Self-watering gardens will be normal in five years, experts predict

Katie Morley
From planting seeds, to turning the soil, weeding and watering, robot gardeners are programmed to know exactly how to care for plants - Getty

Self-watering gardens will be normal in the UK within five years, experts predict, amid a growing trend for home grown fruit and vegetables.

Artificial intelligence garden systems which take the hard work out of gardening are already on sale in the US, and are set to make their way to the UK before the end of the year.

Farm Bot, a Sillicon Valley based firm which makes robot gardeners, is planning to sell the devices to UK customers through Amazon later this year.

From planting seeds, to turning the soil, to weeding and watering, robot gardeners are programmed to know exactly how to care for plants without the need for human intervention.

It means keen gardeners will no longer have to worry about leaving their plants when they are ill or if they go on holiday.

To function robot gardeners need electricity, an internet connection and water supply which be provided using off grid solutions including a water barrel to collect rain, and a solar panel and battery to provide electricity.

It is able to gather data to take into account factors such as age of the plants being grown, as well as local weather conditions from both local sensors and external data from the internet.

At present the robot gardening devices cost £3,000 each, but it is expected that the price will drop to around £500 once they become popular on the mass market.

Celeriac prinz in a vegetable patch Credit: Tim Gainey / Alamy Stock Photo

Steve Tooze, a consultant at retail firm Stylus, said: "In the next few summers, our desire to produce tasty, fresh crops in our gardens will be turbo-charged by the arrival of robotics. Growing your own vegetables is a big trend in the UK but its not that easy - especially for people who like going on holiday regularly as they are not there to do the watering. 

Within five years I think artificial intelligence will be a common feature in British gardens." 

It comes as vegetable plant sales re soaring at garden centres, with 43 per cent of gardeners under 40, and a third of over 60s now growing their own vegetables, according to Wyevale.