Moisture data?


Hi all,

I am preparing a modification of my irrigation system this spring that will involve a new controller. I have come down to Rachio and The Spruce controller. I am having a hard time deciding between the two, and would like to ask about Rachio here to help. Where does Rachio get soil moisture level data? I see LOTS of detail as to moisture capacity and level in the app (which is awesome and very slick) but there’s only space in the controller for one or two sensors. Spruce has room for multiple wireless sensors, but the detail in that app, tied to smart things, seems weak compared to rachio. Assuming I do a flow sensor with Rachio, other than using weather and user input like sold and sun, how does the system know how much to water using flex scheduling? Thanks in advance.


This is derived from zone characteristics that you choose, daily irrigation and precipitation data, along with daily weather.

These sensors are for rain/freeze delay or a flow meter. If/when we incorporate moisture soil sensors, this will be a cloud-to-cloud integration.

We have complex algorithms that on a daily basis, track weather and moisture depletion. Note that we will be releasing new software in the Spring that merges fixed and flex schedules, which will simplify the adjustment process and should give even more efficiency. Flex schedules will be on a interval that will be adjusted automatically each month. Also, in-between intervals we will track daily evapotranspiration and decide if we can skip certain intervals based on real-time weather conditions.

Just a warning regarding soil moisture sensors, you probably need at least one in each zone, and I don’t really know how accurate you are going to get.

I very much want to integrate with them, but the cost/maintenance has to make sense if they are all over your yard. I believe with our scheduling models getting better with every release, and potential to incorporate even more accurate localized weather data, I question the need for them in the short term, until cost goes way down. Yes sensors will be ubiquitous someday, but that might be a ways off.

Hope that helps in making your decision.



@obmd1, I’d recommend doing some research on soil moisture sensors. In theory, they are awesome and create a closed loop system. In practice, they require precision installation and maintenance. The type of soil moisture sensor is also important to consider as the data and accuracy of the sensor (and therefore your schedule) is directly impacted.

Here’s an extension report that goes into some detail on the different types of soil sensors and their application to schedules.

Hope this helps :smile:

Best, Emil