Irrigation plan

I am starting from scratch. I just bought my first house and the irrigation system is out dated and poorly installed. I’m starting from scratch.

Right now I’m just brainstorming my system. Tell me your opinions. Rachio3, weatherflow, soil moisture sensors (undetermined brand), StowNFlow chemical feeder. As for irrigation hardware I’d love advice.

My goal coming here is to let you all give advice and pick my idea apart. “Positive” notes and “your idea isn’t sound” notes. Any other forum you’d recommend for these questions? I want to be smart when having a company install. I don’t want to take what they offer, I want to tell them what I want and listen to their suggestions.

Thank you

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For grass, I love MP Rotators. They have great uniform spray.

I’ve only really ever used plant emitter drip, so can’t speak for drip tape, sprays, etc, but I highly recommend breaking drip into multiple zones based on vegetation. At a minimum, trees, shrubs, and annual or perennials. You could break it out even more if you had more subcategories within trees and shrubs that have vastly different watering needs.

Unless you are planning soil sensors for your own checking, I don’t know that they normally work with Rachio. I’ve recently been researching an injection system, and they are pricy and proprietary. I wish @laura.bauman would come in here and tell us Rachio is working on an injection system that is controlled by Rachio!


I don’t have a lawn, so my dream system would be pressure regulated manifolds w/valves that I could easily remove and add main drip lines to as I mess around with my native plants, my orchard, and my vegetable garden. So what I’m saying is, if you do any drip, make it as flexible as possible. And yes, zone your drip as granularly as you can. Don’t be like me, trying to water young avocados on the same drip line as mature citrus! It can be done but the avocados are never quite happy about it. I hide my main drip lines with cedar mulch and 3/4" salt & pepper rounded rock. I’d never bury my irrigation lines if I can help it, so that way I can move them around or easily replace them.

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@Dane1 It is my dream house. I want to make same house thanks for sharing this post. :slightly_smiling_face:

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If you live in a place with permits, they usually have regulations which must be met to comply with current code and minimize waste. Among other things, this includes not watering hardscapes, so your sprinklers can’t water something on the other side of a sidewalk. This also means you likely need heads to be adjacent to hardscapes to avoid watering the hardscapes. Tree lawns or parkways need their own zone, as you don’t want to mix sprinkler head types, and these will be closer together because of the limited size of the parkway. A backflow preventer is generally required, and is a good idea anyway.


Thank you all for the replies. I’m probably going to do a weatherflow and do some IFTTT commands to trigger the Rachio3.

As for sprinkler head configuration, i still have lots of research for that one

Why the extra work with IFTTT when you can just let Rachio work its magic?

That might work but I’m looking for options to get really hyper local. A just in case Rachio3 isn’t all it’s supposed to be. I’ve read great reviews praising its awesomeness but also a lot of reviews about it sucking. So I’d like to know my options and have the best hyper local system I can.

It is all in the setup, garbage in, garbage out. Admittedly, it can be some work to accurately get all the settings into Rachio, but if you are willing to spend the time, it pays off. You are in a great situation that you are starting from scratch, so assuming you design an efficient system, you should be miles ahead of someone trying to get a half working system to work effectively.

If you want really hyperlocal, and are willing to maintain one, get a weather station and have @Gene get it added to the network so Rachio can point to it.

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Thank you for that last bit of info. I was going to get the Tempest from Weatherflow.

I was reading a thread with @Gene where people were asking to be added. At some point he stated a Rachio 3 is done by individuals through Weather Underground and his assistance wasn’t needed except for V1 and V2. I’m not sure if I am right here but that’s what I think I read.

Thank you sir

@Dane1, you’ve read it right. Rachio Gen 3 (except 3e, as far as I know) and weather flow both natively support weather underground network, as such my involvement is not explicitly needed (to get the main benefit of knowing the local rain data).

That being said, Rachio still uses Aeris weather provider(who gets their data via NOAA & pwsweather networks, among others) for evaporation / plant water usage calculations, having your data on pwsweather network should (via undocumented black magic) make those calculations more accurate, even though there may not be a clear difference on the Rachio interface.