As happens every year, just as soon as I get the old garden cleaned up for the winter, I start thinking about what to plant next year. I'm starting all over again with a new yard, so everything I plant will be an experiment. That's why the EasyBloom device from PlantSense grabbed my attention. It's an electronic plastic stake that looks like an electric toothbrush with a flower on top. Stick it in your garden soil, or any place you are considering planting something, and it will advise you. It has sensors that measure sunlight, soil moisture, humidity, and temperature for a 24-hour period.
You take that data, download it to your PC via a handy USB, and the information from your front yard is then mapped against a Web-based database of plants. Given your locale (based on zip code) PlantSense will come back with types of plants that will work for specific parts of your yard, inside your house or any place you want something to grow.
EasyBloom can also help diagnose plant problems and give you recommendations for saving it. If I were to use this on my one ailing plant now, it would tell me I'm an idiot for leaving a Venus flytrap outside overnight in near-freezing temperatures. But there have been times when common sense was not enough to save a particular plant, and EasyBloom may have helped. Americans spend $20 billion dollars on plants each year, and a third of those plants die. A gadget that helps fewer of your plants die would be well worth the investment, especially if you are a true garden lover. Compatible with both Mac and PC. Order EasyBloom for $59.95 from the manufacturer or other retailers such as Burpee and Amazon.