Fine-tuning soak times

Hi again!

I have a Cool Season Grass zone that is currently set to a Flex Daily schedule, with Smart Cycle for the soak. It has that water for 24 minutes but doesn’t seem to be setting a soak time for it. And the soil I have (sandy loam) can’t take that much water at once without runoff. So, how do I convince it that it really needs to put a soak time in there?

I have several zones that usually have a soak cycle but have not so far this season. Mind you I just turned the sprinklers on May 4 and have only had one run. I wonder if you set the zone or zones you want to soak to a steep slope whether that would “force” a soak?

While I don’t normally associate sandy loam with runoff issues (might be time for some good plug aeration), I agree with @Alturia that setting the slope of the zone to something other than flat should force it to do a cycle soak.

What is the nozzle inches per hour of your spinklers?

That one is 0.76, but it is also on a bit of a slope and has a fair bit of overspray. It may not be runoff as much as it is the overspray, but I figured if it broke up the watering, then the water wouldn’t get all the way down the driveway to the street.

I’m betting overspray at that PR and soil type, but you never know! Cycle soak won’t hurt anything other than making your total run times longer.

I would agree with this. A handful of samples around my yard show that my first 8-10in of soil is indeed Sandy Loam. However, I had some major drainage work done last fall, and multiple areas on the sides of the house are extremely compacted to the point where I do get water pooling. Even though Rachio thinks they don’t need soaking. They technically don’t, but my soil is so insanely compacted that it’s in dire need of aeration. I’m wondering if I should wait till Fall, when its customarily done, or if I should grit my teeth and do some manual, localized aerating.

If it has been compacted for some time, what is another few months. I would probably wait, and rent a good plug aerator and go to town!

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@philosopher77, just set the slope to steep and that should set it to soaking. Best I can tell the only function of flat to steep slope is to having the system cycle soak.

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