The Raspberry Pi is an excellent board for all those little projects around the house / office / makerspace that make life easier. In this case, maker Hide Seek is using a Raspberry Pi Pico to help monitor environmental details about their plants and automate a watering system if certain conditions are met.
The automated watering system uses a Pimoroni Pico Display Pack 2.0, a 2-inch LCD screen with buttons on the four corners. Each button is programmed to access part of a UI that Hide Seek developed just for this project. It’s also possible to modify this project with a webserver for remote access and control.
The interface has a few tools that make it easier to interpret data from the sensor and control the pump itself. In the demo video, we see Hide Seek show off a few like the Metrics screen that displays data from a DHT11 sensor via two graphs (temperature and humidity). The DHT11 sensor is used to monitor temperature and humidity and comes pre-calibrated making it a smart choice for this project. In the view we see a manual control interface, accessed via Mode, that let you directly control the pump, fan and light. The pump appears to be a submersible water pump which sends a constant stream of water to the soil. The fan looks like a typical 4-6V DC fan, but we cannot see how it interfaces with the Pico. Hopefully not directly as these motors can pull more current than a GPIO pin can provide. A motor control board (L298, L9110 etc) would be the smart choice. The light option appears to be an external LED light source, depending on the model used this could be powered from the GPIO. Just like the motor, an external control board for the LEDs would be a smart move.
This is an excellent project and it is awesome to see how the Raspberry Pi Pico can be used to keep your plants healthy. If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Project, check out the official Hide Seek YouTube channel. Be sure to follow Hide Seek for more details and future updates. We've also got our own version where your house plants will send you a Telegram notification when they are thirsty.