New Rachio User-How long should I run

So I just installed a new irrigation system, and my grass has been pretty neglected from the previous home owner. We ran thru the setup and it suggested nine minutes on two of the zones that cover the actual turf. However my fertilizer guy told it should run at least fifteen minutes. I have a bermuda and zoysia. On top of all this I live in Atlanta so we have a super hot summer.

Any suggestions???

@motero8111 Rachio will calculate the duration for you, but it needs to be told more about your local soil, vegetation and irrigation hardware.

Be sure to take a look at the Web Soil Survey website, and find your soil type and the associated ‘Available Water (AW) value’. This is very important for your scheduling. Set your Area of Interest (AOI) from the map, then use this post to find your soil type and associated AW number. Once you have the soil type and AW number, set both of them correctly in the zone setup.


Choosing the right Nozzle / Precipitation Rate (PR)

OPTION A: Use a default nozzle type to set your PR:

OPTION B: To get a more accurate idea, you’ll want to run a catch-cup test and create a custom nozzle instead of using the defaults. Doing this will also point out inefficiencies in your irrigation setup that are often easy to fix.

I found it easier to just order these, and use their online calculator.

Root Depth
Bermuda roots can very quite a bit in length depending on the soil type. Harder clays will be in the 4-6" range, whereas in sandier soils they can get as deep to 8-10" if watered properly. Figure out your soil type first to see the range. Given what you’re saying about previous neglect, I would start at 4" and work your way up over time to whatever is reasonable for your soil. Deeper roots will mean a heartier lawn with less water used.

Once you have the 3 areas dialed in report back and I’m sure others with similar setups can give you an idea if the watering schedule seems reasonable.


Thanks my friend…Appears my soil is different then what we had setup. On the catch cup test can I just have setup during my normal sprinkling time, which is at 4:00am?

Thanks for the post above. Now you have me really interested, @azdavidr and maybe you have some good advice for me, as I seem to be in a dilemma. My hose is where the cross haired circle sits, on a golf course.

My backyard is in the blue zone (MfD2 and MfB2, Mayodan Sandy Loam, 10-15% and 2-6% sloped, moderately eroded) with an AW of 0.17.
My front yard is in yellow zone (CnA, Colfax Sandy Loam, sloped) with an AW of 0.06
Right across the street my neighbor is in green (CrC2, Creedmoor Sandy Loam, 6010% slope, moderately eroded) with an AW of 0.11

The common theme is Sandy Loam, but I have a hard time to believe the differences from 0.06 to .17 from one side of the house to the other. Do you all have any good advice for someone that literally sits on the fence :frowning:
Could it be that they used these soils when they built the golf course development early 2000’s? What values would you use?

Thanks in advance!

No, you’ll want to run that test at a different time. It’s run for a short time, usually 10 minutes, so you start a manual run. If you get the orbit kit you’ll see it spelled out in their directions.


I’d have a hard time with that too. On the last page of instructions that I linked to, there is a way to get an average where you define the soil depth that you’re interested in analyzing. If you use depths relative to your deepest roots do you still see that level of difference in the zones?


Please don’t analyze this to death. Simply use the zone setup according to directions. Don’t listen to the fertilizer guy. You must select your plant type, sun exposure, sprinkler type, slope and soil type. Select the closest weather station. Most of Atlanta has clay soil. Use the flex schedule and check on your watering restrictions. Typically rotors will run about 22 minutes and sprays about 10 to 15 minutes. The goal is to apply about 1 inch of water a week. This time of the year it’s hard revitalize stessed turf in the South. I would start with these directions first. Later if you like you can buy the catch cups and then setup custom nozzle precipitation rates. One thing you must do is run through all your zones. Check for broken heads, heads out of adjustment, dry spots, etc. Then make repairs or call an irrigation contractor, preferably one certified by The Irrigation Association.

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For your zoysia grass you won’t find this plant type as a selection offering.

I have zoysia grass for a good portion of my lawn. Using the selection ‘warm season grass’ puts down too much water for zoysia.

What I had to do is tell my Iro that it’s watering ‘shrubs’ even though it’s really watering zoysia. Much better grass performance this year, with a lot less water this year.

I likewise do the something similar for my buffalo grass, which is another significant portion of my lawn. Here I tell my Iro that it’s watering ‘trees’ even though it’s really watering buffalo grass. The buffalo grass did well this year.

Best regards,

Best regards,


What sprinkler devices are you using to water zoysiagrass? Gear drive rotors? Pop-up sprays? When you say too much water, can you provide more information? Water requirement of zoysiagrass and bermudagrass is similar based on research I have read. What makes you think it is getting too much water? If irrigated with pop up sprays,what nozzle is on the spray head? Different nozzles have different outputs. For example, if one had Rain Bird 8VAN nozzles they apply 3.58 inches per hour for half circle. Standard Rain Bird 8h nozzles apply 1.58 inches per hour. I think Rachios default precipitation rate for spray heads is 1.5 inches per hour. Give us more information to help you.