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Raspberry Pi based garden monitoring system supplies five sensors

Oct 16, 2018 — by Eric Brown 9,921 views

On Kickstarter: SwitchDoc Labs’ “Smart Garden System” is a Raspberry Pi and Grove-based environmental monitoring and plant watering system with sensors for soil moisture, sunlight, air quality, temperature, and humidity.

Spokane Valley, Wash. based SwitchDoc Labs (SDL) has launched a more advanced, up to nine plant Smart Garden System (SGS) kit version of its earlier SmartPlantPi kit. The Raspberry Pi based kit, which requires no soldering, is promoted as being an educational system for learning about gardening as well as the Raspberry Pi and IoT technology.

Smart Garden System prototype
(click images to enlarge)

The SGS provides feedback on a the plants’ environment, soil, and condition, and is capable of remote notifications and automatic watering. The SGS follows other Raspberry Pi based gardening kits that have launched this year including the BioControle and OpenMinder.

Like the SmartPlantPi, the SGS is being funded on Kickstarter. It surpassed its funding goal with 13 days left and is available for $115 with 3D printed stand and one plant sensor, or $175 with a kit that adds a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, 5V/2A power supply, nylon standoffs, and pre-loaded SD card. There are also “Full SGS” kits with 4- or 8-plant extender boards starting at $255. Shipments are due in November.


The kit attaches I2C connected sensors to the Pi via one of Seeed’s unnamed, Raspberry Pi Grove connector boards. The final product will reduce the cable clutter seen in the images of the prototype:

The basic SGS kit consists of:

  • Grove connector board for the Raspberry Pi
  • SI1145 sunlight/IR/UV sensor
  • Sensitive Grove air quality sensor
  • Grove ultrasonic water level sensor
  • Capacitive soil moisture sensor
  • HDC1080 indoor temperature and humidity sensor
  • 4-channel, 16-bit ADC
  • 8-pixel RGBW strip
  • Grove OLED 128 x 64 display
  • 8 x 20cm Grove cables and 1x 50cm Grove cable
  • USB PowerControl NE solid state relay
  • USB activated pump
  • Hose (200mm) with clip
  • 3D printed ultrasonic holder and SGS stand

Smart Garden System detail view (left) and Blynck app
(click images to enlarge)

The Full SGS model extends the SGS with one or two 4 Plant Extender Boards with built-in USB pump controls and ADC. You also get 4x USB controlled pumps, 4x capacitive moisture sensors, and the power supply. The full kits, which ship with or without a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, also boost the number of cables and the length of the hose, as well as offering a larger stand.

On the software side you get a Raspbian based stack that offers access to the Blynck smartphone app for monitoring and control. Full Python based source code and 3D printer files are available.

Smart Garden System prototype video overview

Further information

The Smart Garden System (SGS) is available on Kickstarter through Oct. 30 starting at $110 without a Raspberry Pi. Educational classroom discounts are available. More information may be found on the SGS Kickstarter page, and more should eventually appear at the SwitchDoc Labs website


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