readysteadysell's blog

Artificial Intelligence That Waters Dehydrated Plants
Posted on Jul 1, 2020 4:26 AM

Each type of vegetation needs different amounts of water, based on where they naturally grow. This is known to most farmers, and especially those in charge of vineyards. It is known, throughout the wine-growing community, that to have the most intricate, and interesting flavored wine, you must treat your grape vines in a particular way.

Grapes of the smallest size produce less juice, but despite the quaint amount of juice, the flavor is what makes these miniature grapes stand out. Smaller grapes have a more concentrated flavor within it's thicker skin which is perfect for making a bold wine. To achieve this flavoring, vines must be allowed to run dry towards the end of growth before harvest.

However, this is only desirable for certain grape products and each plant will utilize the water differently. Since you cannot run an entire vineyard on these methods, a smarter approach must be taken.

A partnership between Ceres Imaging and Trinchero Family Estates, located in Napa Valley California, forged the path for a streamlined mapping system with Artificial Intelligence Tech. This tech is capable of examining plants and soil for water levels. Drones were utilized to show above ground images to see which plants were underwatered, overwatered, or what exactly is needed.


A New Kind of "Watering"

While sprinkler systems have come a long way from the single spigots of the past, they still do not have full control of the water, especially if areas are windy. Some vines in the Trinchero Vineyard were receiving different levels of water to begin with, so they started with the imaging results.

After knowing through thermal imaging which vines needed what amounts of water, a new sprinkler system was devised. Only this time using AI. The service industry, built around farming optimization, is pulling out all of the tricks to inform agriculturists of the opportune times to plant, harvest, and address every stage in between. People have been making wine for a long time, and we've learned some tips and tricks along the way, but we can only gather so much info ourselves. This is where responsible tech comes in.

These technological steps will not only aid current farms in soil-rich environments. But also, farming in areas with climates previously thought of as unsustainable can be reconsidered. Think of the ways the climate has already changed in recent decades. There are constant flooding and storms in the Midwest, and less rain in California causing fires. Irrigation systems have been used in the past, but we only know what plants need in the environments they grow best. With these new AI and thermal imaging capabilities, we can gather more info than ever before to determine exactly what is or isn't needed.


Powerful Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging is the main resource for seeing if a plant has enough water. A lack of water creates a higher plant temperature. This is the best method for determining these differences over a large crop. These differences may be hard to spot with the naked eye and would take a long time for farmers to inspect each individual plant. This tech saves time and energy while still producing a better, more exact product.

Images are not only collected from drones. Above head there are satellites that provide valid information, as well as images taken from planes. Microscopic cameras have been installed on some sprinkler systems, and these images can give very detailed results, but a lot of them are needed to cover a full sized vineyard. Different tech is able to gather additional information as well, such as where weeding or spraying for bugs may be needed.

Originally these images held a great wealth of information, but still had to be deciphered by farmers or the tech engineers. Advancements are being made to lift this new burden, making it easier for AI to determine also which plants are sick or damaged, with less effort from the farmers.

When farmers have the option of only watering the plants that need it, farmers naturally spend less on water. Water might not be a costly household bill, but the amount of water that goes into an agricultural operation is vast. The cost definitely add up on a farm or vineyard. Average homeowners are only responsible for watering their family, vineyard owners do the same but are also responsible for the lives of thousands upon thousands of individual vines.

When farmers can determine more accurate needs of their crops, they can deliver nothing more, nothing less. This means using fewer chemicals to restore plants or deliver required nutrients they are not receiving. This is great for the owner's wallet, but also the honey bees which are needed to pollinate crops. When too much synthetic fertilizer is used in combination with too much water, the runoff will eventually reach waterways and the ocean posing a threat to wildlife there.


Smart Systems Will Change The Game

This is not the first monumental change in agriculture. Think of the growing course of irrigation, how synthetic fertilizers are becoming more effective, and the increased mechanization. The work that goes into a farm has been lowered, while the output of crops have been both plentiful and more valuable. So, technology is continuing to lower the labor involved in producing more food. With our ever-rising population, this is a huge step towards solving hunger.

