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InqGarden - Brown thumbs rule!

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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@inq Given your distances, AC will be better. I did look at the motor driven valves but was not convinced they would hold up to constant use. For your use case the wear and tear would be waaaay less.

FYI, when I had my big garden I watered every 2 or 3 days for 1 hr until temps hit 30C then daily for up to 2 hrs depending on number of days in a row that were hot. I had raised gardens on hard clay.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
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Posted by: @inq

Capacitive Soil Moisture Sensor - Although the picture says 1.2, mine are 2.0

image

If you look closely between C4 & R4 on your sensors, there is no pinout hole to the left of them (in the one you have pictured). The bad ones (From China since they post whatever pics they want to), have that pinout hole which makes them practically unusable and require soldering a wire from the right of R4 to the connector ground pin. 😡 🤬 


   
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byron
(@byron)
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@inq

I remember putting in a post when the subject of those soil moisture sensors came up not so long ago.  My experience of them is they are not going to be much use except maybe for a small plant growing in a small pot. 

I think making some sort of effort to log the approx watering given to a particular plant over a growing season combined with logging all the details from various sensors of temporaneous events  like temperature, rain, sunlight  etc, logged every 15 minutes or so may give a good basis for some sort of automating the watering process.

A rpi that hosts a sql database would be ideal for this logging.  I use the mariadb which is the mysql version for Debian.   Once data has been gathered then it can be analysed by creating  queries to summarise and extrapolate the data  for meaningful trends.  (shock trend, no watering necessary if it rained 😎 )

Each sensor, or bunch of sensors, can be linked to a microprocessor to send mqtt messages, and  a mqtt client program on the rpi can receive these messages and save the timestamped data into this database.   Manual logs of approx watering events should be added at the end of each day.   

But supposing you create a wonderful fully automated veggie patch watering system based on your brilliant algorithms, you may just be doing your dear wife a disservice.   You may be fired up with the challenge of building an programming a watering system, but your wife may actually like the process of going out to lovingly tender her plants.  Gardening is a therapeutic process, some even like to talk to their plants and stroke their leaves.  (Maybe a good excuse to get away from family members to do a bit of gardening watering .. who knows 😲 )


   
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Inq
 Inq
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Posted by: @byron

but your wife may actually like the process of going out to lovingly tender her plants.  Gardening is a therapeutic process, some even like to talk to their plants and stroke their leaves. 

Maybe, I need to evaluate as you suggest.  My gut reaction... says you may be right and it be best if I just let nature and electronics stay each to their own.  🤣 

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@inq Speaking as a gardener, I agree with @byron. Speaking as an electronics enthusiast, there are more challenges than you know. I don't know how many of those soil moisture sensors you were planning on, but 1 every 2 or 4 ft 'feels' right. Also, some plants want the moisture 1" below the surface, others 6" and more. This tech is only suited for under 12" pots, 1 sensor per pot.

OTOH, depending on the plant, there are well established watering devices like the following.

Auto with reservoir  Pop bottle waterer  

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
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Posted by: @zander

@inq Speaking as a gardener, I agree with @byron. Speaking as an electronics enthusiast, there are more challenges than you know. I don't know how many of those soil moisture sensors you were planning on, but 1 every 2 or 4 ft 'feels' right. Also, some plants want the moisture 1" below the surface, others 6" and more. This tech is only suited for under 12" pots, 1 sensor per pot.

OTOH, depending on the plant, there are well established watering devices like the following.

Auto with reservoir  Pop bottle waterer  

I'm thinking it's the other way around.  From a gardener's standpoint, I don't even have a clue!  From an electronics enthusiast standpoint, I feel I can tackle any problem.  The hardware will give the most trouble, but the Internet is my Cookbook!  🤣 

As far as water, we're near the top and certainly the top of the water chain.  My drinking water doesn't come out of any other person's water treatment plant.  If anything, I have too much water... I have two year-round streams (wouldn't call them even creeks or rivers).  I have at least five natural springs and two boggy areas, that I wish I could get dry.  Point being... we don't really need to conserve water. 

