My name is Cory, I'm a Technical Craftsman specializing in creative problem solving within electronics and software engineering. Professionally, I've worked as an electronics engineer, a plastics fabricator, software engineer, an industrial laser technician, and, of course, a coffee barista. I've spent the last several years working on a Smart Garden System project I named, hydroMazing. I'm sharing my work with you because I would like to empower everyone who is interested in a "Smart" approach to gardening.
What can go wrong? Once you know the problems that can arise and how to avoid or deal with them, you’ll grow a garden you can be proud of.
What needs monitoring? What needs to be done to make sure plants grow well? Research your plant's needs. Many cool weather plants typically enjoy temperatures in the day of 70°-75°F, and night 55°-60°F with a relative-humidity of 40%-60% for most growing plants. A water and nutrient solution system should have a temperature between 18-21°C (64-70°F). These factors vary depending on variety, selection, phase of growth that the plants are currently growing, and hardiness, some plants can tolerate stress better than others.
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.”
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.