Phoenix AZ water set up new rachio 3

Hi, just installed new rachio 3 and want to understand best set up for phoenix az, gravel yard, with bushes and trees and some lantana etc?
Just not sure what selections to choose in app. I had been watering about 35 minutes each of my 4 zones evenly to all trees and shrubs with old system daily in early morning.

I was given this programming infomation at an SRP event a year ago in Phoenix.Rachio Controller AZ Settings.pdf (732.1 KB)

This is a great starting point. I’m guessing that if you had mixed trees/shrubs/vines, you could set it up for the tress (deepest root depth) and just use lower GPH drippers on the shrubs and vines.

Nope, exactly the opposite. If you water based on trees, the shrubs with a more shallow root system will suffer. While not ideal to promote deep root systems, trees will survive just fine with more frequent, shorter duration watering.

If each zone is mixed vegetation of trees and shrubs, you would be best served trying to balance the system out by getting more gph to the trees and less to the shrubs. The sheet that SRP put out is a decent starting point, however, if you have been watering DAILY for such short durations, your roots are probably pretty shallow since they have never needed to go deep for water.

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I’m confused. Wouldn’t a 2GPH dripper produce a deeper water depth than a 1GPH dripper, given that they both run for the same amount of time?

Sorry, my statement was more toward setting up the whole zone for trees. Yes,a 2gph puts down more water, but if you set Rachio to water at the depth of the trees, the interval between watering will be to far apart for shrubs, as all the water in that root depth will deplete. If shrubs and trees are on the same zone, you will want to put multiple 2gph on the trees, and leave the shrubs with 1gph to make sure that they all get the needed water. Again, base the root depth in Rachio for shrubs so that the frequency stays up to keep shrubs happy.

For reference, my zones are broken out by shrubs, trees, grass, etc. My shrub zones have 1gph emitters, and those zones run for 3h53m each time they run, and run every 4-6 days in the summer. My trees will have multiple 2gph emitters (2-8 depending on size of tree) and run 3h20m each zone, and run every 7-10 days in the summer.


Got it. That’s kind of what I was thinking.

@tmcgahey, by the looks of your run times you are using Flex Daily, right?

@garya505, I think you meant @tmcgahey

Yes sir!

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OK, I’m going to give the Rachio 3 a try. I have an existing front yard zone yard of bushes and roses that I can start with right away. The 2 other zones are new, backyard landscaping and garden. I’m thinking Flex Daily for the front landscape and back landscape, and Fixed Schedule for the garden since it will depend on what is growing.

To revisit this topic I’m also in Arizona, Maricopa actually. I’m so confused I’ve been using the Rachio 3 and really haven’t used the smart side of it besides connecting to Homekit. In the past, I have experimented with the settings, but it tells me to let it run for 4 hours. I’m a little hesitant to let it run for that long. Do you guys have long watering times?

My drip zones are the following:

Shrubs - 3h53m
Trees - 3h20m

The goal is to water for long duration to promote deeper more drought tolerant roots. You watering times may vary depending on your emitters.

I just put on 1gph’s on my drip lines. Your shrubs running every third day?

My shrubs have 1gph as well. Right now with our “cooler” temps, it is pushing out to about 5-7 days between watering.

OK I was just doing 25 min a day with no emitters just drip line

Interesting concept. How did that work? If I get a busted emitter, I have water shooting 15’ across the yard…

Well, 1/4 drip tubing can put out as much as 30gph if there is no emitter on it. At 25 minutes, you could have been putting down almost 15 gallons of water. With 1gph, even with 4 hour run time, you are only putting down about 4 gallons, which is fine for the small shrubs.

It worked ok I think it was still overwatering. Well, the valve restricts the pressure from getting too crazy. I’m mainly looking for some backpressure so the end of the line gets the same water as the first.