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Gardens are often in need of monitoring to keep them going in times of neglect, community gardens often lose plants for this reason and this Garduino project is to be designed as a low cost DIY option for community gardeners to build or buy and monitor their shared gardens.

A community garden in Melbourne's western suburbs

Project objectives

We are seeking to design, prototype and document instructions for building a very low cost garden monitoring and watering automation system. This project will be worked on at weekly CCHS sessions until complete

Final product is to be built from easy to acquire and very cheap items which can be easily serviced or replaced. It should be reliable enough that it can sustain a basic garden or vegetable patch for several months without any human intervention and should only use minimal power (preferably solar) and minimal water for cost and sustainability reasons. CCHS might have the option of commercialisation of final product as a modular garden monitoring kit and thus an benefit could be generated for the club. Donations of kits/working modules to community gardens could be done to raise CCHS profile and generate interest in the club. Instructions/tools/parts/code for building Garduino system to be made available to CCHS members as a project for young hackers or basic level enthusiasts.

Project scope and exclusions

Scope of project includes the following top level products

  • Documentation for the build of each of the Garduino components
  • A working demo garduino

Constraints and assumptions

Limited availability of people to participate in the project as volunteers may create a constraint. All parts are donated until an income stream can be established.

Project tolerances

There is a large tolerance and time and cost due to the limited availability of funds and people.

The user(s) and any other known interested parties

  • Community gardeners
  • Home gardeners
  • Makers/Enthusiasts


  • Web data logging services
  • Weather forecasting services
  • Music streaming services
  • Solar or battery power
  • Remote access for manual control

Business Case

It’s better and more fun and more educational than doing nothing!

It’s cheaper than buying a commercial system!

Project Product Description

The title of this project is Garduino

The purpose of this project is to create a modular Garduino build for the connected community hacker space members so they can build, learn and extend this idea into their own gardens This project will be used by CCHS members to build gardening automation systems for personal learning and fun. The function is to build and provide specs for each piece of the garduino kit, it will contain both hardware and software components. The project is made up of the following components which must be designed, built and documented

Basic Monitor Nodes Basic Monitor Nodes are data collectors which collect raw soil moisture, temp and light data and are hard wired to Garden stations. 4 to 8 Monitor Nodes can be supported by each Garden Station Basic monitor node options are:

  • Soil moisture sensor
  • Ambient temperature sensor
  • Soil temperature sensor
  • Soil PH Sensor
  • Humidity Sensor
  • Light Sensor
  • Rain Sensor

Basic Controller Nodes Controller nodes are used to control garden functions like watering and are hard wired to the Garden Station. Up to 4 controller nodes can be supported by each garden station. The types of Basic Controller Nodes are:

  • Power supply switch
  • Mini water pump
  • Water pump relay for large pumps
  • Flow control servo controller
  • Grow Light Switch
  • Camera Switch

Smart Nodes

Smart nodes are wireless self-contained monitor or controller nodes which can transmit data back to the control centre via a wireless connection and form a mesh network, these nodes do not require a Garden station to function and can be controlled directly by the Control centre.

Garden stations

Wired or wireless garden monitoring stations which aggregate and send localised data collected from Monitor nodes back to the control centre. Garden stations can also implement basic watering instructions to Controller Nodes for locally monitored plants in the event Control Centre is not providing watering instruction or is offline.

Control Centre

Garden “brain” which monitors all garden conditions and weather forecasts, recieves control instructions from web interface, sends control instructions to Garden stations and Smart Nodes, streams music to the plants via music system and aggregates whole garden data, sends this data to data logger or web servers for user consumption.

Control Panel

Control panel for manual Garden Station control, send control instructions to Garden Stations

Garden station watering system or control valves

Water line with attached pumps or flow control valves for control of water drip or spray lines.

Music system/speakers

Music system for playing music to plants so they grow better!

Garden Power module

Power module for power supply to all hard wired nodes.

Web User Interface

Data is logged to the web and this reporting of Garduino function is displayed, Twitter integration is enabled and remote control can be done via this interface


There are a number of garduino type projects out there in the world, here is a list of links to projects from which components or ideas for this project have been derived

Development Skills required

This project requires a variety of skills to complete:

  • Microcontroller programming
  • Computer Scripting or Programming
  • Web Programming
  • Basic electronics
  • Data logging and reporting

Quality Expectations

A quality outcome for this project would meet the following project qaulity criteria:

  • The project is easy to understand
  • The project can be completed – there are no unfinished instructions
  • The garduino created performs well
  • The garduino components do as advertised

Project Approach

The approach chosen to achieve this project is to break the Garduino into a modular system so that different community members can submit designs and examples of implementation for each module via this project wiki.

The garduino will be built using designs for the modules.

Project Team

Current CCHS members participating in this project:

project/member/garduino.txt · Last modified: 2015/11/10 05:49 by geoff · Currently locked by: