By Millie Hurst
Gardening involves a lot of trial and error for experienced gardeners and the newly green-fingered alike. Whether you're wondering how to grow lavender or how to stop snails from getting to your pots without using chemicals, your Alexa might just have the answer.
Rather than taking off your best gardening gloves and searching on Google - or waiting until you're back inside to look it up in a gardening book - you can ask your Alexa device.
Keep your Amazon Alexa Echo Dot - which you can buy for £19.99/$19.99 in the Amazon Prime Day garden deals - in your garden shed, summerhouse, or in the kitchen, and - wifi permitting - you'll always have expert knowledge on hand.
We recently put Alexa to the test and found that she had answers to our gardening questions, like how best to deadhead dahlias. When we asked how to stop squirrels from getting to our birdfeed, she found an answer from Which? about buying a squirrel proof feeder.
She wasn't able to answer broad questions like 'What grows well in a shady spot?' or
'What vegetables are good to grow right now?' but if you ask specific questions, she can usually help.
Plus, you can set reminders. For example, you can set one to remind you to water your garden every day at a specific time.
Simply say, 'Alexa, set a reminder for 8pm every day to water my plants,' or do it on your Alexa app. As the weather heats up for summer, it's all the more important to make sure your plants aren't drying out, and as the world opens up, it's incredibly easy to forget.
If you connect your Alexa to your Amazon account, you can also order gardening supplies by asking your Alexa. If you say 'Alexa, order birdseed,' she'll give you an option and tell you the brand name, size and price.
She will also tell you if the last birdseed you ordered is out of stock and offer an alternative. She will then add it to your basket for you to review, but says 'to purchase now, say buy now.'
What's more, there are lots of free gardening apps you can download to get more out of your Alexa. The Garden Helper app uses your postcode and weather forecasts to answer whether you should mow the lawn and which day is best. It also gives you monthly garden tips for your location.
If you download the Gardening Jobs for the Weekend app, you can get more tips on what to do depending on the time of the year. Just say, 'Alexa, open gardening jobs' and it will suggest tasks for the season and the week you're in.
From pruning cherry trees to prevent infection to harvesting early potatoes - a bit of guidance helps us to feel like we're on the right track in our gardens.
Millie joined Gardeningetc in January 2021 as a news writer. When she isn't writing about gardening, she's tending to her small front garden. Her geraniums, dahlias and nasturtiums are looking lovely right now. She recently bought a bench for the garden and is loving alfresco lunch breaks and taking time to notice seedlings growing. She loves picking up some new plants at the local garden centre and is never without some fresh flowers at home.
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