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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Smart Plant Sensor
View Poll Results: Do you use tech in the Garden?
Yes, I have something like a Smart Plant Sensor, where it captures data over time 1 100.00%
Yes, I have something like a moisture sensor that only gives me real time data 0 0%
No, I don't use any Tech when I Garden 0 0%
Sorry, I don't Garden 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-26-2014, 04:43 AM   #1
bken620
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I'm growing some hops in my backyard (first year), I got married this summer and went on my honeymoon, so I was gone for a while to say the least. I had someone else take care of them while I was gone, I just asked them to water them for me, nothing more.

Well, when I came back, 3 of the 4 plants looked nothing like when I had left them, only one of them had really thrived, the others had small leaves, were wilting, had some signs of insect damage and not a single cone to speak of. I know that it's possible that you may get no/limited cone growth in year 1, but I actually planted some rhizomes somewhere else from the same batch and they are full of cones.

Anyways, I've been doing some maintenance, amending the soil with some organic fertilizer, watering the plants everyday, and doing some pruning at the base of the bines to promote growth and to make sure the healthy bines are getting all of the nutrients. I also just purchased, don't have it yet, a Parrot Flower Power Smart Plant Sensor from Amazon. The reviews seem to be good and it has specific plant profiles, including hops, that help to diagnose any problems you may have. So does anyone else use this product or something like it to help with their hop growing or even just general gardening?

I had purchased a Black and Decker PlantSmart a few years ago for my Mom to help her with her gardening and it was a piece of junk, as soon as you plugged it into your computer, it automatically wanted you to pay for it's premium service to unlock the rest of it's "potential". Obviously that idea didn't work out because it's now discontinued.

I know some people are against using technology in the Garden because it somehow ruins the "Aura" around gardening. But if I can have something, like we do with our brewing, that will take the guess work out of what I'm doing wrong or even right, I'm going to use it. Either way, please give me your feedback if any of you use some sort of tech like this in the garden. And if any of you actually have The Parrot, please let me know how you like it and any tips/tricks that you've found help you with it.

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Old 08-26-2014, 05:45 AM   #2
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"Aura"?

The "tech" I use with my hops is a digital water valve programmed to give the hop beds three hours of drip irrigation every three days (each crown has a .5g/hour drip orifice, so roughly 1.5 gallons per watering). No science behind the volume/period, it just seemed right, and the plants have been very fruitful.

The specific meter actually was designed to use an add-on moisture probe that would delay the next cycle if there was a rain event, but I don't think the manufacturer ever got that to work successfully. Might have been worthy "tech"...

Cheers!

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Old 08-26-2014, 05:55 AM   #3
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Aura - the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing, or place.

Do you have your hops in "containers" or just a normal "garden"? (You like what I did with the quotations there...) Also do you do any kind fertilizing?

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Old 08-26-2014, 07:42 AM   #4
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lol! Well, of course I know what the word means, I was just having trouble grasping the realization that people actually consider such things

I have 12 fourth-year plants in the ground and three more plants in large containers - the latter still waiting for me to find a good permanent home. I dig in lots of well-rotted horse manure as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, then a couple of times during the growth season if I sense the plants could use a jolt I might sprinkle some pellet fertilizer around the drip heads, but otherwise they're pretty much set.

In the fall they get a deep leaf mulch which brings worms in from miles around (it's darned freaky, actually) and by the spring the leaves are gone and the beds are covered in rich casings...

Cheers!

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Old 08-26-2014, 04:33 PM   #5
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Haha, sorry, I wasn't sure if you were mocking me or something else.

I was reading through Amazon reviews and checking the comments when I came across this comment on someone's review...

"you have got to be kidding me. One of the greatest pleasures of gardening and growing plants is to STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES. What the heck have we come to that people can justify spending sixty bucks on a device that takes all the fun out of growing plants?????? "It flashes as it restarts.....It's pretty impressive" Smoke detectors flash when they restart; are you that impressed with your smoke detector when it does it's job?????? We are at a point with technology bordering on ridiculous. What's next, a baby monitor that lets you leave your child all day while the computer broadcasts baby's mood changes in real and cumulative time?"

So I didn't want to ruffle any feathers here. But I'm guessing that most people here would want that information because we don't just randomly boil water, add undetermined amounts of grain, throw hops in at random times, cool to whatever temperature we want it to be, pitch our yeast then ferment for when we feel is good.

I have mine in four separate huge containers, we just had our backyard seeded earlier this summer so I didn't want to put them into the ground until I could find an area that had significant sunlight.

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