Need help (AZ, Ocotillo area)

@azdavidr This would be impressive and would have shown forethought.

All of the input and first hand help @tmcgahey is awesome.


That’s how mine was done 23 years ago, long before I knew enough to ask for it. Maybe things have changed.

On Saturday I will have the front plants on one zone, the back plants on another zone and the trees in the back yard on another zone.

I did find out today that the front two “live oak’s” that are planted in the middle of the grass have 4 2 mph emitters on them which is on the same line of the front bushes.

When they fix my backyard irrigation (2 separate valves) they will have the trees on 2 5 gph emitters I can have them just put 4 2 GPH emitters on the trees.

I have also included some pics of the plants/trees I have in the backyard.

Thank you ALL for your support and help especially troy :smiley:

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That’s good news @ssayet. Were the guys who did the work originally responsive to making the fixes under warranty, or did you have to go another route ?

On the trees, it’s best to have multiple emitters spread out as evenly as possible around the circumference of the tree canopy. Your trees are small so it’s not a big deal now, but as they grow you’ll want to spread the emitters out appropriately, so more low-flow emitters will make that easier to accomplish than if you just had 2 at a higher flow rate. The goal is to deliver water evenly around the canopy and keep spreading it out as the tree matures. Does that make sense ?

I went back and forth with the company who put the backyard in and although he agreed to put the backyard on 1/separate line I decided to go another route.

Since the landscaping/design company is still putting in front scapes in my development (new build) I decided to run the scenario by them to see what they recommended. They recommended as everyone on this site to have two separate lines in my backyard one for the trees and one for the bushes/shrubs. They will be adding two additional valves for the backyard for me and I was originally asking for the trees to have 2 5gph emitters on them but after talking to them based upon what they did in the front of the house I am thinking 4 2 gph emitters on the trees in the backyard and leaving the 1 2pgh emitters on the plants and shrubs.

I also found out that the two “live Oaks” in my front yard (in the grass area) are on the shrubs/plant line with 4 2 gph emitters. Therefore, it is not just getting the water from the sprinklers when/If they are on.

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@ssayet This is off-topic. That lighting looks like a Hampton Bay LED accent light from Home Depot. Is that right?


** update **

I was able to get my backyard on two separate zones! Wohooo

Trees on one zone ( bigger trees have 4 x 2gph emitters)

Shrubs/bushes on another zone with 1 x 2gph emitters

Front of the house:
Bushes with 1 x 2 gph and the two trees are on the same line (4 x 2gph)

Sprinklers for the grass separate

I want to thank everyone especially Troy @tmcgahey who has stuck by my side through this whole process and helping me with zones/schedules.


Glad @ssayet was able to get his yard re-piped the correct way…too bad he ended up having to pay out of pocket to do so.

After the new zones were added we went back in and ran the calculations from @azdavidr famous drip calculator sheet and plugged the figures into the “nozzle inches per hour” field of each zone. I have set the root depth very shallow since this is all recent planting within a couple months. I’m happy with the frequency but I’m wanting @ssayet to watch closely to see if things are looking stressed or over-watered. It is watering the bushes every couple days for 2 hours, so it will put down 4 gallons (1 2gph emitter) of water to each bush, while the “biggest” bushes will get 8 gallons (2 2gph emitters).

We also set the tree root depth pretty shallow (15") in order to get the frequency bumped up. The trees are currently watering every 4-5 days for 2h10m, so each tree will receive right at 16 gallons of water, and the multi trunk Pygmy’s will get 12 gallons (debating on having him plug one emitter here. Any thoughts?).

If anyone has some thoughts or opinions on the current setup, I’m all ears/eyes!

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@tmcgahey – as a special thanks from the Rachio Team, we’d like to make you a Power User for all of the help you provided @ssayet. Thank you!

I think the changes made to the system (separating the hydro zones) and current zone configurations are the best they could be for the landscape at it’s current maturity and time of year. How are the plants looking?


Very nice @emil, it’s a very fitting recognition of @tmcgahey’s excellent contributions and time spent furthering the cause!


