Is this right for Flex Schedule?

Right it will break it up. It will water one zone for the max time before runoff will occur, then it will switch to the next zone and water for the same amount of time etc until it has watered all the zones on the schedule. Once that is done if at least 30 minutes have elapsed since watering the first zone it will start the cycle over and repeat the cycle until the full run time for each zone is reached. Again, just make sure you don’t have any emitter zones on the same schedule as that will disable smart cycle for all zones on the schedule.

Also, its recommended that you do deep waterings infrequently to aid with root development and make the grass more drought tolerant. So one deep watering once a week should be better for the health of the grass than 4 short waterings during the week. Now you just need to make sure you have the correct settings for your zone to make sure the controller’s calculations are correct.

  • How is your grass doing overall? Would you consider it healthy? Do you think it has strong roots that go down the 9" that is the Bermuda default?

Grass is doing well, all things considered. Being so hot right now in Texas the grass is staying green. I think it is healthy, I keep it fed and I think root structure is good, but do not know if it is 9".

Lawn is in it’s 2nd year now. Last year we got a lot of water due to very heavy rains in the spring last year so I think we had good timing in getting it established. This spring we again had good rains.

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I wonder if a 2 year old lawn can get down that far, especially if it’s clawing it’s way through clay… I don’t have clay or a new lawn, so just wondering aloud. The point being, you want to water less frequently like @JPedrego mentioned. This will encourage roots to dig deeper to seek out that water below. With more frequent watering, your roots are fine with just chilling up top, where they can be affected by more issues.

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@vdubtx On Zones 4 & 7 would you take a screenshot of ‘Moisture Levels’, and click on the ‘More details’ underneath to show the table. It will give additional insight that can be checked into.

It’s definitely a good move to go from frequent, shallow watering to deeper, less frequent watering. However, if your yard isn’t quite ‘used’ to that, and the roots aren’t that deep, you might want to make it a gradual process. Showing the moisture graphs as they are now will give us an idea of what the system is trying to do.

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Two things you can look into doing if you really want to try to dial in the settings and save some water while maintaining a great looking lawn

  1. Mason Jar test to actually see what your soil is in your own yard
  2. Catch Cup to measure the actual output of your sprinklers.

A big +1, especially on the Catch Cup test!

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Thanks all. Will look into what the mason jar test is. I know what catch cups are. Will get some and test in the yard.

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Zone 4

Zone 7

Keep in mind, my controller was just installed this past weekend. Not much in the way of history to go by yet.

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@vdubtx Thanks. If you hit the arrow to the right of the dates at the top you should be able to see more.

Will change my manual schedule that normally comes on Wednesday morning and go with a Flexible schedule and see how it goes from there.

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Zone 4 future…

Zone 7

Ah, makes more sense now with those future dates and what it looks for.

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I love the visual representation that the flex daily provides.

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Given that you started with 4 watering days per week, it might be a big jump to go to once every 5 days. You could either give it a shot and watch your lawn carefully for signs of distress, or more conservatively pull the time in. I would consider lowering the Root Depth until you’re watering maybe every 3rd day. My guess is somewhere around 5" maybe? You can check by changing the root depth and checking the moisture graphs again. Once you have that schedule running for a couple of weeks and things are looking good you can start to increase the root depth by an inch at a time.

Given that you have clay @Modawg2k may have merit with the root depth not being able to get to 9". The way to tell for sure would be with a core sample of your roots in case you had something like this. I haven’t bought one as they’re more expensive than I’d like. However, if you had one you could use it now, and sample it over time to see how deep the roots get.

Anyhow, back to the frequency discussion. If you’re wondering how trade-offs are made between the watering duration and frequency of the schedule, I’ve found the Zone Attributes table mid-way down this page to be pretty informative.


Thanks again for all of the info and help. Will certainly be tweaking to get the best use of my new device. :smiley:
Will check back in when I have had a bit of time and some more watering history to let know how things are coming along.

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The rest of the folks have done an amazing job of answering questions :wink:

My only feedback would be if you are just starting out maybe try one or two zones on flex for a few weeks before going for the full enchilada. It is kind of a leap of faith, and better to do your fine tuning on a couple of zones first and get into the flex flow rather than the whole yard. Just my two cents.


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Update with about 6 weeks of usage in the books. Lawn is looking good, I went ahead and used the flex schedule to do it all and watched to see what happened zone by zone. First 2 weeks after I installed, we got some pretty good rains, but watched the device tell me that it wouldn’t water due to forecasted precip and letting me know when the rain sensor triggered etc.

The only thing I have a question on is it seems there is a lot of run off on the 3rd cycle that is being run when it does it’s watering. I really hate to waste any water if the soil is not able to absorb it according to the schedule. Any suggestions for settings that I could plug in that would help with that.

Soil is a clay/loam type. I think would say more to the clay side of things, but not 100% sure. I will be doing the mason jar test this weekend to be sure I know what soil we do have. Other things I need to do are measurements by zone and catch cup test once I am able to order those.

Really liking the Rachio and it’s ease of use.

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Have you looked at the Web Soil Survey site @vdubtx ? If not, try the info. at this post. Note that there is a section that talks about Smart Cycle and how to tweak soil settings for runoff, while maintaining the frequency of watering.


Thank you azdavidr. Awesome site and it tells me I have Houston Black Clay. I will adjust to that soil type and the available water number to see how that affects the runoff that I see now. The Smartflex did adjust and shows 40 minutes less run time for the zones that are on that cycle. Will see what happens. :slight_smile: Thanks for help.

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You’re welcome. Glad to know that you found it helpful.