Garden Advice for the Beginning Gardener

When somebody first starts a garden, its easy to get overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done to maintain one. Whether you have a small, raised bed garden – or several hundred square feet starting a garden your first time can be a daunting task.

Too often, people decide they want to garden, thinking of all the yummy fruits and vegetables they will gain without spending money at the grocery store.  And while yes, it is a great positive – many times the budding gardener spends more taking care of their lil garden plot than they gain back in savings.

I’m going to do my best to provide plenty of advice for you if you are just starting out.  So without further ado lets jump into it! Continue reading “Garden Advice for the Beginning Gardener”

Saving Rain Water for Gardening

When dealing with a garden, one thing is a must.  Water.  If your garden is small, you might find its not that expensive to use your water hose to keep your plants watered.  And if you have a well, spring, or clean body of water you might get away without spending a dime. For those of us without a natural source of water, the water meter can be a daunting worry.  Enter rain water!

Unless you live in an area that specifically prohibits the collection of rain water,  the collection of rain for drier periods can be the most economical option to you.  Barring a severe drought, you will always have water to for your garden available to at least cut down the amount you need from your municipal water system. Continue reading “Saving Rain Water for Gardening”

Update 5/11/17

Alright – so I know everybody that has followed this is wondering “WTF did he give up?”

To answer that quickly NO.

I’ve been waiting on some things to come in and will most likely start to work on this again this weekend.  I apologize for any problems this may have caused others.   I have been working on various computer interfaces for working with our project, but each is a very large interface that I’ve yet to near completion with.

On a sad note – wild dogs got all but my roosters over the last month, so this is a priority on my plate to finish.  So this weekend here is the plan for all to prepare for.

The next part of this series will be creating an automated chicken coop door,  for this part of our project.  Your parts list will include. Continue reading “Update 5/11/17”

Updates – 3/19/17

I’m currently a lil low on funds as my wife and I are paying off our house this week.  When I’ve regained a little cash, I will be continuing on with the automation build for everyone.  I have no timetable for this, but hopefully within the next month we will be moving forward.

As an aside, I’ve seen this web API before designed around my favorite SciFi series of all time STAR TREK (Yes, me and the wife are major trekkies).  And I thought I’d post it here so everyone can see the idea that will be used for the control system that we will add as time goes along.




Automated Chicken Coop pt. 10 – Remotely Controlling the Coop pt. 9 “Storing Data w MySQL”

MySQL PhpMyAdmin

Storing the Data with MySQL

So far you should see the temperature reported in the right debug pane of Node-RED once when the NodeMCU loads, and then periodically to the time you have set for reporting. Now we store the data in a MySQL database.

When you set up your mysql installation, you were asked for a password to provide to the root user.  I hope you remember this password! Continue reading “Automated Chicken Coop pt. 10 – Remotely Controlling the Coop pt. 9 “Storing Data w MySQL””

Automated Chicken Coop pt. 9 – Remotely Controlling The Coop pt. 8 “Node-Red and Reading the Temperature”

Reading Temperature

One of the requirements we had for our Automated Chicken coop was being able to read the temperature of the coop and react accordingly to it.  So breakout your pocket book and grab the following items because in this post we are adding the ability to record temperature from our coop!

Continue reading “Automated Chicken Coop pt. 9 – Remotely Controlling The Coop pt. 8 “Node-Red and Reading the Temperature””

Automated Chicken Coop pt. 7 – Remotely Controlling The Coop pt. 6 “Our First MQTT Message”

“Our First MQTT Message”

Now its time to send our first message via MQTT! Open your Arduino IDE and ensure that your NodeMCU board is connected to your computer. Please check to make sure it is still assigned the same Port, and change the port in the Arduino IDE if necessary.  I will do my best to write all the coding examples with the knowledge that readers may not know how to program in any language.  As such, if you know how to code, and what is occurring – you can jump to the bottom of this post to grab the full code and bypass the tutorial.

Continue reading “Automated Chicken Coop pt. 7 – Remotely Controlling The Coop pt. 6 “Our First MQTT Message””