Top critical review
217 people found this helpful
Mostly for beginning gardeners (Improvements are edging it toward a 4 star product)
on November 21, 2008
When I received the EasyBloom Plant Sensor, I was excited because I had been struggling to grow plants on my new property despite years of gardening experience. This product promised to recommend and monitor my plants to determine what was going wrong. Unfortunately, it measures nothing more than I could tell by sticking my own finger in the soil and watching the shadows for a day: moisture and light. Yes, it measures temperature and relative humidity, but those vary both daily and seasonally and can be figured out by walking out the door. It does not analyze the soil -- probably the most crucial information that cannot be intuitively known -- for type, fertility, toxicity, and acidity. You must discover and enter this yourself on the web site.
The monitor setting does basically the same thing, only over a longer time so you can see the moisture and light fluctuations over a longer period of time; again, it cannot diagnose over- or under-fertilization, incorrect acidity, compacted or too sandy soil, diseases, or pests, the most common reasons a plant dies. The EasyBloom can take a snapshot of the location for future reference.
Probably the best part of the device is the web interface that provides detailed information on recommended plants. Yes, this information can be found online or in a good plant book, but the site shows thumbnail photos of the plants that can then lead the user to a more detailed description, including care, known pests, height, growing zones, attractiveness to birds, shape, etc. I really would have liked a "deer resistant" option; maybe they will add that in the future. Strangely enough, the site does not recommend the plants that *are* thriving in my landscape.
Beginning gardeners will find this device much more useful than experienced ones since they may not yet know how to use light conditions (shade, partial shade, afternoon sun, etc.) and soil moisture content to select the proper plants for an area. Unfortunately, they are also the ones who might over-fertilize or select the wrong plant for the soil type.
Although the EasyBloom is not comprehensive enough for advanced help, it would make a good housewarming gift for someone's first home. I'll be the first in line when they upgrade the device to include soil testing and fertility.
UPDATE: I purposefully mistreated a houseplant to see what the EasyBloom device would say -- and it was spot on. It identified low light and improper watering, making a suggestion to repot it (to get a more absorbent soil) and place it in a better lit location.
Also, as of December 15, 2008, Easy Bloom supports Macs with its online software. I've used it -- and it works well. Please read the comments attached to this review to see the response of an EasyBloom rep who lists some changes since I wrote the above.
-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann