What is a “Smart” Garden?

What do you have in mind when you think of a fully-automatic gardening system?

A fully-automatic garden would need to be able to operate much like a microwave oven or a vending machine that asks you to come back later.  A user interface where someone can input their selection and the process begins… plant seeds, provide sufficient water and nutrients, estimated time to harvest, processing…A few months later, the “oven” timer would alert the user that their plant is ready for harvest, or maybe go a step further and process the fruit for immediate consumption.  In the event that “something unexpected” happen, the manufacturer would have a clause stating they are not responsible for any failure, at most, there would be some sort of error notification followed by instructions on what is needed and how to proceed.

hydro-diagram-final

Smart Garden

A “smart” garden uses electronics for the purpose of making decisions based on defined parameters and provides a more connected environment.  

  • Smart in terms of balancing the system and sustainability.  How well can resources be better managed and used most efficiently?
  • Smart in terms of scalability and flexibility.  How well can the system scale to accommodate change?
  • Smart in terms of transparency of dependencies.  What is happening behind the scenes that could potentially be problematic later?  Rather than down-play potential problems, it’s important to understand why and how to prevent problems from occurring, even if that decreases the customer’s reliance on your support.
  • Smart in terms of self-reliance, teaching and educating people, as opposed to demanding dependency.
  • Smart in terms of evaluating whether we are improving the system or adding additional dependencies?

 

plant-needs-chart

Next up:  Starting a Smart Indoor Garden

What’s at stake?  Are you providing life support or inadvertently executing a death sentence?  Are you improving the system, or adding more dependencies?

Please share with friends and follow to receive a notification when I publish a new article.