Gardening For Geeks
It’s an unfortunate truth that many of us geeks don’t spend nearly enough time outside. Reconnecting with nature every once in a while is good for our mental and physical health, though, helping to reduce anxiety, depression, and even stress levels. The easiest way to get outside is by stepping out the front door and spending time in your garden. Keeping your yard looking its best can take a lot of hard work and time – something that many of us already don’t have enough of. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to break your back maintaining and managing your garden. Automated systems can satisfy the geek within us, and help us keep our gardens running smoothly.
Watering Your Plants
You can use a microcontroller board such as an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi to set up an automated irrigation system, ensuring that your plants get enough water whenever they need it. You can even wirelessly connect your watering system to software on your phone or computer, allowing you to monitor, track and chart how much water you use over the months. The most efficient type of watering system for most gardens is a drip irrigation setup. Water runs through a series of connected tubes, dripping out of strategically placed holes and onto plants. This system gives you a high level of control over the amount of water that you use, and can help to prevent overwaters, reducing the risk of root rot. With a similar principle to keeping the gutters of your home well-maintained, however, it’s important to make sure the system is regularly cleaned and well-maintained to keep debris from accumulating and causing blockages. This will ensure the system continues to run smoothly and you can fully enjoy all it has to offer.
While weeds used to be the bane of any gardener’s existence, now, it’s easier than ever to deal with unwanted plant growth. If you don’t have the time (or the motivation) to spend hours hunched over your garden picking weeds, you can turn to new robotic innovations designed to do the job for you. Tertill is a solar-powered robot designed to comb through your garden and remove any weeds that it detects. It works based on height, pulling up any new growth or sprouts popping through the soil. There’s also the FarmBot, an open-source CNC gardening setup that not only allows you to weed remotely, but also inject seeds, waters plants, and tests soil.
Turning your yard into an outdoor sanctuary doesn’t necessarily have to be a chore. You can create the ultimate geek garden by using robotics and software to automate all of the tasks that you don’t want to deal with. You can create your own irrigation system using a microcontroller board, and you can keep on top of weeding with brand new technology designed to make home gardening a breeze.