Advertising
Advertising

Spend 50% LESS Effort On Your Plants With These Smarties

Spend 50% LESS Effort On Your Plants With These Smarties

Gardening seems like such a relaxing hobby: retired women and men seem to love it with a passion, and lots of families like to take on gardening projects together. You just have to plant the seeds, water regularly, and wait patiently. What could be easier?

Yet a lot of people fail to grow plants successfully! If you take a closer look, there are actually a lot of things that you have to take care of…the humidity of the soil, the amount of sunlight that the plant takes in – which might impact where you plant it – and how much water the plant does and can actually absorb. This “hobby” is actually extremely time-consuming and very easy to fail if you overlook the small details.

So: here at Lifehack, we’d like to introduce you to 10 smart gardening tools and apps so that you can closely monitor your plants, with half the effort. Below, check out our descriptions and the helpful product reviews we’ve collected.

1. Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit

    This reusable herb garden kit is perfect for busy home cooks who just don’t have the time or perhaps the space to keep up a garden. It’s also incredibly easy to use, because there are no fussy pumps, plant food, or extra parts that you have to worry about. Just get convenient plant cartridges to place in the container, fill up the water reservoir, and plug the device in!

    “One word, Amazing!! This plant grower is perfect, it comes with a little app that helps you keep track of your garden. The herbs grew in a question of days and it looks very stylish. Overall, super happy with my purchase and would definitely reccomend!” – Amazon reviewer Andrea Herrera

    2. Coltura LED Sunshelf

      The Coltura LED Sunshelf is the answer for those aspiring gardeners who don’t live in the appropriate climates or have sufficient space to grow a garden. The light panel provides the plant with the exact amount of light it needs to thrive – blue light stimulates root growth and photosynthesis. Not to mention, it looks totally stylish as an end table for your living room!

      “The designer gave me everything I desired for growing plants indoors. It looks like a beautiful piece of furniture but functions exactly as you would want to grow indoor plants. Love the wood accents, the tray to protect the wood are not visible.” – Ginger, a reviewer on www.gardeners.com

      3. LED Grow Light

        This light is perfect for those who business professionals just want to dip their toes into cultivating plants: it’s best for providing light to individual (or just a few) tabletop, indoor plants. This LED Grow Light would work perfectly in an office, in the kitchen, or anywhere else at home! You can clip, screw, or stick the light anywhere for ease of use.

        This is a great product for small plants if you are not looking to spend much money. I have used this now on my Wandering Jew and my African Violets with great success. The Wandering Jew had been badly chewed by my cat and I had to move it to my dimly lit cabinet top where it continued to wither. I purchased this and a few weeks later the Jew had tripled in size and was doing quite nicely. When my violets quit blooming, I can place this light on them for a few weeks and my blooms are back. You are only going to be able to light one plant at a time with this, but the light is very flexible and good for this purpose. I have had no issues leaving it on while sleeping or at work. As others have said, make sure you are m not looking directly at the light and you will be okay! – Amazon reviewer Technically Honest

        4. Parrot Pot – Smart, Connected Flower Pot

          The Parrot Pot is an automatic watering system for anybody who doesn’t have the time to constantly monitor their plants – parents, grandparents, students, and busy workers. As the perfect “Plant Sitter,” it can optimize water consumption unattended for up to a month; in addition, it can take accurate, real-time measurements about your plant’s health.

          “This [pot] doesn’t just notify you when it is time to water, it does it for you, by pumping water up from a reservoir at the bottom and spraying it onto the top of the plant soil. This means all you really have to do on an ongoing basis is fill the water tank every so often. The pot can go up to a month without a refill. This is especially good for people who travel. What do you do when you get notified that you need to water a plant back in North Carolina while you are in a hotel in Wales? That’s right, nothing. This pot waters itself while you are gone.” – Amazon reviewer Sean Logue

          5. Lechuza 13380 Cube Color 14 Self-Watering Garden Planter

            This self-watering garden planter is perfect for students, with its stylish look and affordable price point. You don’t need to repot when you have the Lechuza Cube. Instead, drop the grow pot into the Lechuza planter and fill the water reservoir. Perfect for indoor use, college students and young professionals saving up can still enjoy the benefits of gardening.

            “I buy Lechuza all the time for their quality. I will buy again!” – Amazon reviewer T

            6. Covery 3 in 1 Soil Tester Moisture Meter

              The Covery soil tester is a must-have for every gardener, especially those beginning gardeners who want to move into a more regular habit. For its modest $10.99 price, this product will help you determine: when you need to water, whether your plant is getting enough sunlight, and whether the pH of the soil is ideal for plant growth. No batteries needed!

