Dwarf tall fescue in Idaho


#1

I’m super excited that my rachio is arriving today and am looking forward to fine-tuning settings for my landscaping. Where would I find reliable information on what healthy dwarf tall fescue root depths should be. I will take a core sample to look at my own lawn, but I want to have realistic expectations for what the goal depth should be with proper watering habits. Southern Idaho has a couple months of brutally dry and hot weather, so I want to whip my lawn into shape so it’s best able to handle it.

Thanks for any guidance. I look forward to being an active part of the Rachio community.

-Rob


#2

Hey @robdawg!

From what I’m finding, it’s looking like your root zone should be 3-4 inches, source below:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/turf/publications/tallfesc.html

I know that is for tall fescue, however I’m not finding anything specifying that dwarf tall fescue has a different root zone. How have you been watering up until now? That could help estimate if you are within that range or outside of it. Roots typically grow to the irrigated depth, so if you have been watering shallow and often they could be shallower and if you water deep and infrequently they could be deeper than that. Let me know!

Welcome to the community- and congrats on the new controller :cheers:

McKynzee


#3

Thanks! Unfortunately I followed some very poor advice from my immediate neighbors initially after building our house, so I didn’t start to space out my watering until this past summer, and only then for the last month or so. I will start off watering for a depth of ~3 inches and see how it does. Of course, if a core sample suggests otherwise, I’ll adjust accordingly. If I can train it to go deeper than 4", I will. Do you typically see root depth improve noticeably in one growing season? I was also considering installing a soil moisture sensor, but my sense from scanning the discussions from the community is that it’s not widely done. We do have a personal weather station that communicates with Weather Underground, so I’m hoping to at least get that local data to help with my Rachio’s “intelligence.” I’ve read the threads that deal with that.


#4

@robdawg That sounds like a perfect plan. I think people on this forum have been able to improve the health of their lawn considerably in a season by creating a flex schedule that is fine tuned to their yard- it looks like you are on the right path! I would advise against a soil sensor, as we are only compatible with one (Toro Precision,) and this only works as an interruption when you are at a certain moisture level. If you get your zone settings fine tuned, and you have an accurate weather source (which you clearly will,) our algorithms have proven very accurate when it comes to checking soil moisture balance.
Also, I would check out @Gene’s most recent post about connecting to WUnderground, he has revealed a much easier solutions for bridging the two together!