What’s the best way to save water without sacrificing homegrown veggies? There are those who believe that in-soil moisture monitors–or “smart garden” systems–may be the answer. Now, one hobbyist is working on an open-source garden monitoring system that may allow for fully automated garden watering, based on precise soil conditions.
The GardenBot (which comes to us by way of Treehugger) is the brainchild of designer and artist Andrew Frueh, who has an interest in both open-source micro-computing and gardening. According to him, GardenBot is a complete garden monitoring and automation system that will allow you to monitor the conditions in your garden and create charts to help you visualize those conditions. It also makes use of a module to that gives you the power to turn on the water at the flip of a switch. This is the Beta version of GardenBot. In the future, Frueh plans to have a fully automatic option, giving you the option to have the system water your garden for you–provided there is sufficient interest in the project.
There are those who will take issue with whether programs like GardenBot are appropriate technology. After all, human beings have been successfully raising food without the aid of such computer-monitored gizmos for millennia. Still, as more people with 9 to 5 jobs and a host of modern responsibilities attempt to do this raising food thing at home, smart gardening systems like this make a whole lot of sense, as can’t always be home to water during optimal times–and increasingly, we can’t afford to waste water.