              “I really thought my husband was throwing money out the window by purchasing the less expensive soil tester. I was proven wrong. The Covery is accurate along side a professional who came and told us the very information this inexpensive meter told us.” – Analiese Nunamaker, Amazon reviewer.

              7. ThermoPro TP55 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Humidity Gauge

                This digital thermometer doubles as a humidity gauge, giving every indoor plant owner the information they need for successful plant growth. Powered by AAA batteries (included), ThermoPro’s digitial hygrometer and thermometer has a backlight and touchscreen for easy reading. It also displays the trend of each reading, which is useful so you can adjust temperature and humidity ahead of time. Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit readings, depending on what you prefer!

                Many people use ThermoPro for purposes beyond gardening!

                Advertising

                “This product is great. Love the accuracy that it gives. Needed it for my baby’s room as well as for my room to know the temp of the room and the humidity. So far so good…I can actually tell when the room is dry and then I use the thermo pro to confirm and it does so accurately! Wonderful product at a reasonable price. I brought three of them.” – KiaCam, Amazon reviewer

                8. Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

                  The Honeywell humidifier is beloved widely by people with dry homes! And it’s just as useful for dry homes where plants could use a greater level of humidity to thrive. With QuietCare Performance, this humidifier is extremely quiet and works hard in the background at three possible levels. It runs up to 24 hours before you have to change the filter.

                  “I finally find a humidifier I can use. At medium speed, it brings up the humidity (from 16 to 25%) in my room and the noise is not too loud so I can sleep.” – NANNAN N LEE, Amazon reviewer

                  9. House of Plants: Living with Succulents, Air Plants, and Cacti

                    House of Plants is the perfect example of total plant newbies and urban hipsters alike, written by Rose Ray and Caro Langton and beautiful photography by Erika Rax. In this wonderfully practical guide, you will learn exactly how to take care of succulents, cacti, and air plants, which are very fashionable now. The authors explain how to nurture and enjoy your plants, as well as how to arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way in your home.

                    Advertising

                    “Useful book to a beginner of indoor gardening. Fun ideas and with instructions on how to make them. Would recommend if someone has seen enough inspirations online and wants to get a book for trusted information.” – Review by an Amazon customer

                    Featured photo credit: Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    More by this author

                    Caity Lee

                    Musician

                    Spend 50% LESS Effort On Your Plants With These Smarties

                    Trending in Smartcut

                    1 What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important? 2 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020 3 24 Best To-Do List Apps to Keep You on Track in 2020 4 11 Organizational Skills That Every Smart Leader Needs 5 9 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2020

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                    What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important?

                    What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important?

                    Have you ever wondered why some can come up with amazing ideas while others can’t? The ability to connect the dots and see the larger picture all rest in a certain skill – creative thinking.

                    Creative thinking is our ability to look at ideas presented or a scenario, and find new alternatives that solve the problem. Best of all this skill isn’t bound to the creative people like designers, musicians, or other artists. A lot of people can benefit from thinking this way from time to time. They can also receive a number of benefits on top of a wide variety of ideas that can spark change.

                    What Is Creative Thinking?

                    Defined by the Business Dictionary, creative thinking is:[1]

                    A way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions (which may look unsettling at first). Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, and by a structured process such as lateral thinking.

                    Creativity is, therefore, our ability to form something new out of what’s presented. It’s our ability to think differently and provide new angles and perspectives to a solution.

                    This can translate to a new solution that wasn’t there or even the realization that a problem doesn’t need a solution at the moment or at all.

                    The Importance of Creative Thinking

                    True that many people may not care so much about new solutions or angles but that’s the point. Our brains have a natural tendency to fall into certain ‘shortcuts’.

                    Have you ever been in a situation where you hear or learn one piece of information and you use it all the time?

                    Advertising

                    I bet you have, since we don’t need to relearn how to use a knife or a fork.

                    That way of thinking does have its perks in those situations but has some drawbacks in other situations. This is especially true with problem-solving.

                    Creative thinking and creative thinkers are needed in those situations because it pushes out of that linear way of thinking. It encourages us to look at other perspectives and even open up to the idea of new solutions.

                    Creative thinking is also important for other reasons:

                    Thinking creatively provides immense freedom.

                    When we create, we have the opportunity to engage with the world without judging ourselves. It’s similar to what we felt when we were a child. Back then we didn’t care what people thought of us.

                    Creative thinking provides self-awareness.

                    We start to think with authenticity as we use our own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. This creates biases in our ideas, but we can learn to set those aside and deeply learn about ourselves.

                    We become more confident in our ideas.

                    Maybe right now, you don’t present ideas or your ideas get shut down. By tapping into creative thinking, we can build our confidence in our ideas and start to contribute to the group and our work at large.

                    What Are the Creative Thinking Skills?

                    Creative thinking isn’t barred to those who learn in creative fashions. Anyone can pick up creative thinking skills and use them to enrich their lives and those around them.

