SmartGarden3 Kit
SmartGarden3 Kit
SmartGarden3 Kit
SmartGarden3 Kit
SmartGarden3 Kit
SmartGarden3 Kit
SmartGarden3 Kit

SmartGarden3 Kit

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The SmartGarden3 is finally here!    Did you ever want to build your own remote monitoring and management system for your indoor or outdoor garden?   How about your own computer controlled Hydroponics Garden?

See the Hydroponics SmartGarden3 Here.

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 using wireless bluetooth sensors and then use that as feedback to provide your plant or garden just the right amount of water.  You can even use SmartGarden3 Alarms to send email or text messages to you when something is not right in your garden!

From a customer:   “This system (and the hydroponic set) has been amazing to play with, and get to know. Great job! Congratulations to you and your team! I have been playing with the rest of it while I try to work out the Bluetooth issue, IT'S SO FUN!Even though this part has hung, I have been getting plenty of other successes. The instructions are easy to follow, the interfaces have been easy to access and use, and the flexibility in both hardware and software is tremendous. It has been easy to work with this on the same RPi that has already been running my SkyWeather system (with several versioned backups, of course).”

(Documentation, Downloads and Manuals Below)

SmartGarden3 and Bluetooth Soil Sensors

SmartGarden3 also supports hydroponics and you can order a  hydroponics kit here!

Highly expandable!   You can have your Raspberry Pi Base Unit inside your house and have multiple wireless control units and up to 16 Bluetooth Wireless Soil Sensors 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!

It is designed to be easily and simply put together and tested with No Soldering Required!

And you get all the OPEN SOURCE code for the SmartGarden3 software so you can do what you want.   Modify the code to your own application!  Add sensors!  Add functions!  Add more plants!

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.

SmartGarden3 (or SG3 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 the SmartGarden3 Base System

The SmartGarden3 Base System consist of the following modules:

  • SmartGarden3 ESP32 WIreless Extender Kit
  • Full STEP BY STEP Manuals for assembly and testing
  • Bluetooth Soil Sensor (Moisture, Temperature, Electrical Conductivity, Light)
  • USB Controlled Pump
  • USB Light Stick (eye candy and great for testing)
  • Open Source Python3 Software for your Raspberry Pi
  • Open Source Software for the ESP32 Extender
  • STL and Design Files for all 3D Prints
SmartGarden3 Base Unit Block Diagram




Additional Products Available for the SmartGarden3 System

    Articles on SmartGarden3


    Optional Pi Camera Compatibility

    If you want to add a camera to your garden, the SmartGarden3 supports all Raspberry Pi Compatible cameras.   We also build cool time lapses for this camera.

    3D Printable Cases

    The 3D printed case designs for  Wireless SG3 Control unit and Hydroponic Wiring Box  are all available for download for you to print.  We even provide you the design files so you can modify them to your specifications.

    Smart Garden Status Screens

    SmartGarden3 supports many displays and graphs using a dash_app on the Raspberry Pi.  Here are few of the screens hosted on your Raspberry Pi:

    SmartGarden3 Status Page
    Smart Garden Hydroponics Page
    Bluetooth Soil Sensor Graphs
    Manual Control Page

    Configuration Screen Example

    SG3 is configured dynamically via a GUI applications hosted on the Raspberry Pi.  Lots of options!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why don't you include a Raspberry Pi?

    Turns out because of the distribution agreements by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, you can actually buy a Raspberry Pi kit on Amazon cheaper than we can buy them in bulk.  Here is a great Raspberry Pi 4B Kit for the SmartGarden3:

    Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB Kit (Canakit)

    If that is sold out, here are some alternatives:

    Raspberry PI 4B 4GB - 2GB, 4GB or 8GB will work.

    Adafruit - (   

    SparkFun - (

    32GB SD Card (buy a good one or buy our pre-formatted SDCard)

    Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply - At least 2.5A and for a Raspberry Pi 4B (here's an article about Raspberry Pi 4's and startup currents)

    Raspberry Pi 4 Case - Lots of them will work!

