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Gardening with Microcontrollers

Yay, spring is finally here and it’s time to start planting things. That way I’ll have something to neglect when its hot as hell or something for the squirrels to dig up. Which ever kills the plants first.

No, this year will be different. I’m going to harness the power of microcontrollers to; A) keep plants watered and B) Stop animals from destroying anything is growing.

I already have an outside area for growing some crops, but I also want something inside for fresh herbs year-round. So I’ll have two different areas to monitor and control. In both places I’ll monitor the soil moisture with some DIY sensors with the intent of automated watering.

The herbs will hang in the kitchen windows and use 2 liter pop bottles for growing chambers, which I built a couple months ago. Only weeds grew, but this trial run allowed me to sort out draining issues before real plants grew. Also, my first attempt at sensors failed. Here’s a new batch after a little googling.

Outside, I’m going to modify a plastic owl I bought last year. Needless to say it didn’t do the job, so I thought some flashing LED eyes and a lot of noise will change that. I’m not sure what kind of sensor detects treacherous squirrels,  maybe a motion detector, or a series of lasers…

Anyways, this project has many components and will be a miracle if it’s completed. I think I’ll make a permanent page for the entire system once it’s something something operational.

Categories: gardening, microcontroller
  1. May 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I never thought of it that way, well put!

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