Is 1hr normal for a drip zone for vegetable garden

We have a zone for growing vegetables (Tomatoes, cucumbers, Basil etc). It is around 171 sq ft. We laid down drip pipe to water this zone. I measured GPM for this zone taking readings from water meter by running it for 5 mins. Based on that, I created a custom nozzle of emitter style with a precipitation rate of 1.41.
I marked this zone as shrub type zone as I don’t see anything for vegetable garden.
When I scheduled “As Needed” style schedule, It came up with 55 mins for this zone.

Plus it scheduled runs around a week apart. I read here from others that they water vegetable garden daily with a fixed schedule. Is this normal?

Plus I feel the precipitation rate of my custom nozzle seem high. It is more than the precipitation rate of other rotor style zones. Do I have a leak or am I skewing the numbers?
Are there any other parameters to describe vegetable garden instead of shrubs?


@Videoguy I just switched Rio Rachio so I’m just figuring this stuff out myself, and am interested in vegetable garden setups as well.

By drip pipe, do you mean the 1/4in tubing that had emitters every a inches, or the soaker style that is porous? I have a soaker house in our garden and have yet to measure the output. I guessed/estimated a 0.4in/hr, and am going to try to measure it this weekend. With those numbers, here in Arizona, it’s been watering every other day this week at 55 min. but is predicting to go daily strain on Monday. After a watering today I checked the soil and it seemed reasonably most down to a reasonable depth, but I’m keeping my eye on it. Have you checked to see the moisture in your soil after a watering?

You might want to look at the effect of changing your vegetation type, which leads to a change in crop coefficient. I set mine to annual, which has a crop coefficient of 0.8. Shrubs have a crop coefficient of 0.8, which will lead to less frequent watering. I’m also using a root depth of 4". I’m not sure if that’s entirely correct.

Let me know what you find as it will help me to get dialed in as well. Good luck!

Annuals is a good default for veggies. Shallow root depth and high co.

I don’t know if you have a leak but most drip tube systems arenheterogenous which complicates pr calculation but yours seems high.
I personally feel computing a pr for drip tube is a fools errand, but…
If you took ((gallons used / 5) * 96.25) / sum of all shadow area of each plant and ended up at that number, I would personally start looking for leak.

For mine, I used the default emitter and worked my flex schedule to a 20 minute watering. This will eventually run everyday at peak heat.

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@plainsane Thanks for sharing your setup. Do your tubes have built in emitters at regular intervals or are they soaker hoses? Mine are the soaker that are porous throughout and bleed water out water a droplets at varied intervals.

When you say your garden runs at peak heat, is that something you do purposely in the setup or is flex supposed to handle it? I’m on flex now, but it seems to have a consistent start time of 5am, which is what I have for the watering time in my schedule settings. Thanks!

No I have 1/2 tubing and I pop ab emitter onto the tube where I want it. I hate the built in emitters because it is hard to tweak the water usage for a single plant.

When I,say peak heat I mean August. Temp wise. So flex is refilling the tank when needed, nothing special. For now flex is watering about every 5-7 days.

Got it. I’m with you on the built in emitters. Nice idea. Thanks for sharing your setup.

I changed vegetation type to Annuals. The duration dropped to 15 minutes. Thanks for the tip.

The drip I have is 1/2" with emitters at fixed length. I believe 1 ft apart.

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@videoguy Glad to hear that it helped. I assume that it’s also on a shorter interval now as well ?

I also have 1/4 inch drip tubing with 12 inch emitters. Mine is rated at 0.69 gpm, which, if laid out so that there is 1 emitter for every square foot of garden works out to 1.1 in/hour. I do generally prefer longer, deeper waterings for the garden to promote deeper root development. Usually most plants need about an inch of water per week (from rain or irrigation). How much water your plants need will vary by climate/temperature. Check this out as a guide:

So your initial settings probably weren’t too far off.

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This is my first day with the Rachio 2.0 and installation was a breeze. The only thing I ran into was the lack of a vegetable garden setting.

We’ve got a raised bed vegetable garden that uses 1/4" soaker tubes almost exclusively. If there aren’t any plans to add veggies as a plant type then it would be really nice to be able to create custom plant types like we can with nozzle types. Like others I chose annuals and I set up the zone for 45 minutes.

I also have another nozzle type. One zone is used to top up the water level on our koi pond. Another place where a custom type would be useful.

PS: As I wrote that last paragraph my phone popped up with a notification telling me that my garden is now being watered. So very cool. Keep up the great work Rachio!

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The new release due any day will,allow you to adjust the co for flex daily.

If you are using wan, you can move your co up to 80, mine was set to annuals last year and my veggies did pretty well.

This year I’m playin with a co of 80 to see how it behaves.

By the way, how is the funky bunch?

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By the way, how is the funky bunch?

That’s exactly what I call my family and they’re doing very well. :slight_smile:

Hahahahahahahah noice!

Hey @markymark. I have 1/4" soaker tubes in my garden as well. I ran with it for a while and was getting 53 minute durations on flex, with a custom nozzle of 0.4 in/hr. I have a raised garden and noticed that I was getting water coming out the bottom of the bed, so I recently increased the pr to 0.6 in/hr. The vegetables were doing fine but I didn’t want to over water. My suggestion is to check the soil immediately after a watering and maybe late in the day, and adjust your pr accordingly.

I’m in Arizona and we’re due to hit 120F this Saturday, so our watering needs may differ accordingly! I’m in a mad rush to finish building a shade structure for the garden in the next couple of days. Hopefully it won’t catch fire in this sun. I have a 4" root depth by the way. I’m not sure what the default is.

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