The success of the indoor garden depends on your ability to control the environment. While the gardener has an array of individual monitors and controllers available, the hard-wired PC system, and the option of hiring an IT whiz to engineer total environmental control… for most growers, the possibilities are complicated to balance, limiting in access, and/or have limited capabilities based on garden size. Of course, you can overcome size limitations by adding more controllers, never leave home, or call in the IT guys – which will have a cost factor that is beyond the budget for most indoor gardeners. Only big commercial operations would entertain a custom full control system, but it is what every gardener really needs.

So some serious gardeners created a smart wireless sensor system that works with most grow room hardware brands, and controls all aspects of the growing environment. Seamlessly. Over WiFi. To your desktop PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. It’s called the SmartBee System, and will soon be available from Swarm Technologies.

No, it isn’t cheap. You already have tons of cheap options. They aren’t seamless. They don’t create a simplified net of environmental control. You certainly can’t go on vacation with inexpensive solutions. Cheap or free garden control keeps you tethered to the grow room, is inefficient, and leaves you open to issues caused by imprecise delivery. While they are better than no monitoring at all, this wireless mesh network Swarm has created takes you to the next level in quality growing.

For those who depend on a successful harvest, like when you’re trying to feed yourself and your family, the investment won’t sound so steep. There are two systems. First you have the basic model that controls heating, cooling, lights, fans, moisture delivery… everything but CO2, and provides precise irrigation for up to 6 plants or trays, but can easily be expanded to fit even huge commercial applications. Adding extra irrigation hubs is actually pretty reasonably priced. Then there is the total grow control system, the SmartBee Premier that includes all of the above plus CO2.

Whether you’re growing in the basement, a large grow tent, a re-purposed warehouse, or in a greenhouse situation, SmartBee gives you efficient control of every aspect of the environment. It’s perfect for the hobby grower, the urban gardener, and the commercial gardener. It fits most crops and growing systems on the market today, as well as easily integrating with equipment you already have. The custom designed software gives you control of everything wherever you happen to be, and sends you alerts if there’s something you need to address.

Instead of relying on timed irrigation, SmartBee Controllers measure the actual soil or growing medium’s moisture content to deliver exactly what the plants need – when they need it. It’s the latest technological development in perfecting the harvest and becoming more sustainable. SmartBee Basic Controller System is priced at $1399, and the Premier System runs $1999. You can always upgrade to including CO2 control later by purchasing the unit separately.

Currently, they are taking pre-orders with delivery in October, at which point new orders will ship out quickly. The delay has nothing to do with testing or funding, but getting the dies for the injection molding perfected for the module casing. Once the die makers get their act together, production will be under way. Swarm isn’t about to ship out shoddy craftsmanship. They’re committed to designing, manufacturing, and delivering the most advanced and highest quality wireless sensor technology for hydroponic growing.

Naturally, there’s a lot more to know about this exciting new environmental control system. Get all the details on the software and controllers from their website: SmartBeeControllers.com

Amber

Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine
The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.