I really love plants, but sometimes plants won't love you back. I am the worst plant mom ever, so I decided to make an interactive garden. This garden will tell you when it wants water, so you never forget to do that. I also wanted to make the garden interact-able, that's why I put in an ultrasonic sensor. With this sensor you can read the distance there is between an object and the sensor. When you come close enough to the garden, it will fill you up with joy!
Now that you are all hyped up, lets have a look at what we'll need!
- LedStrip with waterproof casing
- Neoixel Ring
- Ground humidity sensor X2
- Ultrasonic sensor
- A pot to put your garden in
- Big stone
- Glass jar
- Some acrylic or watertight material
- Glue gun
Step 1: Preparing the Electronics
I wanted to make sure that all electronics would be save from water damage, so I used silicone kit for for my Pixelring. The ring went underneath the jar and I had some leftover plexiglass from a previous project. That went underneath the pixelring so it was sandwiched between the jar and the plexiglass. Then I put the silicone kit around, making sure I had every nook and cranny.
I took the humidity sensor and put some glue around the part where they are wired. I noticed some rust on them after I played around with them for a while. I hope it helps against the rust. It's not ideal, but I had some plants to cover it up anyway.
Now it was time to prepare the pot and for that we would need the LEDstrip. I bought mine with the watertight casing already on it. I measured how long it should be and cut it off. Making sure to leave some extra casing on both sides. I soldered the wires on and tested it one more time. Everything worked so I took my glue gun and attached the LEDstrip to the pot.
Step 2: Planting the Pot
First I filled up half of the pot with some soil, I placed the jar with pixel ring in the pot. While doing this I tried to visualise what the composition should look like. I tried to place the bosai over the jar and it fit perfectly. This really fit the theme, in my opinion it's small mana tree now. Next I filled the rest of the pot with soil and played around with the big stone. I finalised the composition and was happy with how it looked. If you are making something like this I recommend you to take some time for this and play around!
Step 3: Put in Your Electronics!
CodeBefore I put in the electronics, I played around with the code. I had all the scripts for the individual sensors. This way if I ever work with it again I could just copy paste it into a project.
I wired the electronics to my Arduino and started adding everything together. I ran into a lot of problems with the more advanced things I wanted to do. I tried to make the LEDstrip do something while I water the garden, but that was very hard. The sensor was not accurate enough for me to succeed that I decided, after a long time trying to delete those lines of code and focus on something a bit simpler. In the end I have a program that reads both humidity sensors When the humidity is too low it makes the leds red and when the humidity is good it will show green leds. When there sits someone in front of the garden some leds will twinkle slowly to indicate its reaction to you. When you come even closer it will show a loading/charging pattern and goes on in an fading rainbow to fill you up with joy!
You can check out the code beneath. Be aware tho, I am still learning. If you have any tips for me feel free to comment those below!