New yard at new house

i have a new house with new yard. im trying set up the advanced settings. I live in KCMO. Im putting the info i know in and it keeps push the watering back and my yard is getting really brown. i need help

@twhite5215 Please post screenshots of your advanced zone settings for one of your zones and moisture graph details. Also, I always recommend starting flex daily with one or maybe two zones (front and back), dialing in your system, then applying to all zones instead of trying to tackle everything at once.


What stands out to me is the precipitation rate. Is 1.5” from a catch cup test or is that a default? It is possible that the precipitation rate is actually lower than that — if so, decreasing that value would increase the watering time. Here’s Rachio’s support article on catch cup test to determine the precipitation rate:

If this is new turf, the 4” root depth could be fine, but consider increasing that depth to 6” once established. If it is new turf, definitely follow the installer’s recommended watering instructions using a Fixed schedule or more and don’t use Flex until it is established. It’ll likely need watering a few times a day until established and rooted into the soil — you don’t want it to dry out!


Also see this article, which also can apply to newly laid sod (sod probably needs somewhat less watering):

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I don’t know where is the precipitation rate? I

Sorry. Precipitation Rate is the Nozzle Inches per Hour setting.

Ok thank you. Ok I’ll lower that and change to fixed. See it that helps. Thank you again

You could also temporarily increase the Crop Coefficient. Default would be 65% for Warm Season turf and 70% for Cool Season. A golf course green would be 100%+ :slight_smile:
As @Kubisuro mentioned, a new lawn will have shallow roots. 3-4" may be best for very new turf.
Another thing to consider is the Available Water (aka AWC). Since the young roots (or sod) has short roots, it may not be able to reach a depth where more water is retained during the heat of the day. I have my AW set to .19, well established St. Augustine grass, but on heavy clay loam.
Increasing the CC to 70 and maybe even 80% will increase watering frequency. So will reducing the AW setting. The key to a new lawn: Frequency over quantity.
Good luck!


thank you very much! i also changed the settings so fingers crossed!

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do you think i need a soil sensor and/or rain sensor to make it work better for my yard? more personalized?

@twhite5215 Do you have the Rachio 2 or 3? WIth the “Hyper-local” Weather Intel, or a reliable nearby weather station selected, that should be enough for your system to get a fairly accurate representation of your conditions. A rain sensor is great for stopping/preventing the zones physically (continuity interrupt) and immediately. So yes, installing one probably won’t hurt anything. Although, the lower end sensors are not the most reliable either, trusting a flat cork disk to accurately gauge rain totals. I set my old rainbird sensor to a higher rain total so that a brief downpour doesn’t trigger the shutoff. In our area most water from a brief heavy rain just runs off into the sewers. I"ll trust the Rachio & the associated weather station data to make the soil moisture and schedule changes once the actual rain totals are logged.

As for a soil sensor; I want one/some. One that provides a value and not just a cut-off like a rain sensor.
I’m waiting to see if Rachio adds them to the accessory options, and can be used by the system vs. manually checking and adjusting. I’m still learning too… but I see that the options for manually changing soil moisture in Rachio are limited. “Fill” or “Empty”, whereas I want to be able to set a more accurate value based on actual sensor data.
Maybe someone with more soil sensor experience can weigh in here.

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I have 3. Great info. Thank you. I want the soil sensor to attach to the 3 also.

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Hi, - I live in Overland Park, KS – southwest corner of the KC Metro area. It’s been dry. I set my Rachio up in May. It’s worked beautifully using the advanced settings. BUT – there is a spot in my yard that tends to brown – so I occasionally do a quick run just in that area. It is an area of full sun where the rotating sprinkler heads don’t overlap quite enough. So my brown spot is a function of my sprinkler heads and not Rachio.


I had the same or similar problem. I had new grass down and if you put the root depth like yours it did not water much. I had a tad bit of dirt put down like contractors do that was over hard clay. I put sand down on top of grass and watered it in. Now I have 3 types of soil ha ha. I figured out I had to put in that I pretty much had the worst clay soil and a slope. It then would water some and change zones and let it soak in. I also put my root depth deeper. This made it run a little longer. So with these settings I was getting a good soak and not a lot of run off and a little more watering. My grass is super thick and green now.

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