I’m on the verge of launching a cannabis cultivation club in Spanish called “ClubCannamex” which currently only has a Telegram Group while I work out the final kinks of the platform.
The first part of the launch of this platform will have help guide growers every week on a live Zoom Call, or perhaps a live private stream – and walk them through the process of growing weed.
While this is a cheap and effective way to have a Cannabis Mentor to help you out, and perhaps to join a community of growers – there still are a myriad of issues that growers face when dealing with their cannabis plants.
Often times I get asked, “What’s wrong with my plant” by novice growers who desperately want to crop out something good.
The yellowing of the leaf, whether it’s curling up or down, dropping or pointing up, spots – all of these symptoms gives you a diagnosis of what could be wrong with the plant.
Over time, you begin to pick up on certain things and you know – “Ah, it needs some CalMag” or “Ah, maybe I should reduce the watering schedule…” and so forth.
Nevertheless, while you’re still learning – it can be a daunting experience as so many of the growers in my network have learned.
But what if you could use Artificial Intelligence to help you identify ‘what’s wrong with your plant’ through machine learning.
I reached out to the developer and since I’m a busy individual – sent him a bullet interview of a few solid questions to give me some insight on what this app can and cannot do.
So here’s our bullet interview:
When did you first come up with the idea?
I first came up with the idea during my master’s thesis on a machine learning application for fluid dynamics. At that point I already wanted to produce an app for a long time and had started programming for fun. The final idea for the app came when I was out hiking in the mountains in Germany and got to think about an app that combined both my hobbies, nature and computer science. That summer I also picked up home gardening due to the extended times we had to stay at home because of Covid, which got me thinking about making an app for gardening. From there I went on to developing an app for growing cannabis.
What’s been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
The biggest challenge so far were the legal regulations. I had to delay the release of the app for about a month until I was sure that the name would not violate any trademarks. I had a very helpful talk with a business consultant, which was actually free, since in Germany every start-up or a person with an idea can apply for a free consultation. In the end I was helped by a friendly lawyer, who is an expert on trademarks and I could finally release the app.
Was this an individual effort or are you working with someone?
I had massive help from my girlfriend, who did the design for the app, while I did the coding. She is a very talented graphic designer and seeing the amount of passion, she put into her designs motivated me a lot while writing the code.
My friends at university also supported me with great ideas and many other great people joined in beta testing, which helped me fix the last bugs and make the app more accessible.
How effective is it? What’s the feedback?
On my final tests the app reached an accuracy of 92% on the validation dataset, which are images of cannabis leaves, of which I already knew the deficiencies, pests or diseases of the plants.
The feedback I got upon posting the app to /r/microgrowery was overwhelming honestly. I did not expect this huge amount of positive feedback. Also I got some really good ideas from the community for further features.
Do you have any plans for expanding on it?
Yes definitely! I plan on implementing more functions and features. Since I have to test them out first I don’t want to promise something too specific, but I have quite a lot of fresh ideas, mostly thanks to the users on reddit.
I am also considering to offer the software as part of a complete plant welfare system, including sensors for Ph, temperature, humidity, EC, etc. to growing companies and passionate homegrowers in the future.
Also I would like to extend the framework of the app to other crops like whine, chili and tomatoes.
IOS will be next I imagine since so many are asking?
Yes definitely, that will be the first thing I am working on. Currently I am already researching on the best way to translate my code from Android to iOS.
What’s your relationship with cannabis?
I might have tried it once or twice 🙂
What about Pests?
So far nitrogen toxicity, thrips and leaf septoria can be detected as well aside from nutrient deficiencies. I am currently working on integrating the detection of more pest related issues and plan to release an update on that soon.
The Sticky Bottom Line
As you can see, there’s a lot of heart that has been poured into this project and while it’s still in the infancy stages of development – you can actually help make it more accurate. Since this app is based on machine learning, what it needs most is to be fed.
Thus, the more of you send pictures, the more accurate the app will become over time. I know that some of you will scoff at the notion of sending pics and relying on an app to detect your issues, but in all honesty – this could become a very useful tool in the right hands – especially for new growers.
This is partly the reason why I am writing this article, since I have a whole group of newbie growers constantly asking me, “What’s wrong with my plant!” it would be awesome to have an app that can help them with the basics.
I for one think this is a great idea and if you do too – I strongly recommend downloading the app if you have an Android device.
By the way, I reached out to the app developer, not the other way around.