The flower-shaped EasyBloom sensor, which sells for $60, sits in the ground and monitors the light, soil, and humidity of its immediate surroundings. After a 24-hour period of reading the conditions, the device can then be pulled apart and inserted directly into the USB port of your computer, where it displays data and offers recommendations for what you might want to plant there, or suggestions on how to revive any ailing plants in the vicinity. According to the press release:
"If you type in the kind of plant you have, you will get "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" advice on things such as soil conditions for that particular kind of plant. PlantSense has partnered with Ball Horticultural Company, W. Atlee Burpee, and the National Gardening Association to build a plant database of more than 5,000 plants that synchronizes with the EasyBloom Plant Sensor."
Even if your garden space is limited to planter boxes near an apartment window, you can make use of the digital readings and professional advice from PlantSense. I'd love to see a section on their website that would show native edible plants categorized by location, or suggestions as to what to plant in order to promote biodiversity in my own backyard.
When not working in design, Sarah Rich writes, talks and forecasts about food and consumer culture.