How would I use soil moisture and temperature to supplement or enhance our gardening?
Well, I recently moved a leaf wetness/soil moisture station to our compost bin of about 1.5 cubic yards. Right now it's used for leaf wetness and temperature of the compost.
Granted, in this app, the leaf wetness is not useful for anything but interest. However, we are considering planting a wine grape vineyard, and leaf wetness will be more important then for deciding on spraying vines etc. Others have repurposed leaf wetness sensors as fog detectors and such.
The compost bin is another story. We used to send our green waste off site with the weekly trash/recycling pickup.
Now we shred/chip everything and compost it. Here's an example of how the Davis helps. I bury the temp probe in the pile every time I shred new material or turn the pile. Last Saturday, the pile temp was in the mid 70s F while the outdoor temp was considerably cooler. I shredded all the accumulated non-meat kitchen waste, the grass clippings, some leaves,and some damp oak bark, about 2-3 ft^3 and incorporated it into the pile and reburied the probe. The temperature started out at 77°F. Over the last 5 days, the temperature has risen to 117°F, a rise of 40°F. That tells me that the activity in the pile is working nicely. When it levels off and then starts to drop, I know it's time to turn the pile, adding air and redistributing the material, and maybe time to add more clippings, grass, bark, etc.
When it's done, I run the compost through the chipper/shredder again and then set a portion aside for use, and reload the pile.
A compost pile needs to be kept damp, so I might be better off abandoning the leaf wetness and adding a moisture probe to the pile to track the moisture.