Automated Home Garden + Timelapse

About This Project

Gardening is very long task taking time every day .

In this tutorial i will show how to make everything automated in a easy way

What’s Connected


-Arduino uno

-Raspberry pi any should work

Ethernet shield arduino


-Wire i like these wire they are already cut in different size but it’s obviously optional


-Soil moisture

-Water pump


-FAN i used the one from an old computer: (zalman)



-Humdity/temperature sensor

-Raspberry pi camera

-SD card 16GB 8Gb would work but will be short for timelapse

Setting Up the Arduino

In order to monitor our farm i took few device wich can be helpful.

Before to start, remenber to connect the ethernet shield to the arduino

Soil moisture:

To check if the plants need water

VCC: 5v


A0: A1

The Fan:

if it’s get to hot it will activate or just to give some fresh air.

  • One wire goes from the resistor to pin 3
    -The GND of the fan goes on the middle pin of the transistor.

The + of the fan goes to the relay (middle pin) The last pin of the transistor goes to gnd

The diode goes to the midlle pin of transistor and to the GND

The water pump:

will activate with the soil moisture

the + goes to midlle on the relay and GND to GND of the power source


This part will allow us to mesure if there is enough light in the room One part is connected to A0 with the resistor connected to the ground. The other one to the 5v

The anode(+) goes to the relay The other to the GND of the power supply


The anode(+) goes to the relay The other to the GND of the power supply

Humidity /temperature sensor:

Some code are required for this device in order to work properly with Cayenne

VCC: 3.3V


DAT: digital pin 8

Water level sensor:




Final Mounting

See the final schema.

I used 2 relay in the graphic fritzing does not have relay 4channel yet.

Important for the relay i used only one 12v power supply , i separate the wire positive and negative then solder 3 wire from the positive and connect each part on the relay.

One is enough as everything does not turn on at the same time.

I used a 5v power supply for the arduino




IN1: PIN2 Activate the light

IN2: PIN5 Activate the water pump

IN3: none IN4

PiN4: activate the FAN

Cayenne Pre Required

Here we gonna see how to configure cayenne which is very easy.

First create an account Here.

Then you should have you ethernet shield with Rj45 cable connected .

Here is the code to connect to cayenne and also to configure the hum/temp sensor

This code work for the w5100 shield the code is available on cayenne for other ethernet/wifi shield

Also don’t forget to add your token you get it after creating your account.

#include "DHT.h"<br>//#define CAYENNE_DEBUG         // Uncomment to show debug messages<br>#define CAYENNE_PRINT Serial  // Comment this out to disable prints and save space
#include </p><p>#define DHTPIN 8     // what digital pin we're connected to
#define DHTTYPE DHT22   // DHT 22  (AM2302), AM2321</p><p>#define VIRT_TEMP V1
#define VIRT_HUM V2</p><p>// Cayenne authentication token. This should be obtained from the Cayenne Dashboard.
char token[] = "your toker";</p><p>DHT dht(DHTPIN, DHTTYPE);
unsigned long prev_DHT_refresh, interval_DHT_refresh = 1000;</p><p>void setup()
  Cayenne.begin(token);</p><p>  dht.begin();
}</p><p>void loop()
{;  getDhtValues();

}void getDhtValues() {
unsigned long now = millis();

  if (now - prev_DHT_refresh > interval_DHT_refresh) {
    // Reading temperature or humidity takes about 250 milliseconds!
    // Sensor readings may also be up to 2 seconds 'old' (its a very slow sensor)
    float h = dht.readHumidity();
    // Read temperature as Celsius (the default)
    float t = dht.readTemperature();</p><p>    // Check if any reads failed
    if (!isnan(h) && !isnan(t)) {
      Cayenne.virtualWrite(VIRT_HUM, h);
      Cayenne.celsiusWrite(VIRT_TEMP, t);
    prev_DHT_refresh = now;

Configuration Cayenne:

We almost done for arduino and now it’s the easy part.

We gonna add all the devices on cayenne check the picture.

  1. GO to add device

  2. Custom widget

  3. Select the kind of widget you like. I used chart for humidity and water level otherwise i used value

4)For the humdity temp sensor we use virtual pin

Temp : Vpin1

Humidity : VPin2

For the other device instead of choosing virtual pin take Analog with the pin link to it

also the data will be voltage.


Same procedure but this time in actuators then select the pin of the arduino connected to the relay for the light/fan/water pump

Event and Trigger

Now that we have the dashboard we gonna finish the configuration


water pump:

This will turn on the pump when the soil moisture detect it’s to dry.

Notice i used 2 trigger one to start the water pump and to stop

Water level:

When the value is high means water is missing

Here we will receive an email to alert us


I set up 4 Event one to start the light in the morning and one to stop it in the evening

And 2 for the fan on/off.


Let’s do a timpelpase of the plant growing

3 Software:


-Win32diskimager to burn the image on the SD card

-Putty to connect in remote to the raspbery

WIn32 disk imager:

After download install it. Open it ,

1/ you will see “device” in general the default is good (if you only have the sd card connected)

2/ Click on the blue icon folder and select the raspbian jessie image you have downloaded

3/ Click write and it’s done. You can now insert the card to the raspberry.


It allow us to connect via SSH , open Putty (no need to install)

-Connect internet cable to the raspberry

-You need to find the ip of the raspberry 2 easy way :

-Connect to your box interface you will be able to see the device with the IP

-Connect the touchscreen and keyboard go to terminal then ifconfig Now in Putty enter the ip adress will be something like then enter

-it will ask to trust click yes (picture)

-login : pi password : raspberry Leave the windows on the side we will come back here later

Now that we have the raspberry running few update are needed so in putty copy paste the command:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade


if you dont have a screen to connect your raspberry install vnc to remote controle

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

when finish to start the server:

vncserver :1

and download vncviewer on your computer to connect enter Ip and number server

it will look like this


You can take remote control of you raspberry with cayenne, only have ton install it:

sudo bash -v


Last step !

We can now enable the camera to do so in putty or in a terminal paste:

sudo raspi-config
then go to enable camera.

We have to create a folder to store the picture

cd /home/pi/Desktop

mkdir timelapse

After pluging the webcam we gonna create a script to take picture every hour.

cd /home/pi/Desktop 


Paste this:


while [ true ]; 

do filename=-$(date -u +"%d%m%Y_%H%M-%S").jpg
/opt/vc/bin/raspistill -o $SAVEDIR/$filename
sleep 3600;

And to make sure the script is executable

chmod +x


The tutorial was long but very easy just few device to connect and configure the platform.

On the picture is a big mess i use to long wire .

I will post the result of my timelapse when the plants are done growing


The ethernet shield can get the error dhcp fail when tryng to connect i found the solution on arduino forum

You have to solder two 100ohm resistor.


Very cool project. I have preparing something similar. I also use raspberry pi camera board :slight_smile:

I also make picture every hour and soon that my lettuce is growing, i want to make kind of these videos that show on fast reward how my lettuce is growing :wink:

Awesome project, and very detailed. Nice job!

Thanks !