Dante's Garden

Holy cow that’s a lot of emitters. Are the pressure compensating? With that many you could run into pressure issues for the ones at the end of the line if they aren’t pressure compensating

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You have hydrangeas? Do you live down the street from satan too? Big props for keeping such a delicate plant going in that sweat shop.

At least you are on drip. Like I said in the previous post, you can really jack your settings for the drip zone to trick rachio into running that drip zone for 3-4 hours, starting mid day.

Like setting your pr to .1 inch an hour leaving everything the same. But you moisture graph will not be accurate.

Like setting root zone much deeper, but your frequency might move too far out, probably need to move the co slider way up to counter this side effect.

I personally think the addition of the fixed is most scientifically accurate, but suffers the moisture graph issue.

With any luck, rachio will work on a satan prison rape defense module.

Honestly linn, when it cools down, you should take a shot as installing your own valve. I finally broke down and started doing that 3 years ago, the stuff is dirt simple, just laborious.

That is a lot of emitters, but it should work. Do you-know if he installed a pressure reducer? If so what psi rating?
Approximately how many linear feet of 1/2" are you running? At some point friction loss may be working against you, but even 100 emitters at 2 gph = 3gpm, easily within the capabilities of the system if were installed properly.

Was that controllet the Irritrol Smart Dial? If so, that product had the original smart controller technology with WeatherTrak. It used pager technology. The original WeatherTrak came on the scene about 16 or 17 years ago. It was a product years ahead of the industry, but had way too many dials and required training. That product is not in the residential market now. Pager technology is not used too much. But I sure like Rachio. Unfortunately many contractors area still obsessed with installing one brand of dumb controller. The madness continues.

Just an update on the garden. I used @plainsane’s suggestion of a supplemental fixed schedule to get me the added watering I needed when we had the 113-117F temps, had no shade to the garden, and Flex Daily was ‘bottoming out’. With the fixed schedule added I overshot the Field Capacity a bit but no longer bottomed out. Right around the time of the peak highs I finished the shade structure I was building, and changed the zone from ‘Full Sun’ to ‘Some Shade’. Between that and temps dropping to the low 100’s, I was able to turn off the fixed schedule, and even dropped the watering duration a bit to 31 minutes. I definitely recommend the shade cloth structure for anyone dealing with our type of climate. The vegetables/herbs are all holding up quite well for now.

We’ll see how this all stands up next weekend. The current forecast calls for 119F on Father’s Day!

Wow, that’s going to be one hot Father’s Day. I hope the Iro is designed to be outside in such extremes. Mine sits on the side of the house that gets the most sun. Granted, it’s in a Orbit box but still.

@Modawg2k Yeah, I was thinking about that today. Everything fries out here, but according to the tech specs we’ll have 21 degrees of margin, that is assuming the enclosure doesn’t cause the heat to rise more internally!


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You got me thinking about the competition.


Even with enclosures they recommend keeping it under 125F. I’m not sure that there are many places that would do well with 32F as the min. either. Even here it gets colder than that. Way to go Rachio hardware engineering ! :cheers:

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Man, when did Satan enter the holiday planning business?

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I wanted to work on my non-lawn zones earlier, but had to take a break as I had family in town. Finally had a chance to work on them again.

I’ve started with what I think is the simplest zone – it’s just two fixed-spray nozzles watering two beds of annuals (currently wax-leaf begonias) – My biggest concern was that how I had it defined was going to have the zone watering everyday, and still not keeping up – the ET was going to be bigger that the watering on a daily basis!

Here’s what I started with:

And how one of the predictions looked:

I took a couple of hours and set up a test zone (one that I’m not using) and tried to adjust just one factor at a time to see if I could get it to get the irrigation inches up to something that would match the Crop ET. My thought was that my lawn is doing great, but when it waters, it often puts down 2-3 times the amount of ET. And I’m thinking that water deeper, water less often is still good logic for annuals. Does my logic seem sound? Any thoughts?

I didn’t want to set the MAD higher than 25% based on some doc that I found online, where they recommended 20-25% MAD for drip systems with non-lawn plants. I played with the coefficient and quickly learned that it only effects frequency and not duration. So I left the coefficient set at 80%. I tried 3 or 4 different AW’s and found they had less impact on duration than root depth. I finally ended up changing only the root depth (set to 5 inches) and the MAD - (took it from 20-25%). That brought my irrigation up to .21 inches and I’m thinking that this is going to look better? (and as luck would have it, I haven’t gotten to test it out yet because our 20% chance of rain two nights in a row turned into good storms, and I haven’t needed to water at all! The rain sensor just deactivated today!)

Any thoughts? Am I on the right track?

Then on to tackle the tougher ones!

