Hi all, been lurking around reading a bit and learning lots but I’m currently just at a loss what to do with my front yard. Live in southern Oregon with cool season grass. We moved in to the house 2.5 years ago and front was just bushes. We removed everything and put in new soil and sod and thats when I bought the Rachio (originally bought the Hydrawise). First season great as we watered for a new lawn.
Well the next season (last year) I gave Rachio Thrive a try and also tried out the daily flex schedule (that’s the main reason I bought the Rachio). Well didn’t go so well and a big part of the lawn died. End of summer I checked for grubs and found a ton of them and the grass rolled up like carpet. I put treatment down and replaced a big part of the grass with new sod.
Continue to this last spring with the grub issues I put treatment down as a preventive measure will regularly continue to do so. Also continuing to use Thrive and now trying Sunday fertilizer which I sent a soil sample to them as well which showed grade A in nutrients and balanced pH. But now that we are into summer parts of my lawn again are not doing so well. On flex daily schedule Rachio was watering roughly 3 times per week (we’ve had 100 degree temps for a while but once rachio went 6 days without watering for unknown reasons?) Sprinklers were running for just over 2 hours each zone (I have 2 zones for the front lawn) I am using Rainbird rotary nozzles.
I was using the mostly default settings for flex and I did input a precip rate of 0.6 in/hr per Rainbird. Grass RD of 5.91 inches and efficiency of 80%. Well I did the catch cup tests and inputted the results into an online caclualtor and actually found the precip rate was much higher of 0.91 in/hr in zone 1 and 1.28 in/hr in zone 2. Also zone 1 efficiency was 62% and zone 2 was 64%. I changed all those in the settings and Rachio decreased water time to about 1 hour 45 minutes each zone. I also found my roots really don’t go down to 6 inches when I pulled a section up, more like 3 inches. So when I changed that Rachio now waters for about 50 min each zone but waters every day (which I understand from the shallower root depth). Been going on about a week of this.
So Im at a loss what to do. Should I keep the current settings? Would over watering have caused my lawn to do this since the sprinklers were actually putting more water out then Rachio thought on the default settings and watering roughly 3 times per week? I used a moisture meter this week and it said the soil is wet down to about 6 inches. I get the theory of watering infrequently for longer time for better root and grass hardiness but I just can’t seem to get my lawn to that stage. Neighbors water everyday and sometimes additional watering even during the day when it’s really hot and their lawns look much better. My backyard has one zone spray heads and another zone rotor heads and it’s even doing better than my front (aside from dog damage) and it’s also set on flex daily. So I thought should I change Sprinklers heads to rotors? I figure though as long as the precip rate is calculated the amount of water will be put down regardless of type of Sprinklers head used. Local water commission is recommending right now 1.48 inches of water a week and to run multistream rotary nozzles for total of 222 minutes a week. Which I’ve been above that. Also the areas of dead grass are getting water coverage in fact some of the areas doing better are getting less water water then the dead areas based on the catch cup results.
Anyone having good results with using Rachio Thrive? Also anyone using Sunday as an additional supplement? Do the pics of the lawn look anything else it could be like fungus or anything? I understand that Thrive will naturally aerate the lawn too? Would thatch be an issue for a lawn 2 years old?
Sorry for long post wanted to give as much info as I could to provide background. Attached are pics of lawn and screen shots of my current settings. My wife is giving me a hard time about buying a fancy Sprinkler controller lol. I totally get it can only only as good as the Information inputted. That’s why I’m trying to figure if my settings are ball park but something else needs to be done for the lawn. Thanks all.