Gardening may be a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. So, to reclaim some of that lost time, why not automate the most time-consuming gardening tasks? (Automate Your Gardening)
Gardening may be a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. So, to reclaim some of that lost time, why not automate the most time-consuming gardening tasks?
Spring, alas, is rapidly approaching. Those of us with green thumbs are presented with a never-ending list of duties to assist us to prepare the garden and keep it flowering all year.
Many of these duties, from designing your garden to watering your plants as the sun sets, are likely to be fun for you. However, there will surely be a handful that becomes a hassle fast. With that in mind, take a look at our list of techniques to automate the gardening jobs you find the most difficult. Consider how much more joyful your summer could be if you were just allowed to do the things you want to do in the garden.
A handful of these choices have already been highlighted in articles regarding Arduino projects and Home Automation projects. Below, you’ll discover a collection of the greatest of them, as well as a lot more.
Table of Contents
Taking Care of the Lawn | Automate Your Gardening
Installing an automatic sprinkler system may not be as complicated or expensive as you think. Rain Bird’s easy-to-install automatic sprinkler kit costs $110 and can be installed in one afternoon.
The sprinkler system is activated by an automated timer (attached to your hose faucet). Sprinklers rise from your grass once triggered and then sink back to avoid interfering with mowing.
There are DIY projects that function in a similar way if you’d rather construct something yourself.
How would you want your lawn to be mowed every day by your very own robot? The $3,500 Husqvarna Automower 230 ACX tackles “up to 6,000m2 of grass in every weather, including tough terrain and steep slopes up to 45 per cent.” The robotic mower mows your lawn in a random pattern, reversing when it encounters an obstruction.
The mower can tell the difference between shorter and longer grass blades, and the longer blades are precisely chopped into tiny bits that fall back into the lawn to degrade organically.
Identifying Plants That Are Sick
It’s tough to detect the difference between ill and healthy plants, but one telltale clue is how much energy the plant takes from visible light.
You’ll need an infrared digital camera to assist you in visually noticing the difference so you know which plants to care for. Replace the infrared filter with a blue filter (available for roughly $10 at most photography stores). You’ve effectively built a “photosynthesis camera” that will alert you to which plants are stressed.
Then, go to infragram.org and submit the photographs of the garden you took. The photographs will be processed at no cost by the website. Those plants that absorb less light are the ones that require your attention.
If you want additional features, you can spend $125 on Infragram’s own point-and-shoot camera.
Your Plants’ Watering
Drip irrigation is a cost-effective and fertilizer-free method of watering your plants (not lawns). Water is dripped where it’s required when it’s needed, thanks to a network of sensors, valves, and tubing.
A Raindrip kit ($70) is a cost-effective approach to set up an automatic drip irrigation system. The majority of kits have an automatic faucet timer that regulates when water is delivered to your plants. Expansions are available to further personalize your system.
Use a smart irrigation system like Rachio (from $200) if you’d prefer to water your plants via a sprinkler system. These systems are made to keep your plants healthy while also conserving water. Rachio is not just fully controllable via your smartphone. You may also create self-editing plans based on seasonal changes and internet weather forecasts.
Maintaining the Health of Your Plants
Both Koubachi ($100-$150 per sensor) and Parrot Flower Power ($60 per sensor) have been highlighted before, but their qualities make them worth discussing again.
The soil moisture, sunshine, infrared light, ambient temperature, and other vitals of your plants are all measured by these sensors. The sensors have access to species information, weather data, and user preferences once they are connected to the mobile or online apps. With all of this information, you’ll be able to get precise care instructions for each of your plants. This is a potent piece of plant-care technology, especially for more precious, difficult-to-care-for plants.
If you want even more automation options, Parrot Flower Power offers some amazing IFTTT connectors (read our guide). These include turning on Philips Hue lighting when specific circumstances are fulfilled and scheduling a reminder to water your plants on your calendar.
Animals on the Run
If you live in an area where raccoons and deer wreak havoc on your garden, you should build a Garden Gnome Drone (which costs roughly $300). More information on the project may be found here [No Longer Available] if you know how to set up an Arduino.
This is essentially a yard guard drone that you’ll be making in this DIY project. When the drone’s infrared motion sensor detects activity, the vehicle takes off and flies a pre-programmed flight course over your yard, scaring away any wild animals, before returning to its charging station.
We’d love to know how you get on with this project if you decide to take it on.
Growing in Uncomfortable Situations
Take a look at the Fizzy Farm hydroponic systems if you’d want to cultivate your own herbs or vegetables but don’t have the outdoor area to do so.
If you don’t have any outdoor area, and inside a system ($150) may be purchased. You may get an outside system ($200) if you just have a small yard.
Plants may survive considerably more readily when a mix of fertilizer powder and a robust oxygen pump is used to oxygenate the water. This technology allows plants to flourish in locations that would otherwise be too hot or cold, while also keeping the water’s PH levels stable.
This implies that anyone, even in the most inhospitable of environments, may now cultivate little plants to the highest level.
Is there anything more you’d want to see automated?
These items can help with a lot of gardening jobs, but not all of them. We have yet to hear of a good home-use automated solution for weeding or seed planting. I suppose we’ll have to get our hands filthy in some way.
What are some additional elements of gardening that you would want to see automated? Or do you like gardening to remain a physical pastime free of technological intrusion?