@Linn At first I thought you were on the right track. I originally thought about increasing my RZD to get the water needed to overcome the ET. However, it ended up not making as much sense when you think about the fact that you’re essentially sending water below the root depth if you increase RZD to be deeper than your actual roots. In that case, I’m not sure how much of the intent is being kept in terms of maintaining the moisture at 25-50%, within your root zone. I think they only real way to keep the root zone near 25% in your case is to add a supplemental fixed schedule like @plainsane recommended I do. Either that, or increase the shade to those plants, assuming that it’s practical and that they would stay healthy if you did so.

That link you posted above is great. As you mentioned, they talk about using 20%-25% MAD for crops with trickle irrigation systems. You mentioned fixed-spray nozzles. Don’t they have a significantly higher PR ? If so, you might be able to go closer to 50%MAD. I honestly don’t understand why they say 50% might be OK for overhead systems vs. trickle, but here’s what they say:

I think the best thing for you ppl that live in satans back yard is to go an inorganic route and amend the soil with miracle grows water save crystals. You can then increase your awc to .2 and you extend the route zone as those things absorb 100 x their weight in water. Then a flex can roll as usual

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Dang it guys, stop showing off http://9gag.com/gag/aVeW7Ln?ref=mobile.s.cp

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No wonder my car smelled like cookies last weekend!

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Yep, I keep potholders in the glove compartment. They do double duty: I can use them to hold on to the steering wheel so I don’t burn my hands when I can’t find any shade to park under, and in case I decide to whip up a batch of cookies.

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Is anyone else growing tomatoes in their garden? Wanted to see how someone else’s are doing. One of the seminars I went to said they wouldn’t make it past June and my plant is starting to look like it is on its way out.

I was growing tomatoes. Most varieties won’t set fruit when the temps are above 90°. You might be able to keep the plant alive through the heat, but you’ll have a better harvest and less problems if you treat them as annuals-not perennials. I find it’s not worth the effort to try fighting Mother Nature. There are two growing seasons for tomatoes in “Dante’s Garden”: March - June and September - November.

I did experiment with a “heat tolerant” variety, but the fruit wasn’t very tasty. If I recall, it was “Phoenix Heat Master”. Bonnie Plants is a supplier to the big box stores and you may be able to find one called Phoenix Tomato, but the transplants should have been set out before the inferno season arrived to establish the plant’s roots. The plants will most likely need to be shaded from the afternoon sun.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply. I guess I’ll just have to wait until next season for more tomatoes

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@sunny I was going to PM you asking about this quote from another thread, but it seems others here may be intrested.

“At this point in our blast furnace season we call summer, it’s too late to plant and now is the time to amend the soil in preparation for planting in August and September.”

Do you mind expanding on this last quote ? What should we consider doing right now ? We still have some veggies that are doing fine. Do we still amend the soil, and if so what does that entail ?


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Tough questions. If one walks into a room filled with Master Gardeners, it’s likely there will be almost as many different answers as there are people in the room. (They’re an opinionated bunch. :wink:) There are so many variables to consider. I can share what I do and what has worked (or not) for me.

Soil is amended to improve the tilth. That is the suitability to support healthy plant growth.

Assuming we are talking about raised beds, and there is currently nothing growing in them, and depending on what I last planted, I may amend the soil with sterilized steer manure, Nature’s Way composted mulch and some Dr. Earth fertilizer. If I have enough of my own homemade compost, I prefer that. Keep in mind that too much manure can increase the salts in the soil. If the bed last contained peas or beans (nitrogen-fixing legumes), then the nitrogen levels may just fine. Maybe the only amendments I add will be homemade compost. Remember we are discussing a living, dynamic ecosystem.

Examine a handful of soil–is it dark and rich? Does it have that “earthy smell”? You’re probably good to go.

It doesn’t surprise me that you still have some vegetables that are doing well. Some vegetable growth will span seasons. I have successfully nursed a cauliflower through the summer heat. Optimally, cool season vegetables taste best when grown in the cooler weather. Do you still have lettuce growing? When the temperatures rise, it becomes bitter. Snap peas actually do well and taste sweetest with a mild frost.

Generally speaking, it’s difficult to successfully grow many vegetables during the hottest part of our summers. Having said that, I’ll give some exceptions. Cantaloupe, watermelons, yardlong beans and blackeyed peas can be planted now. Okra and Armenian cucumbers thrive in the heat. If gardening with children, a sunflower or short-season pumpkins are a good choice. Just bear in mind the time to harvest.

Consider “square foot gardening”. Instead of planting in rows, plant in a grid. That way a variety of vegetables can be planted. If you still have vegetables doing well in the heat and want to keep them, work amendments in the soil around them with a hand cultivator.

Experiment! If it is not enjoyable to garden in the heat of our summers, let the garden “rest” and plan what you and your family would like to grow and will eat during the cool season.