An updated but also simplified version of Luke Iseman’s “Garduino” project from MAKE Volume 18, the Potted Plant Protector is great for beginners of all kinds. You’ll need a pair of nuts and bolts, but other than that all of the components needed to assemble this project are contained in the Ultimate Microcontroller Pack with Arduino. This will introduce you to the world of basic breadboard prototyping, how to interface with an Arduino, how resistance operates, and perhaps most intriguingly how to build sensors to monitor the health and vitality of your household plants!
The world around us is swirling with data and your plants are no different. They require specific amounts of moisture, light, and temperature, among other factors. With the Potted Plant Protector you can assemble this basic three-sensor circuit it under an hour. All the code is provided and the basic circuit requires no soldering.
You could take this to the next level with an RGB LED for visually indicating how healthy your plants are. Go one step further still and solder up the included LED display for sensor-specific readings that anybody can interpret.
Who knows what type of data your garden is yearning to tell you. And before you know it, a simple Weekend Project could lead you to developing hydroponic or “smart” aquaponic gardening solutions for your home and neighborhood!
All the code to complete this project is provided on the project page, but if you design your own sensors or otherwise modify this project for your home gardening needs, be sure to document your process and get in touch with us.