Scotts Miracle-Gro launches ‘The Connected Yard’ at SXSW

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, a global provider in the consumer lawn and garden category for almost 150 years, announced its “Connected Yard” platform at the 2016 SXSW Interactive festival.

The Connected Yard marks the first time the Internet of Things steps outside, tied to a unifying software platform called Gro, bringing the garden into the 21st century. The Smart Home now broadens its footprint, with the yard as the next natural step in harnessing technology on behalf of consumers.

“Gro welcomes everyone into the garden, helping them to succeed,” said Patti Ziegler, chief Digital and Marketing Services Officer. “Our Gro application will suggest interesting and fun project ideas. We will give people great advice on what to do, and how to do it, based on their exact location and the time of year. We will increase the ability of all gardeners, but particularly new gardeners, to succeed in having healthy lawns, gorgeous flowers and shrubs, and tasty home-grown vegetables.”

Scotts Miracle-Gro’s Connected Yard platform will know what the recent weather and rainfall has been, what types of plants are most likely to succeed in each location, what the local soil type is, and what to do at each stage of the season. Previously complex tasks will be presented instead as bite-sized, highly visual, personalised instructions. We will offer the same type of advice a friendly, expert gardener would suggest, if they lived next door. We will give people the confidence to try new things.

Gro software is enhanced by connecting into Internet of Things hardware. Gro’s hardware partners in the “Works with Gro” program are a hand-picked combination of sensor and water controller manufacturing partners. Their hardware feeds information into Gro software, making it even more aware of the condition of the yard, starting at first by focusing on water usage.

Launch partners include smart water controllers Blossom, Rachio, Green IQ and Lono, and soil sensor companies PlantLink and Parrot. These technologies enable the careful monitoring and control of watering levels, adjusting for the soil’s moisture content and the weather forecast. No longer will sprinklers run when it is raining. No longer will people over or under water.

Critical in drought markets, but useful all across the country, moisture sensors and smart water controllers could save millions and millions of gallons of water if widely adopted and could substantially cut water use dramatically all across the nation.

The Connected Yard is an open platform, and Scotts Miracle-Gro is eager to align with companies and particularly start-ups in the smart water and gardening space who want to connect their imaginative hardware solutions to Gro.

Scotts will launch the Connected Yard and Gro at SXSW with a series of interactive events to be held at Icenhauer’s bar in Austin, TX from March 11-13. Attendees, partners and media are invited to join activities that will continue throughout the weekend.

For more information and event information at SXSW please visit GetGro.com (www.getgro.com)

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