1/4" or 1/2" drip irragation for fruit trees on a new zone?


Love Pink Lady! We ended up with two Honey Crisp and Granny Smith for the pollinator. It makes a great pie, too. We had some difficulty with coddling moths this past year and harvest was reduced by about half. It was so disappointing. The cherries are Stella and Montmorency and they have been solid producers.

I read the Cosmic Crisp won’t be available to consumers until 2019

These trees are in an area that at one time was a big producer of apples. Now, not so much, but the area is still prime ranching and farming area. As kids, we picked apples to earn spending money and I remember climbing the trees and eating apples until our stomachs ached.

What wonderful memories of your grandma’s pies.

I’ll be interested to hear how you decide to handle the irrigation for the trees. I had to adjust the frequency of watering because the soil wasn’t drying quite enough between waterings. The “orchard” is on a fixed schedule that waters every 7 days and that has worked great.


Ewing is not the friendliest bunch.


I’ve got 30+ years in this business in CA. Here’s my thoughts -
I go along with most of what sprinklerman and robertokc said.
¼" tubing is useful for containers only; don’t use it for any in-ground plantings.
The Netafim Tree Ring layout is good for fruit trees but hard to expand as the tree grows larger in diameter. Leave out the radial tube on the back side leading to the A/F valve and leave out the A/F valve itself. Then each ring of tubing is easy to make larger over time. A/F valves are problem prone and unnecessary with Irvine water.
The brass A/S valves in your photo will have problems with your drip zones. The minimum for rate is too high. Rain-Bird makes a valve assembly called Drip Zone which would work.
Try Hydroscape for the Netafim or Rain Bird product.


We just had our front landscaping redone and the installer installed deep watering tubes for the trees in addition to surface watering for plants etc.

The deep watering tubes are on their own circuit and he recommended running them once a month for 30/45 minutes during the summer. I asked Rachio support if they had a way to do this and the only initial thing they came back with was setting a fixed manual schedule which only goes out 21 days. So every 21 days then.

Any suggestions from you guys? Our installer said the deep watering should dry out periodically rather than being constantly trickled wetted to avoid killing the trees with too much water.


I’m wondering if a better solution for the fruit trees would be to use fixed flow bubblers versus drip. You can definitely expand the drip tree ring size as the trees mature, but you can easily do the same with bubbles.
Here is some information about bubblers that are merely added off PVC pipe and installed on funny pipe fittings or on top of pop up spray bodies.


Hey @zalusky This is actually what I love most about the openness of Rachio. There’s definitely a way that you can achieve this but you’ll have to get slightly dirty (pardon the soil pun) with this solution. It actually works quite well and you might even appreciate it being on your Calendar also.

First thing is to go to IFTTT.com and create an account if you don’t already have one. Once you have an IFTTT account set up, follow the steps below:

  1. On the IFTTT home page, click on “My Applets” at the top.

  2. Click on “New Applet”.

  3. Click on the "+This" in the If This Then That screen.

  4. Search for “calendar”.

  5. You’ll have multiple calendar options that should work, but I only know for sure that “Google Calendars” works. Feel free to play around with the others obviously.

  6. Once you click on and connect your calendar, you should see “Event from search starts” as an option. Click on that.

  7. I set mine up for the keyphrase to be “Watering the Trees” and the “Time before event starts” to “0” because I wanted it to look for “Watering the Trees” and to trigger when that happens on the calendar exactly.

  8. Click “Create trigger” at the bottom once you’ve filled it out to your desire.

  9. Click on the “+That” part now.

  10. Search for Rachio and click on it.

  11. Under “Choose an action” Click on “Start a zone”.

  12. Choose your desired zone and length of time for watering.

  1. Click on “Create action” at the bottom. Then Review it and click on “Finish”.

Your applet is ready to go! Now, all you have to do is go on the Calendar you synced to this and add events with the keyword you set up. For me, I put my events called “Watering the Trees” on my Google calendar with this criteria:

Title: Watering the Trees
Time: 6:00a to 6:00a because I want my watering to start at 6a. It doesn’t matter the end time since the run time is set within the IFTTT Applet.
Repeat: Monthly on day 13. This is to make it so you don’t have to go in and create a bunch of singular events. If you want to change the time, you can just edit one event instead of all separately.

See images below for visual on how I set it up.

NOTE: You may see a delay in the watering of up to a couple minutes. This is because the communication with the Rachio cloud and the IFTTT checks run every couple minutes and not all the time. It’ll still run for the desired amount of time but the start and end times may be pushed back a very small amount.

Hope this helps!


bubblers are definitely an option. But, in my opinion, they are problematic in Irvine due to the precipitation rate being much greater than drip. Rain Bird has a good bubbler device for trees called RWS.


Your installer did the right thing. If you are careful in setting your Rachio, you can get it to do a schedule that approximates what he suggested. I have some deep-rooted trees that are only watered about every 45 days in the winter.