most finicky states (and hence unaffordable anywhere)?

A marketing expert might point out that most people who care enough about their plants to buy the product and heed its warnings, probably already learned how to do without it after losing a few dozen or a few hundred plants, years ago!

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 10, 2013 3:40 PM CST

Moderator

How cool is that. I want one. I could use it to keep my perennial beds watered with soaker hoses.
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
Jan 10, 2013 4:16 PM CST
Rick you are a hoot. I really enjoyed your post. Not for the the technology challenged like me. The problem with new gadgets is I don't want to have to learn the technology, just turn it on & go. We all know it never works that way. I think what I really need is an assistant.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 10, 2013 4:33 PM CST

Moderator

I agree When I was younger I would have went for the challenge, now I would just want to turn it on and have it work.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 10, 2013 5:21 PM CST
>> now I would just want to turn it on and have it work.

That would be what they c all "an effective user interface". In the c omputer industry, no one has ever managed to c reate one. Either the n erds, the managers, or the marketing loons always insist on adding so many features that NO ONE cann find the ON swittch or the controls they actually wanted.

And you can be sure that, if we ever do bring something ujsable to market, Model Two will be too c omplicated to use.

Or salaries may fall far enoguh that we can return to IBM's practice back in the 1950s, when computers were big and expensive. They shipped one or more engineers with each computer.
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
Jan 10, 2013 5:43 PM CST
I remember those days and all the gray suites. We had 8 of those monstrosities and 2 IBMers on staff. My company really abused them too. I swear they made them do everything from carpentry to plumbing. Guess they figured they were paying them one way or the other so if the system wasn't down and everything was running good they would find them little odd jobs. The IBMers would suck it up and do whatever they had to do to keep the business and achieve customer satisfaction. The second techys figured out we were clueless using their products without them out went the customer service and in came the the service charges, fees for classes & seminars to use their products.

That's exactly why ATP is so refreshing. Dave's no nonsense approach offers gardeners the ability to use his website as a tool to learn about gardening without all the headaches and best of all without being nickeled and dimed to death.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 10, 2013 7:11 PM CST
IBM certainl;y paid for their arrogance when first mini-computers, and then microprocessors, and then personal c omputers showed them that competition never dies, even if it goes dormant for years!

The computer side of an "autopmatic cold frame" would bge really easy: like a high school or DIY project for nerds. But the "reality" part of it would be expensive, and dangerous if you didn't know the right ways to waterproof electrical components.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 10, 2013 7:29 PM CST

Moderator

Blinking
Name: Calin
Weston-super-mare UK (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Lilies Plant and/or Seed Trader
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fixpix
Jan 11, 2013 1:09 AM CST
Wow, with all due respect and without any trace of meanness, but if you need such a device, then you don't deserve to have a plant :)
Well, maybe you do...a PLASTIC one!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 11, 2013 9:14 AM CST

Moderator

No plastic for me Calin.
But all of my plants have to be tough, no pampering. I do have a few that I bring indoors for the winter, but most live year round in whatever nature throws at them.
I guess that is why l love the hardy succulents, alpine, and native plants.

the closest I come to having a green house is when I do winter sowing. http://garden.org/ideas/view/valleylynn/223/Time-to-winter-s...
In fact it is time to get busy setting up the milk jugs.
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Jan 11, 2013 9:58 AM CST
Dog-gone , I like that Parrot! I hope someone gets it and lets us know how it is working...
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Jan 14, 2013 3:41 AM CST
No cellphone here.My plants let me know how they are the old fashioned way.
The third time she moved that monster I tuned out,
It is a cool tool tho. Thanks for the link Rick.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 14, 2013 1:03 PM CST
Susan provided the link to "Flower Power / Parrot". I found the "Arduino" link.

I m ay suggest to Trish that she run another poll like "Team Gadgets" and "Team Nature". Do you prefer "keep it simple" or "I like to fiddle".

For example, I'm fiddling with drip irrigation right now, and I prefer to start seeds inooors.

I just threw up a quickie 'tent' cold-frame. Some day I hope make that or another cold frame as fancy as I have time and money for. I love Latin names and want to know what exact cultivar I'm growing. In short, I'm a nerd.

Other people wintersow seeds and have beautiful gardens with much less effort (to me, "less fun" ... but everyone is different).
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jan 14, 2013 9:14 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #345534 (16)
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 14, 2013 1:08 PM CST

Moderator

I will never fall out of love with your avatar Rick.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 14, 2013 1:26 PM CST
Me too! They were some kind of gift from the Frog Goddess.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 14, 2013 1:54 PM CST
Yup. That is a very cool avatar, Rick! And I like to fiddle, too, although I do it in a small, crummy GH that gets full of wasps looong before I can set out my plants. grrrrr. Hee, hee, and I plant a lot of my seeds with tweezers. Hilarious! Sure would be nice to automate the watering, tho.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 14, 2013 9:11 PM CST
A small, crummy GH is better than no GH!

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