Cycle Soak, Flex Schedules and Clay Oh My!


#1

I’m a new user here in Pittsburgh and I have a 7-zone system with a Hunter rain-sensor and a Hunter flow-sensor (which apparently isn’t compatible).

I have a newer home and I have what seems to be very dense clay soil only an inch or two (if that in some areas) beneath loamy soil. I get a lot of cracked soil in my flower beds during hot weather and dry spells. I also get a lot of run-off and saturated ground that then will quickly seems to dry out and start cracking.

I set up a flexible daily schedule recently and haven’t yet started watering - rain storms this week. If I water like being suggested in some areas of my house it is going to turn into a giant muddy squishy mess! Should I just go with it and see what happens? I assume the watering will be less frequent and less voluminous once the schedule is established??

Also, on the schedule I noticed that my zones have dedicated watering times separated out over the course of a single watering sessions - apparently to limit run-off. Then there is a separate “cycle soak” for 20 minutes that shows up for 3 or 4 times during a single days watering. What is that?

Thanks!!


#2

Cycle soak is just a “pause” for a zone that needs more time for the water to absorb before more water is added. Sometimes separating the zones over the course of a single watering session still doesn’t give a zone enough time to absorb everything.

I love Flex Daily, but it can take some tuning of the parameters if you run into any problems (like a squishy wet lawn) before it’s perfect. The problem I ran into was the opposite – a crunchy lawn.

The issue was that when you setup a zone with “rotor heads”, it assumes that the rotor heads water at the rate of 1 in/hour. Turns out the Hunter rotor heads in my lawn only water at the rate of of 0.4 in/hour.

So every time that a schedule ran, the lawn only received 40% of the water that it was supposed to get.

Took me a bit to figure that out, but since then, it’s been working great!


#3

Assuming you don’t change any settings, frequency will only change with changing weather conditions (i.e. it rains, so your next watering day is pushed back 1 day)

Amount of water put out in a zone per watering session will not change any time unless you adjust a setting (i.e. increase root depth so you’ll water more at one time but then you may push out your watering by a day more).

@TonyF How do you feel about all your settings? If you need some help or feedback on those, post a screenshot.