Living in dry California, we are about to redo our front yard with native plants only, each of which is getting a drip, for about a dozen plants per irrigation channel.
I'm trying to to figure out a good way to determine whether the plants will get enough water, while attempting to not water any more than necessary (this being California in a drought)
Naively, I'd say "let's give every plant a moisture sensor, bury the wires with the drip irrigation tubing, and have the controller figure out how long to run each channel based on the needs of the driest plant".
Has anybody ever done such a thing, without breaking the bank? If not, how would you go about doing it?
Update: The gardeners are redoing our front yard as I type this, but I haven't found a good approach for measuring moisture. For now, I'll have them bury sprinkler wire along each of the drip tubes; if and how it will be connected I don't know yet.
If I find the time, I'll create some moisture sensors similar to this and hook them up with some version of the 1-wire protocol, which requires very little cabling, so my sprinkler wire should be sufficient. A Raspberry Pi or such would collect the data in my garage, and publish it via WiFi. This would join my Rasberry Pi-based pool timer which has been in production use for >2.5 years now.
If you read this, even a long time from now, and are working on something similar, please get in touch. I'd love to collaborate!