Need Schedule Help - Central Florida Area


#1

Hello all!

I need help in setting up my schedule in the central Florida area. I have a small yard (~2,000 sq ft) with 85% of it being taken up by zoysia grass and 15% with hedges & jasmine ground cover. I do have a big oak tree in my front yard which provides shade but the grass does get 4-6 hrs of sun a day.

I initially setup the flexible daily schedule and my yard was getting watered every day (even when it rained). I then just recently changed to flexible monthly as needed and its still watering every day including rain days. I’m having trouble understanding if this is normal and if I’m setup correctly as my schedule shows to water every day and it does even if it rains. I bought this thing to help save money and grow a healthy yard so I want to make sure I’m doing such.

I know this is probably the most common question so I apologize for another redundant post!

Cheers,
Chris


#2

Hi @cmg1285!

No need to apologize, not redundant at all! I am concerned that your weather isn’t reporting correctly based off of your description of the issues you are running into. There are good directions in this support article on how to locate your weather station data. If you don’t mind checking that out and letting me know the accuracy, that would be very helpful! Feel free to post the weather station link here if you would like me to check it out and give you my feedback :slight_smile:

Let me know how that looks-
McKynzee :rachio:


#3

I am using KORL which is the local executive airport here in Orlando.

http://www.pwsweather.com/obs/archive/yest/KFLWINTE90.html

Thanks for your help!


#4

@cmg1285 Thanks for the link! Do you remember a certain date where it rained a decent amount and you watered?


#5

Last Thursday it had rained quite a bit.


#6

Aha! We found the problem. Below is what your weather station reported for last Thursday…

As you can see, that bottom line says zero precipitation.

Looking at the other stations near you, I see that KFLORLAN11 did report 0.3 in of precipitation last Thursday. Does that sound more accurate? If so, I recommend you switch to that weather station from here on out!


#7

Thanks! I will switch that and let you know the results.


#8

Florida has strong microclimates. My location as well, we get rain here but not 2 miles away at the closest weather station.

A hacky work around is to use ifttt to trigger a 48 hour rain delay if the rain sensor trips. I have my sensor set to trip at 1/8 inch. It’s not great, but it would be the tits if I could inject 1/8 precip into my zones moisture balance upon this event…the I would set it to trip at 1/4.


#9

Just curious, is your zoysia Zeon, emerald, Myers, some ultra drawf?

I want to pull out my tif 419 and replace it with zoysia zorro but I’m trying to find someone that has it to understand some nutritional/maintenance that I’m having a hard time finding on the interwibbles.


#10

@plainsane, would you want to inject the precip as a fraction of the actual rainfall that’s automated? Or a custom amount on demand?


#11

I believe its emerald zoysia. Its growing great in my backyard (full sun), but front yard is having a bit of trouble under my large oak which is probably due to soil pH where I had issues previously with st augustine. Not sure where it was bought from but I do use a fertilizing service to help with nutrition.


#12

@cmg1285, do you rake the leaves in the fall, or mulch and compost them back into the lawn? Oak trees are known for turning the soil around the tree acidic (a you mentioned referencing the pH levels). Have you attempted to add lime to the soil to help neutralize it?


#13

I’m thinking you may have Empire Zoysia, standard turf zoysia for Central Fla.

All this year and since at least last Nov/Dec 2016, I’ve been using a lawn sweeper/manual rake almost weekly for a similar yard w/very large oak tree. Acorns were particularly heavy in Nov and Dec but the extended drought has increased much more leaves on top of lawn. Yet the zoysia does very well – rotors on lawn were nozzled down from 3gpm to 1.5gpm a few years ago and that didn’t make any dry spots and also made some economy on water usage.

Again, mandatory raking of leaves or investing in a lawn sweeper may be something you should consider.

Big trees are very good for shade on a lawn in summer, especially with increasing warming temps in summer. But of course too much shade will hinder zoysia growth which likes lots of sun. In any case, IMHO it is worth keeping one big tree in a strategic area over a lawn, if you are fortunate to have one already, as long as you handle the maintenance and periodic trimming where appropriate. It can be great asset to a healthy lawn.


#14

I did a lime application when I had st augustine but when I changed to zoysia last august, I haven’t reapplied yet. I do mulch the leaves with my mower for each mow which I would assume this would cause more acidic soil correct? Will any pH soil tester work (ie from Amazon)?


#15

Correct. Maybe try switching between mulching and collecting the clippings every other mowing to start. Some organic material is good for the lawn, especially after a fertilization.

WikiHow has some good ways to test.

Lowes also has a good “how to” article

If possible, I’d recommend seeing if your local extension can test the soil for you. If you want to DIY the test, here’s the best selling soil tester on Amazon.