The plants we have at home are 'trained' properly so they can survive with an intermittent splash of water every now and then. At the office we have hydroculture and a gardener that takes care of them.
I wonder what Jeff's doing tonight :D
I have still somehow struggle to do this properly consistently over the years. I feel like you're downplaying a real common household issue that people have.
If this automation was cheaper/easier then there might be a real product here. I have seen self-watering pots in stores but they were far too expensive and not adaptable to any plant/pot.
I may look into this DIY solution as a side-project myself...
Having strangers on the internet deciding whether or not to water your plant is a wonderful social experiment, though!
This might get way to dark way too fast :)
What if you connected it to solar panels? Surely that would make it easier. And put a lamp above the solar panels just in case the plant needs watering at night.
- take care of the plant as usual
- accumulate data (ie. data points you're providing to viewers)
- Now you have a rough idea where the data points SHOULD be,
and thus can automate the watering.
Mentioned in: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15451442
Made by: https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=tylerjaywood
Start with (ideally) identical plants and conditions.
After one year, find the program that did the best job (judging by the resulting plant).
Next: Adapt the code for different types of plants/flowers.
See his comment:
As they accumulate, the pH of the dirt increases, until the concentration is higher than that of the inside of the roots and osmosis stops working, and the plant cannot absorb nutrients anymore.
Then usually, it starts showing signs of nutrient deficiency, so the first idea the gardener gets is too give them fertilizer, which increases the concentration even more and makes the problem worse.
Rain water is very poor in minerals and acidic and doesn't cause this problem. It's also possible to just use rain water from time to time, to leach out the minerals in the dirt. Another solution I've heard when using tap water is to always pour it until it flows from below, and throw away the water in the saucer, it helps prevent the accumulation from water going in and never out and never having a chance to leach out minerals.
Some plants (most common houseplants like this one) can tolerate elevated levels of minerals, so I don't think it's really a problem here.
Water acquires minerals by flowing through soil and permeable rock.
I still drink tap water regularly although I lean towards the fridge water dispenser and the cooler at work because I like cold water.
She has to get one of the Zero filters which removes virtually all TDS and measures it using a little TDS meter. Parts of the bluegrass are super high (> 500 TDS) and they happen to be in that part. I believe it is very low in most the united states for sure, but not where my family is from (I live in Chicago currently) :)
Some years later we were switched to a supply that was piped from Lake Michigan. That was about 135 ppm hardness and did not have the sulfur and iron content. Didn't need the water softener any more but we still use a water filter pitcher to remove chlorine and bad flavors from the water. (The filtering activity of zebra mussels clarified Lake Michigan and allowed algae to grow at the depths where the water intakes were located. The algae left a musty taste in the water at times of the year when it flourished.)
Even in the same location, water chemistry can vary a lot.
What changed your mind?
"Any correlation between water hardness, or the drinking water calcium or 14 magnesium level, and the incidence of urolithiasis was not found in the last vast USA epidemiological study with 3270 patients (Schwartz et al, 2002). The quoted Japanese studies did not find that the water calcium or magnesium levels alone had an effect on the incidence of urolithiasis but did find that the Mg to Ca ratio had: ..."
PS : It's all between me and flash.
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye
Obviously. That's why it is funny.
Great question. I build something similar without a moisture sensor, the key to obtaining proper data is to know (and control) the exact amount of water you elect to distribute.
The self-learning (ghetto A.I) software that I wrote would try to predict the next (optimal) watering event. You can start to tell how much weight the water adds and how fast the plant consumes it after a couple of iterations. Plus the soil will usually outweigh a plant by a considerable margin.
Some interesting things to look into maybe? Temp, humidity, pressure, maybe put the plant in a transparent pot and flash a light through it (what?)
I don't know I've connected a solar cell to the web and have been gathering data cool to see/check while at work.
Rainforests are being destroyed to mine different metals. We need oil to create plastics. Coal is burned to generate electricity to run factories. After your devices were made in Asia, they must be transported across the globe on huge ships burning diesel fuel. People are ready to sacrifice such ecological damage just to have a small toy in their apartment. I hope that you realise, that having a small plant has no contribution to the environment.
For example: every time you take time out to save remember the student flat my brother once lived in where they didn't bother de-frosting the freezer and just left it open, forever trying to freeze the world. We try to save water in our house yet three doors down the guy who washes his car leaves his hose running for ~30 minutes every now and then.
How can I hate the people of the world that do that when its permitted as a norm? When the developing world has a burgeoning population poised to make those same mistakes again? Its a very sad problem of scale.
I'm not saying don't try, more just try not to mad at people when our culture enables it so.
Let this person have their silly blog. The problems are so fundamental in our society that this represents some of the least harm. We should focus on regulation and culture instead. For example the 40% of food waste that the EU practices is an example of an institutional problem worth the effort because the gains are immense.
Here in the EU, you have to pay for the electricity and for the water, so people are not keeping freezers or taps open. You have to pay for the food as well, I never heard about your 40 %.
It doesn't matter if you have to pay for electricity and water because you can easily earn enough money to leave both the lights and taps on all day. That doesn't make it right.
The point is that if we start calling other people hypocrites that road leads to the realisation that everyone in the west is a degree of hypocrite. We're in this together to a greater or lesser extent.
It does matter a lot if electricity and water is free. It would be wasted much more if it was free.
I think it is important to call people hypocrits to make them think about what they do. We are in this together, so we must explain stuff to one another.
Its up to you whether you want to believe me or not, you have access to Google. We do apparently waste up to 40% and IIRC it was a pretty official report.
You don't even need to verify it though, its logical, just think about the process of supermarket food availability. The design of that process is both bourgeois and wasteful by design. We eat fruit and vegetables OUT OF SEASON all year round. Its weird if a supermarket doesn't have what we want in stock. We have black rubbish bins. Just think about all of that and realise that as a society we're inherently wasteful.
If we genuinely cared then we wouldn't live in a world like we do.
You could spend way less money using humidity sensors and capillarity, which is the best way to water plants.
I have my plats watered this way, an arduino knows the humidity of plants and water deposit levels and just fills the deposit, or calls me if there is an emergency(something is wrong and deposit is empty or too much humidity).
My plants(including trees) are wealthier and stronger than ever, even better than drip irrigation.
The problem with capillarity is that the level of the deposit controls the pressure so it has to remain the same.
It's equal parts social experiment - technological solution to his plant watering woes.
The beauty, and intrigue, of this solution is the community that is formed, enabled by the use of technology, to solve a problem together collectively.
How is this problem solving? They're basically voting whether or not the plant gets watered a day. A simple humidity sensor / specialized algorithm for the plant type could make better decisions.
Plants need a schedule to do well and some are very sensitive if they get too much or too little water too often or too late.
A two or three of our plants died while the friend was looking after them in the past due to under watering (and we were gone for only about a week every time). So last time when we came back we found most pots were flooded with water, which to most plants is just as bad as not being watered.
It's only now that I think about how this small favour we ask of our friend can be stressful to him.
With mine it always boils down to
* feed half a can per cat twice a day
* $pickyCat prefers this stack of cans
* feed $lessPickyCat separate so he can't steal the other one's food
Unlike plants, cats don't randomly die because you fed them an hour late or because they had to skip a meal two days ago.
Dog people say cats are evil but some plants just seem to be intent on killing themselves.
- Refill all four water containers
- Give them large, heavy dishes full of water because Cat A likes to Knock Shit Over to see if there's water in there. (My hardwood floor has a damaged section because of this: OK if cleaned up fast, not OK if left over the weekend in hot weather.)
- Mix in treats so that cat A eats all of her food
- Cats B and C like to eat Cat A's food, so feed her in a separate room, then open the door 5 minutes later.
I believe the friend is eager to learn and loves plants himself, but but maybe finding a friend who doesn't kill their own plants would be a good start...
I get liking plants, but I don't want their maintenance to be yet another painful chore. I want plants that survive no matter what I do. Fortunately, my plants seem to select themselves based on that criterium.
For me people who need to educate friends about how to deal with their plants are playing on a different field, in a different game altogether (and I’ll flat refuse to deal with kind of PITA)
Sure, most plants will not die within a week, but a lot will suffer enough and will take months to recover.
because my banana plants are by far the most forgiving things i've got (i live in germany). They grow and multiply like crazy and you can never give them too much water.
Going away for two weeks in summer? there might be a little brown after you'll be back, but that hardly matters with the speed they grow.
It's tough to take care of a human infant or a puppy. It's extremely easy to care for a fish or a plant.
Then again, some people can't even be responsible for themselves.
We water it randomly, at one stage we estimate we forgot to water it for around 6 months. Other times due to a lack of communication we have both watered it multiple times in a week. It appears to be invulnerable to poor watering discipline.
Currently it is living in direct sunlight but it has lived in permanent shade for a extended period as well.
I don't know why I'm telling you this, it probably doesn't help knowing that your friends has high maintenance plants when there are invincible ones like ours in the world as well.
If I forget to water, some leaves will turn yellow but quickly recover once water is available again.
Oh, and it had half of it sawn off at one point because it grew too large, the other half is now also a very presentable little plant.
Apparently all of the Draceana family are easy to look after.
Apart from the supposedly easy one I have that is always unhappy no matter what I do. And yet it refuses to die, it only.. almost dies. For years now.
Researching after the fact, we discovered that some species are notoriously difficult to care for.
1990: Stranger danger! Look out for creeps perving on you from the bushes!
2000: This new webcam is neat but don't let your kids use it, someone could hack it and perv on them!
2015: Hello random internet stranger, please observe and interact with my kids while I do other things!
1990: Stranger danger! Don't get into strange cars!
2000: Internet stranger danger! Don't give anyone on the internet your real name or contact details!
2015: Here's a handy app which gives your contact details to an internet stranger so they can pick you up in their car!
2016 - 20?? : Trust everyone
Why would they? Cats have to move to stay healthy, but home cats are notoriously lazy. I feel slightly guilty that I play with my cat too little. Robo-laser is on my project list, though I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving camera inside my home that has unrestricted Internet access.
I never thought this would already be an actual thing, could you give me some links?