In my country greenhouse gardening is widely spread. However, the methods that people are using to grow vegetables have not developed lately, therefore to harvest a decent amount of crops one has to work tediously by taking care of plants, as well as of climate conditions. This situation made me think how can I ease the life of a gardener and I end up designing an automation system for a greenhouse (SAS is the abbreviation of its name in Romanian language) .
First of all, I need to say that I do not own a greenhouse, so I started by gathering more information about them and about all that you need to do while growing something in them. I ended up talking to several farmers that are using their greenhouses as a source of income. They all came up with several features that, in their perspective, an ideal automation system would have (obviously those may vary in your region, but the advantage of this system is versatility, therefore you can easily adapt it to your needs)
- It should be able to monitor and adjust, if necessary, such parameters as air temperature and humidity;
- It needs to extend the day according to the ambient illumination level;
- the system needs to measure the soil humidity and react accordingly;
- It should be sustainable, versatile and easy to use;
- And the most important one - it should require minimal changes of an existing greenhouse, hence it should interface such devices as water valves, fans, humidifiers and whatever equipment that could be installed in a common greenhouse.It also meant no WiFi/Ethernet, GSM capabilities, although it could be easily implemented.