Smart home tech doesn't have to be limited to the four walls of your house - there are quite a bit of ways to enhance your outdoor experience with some connected tech.

If you have a lawn or garden that requires regular watering, for example, chances are good that you've looked into (or even installed) a programmable irrigation system with timers and a weekly schedule. While better than standing out in the yard with a water hose yourself for half an hour every day, these systems aren't terribly intelligent. But using some solenoid valves, a bit of hose, and depending on how many zones of irrigation you want, a handful of Z-Wave relays like the Fortrezz MIMOlite, you can create your own programmable irrigation system that's easier to program and that can be operated remotely.

Some Z-Wave hubs—like FIBARO, for instance—go one step further by enabling your irrigation system to intelligently adapt to weather conditions. With FIBARO in control, your sprinklers can dole out a little bit of extra water on especially hot and sunny days, and pause your regularly scheduled sprinkling when it rains, so you don't water or money.

But how do you know how much water is enough? Soil moisture sensors like PlantLink are one way to find out. PlantLink plugs directly into the soil near your plants, and lets you name and identify each one by species. With that information, it then keeps tabs on each of your green friends and lets you know exactly when they need to be watered, via text or email notification. It isn't a Z-Wave device, but it is compatible with specific Z-Wave hubs, like SmartThings, or it can be used as a standalone system with its own proprietary hub.

Not all smart garden enhancements have to be quite so involved, though. One easy way to add some intelligence to your outdoor environs is with the addition of a weatherproof smart plug like GE's Z-Wave Plug-In Outdoor Smart Switch, which transforms literally any electrical device you plug into a Z-Wave device. Outdoor fans, for example, or patio heaters. And if you plug outdoor lighting into it, you can use your Z-Wave hub to create smart lighting schedules that work with your lifestyle. Maybe you want your garden lit up all night, or maybe you just want your lights to come on at sundown and turn off at bedtime. The choice is totally yours.

And if you have your own ideas for how to smarten up your garden but you can't quite figure out the details of how to make it work, remember: the smart home experts at Z-Wave.com are here to chat with you 7am to midnight eastern time, seven days a week. Or you can always call 866.951.9812.