Garden Design

The design of the garden was driven by available space, as well as how to minimize the amount of work that needed to be done on a daily basis to keep up with the plants.

Basic Garden Frame

The basic frame of the garden was created by pine 2x4's. This makes the garden sturdy, and enables a significant amount of weight to be supported, so no issues with hanging lights, using the top to support tools, etc.

Grow Lighting

The initial setup of the garden began with four shop lights hanging from chains above the growing area. These chains can be adjusted based on the height of the plants, and the closer the bulbs are to the plants, the greater intensity of the lighting. Each fixture holds two 60W bulbs that are four feet in length.

To augment the intensity of the lighting, two standalone grow lights were added to the structure, each rated at 12W. These used a narrow spectrum of red and blue that are optimized for stimulating plant growth.

florescent lights

Sensor Hardware

The current version of the garden is monitored by two raspberry pi's that are situated at different sections of the growing area. One is mounted at the end, and contains the camera used for monitoring plant growth. Given the design of the structure, this location provided the best angle for capturing the most of the growing area. This is also used for running the moisture sensor which has an external circuit leveraging an ADC chip to translate the analog readings.

The second unit is in the middle of the growing area, and is connected to the humidity/temperature sensor. This could be all located on one unit, although the wiring would be quite dense given the number of connections.

raspberry pi circuit