I own a self-designed and self-installed irrigation system based on Hunter PGP, the equality is reasonably well. The lawn is watered by three stations at 9-11gpm, all in the same schedule as they fill the hydrozone together. Deviation from the average precipitation is nowhere above 10%.
Still, I haven’t yet found my final irrigation controller.
My ideal controller should act like a moisture sensor: Account for soil depletion and re-water when the soil is down to a safe minimum.
I bought us a Hydrawise HC-1200 controller for two reasons:
1.) The system is officially supported in Germany.
2.) Hunter claims that their “smart schedule” can do what I want.
I found that Hydrawise does not really live up to their promise:
This july started extra-hot, but the weather dropped about 10 days ago. Since then, noon temperatures are just slightly above 20°C (68°F). Hydrawise still claims an evaporation of 5-7mm (1/5-1/14 inch). This is absolutely unrealistic for the current temperatures. The chart I use claims 2-3mm at these temperatures.
Rain is not well accounted for. We just had 5mm of rain on Friday and 7mm on Saturday, temperatures dropped to 17°C (62°F). Hydrawise said the zones were almost depleted and wanted to water one zone on Sunday, the other two on Monday. I paused watering, and empirically the lawn is very well watered - lush dark green, moist feel.
It seems as if Hydrawise relies more on historical averages than the current weather. Support was not helpful, they suggested changing to a time-based schedule instead of a smart schedule. Hey, I bought this controller so it adjusts the days between watering for me. So, please… :-/
This wonderful brick of broken promises is still within the return period.
So, I am thinking about switching to Rachio, although they don’t officially sell to Germany.
- Does Rachio calculate the state of the lawn more realistically than Hydrawise, and can it account for unusual cold/hot weather well?
- Should I expect the same accuracy in Germany that you guys get in the US? I don’t know about the quality of weather predictions for Germany from your provider. I have a Netatmo PWS that feeds to Wunderground, so tapping into hyperlocal weather is not a problem.
Or should I bite the cost-bullet and hook a moisture sensor to my system?
Thanks a lot,