I've been tinkering for quite a while and I'm looking to try out an arduino to control an automated small garden project for growing seeds. I've never done any coding before and am looking for some advice on what hardware/software I should use that's easy to learn and will work for my application. My idea is to have an arduino control a lighting and sprinkler system that would work on timers to be on or off at specific intervals with the potential to be upgraded in the future to run off moisture sensors when I feel more confident in my coding abilities. I'm trying to keep this project on a budget so the Arduino nano is tempting because of its price point but could it do everything I want? Any advice or recommendations are welcome, thanks.
There's a few similar projects already done on YouTube, which you can use for guidance. If this is your 1st project using arduino I would recommend the Uno as is the easiest to work with. As you become more familiar with microcontrollers you can easily switch to the nano.
As for what sensors you decide to use is up to you. You have quite a bit of flexibility. Check out Adafruit and arduino websites for ideas. What you choose to go for would depend on the specifics of your project, which a bit vague in this post.