The Smart Garden System - Raspberry Pi Plant Watering and Environmental Kit with Wireless Sensors
The Wireless Smart Garden System is finally here! Did you ever want to build your own remote monitoring and management system for your indoor or outdoor garden? Do you want to share your garden and the weather world wide? This project is for you. You can learn the Raspberry Pi and how to connect to the real world through this easy to build no-soldering kit. You can measure soil moisture and then use that as feedback to provide your plant or garden just the right about of water.
Highly expandable! You can have your Raspberry Pi Base Unit inside your house and have multiple wireless control units in your outdoor garden, greenhouse or in the upstairs bedroom. Up to 250 wireless control units can be connected up to one Raspberry Pi base unit. This allows you to control your truly MASSIVE garden. Or your small one. Either way!
And you get all the source code for the Smart Garden System software so you can do what you want. Modify the code to your own application! Add sensors! Add functions! Add more plants!
Quick Demo of the Smart Garden System
A Short Introduction to the Smart Garden System
A Full Description of the Smart Garden System
- (June 23, 2020) Smart Garden System 2 Released on Kickstarter
What is the Smart Garden System?
The SmartGardenSystem is an introductory, easy to build Raspberry Pi based environmental monitoring and plant watering system using advanced sensors to monitor the soil moisture, monitor the sunlight, watch the air quality and monitor temperature and humidity. It is designed to be easily and simply put together and tested with No Soldering Required!
Your garden on the cloud. With the addition of the SkyWeather weather sensing module, you can put pictures of your garden up on the WeatherSTEM cloud as well as sharing all your weather data! Take a look at this SkyWeather movie from down in the Caribbean. The Weather Addon to the Smart Garden System is sold separately.
The GardenCam running on Project Curacao in the Caribbean
This is a perfect project kit for advanced kids (with some help from the adults) and for adults trying to learn some new things. People all over the world have built the Original SmartGardenSystem and the OurWeather and SkyWeather weather stations with great success.
Smart Garden System (or SGS for short) is an introductory, easy to build Raspberry Pi based environmental monitoring and plant watering system using advanced sensors to monitor the soil moisture, monitor the sunlight, watch the air quality and monitor temperature and humidity.
What comes in this kit?
This kit contains everything to get going with the Smart Gardens System. It contains:
- SGS2 Board for the Raspberry Pi
- Wireless SGS2 Control Board - 4 USB Valve/Pump, 4 Sensor Ports
- External WiFi Antenna
- SGS2 I2C 4 Relay Valve/Pump Port board (with 20cm Grove Cable)
- OLED Display
- RGBW Pixel LED
- 2 - 20cm Grove Cables
- USB Light Stick (for Valve/Pump simulation)
- 4 - Capacitance Moisture Sticks + Cable
- Single USB Controlled Pump
- USB 5V Power Supply
Waterproofing your Capacitive Moisture Sensors
Adding a LED Grow Light to the Smart Garden System
- Extending Grove Cables for SGS Moisture Sensors
Using a USB Submersible Pump on the Smart Garden System
Using a 5V Valve on the Smart Garden System
Adding 12V or 24V Valves on the Smart Garden System
Using a 12V Pump on the Smart Garden System
Controlling your Water Feature with the Smart Garden System
- Adding an Additional Wireless Extender to SGS
- Quick Start Manual
- SGS Version 2 Assembly and Test Manual
- SGS Configuration and Operations Manual
- SGS Assembling the 3D Print for the SGS Extender
- SGS Weather Add-on Assembly and Testing
- SGS Design Your Garden Manual
- Installing and Configuring the Blynk App support on the SGS System
- Full Python Open Source Software for the Smart Garden System
- Full C++ Arduino IDE ESP32 Open Source Software for the Wireless Extender
- 3d Printable Parts
Bug List and Support
Placement of Capacitive Moisture Sensors
You can make this waterproof by covering everything above the red line (both sides) with Silicon Caulking.
3D Printable Cases
The 3D printed case designs for both the SGS Raspberry Pi Base unit and wireless Control units are all available for download for you to print. We even provide you the design files so you can modify them to your specifications.
The Smart Garden System
The first three modules of the Smart Garden System are the:
- Raspberry Pi SGS Base Unit
- WIreless Plant Sensor and Control Unit
- GardenCam and Weather Sensors Unit
Configuration Screen Example
Smart Garden Status Screens
Frequently Asked Questions
What valves and pumps can I connect to the Smart Garden System?
