I want to setup two schedules. Schedule 1 would run once a week for sufficient time to deep water the lawn so that the trees get water during the hot California summer. Schedule 2 would run once or twice a week with shorter run times to keep the grass alive. Our trees have suffered during the past several years due to the drought conditions and two have died. We’ve discussed this with our arborist who suggested trying this. Then schedule 1 would be turned off during the rest of the year. Is this possible? If so, how would I go about doing this?
Can you give us an idea of how many zones you have and where the trees sit relative to the zones?
I assume from your question and description that the trees are in the middle of your grass zone(s)? If not, then separate schedules would work fine as you discuss, with each being watered appropriately, but I suspect they are in the same zone.
If so, that’s a problem. IMHO, then, the problem is not so much that the trees need deeper water, but that the trees suck most of the available water in their drip line, starving the grass for water, and yet not providing enough water to the trees. I have that situation myself, have considered running a separate hose to just the trees, on a separate zone and schedule (in my case a faucet-connected timer). But I haven’t done it, and it does create a problem.
I don’t think two separate schedules will work for what you want, assuming both schedules water the exact same zone. You mention a deep watering once a week for the trees, but in fact your ground can only accept so much water at once. It has to then dry out a bit to accept more water. If you use Rachio’s Flex Daily schedule, it assumes that as an initial case, your ground is completely saturated. You can do that by over-watering manually, waiting for a good soaking rain of over 1" over a few days, or Rachio will tend to over-water when first applied to a new zone. Now, IF your ground is entirely saturated, which it must be at some point to insure your deep tree roots get water, then using Flex Daily you only have to water the additional amount your zone needs to keep the tree roots damp. And that would normally be watering your lawn every few days to keep the grass alive. If the grass stays healthy, AFTER you know you’ve deeply watered your lawn, and is appropriately watered thereafter, the trees should stay healthy.
I’m thinking that the soil was never completely saturated, starving the trees for water, yet lighter, more frequent water applications can keep the grass healthy. I think just watering the s**T out of the zone to start with might be all that is required.
Thanks for the responses. I very much appreciate it. I’m new to rachio and don’t know how to do some things.
I have 8 zones where the sprinklers cover one or more tree drip lines. I do know that the sprinklers can get down 18" or more. I do have sandy loam soil. I’m in SoCal where the drought has weakened the trees: 2 Deodars and 4 Live Oaks. I’ve read that I should aim for about 1" of water delivered weekly. I think the sprinklers will do that. The trees are receiving care and the oaks have just been trimmed (it’s the correct time of year to do that). I have St. Augustine grass that is doing nicely. The sprinklers have been repositioned (still going on) so that I’m no longer getting water closer that 4" from a trunk. I miss the big expanse of grass where the grass went all the way to the trunks, but my choice is to save the trees and give up some grass area.
I am not sure how to go about creating a 2nd schedule. That was really my question. Mostly I need to handle the water situation for about another 2-2.5 months. Sometime in late October the drought conditions should go away. At that point I can go back to weekly watering.
Maybe I misunderstood. Sounds like you’ve re-positioned your lawn sprinklers so they /don’t/ water your trees at all, and intend to make a second schedule for your trees? Which would require a separately piped ZONE for your trees, too? Your trees will require /more/ water than your lawn, so I don’t understand why you would avoid watering the trees, too. I’m guessing that your lawn will require over an inch of water a week, too, during the summer.
Creating a 2nd schedule is no problem at all, but IMHO unless your trees are on a separate zone from the lawn, to be run on that separate schedule, it won’t help you. I think I’m missing something.
It would be best to put the tree on its own zone.