Why water Plants?
With trees and shrubs you planted this spring (or even last fall), they need a minimum of 10 gallons of water a week, allowed to soak in slowly. It’s better if they have two 10 gallon buckets full a week, soaked in slowly. Don’t make the mistake of soaking them every day, too much water is almost as bad as not enough; the roots will sit there in the wet and not grow at all. If you paid out good money for the tree you planted back in the spring, then weekly watering to keep it alive is a good investment in a shade tree of the future.
With lawns, 3 waterings a week, about 2 hours each time, should keep the grass green. However some varieties of grass will go dormant in dry weather. Bermuda grass, for example, will survive the heat and drought and when it starts raining again, will commence growing again. Bluegrass or similar turf grass lawns, by contrast, need a constant supply of moisture, so it’s best to water those every other day.
Roses and tomatoes both do best if watered in early morning. If you are one of those folks who likes to take the garden hose and spray down your roses or tomatoes late in the afternoon, wetting down the plants and shooting a bit at the roots, then you are doing more harm than good. Both roses and tomato plants are prone to fungal problems, and fungus spores love a hot, wet environment. That method of watering insures you will have blackspot and mildew on your roses because the leaves stay wet overnight. It insures your tomatoes will develop wilt faster, and spread quicker, as well. A much safer and more efficient method is to use a soaker hose in your row of tomatoes and soak them for about an hour, twice each week. Or, use the garden hose without a nozzle, and soak around each tomato plant (or rose bush) for 2 minutes, move on to the next one then come back and do the first one again. Aim only at the root area, don’t soak the leaves. If you must use an overhead sprinkler, use it in the early morning so that the air and sunlight evaporates the moisture from the leaves quickly.
For herbs of most any kind, along with beans and carrots, they are less picky about how they receive water. Overhead sprinklers are fine, soaker hoses work well, too. But with peppers and eggplant, they also do best if watered early in the morning rather than late in the evening. Peppers, eggplants and tomatoes are all distant cousins and while peppers and eggplants don’t suffer from as many fungal problems as tomatoes, keeping their foliage dry when you water the roots is best. (Long, 2011)
Without water, plants wilt and die. But too much water can be as bad for plants as not enough. If land plants are submerged in water for too long, even if just their roots are submerged, they may rot or drown from lack of oxygen.
Balancing plants' water needs is like having a healthful diet. Everything should be consumed in moderation. Provide your plants with enough water for good health, but don't flood them with it. (Burrell, 2013)
The best time to water plants is usually in the early morning, both to maximize the efficiency of water used and to promote healthy flora.
Mornings tend to be cool and without strong winds, so the amount of water lost to evaporation is much less than during the middle of the day. Yes, evenings are typically similar, but if plants stay damp overnight they are more likely to be damaged by fungal and bacterial diseases. Ideally, use a drip or soak system instead of a regular sprinkler, which wastes a lot of water and drenches the leaves, which are prone to damage as well as disease.
Most experts recommend substantial, infrequent watering for established plants, typically a total of about one inch of water per week (including rain). One or two applications a week encourages deeper rooting, which promotes stronger plants. To avoid shocking tender greenery, try to use water at or near air temperature. (Howard, 2013)
For this project, we did a background research on the project that we were going to do, so basically, below, we found out the following:
Type 1: Arduino Based “Garduino Geek Gardening”
Introductory by Author Luke Iseman:
I wanted to start gardening, but I knew I wouldn’t keep up the regular schedule of watering the plants and making sure they got enough light. So I recruited a microprocessor and a suite of sensors to help with these tasks. An Arduino microcontroller runs my indoor garden, watering the plants only when they’re thirsty, turning on supplemental lights based on how much natural sunlight is received, and alerting me if the temperature drops below a plant-healthy level. For sensors, the Garduino uses an inexpensive photocell (light), thermistor (temperature), and a pair of galvanized nails (moisture).
Total cost, including the Arduino, was about $150. (Iseman, 2013)
The first diagram shows the soil probe, which knew the moisture of the plant by determining the resistance of the soil. The more resistance, it means that the plant most probably has less water and needs to be watered soon. This was determined by a circuit, which is has a resistor, named R1, for the analog output to measure the resistance of the soil in between the two nails. This can be done by just simply attaching wires to a breadboard, along with a 10 ohm resistor, to the circuit to actually detect the water level.
The person, then codes the Arduino device to actually monitor the resistance until a point of time where the resistance between the two nails are too high, before the Arduino device assigns the pump to pump water into the plants.