Growing smarter

Article image - Growing smarter The City’s irrigation management officer Richard Dilena and Cr Jim Mason with STRUT developers Ryan Veale, Darcy Baranowski and Rhys Bischof at Geelong Botanic Gardens earlier this year.

Innovative technology designed and developed in Geelong, Victoria, will greatly benefit the City’s Botanic Gardens.

A wireless smart system that measures soil moisture, soil temperature, air temperature and humidity is being trialled at the gardens, as well as other sites across the state.

Developed by Deakin University-based start-up STRUT, the plug-and-play devices are like mini weather stations for the soil.
They also sense light.

The system uses the City’s Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) to transfer information.

This real time data is then used to improve water efficiency and enhance climate resilience.

Beyond Geelong Botanic Gardens, the STRUT team is also trialling the technology at Boundary Bend Olives and Leura Park Estate.

Testing is funded by Cleantech Innovations Geelong, a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, the Geelong Manufacturing Council and the Victorian Government to develop markets for clean technologies.

Mayor Stephanie Asher, said, “It’s fantastic to see our beautiful Geelong Botanic Gardens benefiting from this clever and creative technology.

“Council is proud to support clean technologies as we work towards a more sustainable future.”

Parks, Gardens and City Services Councillor, Jim Mason, said, “As Greater Geelong strives for a Clever and Creative future, it’s important we continue to support innovative ideas that help drive our commitment to the development and implementation of sustainable solutions.

“This precision irrigation solution is already informing our watering program at the Geelong Botanic Gardens, and has the potential to be a real game changer for farmers and producers in our
region and beyond.”