Growing up, gardening with my mom was always a fun activity. I grew up and (sort of) inherited this green thumb, as evidenced by a tiny succulent garden we own and tend to.
I remember spending afternoons outdoors digging around in the dirt, watering plants, and patiently waiting for seedlings to grow. Gardening these days though is a lot fancier than it was during those years back. I looked at tools and apps to get your greens growing and girl, there are a lot of high-tech, modern stuff out there to get your garden going. I’ve rounded up a few that will help you get to your gardening goals:
An app to identify flora
I discovered that apps like this existed from my mom. She’d walk around unfamiliar gardens or plant stores, take a photo, and identify the particular plant she wanted for her own garden. Picture This – Plant Identifier not only gives you info on each plant, it also connects you to a growing community of plant-lovers worldwide.
Know what to do with your plants with this handy guide
Gardening Reference Guide gives you info on each plant, their background, what they need, and how they’ll thrive. This cheat sheet in-app form ensures you give your greens all the TLC they need.
Unfortunately, it’s only available on iOS. Download it here.
Organize your garden with some taps on your phone
Plot your whole garden — the different areas, all the types of plants, details on growth, and even progress photos — in one app. Gardenize is a space that allows you to follow every detail of your plant progress. You can even share your progress and follow other garden friends on this app for more green thumb inspiration!
Track sunlight for the happiest, healthiest plants
We all know that most plants need sun to thrive, but did you know that different plants also have different lighting needs? Apps like these allow you to track sunlight so that all your plants get just the right amount.
Make sure you water properly
If you keep forgetting to water your plants, this one’s for you. Happy Plant gamifies watering notifications and ensures your green babies aren’t thirsty!
When in doubt, track your plant progress
This Xiaomi 4-in-1 Plant Flower Care Smart Monitor is pretty easy to use: Just stick it in your flower pot, connect to your phone, and you get info on sunlight, temperature, moisture, and soil fertility. (Get it here.)
The Parrot Flower Power Smart Plant Sensor also works the same way and measures your plant’s health in real time. (Get it here.)
If you want something even more intrusive, the Xiaomi Ropot is literally a pot with built-in Bluetooth that allows you to track your plant’s statistics. (Get it here.)
Take it a step further with self-watering devices
If monitoring isn’t enough for you, don’t fret. This device takes it a step further by even watering your plants when need be. Check out the AquaMose Smart Watering System on Kickstarter here.
The Parrot Pot is also a smart pot that waters your plant for up to a month. Read more about it here.
Go all out with eco-friendly gardening
Go to the next level with indoor gardening
Plants can also be grown indoors these days — all thanks to grow lamps that can simulate much-needed light. There are many on sale at pretty reasonable prices such as this LED Grow Lamp. Find it here.
If you want to go all in with indoor gardening, pots like the Flora Intelligent 4 in 1 Flower Pot not only monitors your plant, it waters and provides needed light, too. All that’s left for you to do, basically, is watch it grow. Get it here.
Even IKEA sells Cultivation Sets that allow you to grow fresh herbs and greens indoors all year round. You can check them out here.
For those who want an even more fuss-free experience, Click and Grow is a ready-to-go planter that simplifies the whole process. Learn more here.
Enjoy your planting!
Sound on with Mikme: An easy way to record good audio
Even better if you’re on an iPhone
I’ve always been a writer and my journey into content creation has been a curious one. These days, I’ve ventured into creating video — a new exacting but fun medium. One thing I’ve learned though: You may think you’re mostly dealing with visuals, but sound quality adds a whole lot to each video.
That being said, and me being the furthest from being an audiophile, I set out to find the easiest and simplest way I could record great audio without all the wires and gadgets and gizmos that I’ve seen other people work with.
Enter this godsend mic in a box which fits the palm of my hands and solves all my audio woes: The Mikme.
It’s simple enough to use; press the leftmost button that serves as a power button…
… and hit record which is that big button up top. Literally, nothing could be easier.
And despite it being pretty straightforward, there are a lot of other things it can do, too. Tapping the record button twice in a row will play your last recording and pressing and holding will allow you to soundcheck — provided you plug in some earphones. Each Mikme has storage built in and you can choose between 16GB, 8GB, or 4GB options. All that means is you need not worry about SD cards or microSD cards ever again.
It’s not just the ease of use, though. The sound quality on this thing is very good, as it should be. Inside that black case, the Mikme is basically a condenser mic — the type usually used in studios for hardcore recordings (my way of saying it’s one serious mic). Even with my untrained ears, I hear the difference, especially because I don’t record in sound-proof rooms most of the time.
Honestly, I now use this tiny thing to record all my voice-overs. I’m not even going to attempt to explain or describe it, you just have to hear it yourself. You can do that by listening to the voice-overs here and here.
I have all good things to say about this tiny device and in so many ways, I consider it my audio lifesaver. But, there’s one caveat.
This mic also has Bluetooth capabilities which is a great thing in itself. It literally connects to a Mikme app that will allow you to shoot video with your phone with audio from the Mikme. Mindblowing stuff, really, except it only works for iPhones. 😢
As we hear the collective, agonized screams of Android users the world over with the collective sighs of what great sounding videos could be shot with a Mikme-iPhone partnership, I take it as a testament of how good this mic is. Even without the Bluetooth connectivity feature and despite sticking with my Android for now and the foreseeable future, I’ll probably still be rocking the Mikme. That says a lot.
The Vivo x Benefit Cosmetics blossom pink V15 box set is here and I want it
Making blooming selfies possible
Vivo has just announced a partnership that I am so here for and the resulting phone is oh so pretty!
The smartphone company unveiled a collaboration with Benefit Cosmetics, a makeup brand we all know and love, to release a phone/makeup box set that will definitely excite the ladies.
The highlight of the kit: Vivo’s blossom pink V15 — the phone color I’ve always wanted but rarely got!
Yes girls, this special kit does not only have this beautifully colored handset, it also includes Benefit box o’ powders in two shades: Dandelion Twinkle and the Gold Rush.
I am all for this partnership and the blooming selfies I will most definitely be able to shoot with this.
The Vivo x Benefit Kit will retail for PhP 17,999 starting May 25.
Honor 20 Pro Moschino edition unveiled
There are Moschino cases, too!
With Honor’s announcement of their Honor 20 series came a fashion collaboration that definitely excites me. The Honor 20 Pro Moschino edition was just announced and I love how extra it is.
The phone itself has the worlds “This is not a Moschino phone” stamped on the back in true Moschino fashion. Of course, there’s a matching wallpaper that says, what else: “This is not a Moschino wallpaper.”
There are also cases that follow that design lead…
My favorite, a case that features similar bold text for that Moschino flair and straps that you can even hook to your bag.
Though all designs are fresh, the partnership isn’t surprising. Moschino’s Jeremy Scott is known for collaboration; not to mention, Honor also teamed up with the Italian fashion brand for the Honor View 20’s design.
No details on pricing and availability for this particular version of the Honor 20 Pro is out yet but one thing’s for sure: I’m loving the fashion-tech partnership and I’m definitely hoping for more!
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