I’m trying to do the flex daily thing and I bought this controller because it’s “smart.” However my lawn looks terrible. It hasn’t rained in CO in weeks. The thing is skipping zones regularly the soil is so dry it is shrinking away from the concrete. I keep increasing the amount of time it’s supposed to water for, but it’s not working. I check the history and it only waters one or two of seven zones a night. I manually run it and it cancels out future waterings as I’m sure it thinks the turf is soaked. Is it smarter than me? What am I missing? TIA.
Flex daily requires a lot of tweaking and correct information about your lawn. You need to make sure that for each zone in a flex daily schedule the following info is (at least mostly) correct:
- Zone Type (Crop Type) - The type of grass / plants in this zone
- Spray Head
- Soil Type
- Root Depth
- Nozzle inches per hour
All of those go into the algorithm to figure out when and how much to water.
That can be a lot for people though, so another option would be to use the Flex Monthly schedules. These are still smart schedules, but run much more predictably and have less of an requirement for the fine details. If that sounds like something you’d like, I’d delete your Flex Daily schedule and then create a Flex Monthly schedule (generally good to do one schedule per crop type). See if that helps.
If you do decide to dig in to the necessary details that @zachio mentioned , this might be a starting point.
I am not sure if this is the right way of doing it, but you do need a bit of data input as accurately as you can get it around Zone types, heads, exposure, soil type and root depth…etc). I use a Flex Daily for soil moisture tracking and also have a Fixed schedule based on our 3 day restrictions in CR.
You are a local Coloradoan and we are here to help. Did a quick review of your schedule and it looks like it’s been setup the opposite of how flex daily works. Flex daily is built for deep waterings but for your zones in the back yard they are watering for just a few minutes a piece, this is why you are experiencing mass browning.
For contrast my zones run for ~30 minutes, I live in Golden, CO.
My recommendation is that you start with one zone, get it dialed in, then roll out to others. I also noticed one of your zones had a 2 inch root zone depth. The average for grass in Colorado is 6 inches.
The community can definitely help get you dialed in.
Here is my graph for the next week, note that it only waters when depleted and forecasted/observed rain will defer the schedule from running. My settings also seem close to yours. Flex daily works great for most users but there is a little bit of upfront work to get it dialed in. Hope this helps.
Franz, It will also depends on the sprinkler head type as to how long you run them. I have MP Rotator heads as I swapped out my traditional ones and had to x3 the original settings, so mine run for 1hr to 1 hr 30 mins.
Yes definitely, the nozzle precipitation rate is very important.
Thank you all! Thank you Franz, my lawn is a challenge and that’s why I decided to try this thing. My back yard will be a swamp if the zones each run 9 minutes a night. I have been slowly trying to find the happy medium of healthy versus swampy.
My front yard is shallow/bare due to my neighbor’s rabbit collection. I have to reseed a portion each year do root depth is not good.
However, If I increase the set time to 30 minutes and it actually runs each night for 6 minutes I’d be happy since as of right now it won’t run and as you know it’s been in the high 90’s for 5 days now.
Ok thanks for the additional information. In this heat only watering a few minutes and not getting down to the full roots is going to be difficult.
I didn’t know people collected rabbits? Picture or it didn’t happen.
I’m sorry about this.
I really don’t know if flex daily (for now) is the right schedule for you. Might try a fixed or flex monthly and still get benefits of our weather intelligence. You can always try one zone in flex daily to see what the results are.
Have you tried the cycle soak feature? This might help with your swamp/runoff.