    What do the Bluetooth Soil Sensors measure?

    The SG3 Bluetooth Sensors measure soil moisture, soil temperature, ambient light and soil electrical conductivity (a measure of nutrients available).

    Measuring the Moisture of Mint

    What is the transmission range of the Bluetooth Sensors?

    BLE will go 10 to 20 feet depending on what is between you and the SGS Extender.

    What valves and pumps can I connect to the SmartGarden3?

    Any 5V driven pump or valve (like our USB 5V pumps) can be driven from the SG3 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.

    Grow Lights over a Garden Controlled by SmartGarden3

    What triggers valves or pumps to turn on or off?

    This is part of the magic of the SmartGarden3 System.  Any valve or pump can be controlled by any moisture sensor available in SG3.   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?

    SmartGarden3 supports a wireless Bluetooth enabled moisture/light/temperatuer/EC sensor that talks to the SG3 Extender Unit.  

    The Hydroponics unit uses an on board 12 bit Analog to Digital Converter on the SG3 Extender board.  It reads Hydroponics Water Temperature, Water Depth and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) with the base hydroponics unit as well as an Infrared camera that allows you to look a plant leaf temperature.

    Optionally, you can add Ph and Turbidity sensors with EC (Electrical Conduction) coming soon.

    Could you tell me more about the Bluetooth Sensor?

    The SG3 BLE Bluetooth Soil Sensor

    The sensor uses a capacitive soil moisture detector.  The two prongs are for sensing the EC (nutrient indicator).  This gives the sensor a long life!

    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 kits that will power the much more power hungry Raspberry Pi.   Check out this article on the SwitchDoc Labs Blog:

    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.

    How does the SG3 Wireless Extender send information to the Raspberry PI?

    The ESP32 in the Wireless Extender uses WiFI to communicate to the Raspberry Pi.   The data is sent via MQTT connections to the MQTT Broker on the Raspberry Pi.   You can also write your own code to subscribe to the MQTT topics.

    Where can I find  seed pods for the hydroponics system?

    You can buy any AeroGarden(TM) seed pods such as these on Amazon, or build your own with the supplied materials in our hydroponic kit:

    Example AeroGarden(TM) Seed Pods

    Is there an upgrade kit for older Smart Garden devices?

    No, not as a product.  However, you can upgrade the software in your Smart Garden System 2 Extender to the SmartGarden3 ESP32 software by yourself, or you can send us your old board in and we can program it and return it.   Then you can buy the compatible Bluetooth Sensors from our

    Optional Add-Ons for your SmartGarden3 Rewards

    •  Bluetooth Soil Sensor 4 Pack - 4 Additional Bluetooth Soil Sensors
    •  Pre-formatted 32GB SD Card containing SmartGarden3 - - All of the SmartGarden3 Software for the Raspberry Pi.  Loaded and ready to go.
    •  USB Controlled Pump 4 Pack - 4 USB Controlled submersible pumps
    •  Hydroponics Ph Sensor - Ph Sensor for the SG3 Hydroponics Unit
    •  Hydroponics Turbidity Sensor - Water Turbidity Sensor for the SG3 Hydroponics Unit
    •  SmartGarden3 Small Parts Hardware Pack - Contains the brass inserts and various screws for both the Extender and Hydroponics u nits
    •  3D Print for SG3 Extender - Full 3D Print for the SG3 Extender Unit
    •  3D Print for SG3 Hydroponics - Full 3D Prints for the Hydroponics Unit

    Science behind the Project

    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 Bluetooth, 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.

    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 2022 we have introduced a modular, sophisticated Raspberry Pi based SmartGarden3 that includes multiple wireless sensors, a distributed control system and web and cloud based displays. 

    We are working hard to make our system modular and open so makers can add their own hardware and software to the system.  Makers Rock!