Flex schedule generated some bizarre watering durations


#1

Just installed a new system and am very excited. Installation was no problem (for our handyman!) and so far the app and set up process have been very intuitive.

I set up our zones without getting into the advanced settings and generated a Flex schedule. I was pretty surprised at what was generated:

The initial days’ watering is scheduled for 6 and a half hours! We’re located in drought-drenched Southern California and I will be jailed for that level of watering.

A zone with a few trees in it was scheduled for 2 hours of watering.

Our small patch of grass was scheduled to be watered from 10:45 am to 11:30 am. I’m pretty sure that watering at midday in California is the last thing one should do.

I then went into advanced settings and reduced the square footage of one of the zones but that did not seem to change the duration.

After the initial “heavy-up” watering day, the ensuing days had much reduced watering duration, but I still see days with 2 hours of watering. Right now I don’t have the highest confidence in the Flex system. Perhaps Flex scheduling requires some pretty detailed (advanced) user inputs to work effectively.

Next Steps
I’ll follow the advice of others on the forum and perhaps test a single zone with Flex. I’m a little concerned with watering any zone more than 7 minutes since we tend to get a lot of run-off.

By the way, what parameters should I use for a zone that has running bamboo?


#2

@jerald, welcome to the Rachio community! Thank you for your support.

Sorry for any surprises. Assuming you haven’t had any previous watering schedules run on the Iro, your Flex schedule will see the moisture balance as zero for each of the zones on the schedule. As a result, it will run all the zones on the schedule on the first allowed watering day. Once the zones are “topped off”, the watering frequency of each zone will trend with your local weather and the water needs of each zone.

Just curious, what vegetation and nozzle setting did you have selected for this zone? To fine tune your zone durations, I’d recommend reviewing this support article, which details this table:

We default start times to 5a. If all of your zones were running, it’s possible that this zone was on the last half of the schedule and it’s watering time (10:45a) was simply where the zone fell on the schedule in relation to the other zone’s watering durations. You can edit the start time of your zone. Please refer to #5 in this support article.

Zone square footage is used to determine water usage only. For details, please see this support article.

Yes, Flex schedules do depend on accurate data to operate. The better the data, the better the results. If you haven’t reviewed this FAQ, I’d recommend doing so.

Bamboo roots are thin and fibrous (think big grass roots) and can go down 2-3 feet. The rhizomes, which is the part that actually spreads, usually stay fairly shallow, less than 12 inches. As such, I’d recommend entering a root zone depth of 18 to 24 inches. You can over ride this via your Advanced Zone Settings.

Hope this helps!

Best, Emil


#3

Wow, thanks very much for the comprehensive reply and pointing me to all the resources.

Regarding the settings for the trees: one zone was set to Trees, Clay Loam, Fixed spray head (1hr:54min). The other was set to Trees, Loam, Fixed spray head (1hr:37min).

What vegetation should I use for bamboo? Right now it is set to ‘Annual’ based on some input from customer support.

Regards.


#4

@jerald, sorry for the slow reply. Bamboo is tricky. It belongs to the family Poaceae and order Poales, which makes it a type of grass; but bamboo provides timber so forest authorities recognize it as trees. For watering purposes, I would want to know if it’s young bamboo or established bamboo before giving a frequently recommendation.


#5

Just installed a Gen2 and I also have trouble setting up a zone for my black bamboo.
My 6’ tall bamboo bush has been living in a 1’x1’x1’ pot for over a year. What vegetation type would it be?
I’m using a .5GPH drip emitter, so what would the PR be?
I already set my soil=Loam, Exposure=Lots of Sun, Slope=Flat, Area=1ft^2, so what other parameters do I need to set to make it appropriate for this situation.

I also have a passion fruit vine and a Thompson grapevine, both established for about 1.5 year. Each are in their respective 1.5’x1.5’x1.5’ pot. Each are also using .5GPH drip emitter. So, what vegetation type do I use for each?

Suggestion 1: It would be nice if I could type in the name of my plant, etc. and the app will suggest a vegetation type or Coefficient.
Suggestion 2: It would be nice if I could type in GPH (Gallon per Hour) and Square Foot then the app will give me PR. I get my drip emitters from the big box stores and they only give me GPH.

Thank You for you answers in advance.


#6

Just installed a Gen2 and I also have trouble setting up a zone for my black bamboo.
My 6’ tall bamboo bush has been living in a 1’x1’x1’ pot for over a year. What vegetation type would it be?
I’m using a .5GPH drip emitter, so what would the PR be?
I already set my soil=Loam, Exposure=Lots of Sun, Slope=Flat, Area=1ft^2, so what other parameters do I need to set to make it appropriate for this situation.

I also have a passion fruit vine and a Thompson grapevine, both established for about 1.5 year. Each are in their respective 1.5’x1.5’x1.5’ pot. Each are also using .5GPH drip emitter. So, what vegetation type do I use for each?

Suggestion 1: It would be nice if I could type in the name of my plant, etc. and the app will suggest a vegetation type or Coefficient.
Suggestion 2: It would be nice if I could type in GPH (Gallon per Hour) and Square Foot then the app will give me PR. I get my drip emitters from the big box stores and they only give me GPH.

Thank You for you answers in advance.