Save your Plants With this great invention
If you are anything like me, then you probably forget to water your plants – and when you go away on vacation, well, they need to fend for themselves. But all that has changed since Elecrow offered to let me try the Growcube.
While the Growcube is still in its crowdfunding phase (successfully funded already) on Kickstarter, our early testing indicates that Elecrow are onto a winner.
In our hands-on test of the Growcube, it auto-watered our plants based on the moisture level in the soil. Plus, it was easy to set up and its functionality is superb.
The smartphone app is intuitive, making it easy to automatically keep your plants’ soil moisture at the right level – just tell it what plants you have, plug in the soil moisture sensors, connect the watering tube, and the GrowCube takes care of everything else.
Should You Back It?
If you are looking for an easy way to water your plants while you are away from home or you just don’t want to have to worry about remembering to water them, then yes – the GrowCube looks to be a great investment.
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When you first see the GrowCube, you would think it’s a small PC or an external hard drive case. Its white plastic case looks very modern and would likely fit in with almost any decor.
In terms of performance, the GrowCube doesn’t disappoint. It can monitor moisture levels and automatically water four plants simultaneously. You can fill and use its 15-liter water tank or connect it to a larger reservoir if needed.
There are three ways that the GrowCube can water your plants:
- Manually via the app
- Smart watering (based on moisture levels)
- Automatic watering (based on time)
These three options offer flexibility and control for keeping your plants properly hydrated, whether you want to be in total control of watering your plants or if you just want your plants to be watered only when needed.
The main limitation that we found was the length of the moisture sensor cables – it’s only 3 feet long. That means you have to bring your plants closer to the device.
Setting Up The GrowCube
Setup is relatively easy, I had it up and running in about 15 minutes.
The first step is to locate it near the plants you want it to care for, and of course, you will need a power outlet nearby too.
Connect the moisture sensors (they have a handy magnetic connection that makes it easy) you intend to use and push the sensor probe into the soil as close to the root of the plant as possible. There is a line on the sensors to guide you on how deep to insert them.
The GrowCube comes with a 32-foot water pipe. There is a handy cutting tool included in the box which you can use to cut this to the lengths required to reach your plants – although you are limited by the sensor cable length as to how far away the plants can be from the main unit.
Then, connect each water pipe to the relevant outlet on the GrowCube and then attach it to the watering nozzle.
You can then place the watering nozzle in the plants and, if needed, use the included spike brackets to hold it in place. Just be sure that the watering holes on the nozzle are facing so that water flows into the plant and doesn’t spray over the edge of the pot!
You can then fill up the water tank and power the unit up.
There are two ways to connect to the GrowCube from your smartphone:
- Networking mode – where the GrowCube connects to your home Wifi
- Direct Connection mode – where your smartphone connects directly to the Growcube, no home Wifi needed
I love the flexibility it gives because you can still use this device whether you have a home Wifi network or not.
Plus, the network mode configuration is quite easy to do. In just a couple of minutes, I had the unit connected to my home network.
The GrowCube app is in its early stages but it is already powerful and intuitive.
To add a new plant, all you have to do is key in the plant type on the search bar and the app’s extensive database (it has over 3000 plant varieties) will pull up the plant’s information, including the ideal soil moisture levels.
If your plant is not in the database, you can manually add the details as required.
Once you have your plant added, you can choose your watering mode, add a custom photo, and adjust the settings as you see fit.
The GrowCube then takes control and waters your plant as per your settings – the only thing you need to do is make sure that the water reservoir is kept topped up.
The application also contains additional info like ideal conditions and how to maintain your plant. A plant diary is also built-in so you can document your plants’ growth and maintenance tasks.
And of course, the app supports multiple GrowCube units if you decide that you need more than one.
Our Testing So Far
I have only had the current version of the GrowCube for 2 weeks, and for a product such as this, this is a very short time to come up with an opinion. Plants sometimes may need watering only once a week or even less, so testing the GrowCube for me will be ongoing.
But, my initial thoughts are that the GrowCube looks to be a very promising device. If it lives up to all its promises (and every indication is that it will), then it will make watering your plants very easy, even if you claim to have a “black thumb”.
We have another article on our site about how to water your plants while on vacation, and I will be adding the GrowCube to this article.
Should you back it during its Kickstarter campaign? I would recommend yes. At only $79 USD for the cheapest option (limited spots) it’s a great buy. Keep in mind that the RRP of this unit will be $119 when it is finished!