One of the toughest tasks in managing a garden at home is watering the plants regularly. 🙂 Especially when you keep travelling out of town frequently, keeping the plants watered is very important to ensure they have a steady growth throughout. During one of the meetups organized by dotnet Bangalore at DevOn office, I got a chance to see a demo of self watering system prototype. Inspired by that I wanted to setup a basic self watering system for my balcony garden too. I was able to setup one successfully without much effort and investment and it has been working fine for more than 6 months now. In this blog post, I will walk you through my setup process

Prerequisites:

I am listing the options/devices which I have personally used/using in my home. There are mainly 3 components that are needed to achieve this.

  1. Submersible water pump – works best if you have a bucket of water as source
  2. DripIt Irrigation kit – To provide water supply to individual pots
  3. Smart Plug – to turn on the motor remotely/schedule based

Overall investment for all of the above was -> 299 + 740 + 1250 = ~2290 INR

Setup Process:

  1. Connect all the pots using the Drip kit connectors – clear instructions on using various pieces are mentioned in the manual itself
  2. Fill a bucket with water
  3. Place the submersible motor inside the bucket
  4. Close the bucket with a lid – to avoid algae formation
  5. Connect the power input of the motor to TP Link Smart Plug
    • Use the Kasa app to configure the TP Link Smart Plug
  6. Turn on the motor using the Kasa App.
  7. Keep the main power to the TP Link Smart Plug Always ON

Voila, you have enabled self watering for your balcony at ease 🙂 With this setup, you should be able to turn ON/OFF the motor from wherever & whenever you want!

Below is the screenshot of the app from my mobile

screenshot_20200125-2258033874428614381058957.jpg

To take it further ahead, you can also create schedule in your kasa app. In my case, I have scheduled my smart plug to Turn ON/OFF every morning around 7:15 AM and evening around 6:00 PM. The plug will be turned ON for 2 minutes (You need to measure the water flow rate for all your plants and come up with the running time) 2 mins is just sufficient for all of my plants

Screenshot of my schedule from my app below:

screenshot_20200125-225725359004091327954951.jpg

Below is the snap of the finished setup from my balcony

IMG_20190430_143007.jpg

Now I don’t have any worries about my plants when I travel out of town or even I am at home, I don’t have to worry about missing to water them someday. I have kept a water source that will last for a week. So every weekend, I just need to refill the water source and everything else is taken care automatically and it has become a hassle free gardening. Also, I could see a lot of difference in the growth of the plants as the water flow is very much regulated and its done on time everyday.

Add-ons :

If you want to take it to even next level, say controlling the watering via voice assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can do that too by configuring the TP Link Smart Plug with them. That way, you can tell Google or Alexa to water your plants 😉

Feel free to pass on your thoughts/comments below!