I live in Arizona. Everything is dying on the Flexible Schedule

Is there a guide on how to do this? I’ve followed recommendations of others in the forum on my soil type, root depth, etc. but have not yet put any cups out in my zones. I too am running Flex Schedule and it’s now consistently 95F here. Thanks.

Hi @AzJazz, I’m in Phoenix also and our yards sound pretty similar. I have a great looking lawn for the first time this year using the Rachio and ‘eh’ shrubs (I’m still working on that).

Unless the grass has been getting nothing, it’s not dead, so you’re in luck there. It may have some shallow roots and will more than likely not reach full potential before the end of the season but it can still look good.

Clay anything out would be hard on plants. Clay is saying that your soil really holds onto water well, which isn’t th case for us. If your soil is like mine (sandy loam, AW of 0.12), you’ll see the ground gobbles up the water pretty fast, and after a day the top inch or two is pretty dried out.

Until you do more specific test, I would go to Sandy Loam.

For crop coeffecient on bermuda, @azdavidr, @JPedrego both talked about 0.65, but mine are set at 0.73. I just created a new zone via the ios app and it defaults to 0.73. But this information doesn’t seem to be reflected in the support documents online.

For roots depth on bermuda, I would bump it up to maybe 6". 9" is for good roots, and sounds like you might not have that since the grass is struggling.

Keep the convo going in this thread and we’ll get you on track

Don’t worry about killing Bermuda grass, AKA devil grass. You can poison it, dig it up, set fire to it and somewhere, lurking just below the surface is a rhizome or a stolen hiding behind another plant, just waiting to spring back to life.:smile:

I have been fighting this nasty stuff in my herb garden for a couple of years. Pulling and digging it have only worked for a short time.

(I’m glad this is a forum, cause otherwise I would have to duck the things @Modawg2k and @azdavid would be throwing at me about now.)

This is the guide I use:

I know that orbit has their own guide out there as well. If you google their catch cups it should come up.

They still list 0.65 as the default in their docs. I did do a quick search and I saw values varying from 0.65 up to 0.80. I might bump mine up now.

I’m actually at 0.8 right now, but it’s temporary. I detatched and fertilized. I read that the process of detatching accelerated growth, so I pumped up the coefficient for a bit. It seems to be working as the areas that were previously brown are filling in nicely. In another week or so I’m going to be dialing the crop coefficent back down gradually, until I get back to around 0.65 if I can push it that low. I found this where @Franz also mentions 65%. I know they recently increased the Cool Season default to 0.8.

By the way @AzJazz, if you haven’t dethatched in a long time that might be part of the problem with the lawn, assuming we confirm that your settings are reasonable.

@sunny Last year we pulled our back yard Bermuda and replaced it with artificial turf for the dog to do his thing. That was only after a few heated discussions where my wife thought it was going to be too hot for the dog. It hasn’t been.

I’ve wanted to Xeriscape the front lawn for years, but my daughter somehow convinced me to wait until she goes to college in a few years. She somehow also convinces me to put up XMAS lights when I don’t want to.

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When the kids were small most of the backyard was St. Augustine. We have a corner lot that is fairly large, so that meant a lot of water and mowing. The lawn reached under the swing set and trees in an L-shape. The swings are long gone and about six or seven years ago, the tree house was taken down. We absolutely loved the fact that the neighborhood kids played in our backyard, as many in the neighborhood didn’t have the great play space. At the time it served it’s purpose.

Most of that play area has been vegetable gardens for many years now. We have managed to get our lawn down to just 960 square feet. The front has always been xeriscape. When we had this house built, Hubby looked at the front yard and said, "No way in h*** am I mowing a space that big.

The lawn that’s left allows us to host dinners and entertain outdoors, but I really would like to put in artificial turf in that area. It is next to the pool area that has a some desert-adapted plants, some roses and two mature citrus trees.

Any tips or user experience you want to share would be greatly appreciated!

We’ve only had ours one year, but it has perfectly suited its purpose. The only advice I can think of is relative to the up front homework. We asked for samples of several turf types as some look more natural than others. It also has a 10 year warranty, which is good to know given the expense. Finally, pick an experienced installer. Ours was part of a larger landscape remodel. I could tell that things like the designer thinking about seam placement (if any) meant they had done it a few times. They have to prepare the surface under the sod carefully and compact it well and evenly. There are several turf places in town that specialize in it and I’m sure have installers.

I guess there is one other thing. Start saving as it’s not cheap! However I definite have lower water bills now, and what was pulled was only about 600 sq.ft. With the Rachio Flex schedules and learning about proper irrigation techniques here, I’m hoping to optimize the rest of my watering to save even more.

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@Modawg2k Here’s a screenshot from Android. Weird. Maybe it’s different since Apples have a higher Kc? :wink:

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@Modawg2k I just remembered that I had to re-create my zones when Rachio updated the software to include the ability to modify crop coefficients. Did you take your snapshot when creating a new zone, or modifying an existing one ?

That screenshot was today when I tried to create a new zone from one of my unused slots.

LOL, maybe someone can help clear the air… not sure who’s role that is, so I’ll just tag @franz

Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K…

Thanks everybody for the fantastic support!

I have updated my soil everywhere (grass and plants) to Sandy Loam.

Based on my old settings:
My grass has been getting watered every other day for 24 minutes (total).
My Cacti are getting watered once a week for 63 minutes.
My shrubs are getting watered once every 2 weeks for 191 minutes.

For my grass, I have mostly used Rainbird pop-up spray heads. I have a lot of these models around the yard: http://store.rainbird.com/sprinklers/10van-10-ft-van-series-variable-arc-spray-nozzle.html

I haven’t run a cup test yet for my grass. How long do I let it run for? 15 minutes and multiply by 4 to determine the inches per hour? Or, just run a regular schedule with the current settings, and multiply by 60/runtime?

I have also adjusted my grass root depth to 6" and my shrub root depth to 24" for now.based on suggestions above.

Let me know what I should be trying next …



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For your shrubs, trees and cacti, there is a great website that guides us toward the proper irrigation for our desert vegetation. What I did was consult that website, then come back to the Rachio to update my settings accordingly. The drip emitter zones need the biggest adjustment. Here’s a guide that shows how I went through the process step by step. Note that you’ll also get root depth settings that you should also adjust. As one example, it looks like your root depth for cacti should be 8-12 inches, but you’ll also need to create custom nozzles and use lower precipitation rates per the step by step guide.

Curious as to what part of town you live in? I’m in Ahwatukee.

Yeah that shrub watering time is way too short considering you only have 1 gallon/hour emitters. At most they are getting 6 gallons every 2 weeks if you can double count emitters for shrubs that are close together. I would suggest switching the emitter out to a higher rate emitter or maybe even add some more emitters so you don’t have to water all day. Take a look at the water it wisely website. It should help you choose which emitters to put in. You should also be able to use their guidelines to come up with the appropriate watering time needed and you can then fine tune your precipitation rate to get the same time from the controller.

I don’t understand why your cacti are being watered more often than your shrubs. Looks like maybe your shrub crop coefficient needs to be increased and your cacti coefficient needs to be decreased.

For the catch cup test, they recommend running it at least 10 minutes and scaling it up to an hour. That should be fine.

EDITED to add link to landscape watering guide

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Beat me to it.

Just barely!