"The Urban Garden - Adventures in Automated Indoor Gardening"

What was that you forgot? Let's see, while you were away at Build or glued to the live streams, there was something you were supposed to do... hum... what was it...?

Something green... oh, oh. Plants. You forgot to water your plants!

Today's Hardware Friday post might help you next time that happens. Oh sure, there's many low tech ways to handle this, but why use them when you can create an entire hardware project and infrastructure to do it! :)

Automated Urban Garden

I've finally come to a reasonably advanced stage on a project I've been wanting to do for a while: An automated urban garden. I've always liked the idea of houseplants, but never had the skill or the attention to detail to keep said plants alive. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to outsource the care of the plants to a Netduino.

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At this point, the garden will automatically water plants, optionally using a soil moisture sensor. The reservoir that holds the water will alert you when it needs refilling. It also shines a grow lamp on the plants in a way that simulates the change in sunlight over the year. The whole thing can be controlled via Bluetooth and an Android application.

I've documented my experience, and most of the garden, here:
https://docs.google....mebhKZtPqfKpsQ/

And I've included all the code, and lots of other things, here: https://drive.google...eE0&usp=sharing

t's not a hundred-percent finished yet, and is a bit crude, but hopefully I'll have some lovely flowers soon!

[Click through for the source...]

 

The Urban Garden

Adventures in Automated Indoor Gardening

Background

Living in a studio apartment in Brooklyn does not afford one much opportunity for gardening. Still, while looking at an unused alcove in my apartment I thought it might be the perfect place for some houseplants. Well, perfect except for the total lack of light or any perceivable gardening skills on my part.

Thus the idea of an automated urban garden was born. A chance to bring a little life into a little apartment. It would need to be small to fit in the alcove. It would need to be self-maintaining to remove my plant killing tendencies from the equation. It would need to be relatively inexpensive because obviously. I’m not a professional programmer or electrical engineer by any means, so I’m sure there are many ways this project could be improved, but as a hobbyist this project was very interesting and I learned a lot. So herein I’ll do my best to share my adventures in urban gardening.

As a note: All the images and code mentioned in this document, along with some more that isn’t, can be found in this shared folder, there are even a few videos. Feel free to poke around. If you have any questions or comments, you can send them my way, or check out this thread in the Netduino forums. I hope you enjoy!

 

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