Smart home technology has sprouted outdoors in the Arboretum’s new greenhouses. The technology, which will allow horticulture staff to remotely regulate temperature, irrigation, humidity and lighting, was unveiled Wednesday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the 8-acre property that straddles Dallas and Mesquite.

Before the Arboretum opened its greenhouses, plants were grown on small plots of land in Seagoville and Rockwall. Staff and volunteers had to manually cover the plants in plastic “hoop houses” during the winter and install shade in the summer, greenhouse manager Ana Swinson said.

The Arboretum can now grow 60 percent of the garden’s plants. Hundreds of thousands of specimens are cultivated in the 17,000-square-foot, climate-controlled greenhouses. When they are developed, staff will move them to an outdoor garden to be acclimated. Then they will be transplanted to the Dallas Arboretum.

The greenhouses will yield larger and better quality produce for A Tasteful Place and a variety of cereal plants for the Incredible Edible Garden in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, staff said.

“This technology allows us to grow, control and see what we’re doing and how we impact what we’re growing,” Swinson said. “Plus, a controlled environment is more predictable than being outside in the elements.”

Watch Swinson explain the technology used to grow the Arboretum’s plants.


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