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Garduino: Gardening + Arduino

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Step 10: Create A Self-Watering Setup

You've got a wide variety of options here. Here's how mine works:
-pump is activated by relay; relay is controlled by moisture sensors
-pump moves water from 5-gallon bucket to chunk of milk carton
-gravity moves water from chunk of milk carton down bike tubes directly to plants

If you do a setup like this, be sure to elevate the bucket on a crate or something else: moving water a few inches vs. several feet vertically will greatly reduce the strain on your pump.

I initially tried just using a sprinkler valve mounted to the bottom of a bucket, but gravity wasn't providing enough pressure for the water to flow beyond the slightest trickle. I thought about connecting the sprinkler valve right into my plumbing, but I worried the chlorine content of water straight from the faucet would be bad for my plants (chlorine evaporates from water within something like 24 hours).

A better version of this would use 2 buckets, with water coming from sprinkler valve connected to house plumbing into one bucket, being held there 24+ hours, and then moving into the 2nd, plant-feeding bucket.

The best version I can think of would use greywater and a little aquarium pump to make compost tea... have at it!
 
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