March 14, 2024
Welcome to the future

Welcome to the future

This month in Landscape Trades, we are talking about tech. And while technology isn’t the first thing most people think about when it comes to working in the green trades, there is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence, robotics and satellite technology are here to stay. Even those of us who might consider ourselves tech challenged have something to be excited about. To help you think about the big picture, our editors handpicked five thought-provoking podcast episodes exploring how AI can support the green trades — from AI tools to leverage now, to business planning, to how humans and machines can work hand-in-hand.

Taking things a little deeper, this month’s features are sure to spark plenty of ideas for the season and years ahead. We hope they also spark some good discussions with your teams.

Karina Sinclair digs into how AI is being leveraged in the nursery and grower sectors. She delves into how technology is helping take the guesswork out of some manual tasks, freeing up more time to focus on new ideas and growth, as well as creating brand new jobs in the field. Writer Julia Harmsworth takes tech talk in a different direction — looking at innovations in soil mediums that take their cue from biology to create more sustainable solutions that still provide great results. I had the chance to geek out on the evolution of robotic mowers — and how the satellite technology that powers military operations and autonomous vehicles is driving unprecedented precision and performance. Dr. Nadina Galle is also back, exploring how satellite technology is being developed to help prevent wildfires after a devastating 2023 fire season.

Coming back to earth, Grant Harrison’s business column provides some solid ideas on dealing with a low snow season. Marketing expert Vanessa McQuade shares five marketing mistakes to avoid in order to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market, and Heather Jerrard offers her top selections for unusual plants that promote biodiversity and provide visual and sensory interest to gardens. While I’m not quite ready for a robotic mower, I’ll definitely be adding a few of these plants to my cart as soon as my local nursery opens its doors for the season.

I’ll be honest, as someone who is far from being an “early adopter” when it comes to tech, my mind was a little blown by this issue (in a good way). I hope yours is, too. There are just so many ways technology is already moving the green trades forward: opening up opportunities for those already in the trade — and some pretty cool new jobs and possibilities for those just getting their start.

Kali Pearson

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