I recently installed a Rachio Gen 2, and I have a question about the flexible monthly schedule it created.
It watered for the first time this morning (8/21), and I was wondering if it was correct that the next watering day is on 9/8.
Zone Setup: Shrubs, Clay Loam (best guess), some shade, emitter, and slight slope. I didn’t adjust anything in advanced.
Water Schedule: Flexible Monthly w/ Smart Cycle and Weather Intelligence both ON. Duration it selected was 59min.
My landscapers installed a drip irrigation system with adjustable emitter nozzles at the base of the plants. Below is a sketch of the plants in my yard.
When you pick shrubs for a zone, we set a 15 inch root zone depth and 50% crop coefficient. These particular settings will make for longer waterings much less often. I’m not familiar with all your plant types, but if they don’t have deep roots you may want to reduce the root zone depth in advanced zone settings. You may want to ask the landscaper what the deepest roots are in your zone and also how long he would want to water for a deep watering through the entire root zone depth and use that watering time.
The flexible monthly schedules peg watering times that we recommend at 59 minutes, but you likely need to water longer than that if the roots are deep. This can be adjusted manually in the schedule.
Also, is this the only zone in the schedule? