Abstract: In Nigeria, for crop production to have high quality yields, healthy irrigation water balance is important. Plants that are under-watered experience shortage in crop nutrient and on the other hand, plants that are over watered are defenseless to pest and diseases and few in some cases leads to the death of the plant. Also, plants that are over watered cannot withstand the hash dry season (harmattan) in Nigeria. The goal of this research paper is to use control engineering principle and concepts to provide an automatic irrigation system for clay, loamy and sandy soil which are more common in Nigeria. The automatic irrigation system is controlled using Arduino UNO which is embedded with an ATmega328P micro controller. The Arduino microcontroller is programmed to send an interrupt signal to the irrigation system depending on the moisture level of the soil. The moisture content of the soil is checked using the soil moisture sensor. The moisture sensor sends an interrupt signal to the micro-controller whenever there is a change in the soil moisture and the micro-controller on the other hand checks the water level in the over-head tank water storage using water level sensor, then activating or deactivating the watering system accordingly. The water level and other important data status are displayed on a 16×2 Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The system was used to compare the irrigation time and sensor reading for clay, loamy, and sandy soil. The result shows that irrigation time is not the same for all three soil types. Clay soil requires more irrigation time than loamy soil, followed my sandy soil which has the least irrigation time. The proposed system helps in improving plant growth, reduce costs, minimize water wastage, reduce lab our, and monitoring overheads.
Keywords: Arduino, automatic irrigation, moisture sensors, soil, automation
| DOI: 10.17148/IJARCCE.2018.777