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.
A nutrient solution system typically consists of a two or three part liquid solution containing the essential diet for a plant added to clean tap water. The manufacturer of the nutrient solution will include or reference a feeding schedule recommended for various common types of plants. Unfortunately, most minerals are mined and processed by the manufacturers, however, many offer an organic option while some specialize in only organic.
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.
Electricity replaces the sun, wind, and some natural processes as the dependency for plants to grow indoors. The first glaring problem with the typical indoor garden is that extension wires are annoying and a potential safety hazard. On the other hand, wireless communications can lack the reliability of the wired variant. Going further, should the system be available to the local network or should it be connected to the Internet?
The greatest advantage to using the Arduino family of microcontrollers for DIY electronics projects, is that they are ubiquitous. Since they are so available, they are inexpensive and you can find open-source software to get started. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to work with an Arduino Uno microcontroller board, then you’ve probably executed the flashing LED example. Going further, you might attach a button, or switch, to trigger the LED or to turn it off making the project interactive. There are many sensors that could be connected to the Arduino Uno and setup to trigger events, such as the LED flashing, using threshold values that we would need to experiment with in order to figure out what settings work best for creating the effect we want.
A "smart" garden uses electronics for the purpose of making decisions based on defined parameters and provides a more connected environment.
You value the project because you are able to customize and experience the process of its creation, both physically and mentally.