By Dr Craig Hollabaugh

WarmDirt is a system to warm the soil for plants. The core of the WarmDirt system is a wooden box lined with the kind of electric heat cable that prevents pipes from freezing. The heat is then covered with sand and then potted plants are placed on top.

A controller takes into account the temperature inside the box, as well as ambient temperature in the greenhouse. When it’s too cold the controller will close the lid, which is covered with translucent plastic. This makes sure the temperature around the plants won’t fall below about 41.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The system architecture for control and monitoring is a mix of Arduino, XBee, MQTT with Mosquitto, Python, replicated MySQL and jQuery. The (almost) real-time system information is accessed wirelessly via a browser.

Read about WarmDirt on Gizmag

WarmDirt on Hack A Day