                    Advertising

                    Because anyone can learn this, there is no one “right” method or a set of skills you absolutely need. Some of us may need to strengthen one area while others may need to do more. Regardless, here are some skills that can complement creative thinking.

                    1. Perception & Empathy

                    Feeling surprised that this is one of the creative thinking skills? Being perceptive and empathetic works hand in hand with creative thinking. Being able to read the mood of a meeting or a discussion you’re having with people can help immensely.

                    This is key because there are times and places to share ideas. Specifically, you may find the best opportunities to share ideas when:

                    • You’re facing a major problem or issue and can’t seem to find a way to proceed and solve it.
                    • During times of change, when the future is more obscure than usual and you’re thinking of possibilities.
                    • When there is a clear divide between what people think needs to happen. It’s especially needed when no compromises can happen without considerable effort.
                    • When something new is needed and hasn’t been tried before.

                    Empathy also helps with how an idea is presented. Maybe in your workgroup, people aren’t always receptive to your ideas. However, there is that one person who always has a plan and people support.

                    Empathy is letting that person take “ownership” of that idea and be the voice behind the idea. In these sorts of scenarios, you build up more than empathy. It also builds the belief that your idea will prevail in the hands of someone else.

                    2. Analytical

                    Analytical skills help us in understanding many other situations outside of the social environment. Being able to read text or data and have a deeper understanding of what they mean will serve you in a variety of ways.

                    I find that with creative thinking, the first step is being able to intake information and digest it in various ways. Being able to analyze information is often the first step in the creative thinking process.

                    3. Open-Mindedness

                    Once you’ve taken in the information, it’s important that you have an open mind. This means you need to set aside your biases or assumptions and encourage yourself to look at a problem in a new way.

                    Advertising

                    Biases and assumptions are some of the mental barriers you’ll face. But looking at the other barriers, they often stem from that sort of thinking. A strict and “this is how it should be” way of thinking. Other examples of limitations are that you’re thinking of a problem too logically or that creative thinking is somehow breaking the rules.

                    These are limiting because we know that to have an open mind is to succeed. Every successful entrepreneur in the world today had to break rules at some point in their lives. Consider Richard Branson or Elon Musk whose work revolutionized or created an entirely new industry. All because they didn’t back down to how things were. You can do the same thing within your own group in some fashion.

                    4. Organized

                    The last thing people associate creative thinkers is that they’re organized. While we think of great minds have messy rooms or desks, that’s not the case at all.

                    Being organized plays a crucial role in creative thinking in that it allows you to better organize our ideas. Not only that, but it also helps to present it as well. When we present ideas, it’s similar to a speech. There ought to be a structure, a vision, and have it easy to follow and understand.

                    Furthermore, if your idea is given the green light, you’ll need to form an action plan, set goals, and have specific deadlines. Being organized will keep you on your toes and prepared for almost anything.

                    5. Communication

                    Communication plays a vital role in all this as well. You can’t sell a group or an individual on an idea if you can’t communicate effectively. This applies to both written and verbal communication skills.

                    This goes back to empathy a bit in that you need to understand the situation you’re in. This also means you need to be a good listener and being able to ask the right questions.

                    6. Dissect Ideas

                    The last skill I’ll offer is a challenging one but can pay off in so many ways. Sometimes creative thinking means taking two ideas and merging them.

                    Advertising

                    This helps because in most situations ideas in their base form might not be able to satisfy the original goal or problem. That or maybe the idea is outright terrible but, there are some good pieces of information in it.

                    The ability to look at ideas and be able to break them down and dissect them and merge with other ideas is a great skill to have. This could easily help solve disputes and help to find a middle ground.

                    Some Examples of Creative Thinking

                    The list of creative thinking examples is endless. In most situations, these examples will boost your creative thinking as well so I encourage you to try them out yourself:

                    • Designing anything from a logo, to a simple webpage layout, to a poster and more
                    • Creating a lesson plan for a group training course
                    • Writing in a journal, a blog, or any social platforms
                    • Creating a test or quiz from scratch just for fun
                    • Brainstorming project ideas at work, or decor/renovation ideas at home
                    • Finding procedures to improve the quality of a product or service
                    • Suggesting solutions to improve a product or service

                    Bottom Line

                    The number of examples of creative thinking is endless but they are all challenging. This is a good thing as the world continues to change and grow. This pushes us to learn new skills, to think differently, and to start asking the more important questions. “Why?” and “Why not?”

                    These are skills and abilities that can change the world and that anyone can adopt. So long as you have the patience to learn and develop yourself, you too can be a creative thinker!

                    More Tips to Boost Your Creativity

                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Business Dictionary: Creative Thinking

                    Read Next