When I listen to you all, having proper pH and different watering characteristics at different stages of a plant's life cycle... I am completely glazing over (out of my element and knowledge base).  My wife doesn't do those kind of things... leaving the hose filling the garden with water... the garden, being on a hill, naturally drains.  If she forgets the hose over night, no big deal.  But then she only grows stuff like corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers... aka normal food stuff.  With the systems, you all must be talking about, you must be growing orchids.  I only guess that because the movies say those are a PITA.  😆 

Posted by: @zander

but 1 every 2 or 4 ft 'feels' right.

🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 You're so funny!  I was going to put one at the bottom of one 150' row.  Water filling from the top of the row.  When if finally drains down and soaks the bottom sensor, it's time to shut it off!  

... but then, it's that kind of thinking that puts me in the "Brown Thumbs Rule" category.

 

But I'd really like to hear the science and situations of what you all are critical about.  

VBR,

Inq

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
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I decided to get a different board to handle my specific needs. I am including a PDF with the specs.

It's a kit, so I will get my soldering on 😎 


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
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Posted by: @inq

 

When I listen to you all, having proper pH and different watering characteristics at different stages of a plant's life cycle... I am completely glazing over (out of my element and knowledge base).  My wife doesn't do those kind of things... leaving the hose filling the garden with water... the garden, being on a hill, naturally drains.  If she forgets the hose over night, no big deal.  But then she only grows stuff like corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers... aka normal food stuff.  With the systems, you all must be talking about, you must be growing orchids.  I only guess that because the movies say those are a PITA.  😆 

 

Yeah. Orchids. Let's go with that 😉 


   
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Inq
 Inq
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Posted by: @dastardlydoug Yeah. Orchids. Let's go with that 😉 

I think you're safe, even if Big Brother is listening, I can't see where you are from your forum profile.  But remember... Big Brother has other methods.  🤣 😎 

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
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Posted by: @inq
Posted by: @dastardlydoug Yeah. Orchids. Let's go with that 😉 

I think you're safe, even if Big Brother is listening, I can't see where you are from your forum profile.  But remember... Big Brother has other methods.  🤣 😎 

My doctor recommended it and prescribed it to me to replace all of the opioids I was on for pain.

Got registered with the state, and I'm 100% legal 👍 

 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@dastardlydoug That's a very impressive board, but why do you need it? 

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@inq The problem is there is no science being applied. Sticking a hose out and letting it flood the garden MIGHT be ok if ALL the plants in the garden are water loving plants. I assume it is very low flow rate so you are not dislodging plants or even disturbing the tiny hair like feeding roots with too much water flowing through the plant. Remember, what you are doing may not kill some plants, but you could be negatively affecting the yields.I recall one season when due to major weather difficulties and my being somewhat distracted my gardens that I normally fed the street with barely produced enough for my wife and I. That was at least a 10 to 1 difference. I am very surprised to hear the logic of 'hey I snap my fingers to keep the tigers away', retort, there's no tigers here, 'see, it works'. Without double blind or at least mass testing you have no idea if your current let alone future practices are optimal.

BTW, it's nothing to do with water conservation, it's about the right amount at the right time.

Actually water is probably the simplest variable, pH and NPK (food) are MUCH more of an issue. Even a 'brown thumb' like you (or if not at least your wife) must know that using heavy Nitrogen food on say carrots will produce great tops, but we want great roots and that is NOT Nitrogen.

Sorry if it sounds like I am beating up on you, but my expectations for you are much higher.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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(@dastardlydoug)
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Posted by: @zander

@dastardlydoug That's a very impressive board, but why do you need it? 

It will run my pumps without a bunch of separate electronics mostly. And is very versatile as far as voltages, etc.

Plus, it gives me lots of soldering practice 😉 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@dastardlydoug Ok, I thought it was all sorted earlier. Are you going to have a garage sale for all the other stuff you bought?

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Inq
 Inq
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Posted by: @zander

Sorry if it sounds like I am beating up on you, but my expectations for you are much higher.

I didn't feel like you were beating up on me.  And I don't even have a problem of you having high expectations for me when it comes to this forum's area's of expertise. 

I don't have any expectations for the garden to be a required food source and the science behind it doesn't interest me that much.  Biology is not my bag!  It will never be a substitute for the grocery store.  It just supplies better tasting food for a very short time per year.  And even if an apocalypse occurs, I have no delusions that I could protect it from the masses of starving city people flooding into the rural areas.

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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