Configuration Suggestions for New User

Hi all,

I just bought a rachio and started configured it yesterday. I live in Boulder, CO and they have a service where someone from the city comes out and analyzes everything about my lawn. Below is the key info from that consultation:

  • Soil type: Clay
  • Precipitation Rate: 1.78 inch/hr in spray zones; .65 inch/hr in rotor zones
  • Distribution uniformity: 63% in spray zones; 65% in rotor zones
  • Water pressure: 40 psi in each spray and rotor zones
  • Root depth: approx 5"
  • Evapotranspiration: City of Boulder recommends “Our recommended watering schedule is based on an average historical ET for the Front Range of Colorado of 27 inches of water per year. If the weather is significantly hotter and drier or cooler and wetter than average, you may need to adjust your watering schedule.”
  • Their notes about my lawn: Your landscape has approximately 2845 square feet of turf and 1423 square feet of non-turf areas. Turf uses an average of 27 inches of water per year in the Front Range of Colorado, and the average shrub bed in Colorado uses roughly 18 inches of water per year. With an efficient irrigation system, it should take roughly 63847 gallons of water each year to water your landscape.
  • Their recommended watering schedule (which seems to not be enough an result in a burnt lawn). Rachio suggested more watering than this when I set it up on Flex Climate schedule.

Days of week: Mon, Thu
Time of day: AM
3 cycles
Zone 1 - 7 minutes (previously 12 minutes)
Zone 2 - 6 minutes (previously 7 minutes)
Zone 3 - 10 minutes (previously 12 minutes)
Zone 4 - 10 minutes (previously 12 minutes)
Zone 5 - 10 minutes (previously 12 minutes)
Zone 6 - 10 minutes (previously 12 minutes)

I have 6 zones. 5 of which are grass and 1 is front shrubs. All grass zones are rotor heads (most the type that click as they move, a couple are the spray rotor heads shown in the picture for rotor heads).

Do you all think I’m good enough with just the standard configuration of flat or slight slope, grass type cool climate, soil type clay, rotor heads?.. or should I go into the advanced configuration and update the root depth, 80% default uniformity, etc?

Is there any other info I could provide that helps?


That’s great they come out and give you all that information. I’ve had to do a lot of work and research just to learn that info for my lawn. I’m curious about your setup with the different spray nozzles. Is all of your grass confined to one area (so you have two different type of nozzles that cover the same area)?

I have a front and back lawn. The front lawn has one zone and it’s covered by spray heads. The back yard has 4 zones. Most of the heads are impact heads but some are rotor heads. City of Boulder just gave me one number .65" / hr for rotor zones, which I think means the entire back yard. Think I should just set it up as custom nozzles at .65" / hr for all of those zones?

How did they determine soil type for the lawn?
Isn’t there a few inches of “loam” topsoil for the sod or grass seed?

Sorry not sure. They just said the soil type. I also checked an online USGS mapping tool that seemed to confirm my house is on the edge of two zones. Straight clay and a clay loam. I think they took a sample from the yard though, so I assume it’s accurate.

Wow!! Boulder rocks! – I would loved to have had ANY of that information when I first set up my Rachio!! – which schedule did you mean when you said you set up Flex Climate? Monthly or daily? With all the info that you have at your fingertips, I would give Flex daily a try!

Is your shrub zone also rotor heads? If so, you could leave it in the schedule, otherwise I would separate it out into it’s own schedule.

With everything they have given you, I would go into advanced settings and do custom nozzles based on the precip rates that they gave you. I would also make sure all your root depths for the lawn are 5". And I would take the efficiency down to what they quoted you.

Then watch it for a week or two, and see what happens. After you get it all set up, you could post one of the Moisture level graphs with the details, along with a screenshot of your zones, and see what others on the forums think.

1 Like

Thanks Linn! I did the flex monthly when I set it up originally. I have now gone back and updated the root depth to 5" for all lawn zones and also changed the precip rate to .65"/hr. Thanks for the help! I’ll try this for a couple of weeks then try the flex daily to see how it compares. The front lawn shrubs are spray type heads with double the inch/hr. I’ll post back the moisture graphs in a couple of weeks. Thanks!

1 Like


Thank for sharing that information with the community! I must say it’s great that Boulder provides such a service.

I would like to say that I am in no way the expert on what your lawn requires. That being said using the standard configuration should meet all of your yards needs. It’s a great way to start. If after a while you feel that your zones might need some tweaking then by all means feel free to go into the advanced settings and make some changes.

Welcome to the family and thank you for the support!