Feature Request - Custom Soil Properties

Can we have this feature added which allows custom input for intake rate on soil and field capacity.

The rain machine has this feature plus more soil options.

Not all soils are created equal so they should be no blanket answer!

You already have that for Field Capacity, in the Advanced section for each zone, which is Available Water. True, Intake rate appears only based on your soil selection and cannot be changed manually, but you can choose a manual Cycle & Soak to get around that.

But more soil options would be good anyhow. Just like more Crop options would be: I have Centipede grass, a Warm Season grass, but its properties are very different than St. Augustine, Bermuda and other Warm Season Grasses, so I set its values manually.

I should clarify that Field Capacity and Available Water are not the same thing, but Field Capacity minus Wilting Point equals Available Water, so one does determine the other, and using Available Water results in having to know only one variable instead of two. As that may be confusing to some, here’s a graph that shows it:

Soil Water Content

But it’s just that…just like everything else in rachio you have to manipulate a adjust alot of other factors just to mimic a simple factor.

I’m still learning all the ins and outs on the advance system.

The custom soil property would allow them to drop several other options if I have it in my mind right. I’m shooting for less is more kind of thing. The smart cycle is useless in my opinion. It doesn’t know my lawn! Just like it doesn’t know it needs to be pumping more water during these hot weeks.

I got clay on top then filtered bank sand under that so. And every zone takes water in at a different rate so doing a blanket manual soak for the entire yard when some don’t need it is a waste of time and inefficient in my opinion.

The smart cycle can be manipulated a bit by your slope setting, and each zone can have it’s own slope setting.

There is a table that shows the different max runtimes for soak cycle. It’s a little buried in this support article: https://support.rachio.com/hc/en-us/articles/115010379767-Smart-Cycle-and-manual-cycle-and-soak-features

Go to FAQ and then "How long can a zone’s watering duration continue before it needs to get cycle soaked? "

In my case, I have an area of my yard that just doesn’t drain well. So even though it is pretty flat, I set my slope to steep so that it forces a soak time.

That’s just it though…you have to manipulate other factors to get “sorta” close to results your looking for. IDK maybe I am just getting more upset with the rachio as I am really trying to fine tune my sprinker setup for my yard, and I am realizing that I have to “manipulate” several other factors to adjust one problem.

In all honesty, it would really nice if I could just tell rachio to put 0.5 inches of water down for each zone, then you have your soil properties set, and then if you find some zones are a bit dry or wet, cut the zones back a smidge.

It has so much potential but the growth of the app doesn’t seem to move very progressively.

But .5 inches of water for someone with sandy soil is very different than .5 inches of clay soil. Even in my own yard, where I assume the soil is pretty much the same, the very sunny front yard holds the water totally different than the back yard that is shady and near a creek. And I have a couple of spots where the huge trees hog all the water.

My hope is that someday in the future technology will let us have affordable wireless probes that we can just sink down into the soil that would be able to immediately sense soil moisture levels and coordinate with the irrigation system. But until then, us humans have to feed it the information to the best of our ability.

I won’t disagree with that, but that is exactly the opposite of having custom soil properties. But if 0.5" is what you want watered each time, it’s calculated simply as Soil Available Water x Root Depth x Allowed Depletion. So set Available Water to 1, Root Depth to 1, and Allowed Depletion to 50%, and you’ve got your 0.50". Then change your 50% up or down to modify the applied water. Yes, that’s manipulating variables, but considering that’s how it’s calculated, it’s a bit easier.

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That is where its killing me. I have 13 zones and trying to find the right balance between all of them is quite convoluted when you have to manipulate those several variables and your trying to find the right balance between moving what variable where to achieve a certain outcome when at the end of the day, its just, how much water am i putting down.

It took me about 1 week to really dial the adjustments in but that was when i had a consistent streak of really hot weather.

But, I suppose if you want a higher degree of watering and have it perform super well, manual adjustments every season if not every few weeks seems necessary.

I have heavily relied on increasing the crop coefficient (85 and up) and raising the amount of depletion allowed to increase.

I know i will ahve to constantly adjust that based on time of year snce the CC is fixed, if only it could scale up and down similar to local averages after you set your current one.

Well, if you just want the 0.5", then all zones will be the same, without any real manipulation. Normally, values are the same anyhow: mine are all 0.17, 6, 50%, which adds up to 0.51".

I haven’t found that necessary with Flex Daily. Your soil and root depth properties determine the amount of water applied at once, which doesn’t change. The ET value for each day adjusts for the day and season.

Yes, increasing Allowed Depletion increases water at once, and increasing Crop Coefficient increases overall water over time.

It is true that some crops have a variable crop coefficient, but ET usually takes care of that, and CC is not as critical in cooler temperatures. I’ve found that once set, Flex Daily seems to adjust things just fine.

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