Best smart garden gadgets – 6 brilliant buys that will make every outdoor job easier

The 6 best smart garden gadgets to turn your garden into nature's delight, without the hassle

Smart gardening with split level planting
(Image credit: Renée Byers, Landscape Architect)

The best smart garden gadgets can help you refine a garden with all the best of nature but without getting your fingers too green in the process. 

From getting a robot to cut your lawn to blasting out weeds using an automaton, there are plenty of smart tech solutions to your gardening issues. While we may all want that 'gram garden look, many of us don't have the time or desire to get down and dirty in the mud to make it happen. That's where these gadgets earn their keep, doing the work for you.

A Stihl spokesperson told Livingetc that a robot lawn mower: "will mow little and often to ensure your lawn will always look freshly cut, it also cuts the grass clippings finely and drops them back into the ground to act as a fertiliser - so your lawn will look lusher over time too, without even lifting a finger."

So you need to ask yourself, do you want to spend more on automating your garden or are you prepared to put in some work? Essentially the more you pay, the less effort is required on your part for many of these smart gardening gadgets. 

Are you seeking a setup that's easier to maintain or do your garden ideas for this year include some crops too? And are security or pests issues in your yard? Smart gardening tech can help here too.

Our top picks below include smart gardening gadgets from various brands, all ideal for homeowners and renters alike.

The best smart garden gadgets in 2022

1. Stihl 422 P iMow: Best smart gardening top pick

Stihl 422 P iMow

(Image credit: Stihl)

Stihl 422 P iMow

Best robot lawn mower

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to setup and use
+
Long warranty
+
Powerful and quick cut

Reasons to avoid

-
No smart connectivity

The Stihl 422 P iMow is one of the best robot lawn mowers you can buy from a company that's been producing professional gardening equipment for decades. This is a setup that will let you drop lawn mowing from your to-do list once and for all. Unlike some of the competition it's easy to use, covers varying lawn sizes and offers a superb finish.

How it performs

The cut from this little smart lawn mower is excellent. That's thanks to intelligent maneuvering sensors, of course, but also due to the length options. There are 15 different cut heights to pick from making this great for all year round, from the first longer cut to those finer regular cuts in the summer months.

This will take itself back to base if in need of a charge and works independently without you needing to do a thing. This even includes a professional setup when you first buy, meaning installation is done correctly, with no hassle for you.

Anything else?

You won't get any smart connectivity, to send this off cutting using your phone. But is that a bad thing? This is set to cut regularly and does the job so you don't need that phone control, or to think about it anymore. 

This even has a rain sensor so it can adapt cut times to make sure the grass is as dry as possible. You can also opt for heavy front wheel casters or traction wheels as extras for varying terrains and to get that pro-looking finish to your lawn.

Livingetc rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


2. Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller: Best for watering

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

(Image credit: Rachio)

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Best option for areas that require lots of watering

Reasons to buy

+
App controls
+
Automatic weather adjustment
+
Voice control compatible

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap

The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is a great way to upgrade your watering setup for smart controls. This is the unit that essentially connects your hose system with the internet so it can be more easily controlled from anywhere.

How it performs

This is ideal if you want to setup and control watering schedules from your smartphone. But it goes further with smart voice assistant controls allowing you to say "water the plants" and it's done. It'll even intelligently adapt based on the weather, stopping if there's rain.

Anything else?

You can input information like plant types, soil type, sun exposure and more to get a super specific schedule lined up that's perfectly suited to your garden. While that can take a bit of effort initially to setup, after that you don't need to do a thing, helping justify the price tag on this smart gardening gadget.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars


3. Click And Grow Smart Garden 9: Best for growing food

Click And Grow Smart Garden 9

(Image credit: Click And Grow)

Click And Grow Smart Garden 9

The best option for growing food

Reasons to buy

+
Auto plant watering
+
Attractive design
+
Companion app

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Click And Grow Smart Garden 9 is a good looking and easy way to get growing your crops indoors. That can mean starting indoors ready to plant out or simply to grow those herbs right there in the kitchen where you're going to use them.

How it performs

The great thing about this model is that all you need to do is load up the seed pods and water and it'll take care of the rest. Pick from proprietary pre-seeded pods, with 50 choices, or use your own seeds. 

This will then automatically water them as and when they need for optimal growth and minimal effort. It even has built-in pro-grow lights as well as nutrient and oxygen supply at root level, meaning a perfect environment for growth.

Anything else?

