A Hydrangea plant with an SM-200 soil moisture sensor.
We are using eight plots inside a greenhouse for research into the use of soil moisture sensors to improve the efficiency of irrigation. We have outfitted four of the plots with soil moisture sensor-based irrigation controllers (IL200-MC Irrigation Moisture Clik).
The sensor is connected to an irrigation controller, which automatically turn on the irrigation as the substrate water content drops below a user-defined set point; the controller then turns off the irrigation when substrate moisture set point is reached.
These plots are paired with conventionally irrigated plots (using timers) to allow for detailed side by side comparisons. All plots are outfitted with flow meters and dataloggers that can track water use continuously. The objective of this research is to quantify water savings that can be achieved using soil moisture sensors for irrigation control.