Not Sure When to Water Your Plants? This Soil Moisture Sensor Will Tell You

Verdmo
Verdmo

Unless you’re a gardening guru or have a natural green thumb, the demands of daily life can make it easy to forget to water your plants. Over-watering can be just as deadly, and it’s especially tricky if you’re working with a variety of plants with different “feeding” schedules, whether it's daily, weekly, or semiweekly.

This is one case where technology can be a boon. A new soil moisture sensor called the Verdmo monitors your lawn, garden, or potted plant and tells you when it’s time to break out the watering can. The hexagonal device contains three sensors that work together to measure the water content in the soil, as well as the temperature.

It wirelessly pairs with a smartphone app for both iOS and Android, so you can always keep tabs on your lawn or flowers, no matter where you are. You’ll also get a notification when your plants are thirsty, which takes the guesswork out of gardening.

“When we set out we knew we wanted to make something that delivered accurate results, would last, look good, and be easy to use,” said D. Kelly, the founder of Verdmo. “Throw in AA batteries, download the app, and connect it to your Wi-Fi. That's it. Verdmo is built to help you save your lawn, money, and water.”

The app is capable of managing multiple Verdmo devices, in case you want to monitor different sections of your garden or a variety of potted plants. The sensor works for both indoor and outdoor plants, so you can stick it in a pot or directly into the ground.

Order the Verdmo online for $75, and use the code VERDMO10 to save 10 percent.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine
Letsfit/Amazon

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains
Eclipse/Amazon

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
JALL/Amazon

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light
Philips/Amazon

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket
Baloo/Amazon

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band
Philips/Amazon

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Upgrade Your Monitor to This 43-Inch Philips Model

Philips
Philips

This year has brought a lot of change to most households. You may be watching more TV than you ever have in your life, or perhaps your job turned into a telecommuting situation. Either way, your screen time has likely gone up. Make the most of that extra time staring at screens by upgrading your home setup with this certified refurbished Philips Momentum 43-inch LED 4K UHD monitor, which is on sale for 35 percent off today.

If your eye got caught on the word refurbished, let’s dive into what that really means. A certified refurbished product goes through testing and gets a certification when it’s working like new again. The process to get there includes cleaning, inspection, functionality testing, and repacking with the relevant accessories and a 90-day warranty. It'll basically be like new.

If you’re looking for a monitor to improve your image quality while gaming or binging, the UltraClear 4K UHD display will definitely do the trick. It’s all enhanced with HDR and quantum dot tech, which displays a dynamic range of colors to show the true natural palette in the picture.

For the real color enthusiasts, you’ll enjoy the presence of Ambiglow technology, which enlarges the screen by creating an immersive halo of light to analyze incoming images and adapt the color and brightness of the emitted monitor light to match the image.

There's also multi-view functionality that enables a connection to multiple devices for screen-sharing and toggling, a USB-C cable for easy connecting, and DTS Sound that optimizes playback regardless of form factors.

Work and play both require a lot of screen time, and it’s not worth the strain on your eyes to squint and struggle with a low-quality or small screen. Upgrade your setup while this certified refurbished Philips Momentum 43-inch LED 4K UHD monitor is on sale for just $650.

 

Philips Momentum 43" LED 4K UHD Monitor (Certified Refurbished) - $649.99

See Deal


This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.