Need help (AZ, Ocotillo area)

I have been searching on here for a while and thank you in advanced. I used “” and found out the the front of my house is Gilman fine sandy loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes (I think there is more then a 2 % grade but not much more (0.15 Rating (centimeters per centimeter)). I the front of my house I have about 280 SqFt of grass (two trees planted in the grass) ZONE 1.

In the backyard I have just trees, plants/shrubs on the perimeter and is Gilman loam (0.17 Rating (centimeters per centimeter))

Furthermore, this is a new build community and the backyard was just completed last week and the front yard was completed in October 2017.

Need help on what setup I should do for each zone.



Hi @ssayet, I’m a fan of the flex daily schedule myself. Have you looked over the different schedules? That’s a good starting point. Is that fake grass in the back?

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It’s artificial turf.

Do you have a sprinkler zone set up to cool the artificial grass off so the children can play on it during the summer?


Welcome! First you need to know what sprinkler nozzles you have so we can set up custom nozzles to more acuratly match true precipitation rate. Also, same for drip emitters. Need to know the gph, and how many are on each plant.

If you ever need help, my mom lives in Ocotillo and I’m over there all the time helping her out.

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Bear down!! That would be great if you can come by.

I am pretty sure I have 5gph on all plants and on the trees in the backyard two per tree.

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Are the shrubs and trees on the same zone, or separate?

Can you take a picture of one of the emitters?

I am also in Ocotillo (by the Holiday Inn). Would love to find the time to investigate this.

I am ocotillo and Alma school.

Embarcadero (Ocotillo between Dobson and Alma School)

I’m happy to give you guys both a hand in getting your system set up.


Let me know when you can come by. I’m in the echelon.

whenever anyone could come by to help would be greatly appreciated. :slight_smile:

I can probably swing by this weekend. Message me your phone number so I can get ahold of you…

Got a chance to swing by @ssayet place to help him with his setup. This post is some info for general knowledge, as well as for Steven to see what changes were made.

I started messing with the grass, because that was easy. Soil set up looked good and zone type were fine (rye grass overseed). I set the root depth to 6", which is what I found to probably be pretty close in my research, and works well for my grass…I was able to identify that he has Hunter 10A Red Pro Adjustable nozzles, so I adjusted his Nozzle Inches Per Hour to match the Hunter literature of 1.93". If Steven really wants to get geeky, I’ll bring my catch cups next time, but this will dial it in much more than the default spray head setting. Similar to my findings when I blocked out certain days for watering, (not watering Thursdays and Fridays, landscaper comes), it looks like there may be a couple back to back runs some weeks to keep the moisture level up thru those blocked days.

Now, the drip is where things get a little more tricky. Steven has 1 drip zone for the front and back of his yard, which contains both shrubs and trees. To further complicate things for the short term, the front yard is relatively established (October 2017), but the backyard is less than one month old. Currently, the shrubs each have one 2gph emitter feeding them, while the trees each have two 2gph emitters. I adjusted some settings in the zone, but I’m looking for input on what to set the zone type to (I currently set to Trees), and what to set the root depth to (mixture of plant types and fairly new plants, so I have it set to 15"). Once the changes were made, Rachio is looking to put down 1.13" of water. So after plugging this info into the amazing @azdavidr Drip Emitter Calculator for Precipitation Rate & Area, I hit a bit of a wall.

“Water Use it Wisely” Table for reference:

There is a big disparity between the required PR’s for trees and shrubs given the current size of everything. Currently I have the “Nozzle Inches Per Hour” of this zone set in the middle of the two at .45". So tomorrow, the drip will be set to run for 2h 31m.

Now, if Steven were to change the emitters on the trees out to 4gph (remember, each tree has 2 emitters, so totally 8gph), something REALLY interesting happens…:wink:

Anyone have any input? @Modawg2k @sunny @Sprinklerman


My 2 cents is shrubs. The watering intervals for trees would be too long and shrubs might die off. Having said that, since you changed the root depth I think that overrides the generic shrub/tree setting. Turning to the root depth, 15" will create longer intervals than say 6". If those shrubs in the front are really new the interval might be too long at 15" ? Of course 15" is pretty shallow for the trees, so a supplemental schedule per #2 below might be in order.

I’d recommend:

  1. Get someone out and fix the root of the problem, which is that everything is on the same drip.
  2. Set a main schedule that is frequent and shallow enough for the shrubs. Set a separate ‘fixed’ schedule for deeper tree waterings. There will be wasted water that the shrubs can’t absorb, but at least things won’t die.
  3. If you go for #2, make sure the owner goes in and increases his root depth every couple of weeks as they mature.

I hate hearing that landscape installers do this. They’re clearly taking a shortcut at the sake of an unknowing customer.


A suplimental fixed schedule is still going to be registered by the flex schedule and thus pushing the flex schedule out…right?

I am concerned with overwatering the shrubs while trying to deeply water the trees. That’s why I thought at least upping the emitters on the trees to 4gph would bring the needed PR into check.

And @azdavidr, the “owner” is the OP of the thread.

Ugh, good point. You’re right that changing out the emitters to 4 GPH, but there might be some runoff with that kind of drip rate. There’s also still the trade-off of picking the right root depth to start off with such that the front shrubs are OK. If it were me I’d ditch Flex on the existing setup until the irrigation hardware was properly addressed. I’d set a shorter interval shrub schedule and a longer, deeper tree schedule. Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t think the over-watering of the shrubs would be too harmful as the extra would just runoff. The tree line wouldn’t run as often.

For the irrigation hardware it should be pretty easy to at least put the front yard on a different valve from the back since the maturity is so different. Everything goes to the same valve box now, so putting in a new valve and connecting the front line to it shouldn’t be too bad. Of course the right thing is to separate trees and shrubs.

Thanks for the nice comment about the calculator & thread. I’m glad it’s helpful!

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