Many traditional practices used by farmers, unfortunately, are not based on fact. They could only make their best guess for future crops depending on the past years experience. This is very slow going, and isn't always accurate because of individual plant and weather variances each year. However, this is not based on hard computer data, the future of a harvest can lie with the farmer simply feeling the ground. Computers and these sophisticated AI systems are able to gather data on the current crop in real time.

This goes on to remind farmers of the potential of smart robots. Images used for detecting plant thirst levels are one step, but then what? Will the AI grow to know when certain crops are harvestable? Or even be able to pick them, creating an almost fully automated farming district?

Do not leave livestock farming out of this, feeding animals appropriately is the next step in this technology. Which results in lowering of food costs, with easier and more humane ways to purchase wholesale chicken, or whichever livestock farmed.


AI Implementation

Getting the technology to stick, and for all farmers to begin implementing it is a problem. As of late, farmers are practicing more traditional approaches to sowing, caring, and harvesting. This is an industry that is very hard to change. Because farmers rely on their crop, it is difficult to convince them to make a big change without cold hard facts.

Having too much AI is a fear for workers who already do those jobs. Hoards of people who spend their summers in the Southern US picking peaches would no longer be needed, forcing them out of jobs. But it will add to the many technology jobs that will be necessary in each aspect of handling and maintaining the tech.

Creating statistics from information gathered during farming is difficult for the owner of the land, but a computer can analyze the mass amount of data a few thermal images contain.

Technology and farming are not commonly thought of together but in reality are inching ever closer to one another. The goal of this tech is to make life easier on farmers, allowing them to bring in a greater yield of a better crop. One day, with future advancements, we may be able to make hunger a thing of the past, with fully automated farms producing the best crop for everyone.

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5 Ways a Garden Room Can Add Value to Your Property
Posted on Jun 12, 2020 9:38 AM

It is a massively growing trend across the UK to have a garden room or office in your garden. Are you contemplating on whether to buy one or not? Garden rooms can be crucial when it comes to extra ways to add value to your property and can drastically increase the value with the simplest garden room there is. To help you out, here is 5 ways as to how it can add value to your property, which is very important when it comes to choosing a garden room.

1. Cost
Perhaps one of the most important, if not the most important ways to which a garden room adds value is the cost. You can easily have you home valued by someone online, and find out what your home is worth. From there, working out the full value of your house with the garden room becomes a lot easier. I'm not going to say that the most expensive garden rooms put the highest value on your property, because that would be a lie. Sometimes the cheapest garden rooms can put a higher value to a property. It is all about the next 4 points.

2. Attached or detached
Many garden room buyers always contemplate on whether to have it attached or detached from their house. It is often faster for attaching the garden room to your house and can take a minimum of two weeks. However, that is without serious planning; you may put it up and it might not match the style of your house and overall decrease the value of your property. Therefore, if you are going for speed, detached is better, as it is easier to plan as you go and it doesn't have to match the house too much (only the garden). There doesn't appear to be a sway to either one in the British people, as it is around 50/50 for each person that buys a garden room. Thus, it won't affect the value too differently, as long as both look good.

3. Size
Size is key when it comes to adding value to your property; within reason… If your garden room is tiny, it likely won't add value to your property. However, if it is huge, and takes up the full or most of the garden, it may also decrease value, for less garden space. All in all, just be sensible when it comes to choosing the size, it must leave you with a lot of garden space whilst also a comfortable, spacey garden room is built. It all comes down to what you are planning to convert it into: an office, a guest room, a summer house, a storage space, etc. It has to be comfortably fitted to that idea with ways it could change slightly for new homeowners. An example is a guest room fitted with toilet and shower for the old homeowner could be converted into a home office for the new homeowner.

4. May not need planning permission
If you are building a simple office or summer room, then you will be very unlikely to need planning permission, if the size is in the UK regulations. Usually toilets, showers and plumbing all require planning permission. It is important to check if you need planning permission or not, as it could decrease the value of your property massively if you have an illegal garden room in your garden. Usually it will increase the value of the garden room on the property when there is a bathroom and toilet etc, as some house buyers are looking for that sort of thing.

