Gen 3 - how to water flex schedules multiple times per day?


#1

Sorry, wasn’t quite sure where to put this one. Currently running the FLEX SCHEDULE capability with my Gen 3. Heat has been brutal here (early) this year without rain.

My Rachio Gen 3 is watering daily in early a.m. (~4:00), however was considering also watering in the late evening? It’s Bermuda which thrives in these conditions, but for my own peace of mind was exploring how I might do this occasionally.

How have others accomplished this? Thanks.


#2

@azdavidr I know (think) you’ve talked about this in the past(?), Arizona sets the bar for testing flex daily schedules.


#3

@azdavidr would welcome and suggestions you can offer. I’ve never attempted this in AR (Arkansas).


#4

Yes, I had this issue for my garden a couple of summers ago. As you know, with the Gen2 software there was a limitation of once-per-day watering. @franz, is it fair to say that the current Flex Daily algorithms are still limited to 1X per day? In my case, my vegetable garden was drying out such that it was always sitting at MAD.

There are other interesting parts to the Dante’s Garden discussion, but this was the result of adding a supplemental fixed schedule at the time.

Ultimately I went to a fixed-only schedule for future garden seasons. Supplementing in the afternoon with a manual watering worked when my Flex Daily would have otherwise ‘bottomed out’ (>115F temps w/loam soil). However, when Flex Daily on it’s own was was deemed to be sufficient by the algorithms the supplemental watering would throw things off. The fixed supplemental watering would fill up or even saturate the zone, and Flex Daily wouldn’t run the next morning.

In your case @Miles267 I would either leave your Bermuda as-is with only the Flex Daily schedule, or adjust your zone settings. I have Bermuda as do most here in Arizona, and we don’t need to water it more than once a day even with temps that get as high as 122F. For that matter even at 110F it often skips a day or two if you make sure it establishes deep roots, which are deeper for Bermuda than most realize. I have mine set to 9", although it has been established for some time and I’m sure our soil types differ. If you’d like you can share your settings and we can compare.


#5

Yes. No plans on changing in the immediate future, I’d love to see that moisture graph :wink:

:cheers:

Great advice!


#6

Thank you @azdavidr for offering to compare and review settings. Am in Arkansas (AR) where we have a combination of dirt and red clay. Have all Bermuda grass and a few flower beds w shrubs which I am watering with Rachio Gen 3 as well as manually in morning and evenings.

Bermuda grass is all relatively mature. Not sod. Am running a Personal Weather Station (PWS). Daytime highs have been 90F+. My current settings are as follows. In fact, I believe most are default Rachio settings:

Zone Type: Warm Season Grass
Spray Head: Rotor Head
Soil Type: Loam
Exposure: Lots of sun
Slope: Flat (most of our lot is flat, or has minimal grade)
Advanced

Area: 1000 square feet (default)
Available Water: 0.07
Root Dept: 6 inches
Allow Depletion: 50%
Efficiency: 70%
Crop Coefficient: 65%
Nozzle inches per hour: 1 inch

Any recommended updates would be much appreciated. Thanks again.


#7

@azdavidr also, if you’d prefer, I’d be glad to SHARE ACCESS with you directly to go in and make any recommended updates :slight_smile:


#8

Here are min, with differences in bold.

Zone Type: Warm Season Grass
Spray Head: MP Rotators
Soil Type: Clay Loam (only matters for soaking if you have AW set in adv. settings, like I do)
Exposure: Lots of sun
Slope: Steep (only matters for soaking)

Area: 1000 square feet (default)
Available Water: 0.12
Root Dept: 9 inches
Allow Depletion: 50%
Efficiency: 70%
Crop Coefficient: 70% (temporary, I usually end up at 65%)
Nozzle inches per hour: 0.4 inch (OK to be different if you’re confident of your PR)

How confident are you of your soil type, available water, nozzle precipitation rate and root depth? Are you seeing problems with your lawn or just trying to be proactive?


#9

Thanks @azdavidr. I was not 100% confident in my soil type. Tried to do a soil survey but just defaulted to loam. Also wasn’t confident in my available water, nozzle precip or root depth. I believe they too were mostly defaults. This is mostly to be proactive. Have been watering daily (early am only) yet noticed the grass starting to brown a bit.

Forgot to mention, besides the large rotator head mentioned above (made your suggested changes. Thank you!), I also have some misters set as follows:

Zone type: Warm Season Grass
Spray Head: Fixed Spray Head
Soil Type: Loam
Exposure: Lots of sun
Slope: Flat
Advanced:

Area: 1000 sq ft
Available water: 0.2
Root Depth: 6 in.
Allowed Depletion: 50%
Efficiency: 80%
Crop Coefficient: 65%
Nozzle Inches Per Hour: 1.5 in.

Would you suggest any changes to these? Thanks again.


#10

I wasn’t necessarily suggesting you make changes as they may be valid based on our differences in irrigation systems and of course soil. How long have you been running Flex ?


#11

Ah. Understood. I’ve been running Flex since I’ve first got my Rachio Gen 2 about 2 years ago. And now upgraded to Gen 3.


#12

I see. I’d take a closer look at the Web Soil Survey and see what it recommends. In case you haven’t seen the guide to navigating that site, here it is.


#13

Awesome. Don’t recall this guide when I first started w/ my Rachio. I think this is good news:
Majority of our property is CnB as shown below. But not sure which soil type this most closely matches?

Map Unit Symbol, Map Unit Name, Rating (Centimeters per centimeter), Acres in AOI, % AOI
CnB, Captina silt loam - 1 to 3 percent slopes, 0.21, 0.7, 97.4%

Typical profile
Ap - 0 to 5 inches: silt loam
Bt1 - 5 to 25 inches: silty clay loam
2Btx - 25 to 50 inches: very gravelly silt loam
3Bt2 - 50 to 79 inches: gravelly clay


#14

It doesn’t matter much when you override with the ‘available water’ number. Look for that per the instructions in the guide. When you override with the AW the influence of soil type is only for cycle-soaking, which you’re not doing I believe. Just pick something you think is close and override with the AW number that you find.


#15

OK. I’ve selected CLAY LOAM for my soil type, I’m currently set to FLEX DAILY cycle type, Cycle and Soak = Smart Cycle, now Available Water = 0.21 per my soil survey, Root Dept = 9 inches (was previously 6 inches), also now selected the correct nozzle types per zone.

Hope I’ve followed correctly. I do appreciate your insights very much.


#16

That change from 0.07 to 0.21 will be significant. It will cause you to water more deeply, but you will water less often. The change to a deeper root depth is going to do the same. I’m concerned that this is too much of a change for your lawn, especially if the old settings worked for you last year. I would at the very least change the AW first, then wait a few weeks to see if things get better or worse. If better, then bump up the root depth an inch every two weeks or so your roots have time to adjust.


#17

My same concerns. I’d make minor changes if has been working for two years. More like fine tuning, unless things aren’t working at all.

:cheers:


#18

Good counsel. For time being, I’ve: 1.) changed my soil from Loam to Clay Loam, 2.) kept my root depth (Bermuda lawn) to 6 inches, and 3.) modified Available Water to 0.21.

Will gradually increase root depth from 6 to 9 inches over the season.


#19

Keep an eye on how your schedule and duration change. You still might see a big change in the intervals when changing the AW from 0.07 to 0.21. If you see that in your schedule change and are concerned you can consider taking a step to 0.12 or so. If that goes well move it up after a bit until you get to 0.21, or a lower value if that ends up being where your lawn is happy.