Decrease Seasonal Watering Frequency Instead of Short Watering Times

My sprinklers ran for about 8-10 minutes three times a week in the Los Angeles summer heat. The automatic seasonal adjustments kept reducing the time but not the frequency. Now the schedule gives 1-2 minutes per station still three times a week. That is not enough time for the water to soak in. And the minimal surface water will just evaporate when the dry California Santa Ana winds are blowing. Please consider maintaining a minimal time of say 5 minutes per station and reducing frequency from three times a week in summer to two times a week in fall to once a week in winter instead of such short watering times. Thanks for listening!

A flex daily schedule does exactly this. It doesn’t change watering times, just frequency. It’s a more advanced feature though so requires some homework before you light it up.

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Please tell me where to find the instructions for this alternative schedule. Thank you in advance.

Also, given the increased risk of evaporative loss compromising the efficacy of shortening water times, I wonder why this type of schedule isn’t the default or standard? Then the programmers could make it easier for all customers instead of our having to research a more complicated process. At least make it an option up front.

It’s not the default because it is difficult to obtain the data the schedule needs.

First thing, get catch cups and make sure your pr for each zone is very accurate. Make sure you know your root depth, set these in advance settings for each zone.

If you search in the forums I have posted many times on how,to determine your available water, make sure that is correct in advanced settings.

Go create a new schedule and select flex daily.

I run completely on ‘autopilot’ (flex daily). It’s what the Iro2 was fundamentally designed to do.

Best regards,



Thanks, Folks!

Got the general flex schedule instructions. Found my soil type. Was ready to try to program this, but we are getting our first rain in nine months. Hoorah for that.

My root depth is not so easy.

My front yard is grass and mature trees.

My backyard slope is steep, barely walkable without slipping or falling. It has mature walnut trees with English ivy and vinca major as ground covers, mostly in the shade of the trees. Four of the five hill sprinklers serve mostly shady areas under those trees.

One sprinkler serves a mainly sun exposed area where almost everything I’ve tried to grow has done poorly. Currently it’s red apple, a low growing slowly spreading succulent that was starting to catch on until the California drought.

What are the root depth recommendations for those three areas?


What type of grass do you have? Based on this I’ll have other questions.

Marathon grass, a tall fescue, very popular in Southern California.

The trees in the front yard are three liquid ambar and two small crepe myrtle.

Trees on the hill are walnut.

well, it looks like you can train marathon to root almost a foot down, thats pretty impressive. i dont know where i would set your root depth.

if it were me i would probably attempt a core sample of 1.5 foot. soak that core in water for a while so you can work the dirt loose without breaking the root and measure it.

as far as the trees go, i dont do much for mine, they are on a drip system with a few rings of drip around each tree but i get enough rain to not need focus on those vegetations much.

I live in Charlotte, NC, so totally different climate than you, and I don’t know if this is the right way to do it or not, but I just ignore my mature trees and let mother nature handle them. I also ignore my mature shrubs – that decision I fell into by accident. I had thought that the irrigation system that I inherited when I bought my house was all working fine. One of the zones was for all the shrubs around my house. When I had some landscaping work done and much of my irrigation system redone a couple of years ago, I discovered that something was wrong with that shrub zone and it had never been watering! So at that point, I decided that the mature shrubs could also do just fine on what mother nature was giving them (and we even had pretty severe droughts in a couple of the years it wasn’t watering!) — I have 3 crepe myrtles, and none of them have ever been on the irrigation system and all are doing great (I had the same experience with crepe myrtles when I lived in the Northern Virginia area)

So all that said, I concentrate on what most critically needs the water – the grass and all my perennials and annuals. And I tune the system for that

Do you have any watering restrictions?.

I think He is in southern Cali, if so I think they can only drink water on odd days. Now if you bottle it, sell it to yourself and pour it on the yard, there are no restrictions…

Root depth setting for tall fescue should 6 inches. If trees are in the same zone you must water to the fescue. The feeder roots for most trees are 12 inches. 12 inches is too deep a setting for any turfgrass.

Water restriction is financial. The price goes up the more gallons of water used. A certain number at a base rate, then the next number at a higher rate and so on. The local water and power utility gave a rebate for the Rachio that almost paid for the whole thing.

Thanks again for the advice, everyone. I like the logic of watering to the grass and will probably start at six inches root depth.

Go with Flex daily then – I don’t like the way flex monthly works. Flex Daily is great!