I just read through these posts and I was truly incredible to see how helpful @tmcgahey, @azdavidr and @sunny were. The Power User rating for @tmcgahey is well deserved and I commend the Rachio team @emil for taking notice.

I’m in the process of having landscaping put in and their design also has everything on one line. When I questioned this during the proposal phase they just said that they adjust for having one line by varying the quantity and flow rate of the drip heads based on the type of plant/shrub/tree. Not knowing any better I went along with it, but never truly feeling comfortable with the answer they gave.

I came across this post because I have the Gen 2 system (not installed yet) and was into the Gen 3 system.

Getting to my question, what setup would you recommend I go back to the landscaper with for the following plants that have just been put into the ground (no irrigation has been installed yet). Also, I’m in the north Phoenix area (Desert Ridge)

  • Tangerine Beauty Vine (5 gallon) x8
  • Pygmy Date Palm (30 gallon) x4
  • Hibiscus (5 gallon) x4
  • Jasmine Arabian (5 gallon) x7
  • Lantana Purple (5 gallon) x5
  • Washington Navel Orange (25 gallon) x1

Thanks in advance for your time and help!!

Thank you to the Rachio team for the promotion!

@rchuro, without going into too much detail while typing on my phone, a single line for all plants can sorta, kinda, maybe, possibly work, but not well, and chances are you will lose a number of plants in the heat of the sunmer.

By a quick glance at your list, you already have a huge disparity in watering strategy with your plants. Citrus likes long deep waterings, but infrequent. Your bushes and palms like to have a more shallow watering more frequently. I will add that Hibiscus are tough here regardless. They stress badly in the summer, and are VERY prone to freezing, but if you are good about covering, they do look awesome!

Thanks @tmcgahey! If I’m understanding your comments correctly, this would be the zones:

Zone 1
Washington Navel Orange (25 gallon) x1

Zone 2
Tangerine Beauty Vine (5 gallon) x8
Pygmy Date Palm (30 gallon) x4
Hibiscus (5 gallon) x4
Jasmine Arabian (5 gallon) x7
Lantana Purple (5 gallon) x5

or would you break the zones down further?

Thanks again.

Before you go and take my recommendation as gold…I’d like to hear from @sunny @azdavidr or others. The palms are a gray area for me. All my palms were put on my tree zones by the previous owner, and I feel that my system was done very well, but I’d like to hear other opinions!

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I believe my palms are on a tree line as well, but @sunny is the definitive resource in this case!

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Agreed @tmcgahey and @azdavidr. It would be optimal to have the palms on a tree zone to receive deep watering.

Additional note–since these are newly planted and we are coming up on some hot weather, the palms may need additional (maybe daily watering depending on the soil type and weather) for a couple of weeks. @rchuro, don’t keep them too wet. Let them dry slightly between watering. Moist, but not soggy.

Do you know the soil characteristics? You will benefit from reading this: Using Web Soil Survey to define your soil settings


I’ve had hibiscus here in north phoenix… emphasis on HAD. Full sun all day was no good. The plant looked great for like a season.

Yea, I have two left (there were 4), but they get shade most of the day, so they are doing ok. My biggest issue with them is winter time and them freezing, which is how I lost the two. I have too big a yard and too many plants to go out and cover at night. Survival of the fittest in my yard!

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Thanks guys! Sorry for taking so long.

So I went through @azdavidr’s step-by-step instructions (great work, by the way!) and the results were:

Available Water Capacity
0.08 cm/cm

Typical profile
A - 0 to 3 inches: gravelly sandy loam
Bw - 3 to 60 inches: very gravelly sandy loam

Based on that information, would the zoning you recommend be:

Zone 1
Washington Navel Orange (25 gallon) x1
Pygmy Date Palm (30 gallon) x4

Zone 2
Tangerine Beauty Vine (5 gallon) x8
Hibiscus (5 gallon) x4
Jasmine Arabian (5 gallon) x7
Lantana Purple (5 gallon) x5

Regarding the hibiscus, they will be in the shade, so hopefully will survive the summer and my yard is small enough that I should be able to cover them in winter…or take @tmcgahey 's Darwinian approach :wink:

Thanks again guys!

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