Herb Garden Is Smarter Than The Average… Garden

After 13 days, the herbs are showing good signs of growth.

Herbs are a great way to spice up any dish. Often they don’t need much, meaning that it’s possible to grow a useful amount in a fairly compact area. [Sunyecz22] wanted to do just that, so built a convenient indoor herb garden, giving it some smarts along the way.

The project is built around an Arduino Mega, a venerable stalwart of the scene that comes in handy on projects requiring plenty of digital I/O. It’s paired with four soil moisture sensors, one per planter pot to keep an eye on water levels. The system also controls LEDs which provide light based on the time of day to help the herbs grow. Finally, a tidy 3D printed enclosure gives the project a neat, finished look.

It’s a build that’s a straightforward way to get into automatic plant maintenance, and leaves plenty of scope for future work. With the capable Arduino Mega on hand, it would be a cinch to upgrade to automatic watering down the track. We’ve seen similar builds before, too. Video after the break.

 

11 thoughts on “Herb Garden Is Smarter Than The Average… Garden

  1. Things I have learnt give plenty of space for the plant to grow.
    – 1 seed per container as each of them can grow up to take up the whole container. Seeds are not friends with each other as they are competing for the same soil, moisture and space to grow.
    – plenty of vertical space too. It doesn’t seem high enough in the picture. Some of my spices can easily use 2-3 feet.

    1. I knew I detected some kind of “anomaly” in this build. I’ll need to consult with some sort of specialist, possibly Mr.Polo.

      I can only pray that Nada has some kind words for this solution.

  2. This is too cool! I’m working on a (dumb) similar one right now! I’d recommend upping your light concentration, though it’s hard to tell what you have from the screenshots. If you find it’s working for you though, that’s awesome!

    1. I can tell by looking at the background and compare with my cheap LED strip light. I grow my plants by the window, so the LED is just a supplement for cloudy days especially during winter.

      The screen shot light level is bright and keep the plants alive, but the level is like a cloudy sky. Sunlight averages from 120-166 W/m, so you can work out the amount of wattage needed.

  3. The choice of light can be very tricky. I found the commercial solutions (ikeas failed attempt) tend to burn the leaves because of to intense light and/or uneven light distribution.

  4. I love this Idea and how the ui works but there are a few things that could be a lot better

    Those resistive soil moisture sensors are pure garbage. Even when you take stainless steel as the electrode, you cant use fertizer and this will rot away in no time. You want to have capacitive soil moisture sensors like this:
    https://www.tindie.com/products/miceuz/i2c-soil-moisture-sensor/

    As a light you want warmer full spectrum leds. Approximately 3500k.
    You can either use a COB like the Vero18 or a CXB3590
    or something with better ranges and broader lightening angle like this
    https://de.aliexpress.com/item/4000079344485.html
    or a commercial one like this
    https://horticulturelightinggroup.com/collections/quantum-boards/products/qb96-elite-v2-quantum-board-engine. They have an effiacy of around 2,6 umol/joule compared to high pressure sodium lamps with 1,8 umol/joule.
    Those lights ikea had around were at 1 umol/joule, so a lot worse than a high pressure sodium lamp but better than those shitty blurples. There are fantastic blurples on the market but not for mere mortals
    You want to combine this with a meanwell driver and if you buy the B type you can dim it easily with PWM, a 100 k poti or hooking up a photosensitive resistor directly.
    I have something like this on my windowsill to accommodate the sunlight so that it does not use that much power.

    This isn’t enough space for anything worthwhile. If you want to safe a bit of space, there are a lot of plants that grow like crazy in hydroponic systems. Basil for example is fine with nutrient solution that isn’t oxygenated, so the kratky deep water culture method works fine.
    You can also build a cheap ebb flow system from the Samla boxes with the toolbox insert that has an okay woman acceptance factor.
    I have this thing from Ikea called Växer, it is good for propagating large amounts of basil. It is also good for starting seeds in coco coir pellets and keep them moist.
    Otherwise you will have a lot more water consumption, need a big tank and measuring the PH of soil runoff is shitty because normal glas bulb meters clog like crazy

    Don’t use anything with wood, sure it looks nice but you can’t prevent water spillage in the long run.

  5. I am looking for spme systems to do larger scale plant management. Nutrients and harvesting if anyone want to work on that. I am working on a farm looling to do hydroponics

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