Any 5V driven pump or valve (like our USB 5V pumps) can be driven from the SGS2 Wireless Extender USB Ports. You can plug in USB to wire conversion plugs to control other 5V devices. The SGS2 Wireless Extender also has 4 relays included. These can switch either 120/240VAC or 30VDC at up to 10A which gives the gardner a HUGE amount of flexibility.
What triggers valves or pumps to turn on or off?
This is part of the magic of the Smart Garden System. Any valve or pump can be controlled by any moisture sensor available in SGS2. You can even control multiple valves or pumps with one sensor. Your choice. You can also set up Valves/Pumps to run on a timed basis and can control them manually.
What kinds of sensors can I connect?
Currently in the initial release, we are supporting Capacitive Moisture Sensors that connect up to the four channel 16 bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) included on the wireless extender boards. These are called C1 sensors. These four ports can be used for any kind of analog sensor that is compatible with 5V power. We are adding support for customer specific sensors on these ports in the next major version of the SGS2 software. We are building a JSON based format to support customer sensors.
Internally, we have about 20 sensors that we are testing (mostly for hydroponics use) and are building a general system to add these sensors into the SGS2 system, both off the Raspberry Pi and off of the Wireless Extender units.
Can I run this on Solar Power?
Absolutely. SwitchDoc Labs produces a multitude of solar power kits that will power the Wireless Extender units as well as a few that will power the much more power hungry Raspberry Pi. Check out this article on the SwitchDoc Labs Blog: https://www.switchdoc.com/2019/12/tutorial-solar-power-selection-guide-for-maker-projects/
Can I choose what valves and sensors to graph on the webpage?
Yes. The SGSConfiguration GUI allows you to choose what valves/pumps/sensors will appear on the pages.
Blynk App for your iPhone / Android
Check out Blynk App for observing and controlling the SGS across the Internet and the World!
We are using Blynk for remote monitoring and control of some aspects of the SGS2 system.
Below Is the QR code for the current version of the Blynk App. Check out the Blynk configuration manual above in downloads.
Here is the first screen of the Blynk App:
Future Modules Coming
We have started work on even more Smart Garden Modules.
- Herb Garden Growing
- Easy Addition of User Defined Sensors
- AI Machine Learning driven Plant Health monitoring with Pi Camera (we can do this. Check out our MouseAir Kickstarter and what we did with AI there!)
What Will You Learn with Raspberry Pi Smart Garden System?
The educational goals for Smart Garden are:
- Learn about the Raspberry Pi and installing software on the Pi
- Connecting up sensors to the Raspberry Pi and ESP32's
- Learning about Feedback loops and regulating water to plants
- Understand your indoor environment and what affects it
- Learn about the new technology called the Internet of Things
The Science Behind The Board
Our beloved (most of the time) CTO, Dr. John Shovic, always insists on putting in something about the theory behind the project. Here are his thoughts:
This was a great project to design and build. It was really an interesting process learning about the sensors, how to interconnect them and then learning about flow meters, USB Pumps and especially the software bringing them all together.
Where is the science and engineering in this project? All through it from the bottom to the top. I could go through the entire system, but that will have to wait. The most interesting points? One, we are using feedback in the system. Negative feedback to be exact. We aren't just watering on a timer, we are looking at the soil moisture and if it is high enough, we don't water. We don't water unless we need to. Very cool.
Secondly, the wireless weather sensors we have in the SGS System + Weather are amazing. You can mount our accurate 8-in-1 weather sensors outside! All ready waterproofed. The technology we use to read these sensors, SDR (Software Defined Radio) technology is amazing. And we give you the source code.
Thirdly, I got a lot out of learning how to display the data from Smart Garden on your Raspberry Pi, on the WeatherSTEM cloud application.
This kit is great for kids and adults who are trying to learn about new technology and want to be able to modify their own software and hardware. All our software is open source in the Smart Garden System.
A Little History
SwitchDoc Labs started out in the Raspberry Pi Gardening System in 2017 with the Simple SmartPlantPi Kickstarter. In 2018 we introduced a more complex and nuanced system, the Smart Garden System. Now in 2020 we have introduced a modular, sophisticated Raspberry Pi based Smart Garden System that includes weather, multiple wireless sensors, a distributed control system and web and cloud based displays. SwitchDoc Labs will be building modules for the SGS system for many more years.
We are working hard to make our system modular so makers can add their own hardware and software to the system. Makers Rock!