Automated Garden MVP

Build a garden that monitors light and soil moisture levels, watering and supplementing light when needed.

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Goal: Indoor tabletop herb garden that will flourish with minimal maintenance. Watering and lighting automated so human focus is on monitoring health of plants and tweaking automation schedules.

This proof of concept project will consist of growing one plant indoors but system will be designed to scale up for automated care of multiple plants in existing gardens.

Watering and Lighting Automation Overview:

Watering automation will consist of a soil moisture sensor connected to a wifi-enabled microprocessor that will sample the soil at set intervals. When soil moisture is too low, the processor will trigger a watering event. Plant will be watered from a gravity feed reservoir where a motor opens a valve to allow a slight flow of water for a set time.

Lighting will be solar supplemented by a growlight. A light sensor will measure how much overall light is provided throughout the day from the sun. At night the growlight will turn on for an interval based on how much natural light the plant received during the previous day.

Project Components:

  1. Physical System
    1. Plant Setup
    2. Watering Setup
    3. Lighting Setup
  2. Inputs
    1. Soil moisture sensor
      1. Watering threshold
      1. Length of watering time
      1. Sample intervals
    1. Light sensor
      1. Ideal amount of light for plant
      1. “Enough light” threshold
      1. Sample intervals
  3. Outputs
    1. Motor to drive valve on water reservoir
    1. System to turn on/off growlight
  4. Logging
    1. Data From Each Day
      1. Moisture Levels
      1. # Watering Events
      1. Sunlight Received
      1. Growlight Time
    1. Over Time
      1. Normal Conditions:
        1. Moisture Levels Read
        1. # Watering Events Triggered
        1. Light Levels Read Each Day
        1. Growlight Time Each Night
      1. Warnings Triggered:
        1. Large change in # Watering Events Triggered
        1. Large change in Growlight Time (adjusted against actual weather? Sun vs. clouds, sunrise/sunset times)


Code to get up and running with automated water and lighting. Time intervals need adjustment. Irrigation routine needs controls for stopping/starting water.

ino - 2.12 kB - 04/07/2017 at 18:56


  • 1 × Arduino UNO R3
  • 1 × Phantom YoYo Moisture Sensor
  • 1 × Digital Photosensor
  • 2 × Servo
  • 1 × Power Strip with switch

View all 7 components

  • Power Strip Control (Safely)

    Brian04/07/2017 at 19:10 0 comments

    In lieu of tapping into 110V AC power to control lights and watering, we decided to rig up a system that would physically control the ON/OFF button on a power strip.

    This way the entire project can run on the 5V power supplied by the Arduino and will be very safe.

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