Atti Bagashov's Giard{U}ino Energetico Delivers Water-Efficient Automated Indoor Gardening

Featuring automated watering and a Blynk-powered IoT control system, this indoor garden can make growing greens easier.

Maker Atti Bagashov has built a smart indoor gardening system, powered by an Espressif ESP32 and designed for monitoring and control over the Internet of Things (IoT): the Giard{U}ino Energetico.

"GiArd{u}ino Energetico is a smart garden project designed to save water and make gardening easier," Bagashov explains. "It creates a fully automated irrigation system that minimizes water waste and ensures efficient water use. The system detects soil moisture levels and automatically activates a valve controlled by an Arduino [compatible] board ([the WEMOS] D1 MINI). This allows for precise watering, tailored to each plant's needs, reducing both overwatering and underwatering."

"The primary objective of GiArd{u}ino Energetico is to improve water efficiency in home gardening," Bagashov adds. "This is achieved by developing a system that reduces water waste through precise, automated irrigation based on real-time soil moisture data. Additionally, the project seeks to automate the entire irrigation process, eliminating the need for manual intervention and ensuring that plants receive the optimal amount of water at the right time."

The project's smarts come, as Bagashov says, courtesy of a Wemos D1 Mini microcontroller board, hosting an Espressif ESP32. This is programmed using the Arduino IDE to monitor a moisture sensor and trigger a relay to fire off an automated watering system if required β€” though scheduling, remote control, and monitoring is also available, using the ESP32's integrated Wi-Fi radio to communicate with the Blynk cloud service.

The plants themselves are housed in a three-part laser-cut plywood box, lined with perspex to keep the moist soil away from the treated-yet-still-porous wood. These pots are filled with soil, then the irrigation system installed β€” using custom-designed 3D-printed fixings to run the hoses where they need to go. Finally, the hoses are pierced to allow them to leak water out to keep the plants happy.

Bagashov has suggested a range of possible improvements for the project, too, including a more balanced pumping system, the addition of insulation, a greenhouse-like enclosure, and even a solar panel so that the electronics can run from harvested energy.

The full project write-up is available on Instructables, with source code, 3D print files, and laser-cutting files.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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