Plants require special attention, regular watering, and nutrients for better and healthier growth. But if you have a hectic schedule, it might be challenging to give your plants the care they need. The advantage of having a self-watering greenhouse is that you won’t have to worry about your plants drying up — nor will you accidentally drown them. Through a self-watering system, you can retain an ideal hydration level, plus you use minimal water as a result, and you can grow your cheese strain in your greenhouse successfully.
There are many different types of self-watering systems available, and they appear to function well. However, they almost all require the use of a pump. Pumps are costly and frequently generate a lot more noise. You may utilize a servo motor with an Arduino board to neatly open and crimp a water tube rather than using a pricey and noisy water pump; it’s a simple, low-cost solution. This device monitors the soil moisture content of your plants using a microcontroller and a soil sensor. If your soil begins to dry up, the controller will compensate by watering it until it is adequately moist once again.
How It Works
The Arduino monitors the hydration levels in the soil. The microcontroller collects measurements every 30 seconds. Calculate the mean values for the soil readings to eliminate any random object that may impact the sensor.
When considering the dry soil, calculate the average measurement from the values you saved. The Arduino automatically reduces the servo motor if the water level is low. The water tubing opens up when this occurs, and water begins to flow.
With barely 20 milliseconds of latency, the code now continuously reads the soil moisture. It determines whether the soil is becoming damp. The Arduino will move the servo motor higher as soon as the soil is wet. This bolts the water tubing, halting the flow of water. After that, the code will resume its five-minute sensor assessment, and the plant will not be irrigated until the soil is dry. Now, let’s get to making this system! But first, you are going to need the following:
- Arduino board
- Servo motor for the soil moisture sensor – Any small servo will suffice. Like those little 9G servos that you can get for a buck!
- Water tubing
- Ties for cables
- A power supply for the Arduino
- A water reservoir (you can use a milk carton or an empty bottle)
- Wires for the breadboard
- Hot glue gun
- X-Acto knife
Step by Step Guide to Coding a Self-Watering GreenHouse
Step 1: Make a water tube.
You can skip this part if you already have a tiny water tube. But if you don’t any, you can make one.
You can use the external insulation on a power cable as a water tube. To accomplish this, we must separate the internal copper wires while avoiding damage to the outer rubber. To begin, cut a piece of wire about 10 inches long. Remove a section of one of the cable terminals’ isolation. Start extracting the internal wires with your pliers.
Bathe the cables in hot water to loosen up the plastic. Fill your sink with hot water and hold the cable under for a minimum of 5 minutes. Clasp the internal wires firmly with the pliers and begin to pull. Don’t pull excessively, or the wires may break. Grip the cables while tugging downwards on the insulation. This is somewhat tough at first, but the insulation will soon release its grip, and the wires will easily slide out.
Step 2: Make the water reservoir.
Make a series of small openings in the bottle’s stopper. Install the water tube and use hot glue to close the gap. For optimum water protection, glue two faces of the stopper together. Make sure there’s no glue on the cap strands. You may mount your water reservoirs by screwing in the lid with the water tube. The water reservoirs should be hung at a level where the tube’s end hangs just above the plants’ container.
Step 3: Get the electrical work done.
Connect the pieces to the microcontroller in the following manner:
- I/O 2 – Sensor + Analog Input 0 – Sensor Pin. This output pin is set to supply electricity to the sensor. This eliminates the requirement for a breadboard and allows you to hook up everything straight to the Arduino!
- Digital I/O 3 – Orange Servo Cable
- GND – Sensor GND
- 5V Servo Cable (Red)
- Brown Servo Cable – GND
Then upload the code you’ve written.
Step 4: Installing the Servo
You most likely received a set of plastic connectors with your Servo. You are free to attach whichever you choose. Attach the connector with a screw. Attach the Servo to the window frame directly over your plant. Ensure the Servo can rotate freely without being impeded. Use a handful of zip ties to link the water tubing to the servo connector. Ensure the tube is open once the Servo is now in the “watering” location. Most importantly, ensure the tube is curved and constricted whenever the Servo is in “dry” mode.
Step 5: Make the connections.
Finally, plug in the soil moisture sensor, load the water reservoir, and turn on the Arduino. The plants are now ready for self-watering.
The self-watering system is quite simple to make and inexpensive. You can DIY with a few bucks and not have to leave your plants unwatered when you go on vacation or are busy with other tasks.