Digging Deeper into Indoor Gardening

What do plants actually require in order to grow well? It is important for context and it is important for every human to understand what it takes to grow plants, even if the future doesn’t allow for outdoor cultivation.  At a minimum this is my effort to prevent future generations from suffering the fate of a World without plants as proposed by Mike Judge in his movie “Idiocracy” where people no longer understand why plants wouldn’t want to live on a beverage containing “electrolytes.”

Starting a Smart Indoor Garden

A basic, low-cost, reliable, indoor garden is a controlled environment typically in the form of a tent inside a room, inside a garage.  You have one or two AC-powered ventilation fans, recirculating and/or one is the intake and the other is the exhaust.  You have two super bright fluorescent lamps connected to a mechanical/digital timer controlled AC outlet providing the plants with their appropriate light-cycle.  Your plants are contained in soil, or a basic deep water culture hydroponics system. A large plastic reservoir with multiple grow baskets containing clay pellets partially submerged in the nutrient solution being aerated by an aquarium-style air-pump that’s connected to an air-stone, creating bubbles, preventing stagnation, keeping the culture healthy. 

Hot Stuff

Rather than use a cyanoacrylate or superglue, I use hot glue to keep the connections in place.  I used to have a negative perception of using hot glue because it seemed amateur and trashy. After having dismantled many Furbies and Talking Elmos, I see it frequently makes it in the final product.  I’ve since reconsidered, and now, I like hot glue because it is convenient and can be removed later if there is a need to check a connection or replace a part.

Arduino FastLED Library

Using an Arduino Uno to calibrate an RGB LED strip. The purpose of running this example is to determine what settings are needed to use the FastLED library.  For this example I’m using an Arduino Uno. The Uno has a ground pin next to pin 13, so for convenience, I’m using pin 13 as a low-current Vcc for the RGB LED lights strip:

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