MudPi's smart garden set up

Smart gardens are becoming ever more popular and accessible with open-source software that helps to reduce water use, weed growth, and labor.

Saving Water and Time with a Smart Garden

An avid gardener and talented software developer, Eric Davisson has created an innovative way to make cool choices in his own backyard garden.

Eric has created a smart garden system he calls MudPi. The system uses a variety of soil moisture, temperature/humidity, and rain sensors in his garden to make watering more efficient.

“The system greatly reduces our water use and the time I have to spend in the garden. Prior to the system I was using up to 40 gallons to water the garden each time (sometimes 2-3 times a day) and now I’m using roughly 18 gallons per watering session,” said Eric. The system also efficiently uses drip irrigation to deliver water directly the plant roots. “Not only do I save time not having to water, but I also avoid a great deal of weeds due to the localized watering which doesn’t allow much room for other, unwanted plants to grow.”

The high-tech system also enables Eric to monitor sensor readings, view usage, and take control from his computer.

MudPi's smart garden system

Open-Source Sustainability

As a member of the Cool Choices staff, Eric knows that sustainable practices are most contagious when they are shared. He’s setting up a website for sharing the code associated with this project. He plans to add guides so others can install similar systems in their own gardens. (Learn more about Eric’s system at

“Being able to scale our garden efficiently is important to us. We love being able to live off the land and continue to look for ways to improve our sustainability at home. I designed this system to be reusable and highly configurable so that others could make use of it in their own projects of any size,” Eric said.

Kudos on the cool choice to reduce your water usage and grow your own food, Eric! And double kudos on your efforts to help others make similar cool choices!

Have a cool sustainability project?

If you’re doing something cool to be sustainable, let us know! Share your story with other Cool Choices alumni via our Connected Facebook page or contact us to share your story. We would love to hear from you.

For more ideas on sustainable living and updates on our work, check out the rest of our blog.

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