I’ve had my Rachio Gen 2 for about 3 weeks now and I’m finally beginning to understand some of the smarts, but now I’m looking for guidance on tuning. I’ve gone through and very accurately categorized each zone per the 4 criteria Rachio asks for, though unfortunately, many of my zones have a mix of perennials, bushes and trees. Then I let the Rachio Flex algorithms do their thing based on the first round of info, leading to as schedule that watered most of the zones for about 50min every 6-8 days for the month of June. After the first watering, it was really clear that that approach was pumping out far water than the ground could accommodate - water was pooling and flowing to the street. I have since reduced the the runoff to almost nothing by manually reducing the runtimes by about 4x, but I’m sure that I’m not watering frequently enough now that I have gone somewhat manual.
We have about 6" of sandy loam with bay mud (similar to clay) underneath, plus a drainage system, that vectors extra water to the street, to prevent pooling on top of the clay. In a few places we have deeper loam but that’s in a raised bed where water buildup still likely quickly flows down to the clay. I don’t think my soil is behaving like the sponge Rachis expects.
I also haven’t had a chance to do a “can test” to see how much water I’m delivering. I plan to hoop up a flow sensor in a month or so, but I think I’m delivering more than Rachio believes I am.
Given both of those considerations, I would like to give another shot at generating a Flex Monthly schedule that is better adjusted for my real water and soil situation. Any pointers on what I should alter to steer toward more frequent, but shorter watering times. Do I change soil type, sprinkler head, or mess with the more advanced parameters ?
Again, I think I have to reduce most of my watering times by about 4x from the Flex Monthly calculation to avoid runoff.