This is a beautifully designed basket-style device that comes in white, gray and beige options so it can fit into your home decor perfectly. It's certainly not the cheapest way to grow but it could quite possibly by the most effortless. There's even a companion app so you can monitor plant growth in detail.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars


4. Tertill Weed-Eating Robot: Best for weeding

Tertill Weed-Eating Robot

(Image credit: Tertill)

Tertill Weed-Eating Robot

The best option to take out those pesky weeds

Reasons to buy

+
Auto detects and kills weeds
+
Solar powered
+
Bluetooth connect to phone

Reasons to avoid

-
Stops regularly to charge 

The Tertill Weed-Eating Robot is a smart way to tackle weeds in your garden. This lets you do away with pesticides and the manual gardening effort as this seeks out and destroys weeds for you.

How it performs

This little robot is solar powered so it can be left to its own devices largely. It will seek out anything growing under the height of its outer shell and will use a weed cutter system to remove it. This does come with metal guards to place around any seedlings you want left to grow safely. Since it's weatherproof this can survive year-long without you needing to intervene. 

Anything else?

While this robot is Bluetooth enabled to connect to your phone, there isn't much need for this beyond basic maintenance controls. But the unit works on gardens up to 200 feet in size so can handle a larger space on its own.

Livingetc rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


5: SmartPlant: Best for plant maintenance

SmartPlant

(Image credit: SmartPlant)

SmartPlant

Perfect for growing and maintaining plants

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Plant care reminders
+
Real plant experts

Reasons to avoid

-
Reminders limited on free version
-
Pay for best features

The SmartPlant app is designed to make recognizing and maintaining plants easier. This has real, live experts available to help you. That means spotting what you have growing in your garden and being sent reminders on care is easy.

How it performs

The app is well made with an easy to use layout and lots of smart features including those helpful reminders. Organizing plants on the app is helpful as is the ability to identify pests and diseases, so you can treat plants as early as possible. This will even help you with picking plants best suited to various areas of your home.

Anything else?

All the best features need to be paid for in the long run, but it's nice to have the free app to give it a trial to see if this is something that you would use.

Livingetc rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


6. Nest Cam Outdoor: Best for garden monitoring

Nest Cam Outdoor

(Image credit: Nest)

Nest Cam Outdoor

The best way to monitor and secure your garden

Reasons to buy

+
High resolution images
+
Night vision mode
+
Great app support

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap
-
Pay for storage

The Nest Cam Outdoor is a fantastic option if you want to monitor your garden, for security or to keep an eye on critters entering your space. This is a battery powered camera making it super simple to install anywhere you need outside.

How it performs

The Nest app is excellent and lets you monitor your garden from your phone, anywhere. Great for security, if you have a tool shed full of kit, but also a useful way to see if animals are coming into your garden at night, thanks to night vision and event recording. 

Anything else?

Alerts on your phone when motion is detected can be useful but be sure to set this up so you don't get too many alerts and end up turning these off. You have to pay a subscription for longer term storage but this does apply to all Nest cams you own.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

How to choose the best smart gardening gadgets

Stihl 422 P iMow

(Image credit: Stihl)

There are a few basics you'll need to think about before you decide which is the best smart gardening gadget for your property. These are laid out for you to work out the best option for your needs.

Do you enjoy gardening?
This is the most important question as if you're not a fan of gardening then automating everything is going to be in your best interests. From mowing and watering to weeding, you can get gadgets to do it all for you, on smart schedules, so you're left to enjoy the results. 

But for those that enjoy gardening, it can be useful to look at more complimentary smart gardening tools like soil monitors or temperature alerters for green houses. Gadgets to help you monitor while still letting you do the work.

Do you have power?
If you don't have an external plug socket in your garden then you're going to want to keep power in mind. Even a battery run robot lawn mower needs to go back to its mains-powered charging dock from time to time. 

While there are security cameras with batteries that can be charged indoors, most outdoor garden kit will need mains charging. So look at getting an external power socket installed before you start shelling out on smart gardening kit.

Is your WiFi good enough?
Lots of smart gardening gadgets now connect to your WiFi so you can control them from anywhere using your phone. But since they live in the garden they may be out of range of your home WiFi - this is also something to consider when it comes to outdoor speakers, another popular item on the garden wishlist

Take you phone outside and check this before investing. WiFi not good enough? Look into buying a range booster to make sure you're setup and ready for your smart gardening gadget upgrades.

Luke is a veteran journalist and editor of over two decades where he has written about everything but specialises is technology, science, health and fitness, smart homes and health. He contributes to Real Homes, T3, Tom's Guide and TechRadar, among many other titles. As a father of two, any spare time he gets is enjoyed surfing, reading, hiking, camping and generally getting out in nature.