I just recently installed Rachio Gen 2 controller and need some help optimizing the schedule and zones. I am located in the Houston, TX area and have 6 zones.
Zone 1 - Front yard (main) - Mostly St. Augustine grass and 2 trees. Using Rainbird 8000 rotors.
Zone 2 - Front yard (landscape bed) - this is a small zone located around the front porch and sides of the garage containing various shrubs and perennial flowers. Using Rainbird 1800 pop up sprinklers with various VAN nozzles.
Zone 3 - It’s a long but narrow zone going from the street to the back of our house. Its mostly just St. Augustine grass. Using Rainbird 1800 pop up sprinklers.
Zone 4 - Covers the biggest area of our backyard with St. Augustine grass and various trees planted. Using Rainbird 1800 with rotary nozzles.
Zone 5 - Another section of the backyard with a few trees and St. Augustine grass. Using Rainbird 1800 pop up sprinklers.
Zone 6 - Another section of the backyard with a few trees and St. Augustine grass. Using Rainbird 8000 rotors.
Before getting Rachio we had a Rainbird controller and the installer recommended watering 3 times per week in the summer with approximately 10 minutes for each zone except:
Zone 2 - was set to 6 minutes
Zone 4 - was set to 22 minutes because of the rotary nozzles.
Now that I have the Rachio installed I setup a fixed day schedule to mimic what I had before but want to try the dynamic monthly or daily schedules. However, every time I tried doing that, it causes the run time to be something like 5 or 6 hours. Although I can adjust the times manually myself it still leaves the schedule as watering twice a week or even once a week in the middle of July. We have full sun here with 100 degree heat so that does not seem right.
I am not a yard or soil expert. I have tried my best to adjust soil type, etc…in zone settings which did not do much. Looked at various posts, FAQ’s, etc…
Any recommendations as to how I can optimize the system and settings? That is without having to do custom soil tests, cup tests, etc…
Here is how I have the zone settings now:
Zone 1: Warm Season Grass. Clay Loam. Rotary heads. Flat. Lots of sun. 12 min
Zone 2. Shrubs. Sandy Loam. Fixed heads. Some Shade. 10 min
Zone 3. Warm Season Grass. Clay Loam. Fixed heads. Flat. Lots of sun. 10 min
Zone 4. Warm Season Grass. Clay Loam. Rotary Nozzle. Flat. Lots of sun. 24 min
Zone 5: Warm Season Grass. Clay Loam. Fixed heads. Flat. Lots of sun. 12 min
Zone 6. Warm Season Grass. Clay Loam. Rotary heads. Flat. Lots of sun. 12 min
I didn’t mess with any advanced settings.