It takes time to garden effectively. When you’ve got a full-time job, it’s difficult to tend to the garden often enough to get the best results. Being smart with gardening using new gadgets and sophisticated tools lightens the load. You must invest a little bit upfront, but you save time each week one way or another.

Here are 4 smart solutions to efficiently manage your garden.

Robotic Lawn Mower

Robotic lawn mowers have been around since 2005 in wide distribution. They’ve only become more popular in the last few years when their relative size, weight and cost came down to an acceptable level for regular homeowners. Now mowers can mow your lawn running on automatic; there’s even some that use solar panels and don’t require their battery to be recharged. The latest models even come with mobile apps to control their operation from a distance.

A robotic lawn mower tends to move across the lawn in a crisscross manner. It won’t usually make pretty stripes up and down the lawn. The idea with its use is to move over blades of grass, detect the blades that are longer than the others and trim a little bit off. Therefore, the little unit removes the need to ever mow the lawn because it takes care of it every day. The only exception, perhaps, is keeping the edges of the lawn neatly trimmed where a trimmer is the best gardening tool for that.

Intelligent Sprinkler Systems

There are several different smart sprinkler systems that help the watering of the plants or garden without needing to physically be there. One example is Blossom which is a rectangular device that attaches to a garden fence or wall and hooks into the watering supply. It can manage the water flow through valve control using the existing sprinklers by ensuring enough water (but not too much) is provided on a regular basis. No more forgetting to water the plants and finding them suffering a couple of weeks later. The system uses online weather reports to ensure plants don’t get overwatered after heavy rainfalls too.

Several Blossom models are available. They all connect over Wi-Fi internet from the property. The garden is divided into convenient zones to set up watering programs in different parts of the garden. Some Blossom models come with 7 programmable zones whereas others have 12 zones for more intricate gardens or larger ones.

Blackout Greenhouses

It may surprise you, but greenhouses aren’t optimal for plant growth. Not every plant gets the message that its time to bloom and waits until the last days of August, a few don’t bloom at all. This is where light deprivation greenhouses come into play. The idea with these greenhouses is to block out all sunlight at the appropriate time to shroud the plants in darkness. Then when the automatic sheet is removed, the sunlight is let in. Plants adjust to soak up the sun when it’s available and it encourages them to bloom sooner rather than later. A bumper crop of strawberries or other vegetables that can be enjoyed at breakfast or dinner time is far better than a crop of strawberries that never ripened enough.

Plant Sensors

The Koubachi Plant Sensor connects to your home Wi-Fi and uses built-in sensors to analyze the planter’s soil composition. The device examines light levels, moisture and temperature levels throughout the day. Through the sensors, the Plant Sensor lets you know when the plant isn’t getting enough light and should be relocated. When moisture levels drop too far, a reminder through the web app or iPhone mobile app lets the homeowner know when to water their planter some more. There’s both an indoor version and an outdoor version too.

For gardeners on a budget, there are other plant sensors at lower price points that stick into the soil and offer many of the same features. The EasyBloom Plant Sensor is a similar product that can measure sunlight levels, water, temperatures and the amount of fertilizer present in the soil too. Never forget your plants again.

Managing your garden well with the limited free time that you have available is not easy. You must balance the best use of your time tend to your plants. If you attempt to do too much and spread yourself thin, the results may be lackluster. The latest gardening tools help to pick up some of the slack. They notify you when your pot plants need watering, your garden could do with some additional moisture beyond what the rain delivered, or just mow your lawn while you’re at work. The only thing left to do is to choose which gadgets will be most beneficial for you.