So, you may be wondering...WHAT IS HYDROPONICS?
Basically, hydroponics is growing plants without the use of a traditional dirt medium by using a nutrient rich water solution. Those mediums used to "plant" in a range from fibreglass to sand and from fired clay balls to nothing at all. Several branches of hydroponics include aeroponics, aquaponics, etc. But WHYwould I want to take all this extra time and effort to grow my plants in this "special water"? Well, hydroponically grown foods not only taste better and are more nutritional, you can change the properties of your food, monitor what goes into your food and pollute less. You can also grow more in less space. This is especially great for those people that have limited areas in their backyard to grow in. With the right plant selection, you can also keep pests away; a citronella plant has oils that keep away mosquitoes and other pests. Now if this wasn't enough for you to jump right into hydroponics, listen to this: hydroponics uses 70 to 90 percent LESS water than conventional growing does.
To build the Hydruino, you're going to need to first gather some supplies.
- Any Suitable Arduino Board
- Peristaltic Liquid Pump with Silicone Tubing
- Regular Pump
- 5V Relay Modules for Arduino
- PH Up/Down Solution
- 12V Solenoid Valve
- DHT11 or DHT21 or DHT22 Humidity/Temperature Sensor
- Photosensitive Sensor for Arduino
- Various Wires
- Grow Lights (mine are LED)
- Sockets for Grow Lights
- 3.2" TFT LCD Shield + Touch Screen (usually has an SD card reader on the back of it)
- Water Level Sensor Float Switch (2)
- I2C RTC DS1307 AT24C32 Real Time Clock Module
- 9V and 12V Power Supplies
- Hydroponics Pots (I'm using 10 - 3" pots for this)
- 1" PVC Pipe and Fittings + Drain Pipe and Fittings