Home garden crops, small-scale agricultural systems for local food production, are becoming an integral part of the food supply chain in a number of developing countries and peri-urban areas of some developed regions. In this work, we propose a low-cost, monitoring and irrigation system which can be applied in household and local community gardens. The basic architecture consists of a sensing/actuation station based on commercial off-the-shelf hardware and a mobile application for the interaction with remote users. A key aspect of the system is the use of legacy text-messaging service as a mechanism to support alert and control operations for monitoring and irrigation. This feature enables widely available and highly-reliable connections between the cropland station and remote users without the need for new network infrastructure. We implemented a functional prototype of the system to check its effectivity in a small open-field area for tomatoes cultivation. The results show that water usage can be substantially improved if using both the actual information collected from the system and public tools for decision support in agriculture. We conclude that the proposed solution has a good prospect as an input for the design of more automated decision-strategies to be used in plant cultivation of a similar kind and/or of a larger scale.