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From our May 2021 miniseries on our livestream show, Ask Q Live, we bring your own self watering garden learning kit. Now you can have a go at creating your own self watering system for the various small house plants and mini plants throughout your home (let’s go succulent plant owners!). Plus, it would be a great way to recycle not only old plastic cups but also larger bottles such as milk cartons – yes, we’ve updated the design to work with larger bottles.

Our kits can be done by yourself or with whānau and they are a perfect place to start learning how to work with electronics, even if you or your whānau are beginners.

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When we were first Figuring out what we would like to work on for Ask Q 2021, we knew we would like to add more coding projects into the show. This led us towards learning about Arduinos. Arduino is an open source, microcontroller electronics platform which Users can code their Arduino boards to react to inputs (e.g. a Finger pressing into a button) and create outputs (E.g. Switching on a light). We had seen how versatile it is for a whole range of projects and how beginner friendly it is - perfect for our show.  

As we were developing the project for our liveshow, we were also inspired by a lot of the Arduino projects we've seen that aim to be sustainable by recycling materials or helping the environment. We ended up being drawn to a self-watering garden design which originally didn't feature a soil moisture sensor. The original design can be found via the link below:

The initial design looked good but we wanted to make our own additions with the design. For instance, we've noticed that there was no way to measure if we gave the plant too much water. So, after some more research, we were able to find a way to incorporate a soil moisture sensor to the self-watering garden design and code it so that when a certain threshold is met, the water pump will run to replenish the water levels. With all that done, We were finally ready to launch our Automated Garden on Ask Q Live.

After completing that mini-series, we were approached to teach other people how to create their own automated garden through various workshops. It got us thinking about how people, who are beginners in coding and electronics, would be interested in learning how to build their own self watering gardens. We Saw this opportunity to package this project all up and make it more available to the people at home.

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We would like to thank you once again for purchasing our DIY Automated Garden Learning Kits. as you can already see if you are able to reach this website, a series of video tutorials are provided with the kit via QR code. The tutorial will be split into five parts:

Welcome to our kits

Here, you will be introduced to the final product once you complete your learning kit and what you would need from your own home to build your kit - Don't worry, all you would need is a power bank, your own plants, your laptop/computer to code your Arduino and either some plastic cups or bottles to recycle into your mini-garden.

Preparing your Arduino and Computer

Here, you will be Talked through how to prep your device for the next step of writing up your code for your Arduino in order for it to correctly measure your soil moisture and time the water pump properly. It would require you to install Arduino software and configure your D1Mini but here we will walk you through the steps.

Download Links:

ARDUINO IDE SOftware

Wemos D1 Mini Drivers

Wemos D1 Mini Pin Out Sheet

Board Manager Link: https://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json

Coding and Testing

Here, you will be Coding your Arduino device in order for it to measure your soil moisture and figure out when to activate your water pump to water your plants. This would not only require you to write your code on the Arduino software but also to test this code on both your moisture sensor and water pump.

Download Links:

Download/Copy Motor and Water pump Test Code

Download/Copy Moisture Sensor Test Code

Wemos D1 Mini Pin Out Sheet

Building the Mini-Garden

Here, you will be finally assembling your Learning Kit! Not only would you need to cut up your plastic cups/bottles you would like to recycle and stick all your parts together, but you would also need to upload and test your final code before it's complete.

Download Links:

Download/Copy DIY Automated Garden Code

Wemos D1 Mini Pin Out Sheet

What's Next

Here, you would have finally completed your kit and are wondering "Now What?' - we have alternative set-ups you can try with your kits. Other than that, we would like to thank you again for purchasing our kits, following along to this tutorial and supporting us and Ask Q Live.

 
 
 
 
 

Wemos D1 Mini - Pin Out SHeet

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