Smart Gardens #1: The Grass is Greener on the Other Side

Philipp Schuster
21st August 2013 in Know How

It’s been a pretty amazing summer so far really, hasn’t it? Who would have predicted that we’d enjoy a solid few months’ worth of scorching hot weather? It’s always nice to enjoy being outside and topping up the tan. Especially if you’ve got a snazzy garden. It’s easy to neglect your outside space when the weather’s rubbish, though. So come June, when things warm up and thoughts turn to BBQs and beers, you’ll want your garden to be in tip-top condition. And preferably as smart as the rest of your home…

We thought we’d share a few tips and ideas with you in a new short series of blogs that we’re calling ‘Smart Gardens’. We hope you enjoy them!

First things first. To be smart, it helps to look smart. Your garden’s going to need to sharpen up and get a haircut (well, a grasscut). Now you can cut your grass yourself with a lawnmower, fine. You could also hobble around on your hands and knees trimming the blades of grass with nail scissors… Or you could introduce a bit of tech into the mix and employ smart irrigation and an automatic lawnmower to do your bidding for you.

Ready to mow?! – Almost

In order to have a healthy looking green lawn you don’t just need to cut it, but it needs to grow first. Nothing will work better than a little bit of water. Of course you do not want to waste your precious time watering your garden by hand. Instead let he Miniserver do this for you and rest assured that your garden does not get flooded on rainy days like it does with simple irrigation timers. For more information about ‘Smart Irrigation’ please check out or blog from last September.

Intelligent Mowing

Once you have got an irrigation system for your lawn it will grow ever so nicely, but if you are still mowing by hand you will soon wish that the grass grew slower… Whilst an auto-mower on its own is a good start it can be a little clumsy, frustrating and ultimately ‘dumb’ is a fairly dumb bit of kit. Hook it up to your Miniserver though and all that changes…

Got your Sprinklers?

These lawn mowers are designed to handle a bit of rain, so you need not worry too much on that front. However, water from below can be a real killer. So if you’ve got a sprinkler or irrigation system set up, you may wish to proceed with caution. Having both the mower and the sprinkler connected to the Miniserver will avoid any catastrophes – the sprinklers will only kick in when the mower is safely nestled in its charging station away from harm!

Defining when to trim

Most auto mowers have got programmable timers built into them, but unfotunatly these do not know when your kids are at school or when you are having a snooze on the decking. So rather than having using the mowers timer leave the Miniserver to work its magic and organise things. Whether you prefer to wait until the kids are away and at school or you prefer to have it work in the evenings – it’s up to you.

Status feedback via the Loxone Caller service

Imagine you’ve left your automower to do its thing during the day in preparation for an evening spent out in the garden with friends. But something goes wrong (the battery runs out, it gets stuck, or stolen…). It’s a potential headache. Enable the Caller Service and receive an email/SMS/phone call when there’s an issue and stay on top of things. Or simply get a call to find out the auto mower has just completed its rounds and saved you an hour to get on with your life.

Theft

Thanks to the fact that they’re quite cool, relatively pricey and often – naturally – left unattended, automatic mowers are, unfortunately, a target for thieves. But Loxone can help stop the light-fingered dead in their tracks. Integrated with your alarm system you can can trigger outdoor lighting, sound and cameras to deter would-be tea leaves.

Remote safety shutdown button

Set up a button inside your home for an Emergency Stop of the mower. That way if you spot an errant kiddy’s toy on the lawn you can freeze things and avoid damage.

Can you think of any other great ways to smarten up the green green grass of home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.