Collaborating with nature: IOT for growing plants
Goal (Near term): Make it easier for people to monitor the water level of all indoor plants.
Goal (Long term): Create a digital ecosystem for people's indoor plants where they can learn, engage, and share with a community.
Problem: Plants need maintenance in order to thrive, and there are two common problems when people first by plants indoors. First is that they don't know what they're doing, so they accidentally kill their plants. This is overwhelmingly done by overwatering, as underwatering will damage your plant but people typically catch it in time. Much more insidious is overwatering because the plant goes from being relatively healthy to sick, rotted, and then dead.
It's hard to tell that you've overwatered until there are symptoms. And symptoms can range anywhere from leaf browning to the plant becoming mushy.
The other problem that people typically encounter is that they have so many plants it becomes hard to remember / track / know which plants need water with a reasonable amount of effort. You can alway manually check your plants, and you should, but for people with busy schedules this isn't always possible. Device that tracks:
- Water level
- Humidity level
- Sunlight level
- Main minerals (nitrogen, etc.)
- Soil comp (acidic, etc.)
Then you have an app where you can add type of plant and a picture of your plant that you upload. It maps the current levels against the ideal levels for the type of plant. you own.
It alerts you to specific plants when they need:
- more water
- less water
- more sun
- less sun
- plant food
It gives annual reminders to repot or trim based on the plants growth cycle, and tips on what to do with your plants each quarter. Ex. It's March, now's a great time to trim new growth. Here's how to do it for these 3 plants that we know you have.
You could also create:
- camera to watch your plant grow
- community where you can share videos etc
- seed / shoot sharing program
- expand to outdoor veggie gardens so then you have an indoor / outdoor program
Money from purchases can also partially go to a charity.
I'm part of two chat groups that talk about plants. Each one is lively and thriving... each one is a channel for a larger ecosystem (Netlify and Discord friend chat). There is an interest for people to share their plants, ideas, etc.
I personally want an easier way to manage / track the health of my indoor plants. I'd like to know:
- when does my plant need to be fed? (mineral tracking)
- does my plant need to be repotted? (root / soil pressure?)
- does my plant need to be watered? (soil moisture)
- is my plant getting the right amount of light? (solar tracker)
- what can I do to encourage my plant to flour? (mineral tracking)
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