Plastic bottles have been a huge threat to the environment now-a-days. Most of the people just throw them away after using. This makes severe damages to the environment. Here are some bad effects caused by plastic bottles.
- Pollution of water sources
- Harmful for animals
- Water contained plastic bottles are the main reason to mosquitoes
Further, plastic requires hundreds of years to decay into soil. Therefore the main thing we can do to protect the environment from plastic bottles, is recycling or reusing them. Here, I will show you how to make an indoor garden using plastic bottles. I also have included an Arduino based plant monitoring system to maintain the soil quality. Hope this will be helpful to protect our environment.
Let's get started.
Step 1: Things You Need
There are several methods of using plastic bottles for gardening. I will show you 2 ways, but you can try different methods as you desire. Collect these items.
- Empty plastic bottles
- Cutter Knife
- A pair of scissors
- A Screwdriver
My first method is to use the bottle horizontally and the second one is to use it vertically. Let's focus on the first method.
Step 2: Method 1
- Mark two lines with a 5cm space in between, on the plastic bottle according to the above images.
- Cut out the marked stripe from the plastic bottle.
- Fill the bottle with soil, keeping 1cm free space from the top.
Now your small garden is almost ready. This is suitable for small sized plants or shrubs. Use many bottles and try to make a small indoor garden. In china and japan they use these kind of indoor gardens to plant small herbs which they need in day to day life. Hence, you do not have to run to the market when you need.
After planting, do not use water more than the limit because we don't have a method to remove the excess water. To overcome these problems, I have planned to add a soil monitoring system at the end of this instructable.
Step 3: Method 2
Take another plastic bottle and mark 5 dots around at the same level. Continue this while keeping 10cm space between 2 levels.
Heat the screw driver and make holes on marked dots. Holes with 8mm diameter would be enough.
Now fill the bottle with soil according to the picture.
This method is ideal for vines. Insert the roots of the vines in the holes and shake the bottle to grab the root by soil.
To make enough space for vines we can hang the bottle near a window so that they get enough sunlight to grow. Also this method is used to plant herbs in South Asian countries.
Step 4: Components for the Plant Monitor
For the plant monitoring system I have included a light level meter and a soil moisture level meter. This has LEDs to indicate the current situation and also includes a bluetooth module. Therefore we can monitor the condition through our mobile phone.
To make the plant monitor, collect following items.
- Arduino UNO/Nano board
- HC 06 Bluetooth Module
- Arduino Soil moisture module
- Green, Red LED
- 2 X 330 Ohm resistors
- 1X 1K resistor
Step 5: Make the Circuit
Connect the circuit according the above diagram. For your convenience I will break it down into steps.
- Connect one pin of the LDR to 5v pin of the Arduino board. Connect other pin to the A1 pin and to the ground through a 1k resistor.
- Connect the bluetooth module's Vcc and Gnd pins to 5v and Gnd. Then connect it's Tx and Rx pins to Rx and Tx pins of the arduino board.
- Connect positive pins of 2 LEDs to D5(Red) and D3(Green) pins. Connect negative pins to the ground through 330 Ohm resistors.
- Connect Vcc and Gnd pins of the soil moisture meter to 5v and Gnd. Then connect the data pin to the A3 pin of the Arduino Board.
Step 6: Code the Arduino
Upload the above code to the arduino board. As it's a very simple code you can identify the functions easily. Functionality will be like this.
- If moisture and light levels are okay, green LED will flash and send "Light and Moisture are Okay" through the Bluetooth module.
- If light level is low, Red LED will flash and send "Low light" through Bluetooth.
- If moisture level is low, Red LED will blink and send "Low moisture" through Bluetooth.
To connect via bluetooth use "Bluetooth Terminal" or "Bluetooth Electronics" Mobile Apps. They are simple and awesome mobile apps which allows you to connect and monitor your plant. After turning on the bluetooth module, search for new bluetooth devices from your mobile phone and it should appear as HC06. Use 0000 as the passcode.
Step 7: Finalizing.
To cover up all the electronic parts, find a box like above image. If you cannot find a one, use a laser cutter and plywood boards. I have uploaded here the drawing file. All you have to do is cut and glue the pieces.
After placing electronics inside the box, place the moisture level monitor inside the plastic bottle.
Power up your arduino board to make it work.
Now you have a tiny smart indoor garden with a plant monitoring system.
Enjoy your new DIY indoor smart garden. If you like this, please vote for the contest. Cheers.!!!
Second Prize in the
Indoor Gardening Contest 2016