5. Practicalities (e.g. Sunlight)
One final key thing when it comes to choosing a garden room is the practicalities of it. Questions like: will the sun hit it at a nice angle? Is there a secure and nice-looking door? Is it practical for seasons other than summer? Etc. It all comes down to common sense as the question: Will it look nice? If you need help deciding whether your garden room will look nice Pinterest can give hundreds of examples to help you find a garden room that suits you.

Overall, these 5 methods can dramatically increase the value that your garden room has on your property. Using some or all of these ideas and some common sense, when it comes to buying a garden room, it should allow you to make a profit from your property. Have you made up your mind about buying a garden room yet? If not, have some time to think about it, however I do recommend the purchase of one.

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Here Are 7 Tips for New Gardeners That Don't Know Where to Start.
Posted on Jun 4, 2020 3:20 AM

Gardening is incredible fun, once you have a functioning garden that is. It is an amazing hobby, but it needs hard work and sheer determination. As a new Gardener myself, I struggled in starting my garden, however these 10 tips made the gardening-life a whole lot easier.
1. Starting Your Garden
You need to locate a spot in your garden that is not blocked by shade, gets plenty of sunlight, healthy soil and has quite a large, flat surface area. If you are unable to fit a garden in your ground, there is always the container route, however a lot of the time, they're clunky and look horrible. In both ways you need to make sure the soil is fertile, and you can easily prevent weeds. There isn't a huge rush into completely filling your garden with plants just yet however, as being a newbie to gardening, you don't know if you like it. Therefore you need to start small and work your way up. If you can't care for some kitchen herbs, how will you ever care for larger scale plants. Since you'll likely start with a small plant, I recommend placing it near a window or a door so you're more likely to keep taking care of it.

2. Healthy Soil, Healthy Drainage.
Your plants NEED good soil and drainage (i.e. compost) or they will never grow and will die within weeks. How to compost? You ask; well it's simple! All the scrap food you don't eat throughout the day (e.g. apple cores, banana peels, eggshells, coffee grinds etc). Mix it together, then mix that in with your plants' soil. Simple! Drainage is also super easy to master (this is for containers); just ensure there's holes in the bottom of your container, and to be safe, line the bottom of your container with some big rocks.

3. Placement
The placing of each plant depends on what their plant needs. It may need sun and thus needs to be in a bright, sun-hit spot. Others prefer shade and must be put in shade. It is recommended that you always read your plants description, as it will inform you on what your plant requires.

4. Who and When?
A good gardener will know when to plant a plant depending to seasons. Some plants don't grow in winter, some don't grow in summer. It is all about researching your plant before planting it. If you plant it in a season it won't grow in, you'll be waiting even longer for your garden to look good.

5. Start Basic
You don't want to rush in and start growing plants way above your capability. No matter how good you think you are, I assure you gardening isn't something you can rush the skill of. It takes patience and determination. The first plants you should be growing are plants like tomatoes, basil, foxgloves, roses etc.

6. Water
The key to growing your plant is simply water. Make sure you always water your plant, as it needs plenty of water. However, be careful not to get the leaves wet, as this can lead to mould and rot etc. If you're asking how much water each plant should have, it is recommended the average plant needs a minimum of 1 inch of water every week. This is why step 1 is also so important with the positioning of your garden, as if it's close to your backdoor or on your window, it makes it super easy to pop out and give them a quick water. A final tip on this point as well is to look out for leaves turning or completely yellow. This usually means your plant is being over-watered.

7. A little off the top
The final tip today is to remember to trim your plants. By trimming leaves, you allow your plant increased air circulation. Plus there is less leaves for you to spill water on (step 6).


In Conclusion, gardening is not a skill you get over night. It takes a lot of practice and hard work. I'm not the perfect gardener, I only started earlier this year; however, by using these tips I have given you, my skill dramatically increased. I hope these tips can do the same for you. Thanks all for reading, comment any more tips you have to help out garden newbies.

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