Overlapping zones + different attributes + flex + WAN = Confused


#1

After playing around for days with different Flex and new WAN schedules there is one problem I can’t seem to figure with either. My lawn, like many, has zones that are adjacent to each other but may get more/less sun, have more/less slope, etc. in short, they would have somewhat different watering needs.

Flex seems perfect for this in that it will address the zones unique needs BUT then I find myself wondering if I am inadvertently applying shallow/frequent water at the edges of adjacent zones that may water a day or two apart.

WAN would let me link those zones in a schedule of course BUT then I wonder if I’m, say, watering a shady zone too frequently because the adjacent sun exposed zone in the same schedule depletes faster.

So, what say you all? @plainsane … counting on you. If you don’t have a theory, pretty much sure my lawn is doomed :slight_smile:


#2

Quick question, how bad. The overlap in your zones if they run on different days


#3

Let’s call it 30%-ish. Non-scientific for sure. Eyeballing it.


#4

Well I have no seat time yet with wan, but I will say you should not have your shades zones in the same schedule with your sunny zones. I’m not a fan of this implicit restriction.

Persoanally if it were my yard I would be on flex, I think that overlap will not be as big of a ploblem, BUT I would also adjust my heads as much as possible to reduce this overlap. I’ll get back tonight I have more to say just taking a break


#5

Big thanks. I played with setting up WAN schedules that grouped zones with similar “sun characteristics” but at the end of that, it seemed like I was just trying to back my way into flex but with, funny enough given the intention on WAN, more complexity in the set up.


#6

Yea, soooooo, I have been philosiphying (is that even a word) over wan, and I’m going to try it, tomorrow, but flex is my girl, I whisper sweet nothing to her nightly after I learned she is now a pariah. I can’t even begin to describe my broken heart. But I’m hoping wan surprises me.

So currently I recommend staying on flex for the moment, because currently I have no real way to help you with wan. Somebody from rachio will need to chime in here. I have no experience with it, and I can’t back it up with any of my own research and trials (half assed scientific, I only have so many $). I’m really underwhelmed by a single zone kicking off all zones in the schedule. I mean this is in and of itself, not an issue, I can fully justify that behavior…it’s the fact that multiple schedules do not thread together at all. If we had that ability, then flex=wan.

I’m not saying wan is bad, don’t take that from this, I’m just assuming you have 6+ zones and you, like me, would want to begin watering around 4:30-5 am.

Now, where your zones overlap, i don’t think I worry too much about disease with the increase frequency unless you have had disease issues in the past, have you?

I think I gather that one zone is shade and the adjacent is sunny, and I’m assuming you have rotors in these zones. If disease is an issue, I would turn the screw that is on the front of the rotors to reduce the distance of the border heads in both zones, to decrease this overlap…this in turn will decrease your head to head coverage for these head, in turn bringing down your zone’s efficiency a little but it is better to throw extra water to recover than it is to drop $80 on some fungicide and treat for a month. Advantages are less disease if this has been an issue, and the grass in this zone should attempt a deeper root depth (if on a slope then that is awesome as water will move down that slope between waterings providing incentive for root depth). Disadvantage is that this border could become less drought tolerant under certain circumstances which are too many to enumerate.

That is my $0.02 not having seen any part of the landscape.

Some more,detail would be nice, now long do your turf zones run, how many turf zones, what type of turf, what type of heads, what type of soil, what agriculture zone are you in?

Do you use growth regulator, do you use a foliar fertilizer, in soil do you use slow release or urea/ammonium nitrate?


#7

@SteepSlopeMO, great questions. We have some best practices when using WAN posted here. Climate Skip should help avoid overwatering on the mixed sun/shade schedules.


#8

@emil. Thanks. I’m certainly willing to give it a shot. Want to be sure I’m understanding what Flex is doing first so I can compare though. Can you clarify something on flex for me before I make the switch. I’ve seen similar behavior twice in as many days so I’m thinking it’s works as designed.

This morning, flex ran two lawn zones (back yard middle and front driveway side). Both of those made sense to me to run, and when I went to bed last night it’s the schedule Flex was showing. Right now though, if I look at “todays” schedule - 4/24 - it’s showing me that my Front Lawn Near Road was scheduled for today. As mentioned though, that zone didn’t run this morn. If I look at the Front Lawn Near Road lawn card - it shows Not Scheduled - and looking at it’s moisture graph - it’s clearly not scheduled because it seems to think it got irrigated today.

Saw something similar yesterday in a different zone that seemed to correct itself as Flex updated later in the day. Does what I’m describing sound normal?


#9

@plainsane, will get you a few more details later today when I can do a little more inspection. Quickly though. I’m in Missouri. St. Louis area. 9 lawn zones that are a mix of full sun, some sun, and two that are mostly shade. Lawn Breaks down like this:

4 = full sun (2 rotor zones they are adjacent/overlap each other. 2 spray zones that are relatively small sq footage and on a steep slope next to the driveway. These two are adjacent/overlap each other)
3 = some sun (all rotor zones. 1 of these adjacent/overlaps full sun zones.)
2 = mostly shade (rotors. both adjacent/overlap some sun zones)

Also have 3 planting zones. 2 that are drip. One spray. Those are all full sun, and I feel pretty comfortable they are dialed in ok.


#10

Little more detail for you @plainsane. Yard is a mix of bluegrass and fescue. “Fine fescue” thrown in on one zone too. Turf zones seem to be running 38m for most rotor zones. Cut that down 10 min for the spray zones.

Our soil runs from sandy loam in two zones to loam in the others. Foliar fertilizer, yes - early and late summer. Slow release in soil middle of summer.

Thanks again for the input. You and the Rachio guys deserve much credit for the time and passion you put into helping us mere mortals out.


#11

Sorry for the delay, yes, flex will dance around a little bit. Sometimes more accurate data for a weather station shows up late. I can speak to the details, just followed a few issues on the forums and gathered that there can be a data reconciliation effort after the fact.


#12

No worries. You’re busy on here for sure. Thanks for clarifying. I had sort of figured that’s what was going on. Again, appreciate the help.


#13

Ok, so the only concern I have is the shade overlap with full sun.
First, if you go with wan, group the schedules as you have laid out your zones 4 on a schedule 3 on another on and 2 on a different. That should be good.

If it was my yard I would get a shovel and move some heads, but I’m pedantic as hell. I would still try to reduce the overlap some by shortening the throw of the heads on these borders.

Just keep an eye on these overlap areas and don’t throw foliar nitrogen if disease looks like it is subtly present. A decent pair of polarized sunglasses are pretty good at highlighting turf issues before they Become visible to the naked eye but is not 100%. But since you put out foliar nitrogen you have a rig and you can spray daconil ( or Chlorothallonil) on this border zone if you think something is coming in…just remember to treat the same area again,2 weeks later or you will start your own little island of dr. moreau Of pesticide resistant fungi. Daconil doesn’t carry a turf label but it’s fine I have put it out at crazy rates without burning. Mane the stuff with a turf label is pricy.

But I’m thinking you probably will not have too many problems.

http://extension.missouri.edu/p/IPM1029 You have to deal with a much different set of fungi bastards than I do. Read up on that to know what is most likely to invade at any given time.


#14

Oh, if you get Basel rot, hit me up, I’ll send you some growth regulator, it’s,really good at stoping Basel rot.