Need help (AZ, Ocotillo area)


I changed the zone to shrubs, and reset the defaults, and shrubs default to 15. I lowered that down to 8", and reran the calculations. I am setting the PR in the middle of the two at .20" (@ssayet shared his controller so I can adjust things)

This isn’t changing much in the duration (now at 2h 24m) and is bumping the frequency for the next week to every 3-4 days. After that we have a few days of foretasted rain, so it doesn’t have much scheduled…


I don’t think breaking the front off is necessary. For one, maturity wise, we are only talking a few months. Two, IIRC (@ssayet can confirm), there are only two trees in the front yard, and they are in the grass with no visible emitters, so I assume they will just be getting water via the sprinklers.

Adding a second drip zone in the back dedicated for the trees wouldn’t be the hardest thing to do since it could (and probably is) run around the perimeter along the fence, but the landscaping is only a month old so I’m not sure @ssayet is up for that…


Keep an eye on it @ssayet, especially as temps heat up. I know some people have been burned before (no pun intended) when the temps suddenly rose and their Flex settings hadn’t been tested through a summer yet. If things look OK for the next couple of weeks think about bumping up the root depth. Keep doing so until the front matures. I’m hoping you get someone to get your irrigation hardware setup better as otherwise I think it’s going to be tough!

Nice of you to make a house call @tmcgahey. @franz should make a special badge for that!


You all are amazing and a special thanks to @tmcgahey for the house call :slight_smile: I do not want to really run more lines if I do not have to but am open to getting it quoted out. Do you have recommendations for someone to do this type of work?


Given that your yard was just completed I’d call back whomever was responsible for your installation and demand they come out and do it for free, especially if it was a builder. There is really no excuse for running trees and shrubs on the same line!


It was not the builder who did the backyard. I will reach out to the company who completed it.


@tmcgahey so very helpful of you!

Not sure where to start on this backyard–the plants have very dissimilar water requirements so this combination will be nearly impossible to set a schedule for.

I can’t tell from the photos what the shrubs are, but sago palms don’t like to have roots wet. Queen palms don’t have very deep roots–they tend to spread rather than grow deeply like trees and usually are less than 4 feet deep. Once temps reach 100s, they need to be watered as often as 4 or 5 times / week. Having these plants on the same drip is not going to work.

The trees in the front in the grass will probably be OK with the water from the grass, but it’s not the best situation.

Too many times I have seen a saguaro planted in the middle of a lawn!:roll_eyes: When summer rolls around some these plants will not make it to fall.


If they argue point them to this.


Or this, which clearly shows different scheduling needs:


It really is unacceptable, and they were just saving the cost of tubing and valves to gain profit. I don’t know how aggressive you care to be, but you could also let them know that you’re willing to go on Yelp and other online sites to give your review/warning of their work.


So what I am reading is I should have two different zones in my backyard (shrubs/bushes and then the trees). The biggest problem is the backyard is on one zone which is really the front and back “drip system” the control box and valve box is in the front side yard and the irrigation to the back is ran under pavers :frowning: . Seems like this might turn into a mess


At minimum trees & shrubs should be separated. Having trees/front, trees/back, shrubs/front, shrubs/back gives you further flexibility. The minimum work for them is to add another line to the back to separate the trees & shrubs, and another line to the front to separate the trees and shrubs there. Then they have to add either one more valve (all trees together, all shrubs together) or three (trees and shrubs separate, and front and back separate).

With regards to the pavers, they should have put a sleeve under there to route any existing tubes. Those same sleeves could be used to add a new tube. I sure hope they didn’t cut that corner and not sleeve under the pavers.


Sorry @ssayet. This is such a sloppy installation.

In the heat of our summer, many of these plants will die. Obviously the installers have little knowledge of the difficult growing conditions here. I often wonder why nurseries sell plants that have a difficult time growing here. Landscapes here can be green and lush with the right plant selection.


@ssayet, based on what I remember the layout being, I’m betting the current drip line runs from the valve box by the gate, and runs along the perimeter of the block wall. The pavers didn’t go under the gate did they?

Being that it is a new install, you could try to pull up on one of the emitters to see which direction it goes…

@azdavidr, since the front only consists of a dozen or so shrubs, I think I’d just leave it as simple as a shrub and tree zone.


@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:


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.


@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.