Any plantbot or smart garden project needs its own watering system, depending on the type of soil and preferred cultivation technique we’ll chose one or other method. Soil moisture monitoring may be needed, a completed review on moisture sensors can be found on this previous post.
On this post we are going to cover the market available device that can be used to build any plant watering system for Arduino-like plantbot project.
Active watering devices: pumps and nebulizers
A wide range of water pumps are available on the market, depending on where the pump is placed ( inside the water tank or not ) and presure requirements for the watering system. For domestic smart garden or Arduino plantbots low voltage water pumps may be the best option.
Low voltage water pumps (3VDC to 5VDC):
There are several water pumps available on the market. If you plant to water using a dip irrigation system you’ll have to chose the pump according on the pressure needed for that system. Low voltage water pumps are perfect for little watering systems, they do not make enough water pressure, neither noise, and they are cheap.
Low voltage peristaltic pumps are a good solution for low pressure systems. This are highly reliable devices, the water is isolated from the pump elements as the water flows all the time inside a hose. For it’s design it can not have water backflow and flow control is simple and accurate.
Mist and fog generators
Water atomization is a common system on aeroponics and fogponics cultures. This watering systems offer several advantages compared to traditional pump watering systems:
- Very slow and low volume watering
- Progressive increase of soil humidity
- Less water waste and water recycling needs
Passive watering devices:
When the water tank is above the soil watering can be done using electrovalves to control the water flow.
Gravity watering systems
Electrovalves can be placed in between the hose that conects the water tank to the soil. When water is needed you only have to open the electrovalve.
Electrovalves: Solenoid valve
Electrovalves are low voltage low consume devices that can be used to control water flow. When looking into it what has to be taken into account is the maximum presure that the electrovalve support.