Desk of Ladyada – Desk plant health monitoring with SproutSense and Adafruit.io

This week at the Desk of Ladyada we’re getting green, experimenting with soil moisture sensing on a prototype we’re testing out called SproutSense. It’s kinda like a Trinkey but for monitoring plant health.

We just picked up a few plants from the grocery store and already sorta killed one by not watering it enough, so we’ve got a lot of incentive to learn a bit and maybe revive this li’l guy.

For long term data tracking, we’re reading the serial output data in CPython and then uploading it to adafruit.io. We have a public dashboard here https://io.adafruit.com/adafruit2/dashboards/sproutsense.

Right now we’re trying to figure out: why does the capacitance slooowly rise over the course of days, and how can we detect when the soil has dried out using some sort of logic/hysteresis since the depth of the sensor can affect the absolute value. We’re also learning about different ways to measure soil moisture. We might redesign this board completely after perusing the “soil sensing social media” site over at  https://zerocharactersleft.blogspot.com/2011/11/pcb-as-capacitive-soil-moisture-sensor.html.

And the Great Search this week is finding an ideal SMT 20mm Coin Holder.

See the Desk of Ladyada video below:

 


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