Garden Mesh and Garden Gnodes

Garden Gnodes are affordable, WiFi enabled, environmental sensors that are easy for anyone to use. Take charge of your plants by logging real-time data from every corner of your garden.

Environmental sensors are nothing new, but unfortunately, comparable systems are priced around $100 per unit, making them inaccessible to most community gardeners and home horticulturalist in the United States and around the world.

By using the unique capabilities of the ESP8266 WiFi microcontroller and affordable, mass produced digital sensors (or designing our own!), we are building units that can measure soil moisture levels, ambient humidity, air temperature, and light intensity in real-time, and send the data to any WiFi enabled device.

Designed to be expandabled, the Garden Gnodes provide a plethora of additional digital and analog inputs. This enables gardeners to add or remove sensors, so you can measure only the conditions you care about while also reducing the overall cost of the unit. We hope to get the base model of the Garden Gnode below $5.

The Gnodes in a Garden Mesh do not need to be connected to the internet. The Garden Mesh forms a WiFi network wherever it is deployed, so even the most remote "off-grid" communities can take full advantage of data collected by their Gnodes.

The "mesh" part of a Garden Mesh works by connecting every Gnode to every other Gnode, either directly over WiFi, or daisy-chained through the WiFi of neighboring Gnodes. This way, the mesh acts as single entity, dynamically generating a wireless network that could easily reach into every acre of the biggest backyards and furthest fields. Via a Garden Mesh, data can be transmitted from one end of a garden to the other with no need for pricey antennaes or expensive radio equipment.

The diagram below shows the most simple setup of a Garden Mesh:

Current specifications:

This project is currently based on the NodeMCU firmware. For more info on this firmware, see the documentation

Garden Gnode Components

These are the components that we currently use for the Garden Gnodes:

Microcontroller & Wifi
ESP2866
More info from Espressif
Humidity & Temperature Sensor
DHT-22 (also known by RHT03)
More info from sparkfun.com
Capacitive Soil Moisture sensor
Not much more than two pieces of metal, should be able to design our own
See DIY instructions
Solar Panel
Need Maximum Power Point Tracking(MPPT) module for safe, efficient charging
More info on MPPT solar chargers
Battery
18650 Lithium Polymer battery with protection circuit
Documentation on protection circuits
Battery charging circuit
TP4056 module
More info in datasheet

More info

Based in Oakland, CA., Garden Mesh an open source project that seeks to provide community support for local gardeners and encourages you and your community to collaborate on the project and Build Your Own Internet of Plants.

Find more information on our github, gardenmesh git repository.