Dienstag, 3. Oktober 2017

Winter is coming - Back to Indoor Gardening

The days become shorter, the temperatures colder. The fruits in the garden are mostly harvested, plants stop growing. It's time to bring them into the house. I red a lot about indoor Gardening in the last year, and this winter I want to try it very seriously. This is how I started:

- 26.08.2017: I took a tomato plant into my room.
The room has an averange temperature of about 20°C, the window near which the plant grows is on the western side of the house, so the sun shines on the plant from about 14 o'clock till sunset.

- Until today (03.10.2017), the plant grew about 1m, expanded some blossoms. Three became tomatos around 5th September, which grew  a bit till today. The leaves on the top of the plants became very weak, I think it is because they grow above the window, so they can't reach sunlight anytime of the day.

- 03.10.2017: I set up an Arduino Nano with a RTC, a relay and two LEDs (CREE XLamp MX-6, 4000K, 3V, 300mA). The LEDs will shine on the plant when a defined light level is reached for about 2 hours, so that the plant - especially the leaves on top of the plant have a bit more light per day.
This system is powered by 4x 5V; 2,5W Solar Cell, which feed the electrical energy into three 18650 rechargeable batterys.
I will test this setup this week and sum it up afterwards. If I  reach a positive conclusion, I really want to improve the setup by more plants and LEDs.

- 04.10.2017: I added two lettuce plants and two tomato plants that should grow up. I light them with two CREE MX-6 and two cold white (9300K, 3,3V, 20mA, 36000mcd) LEDs. The lights are controlled by a easy circuit using a comparator (LM358) and a light dependent resistor.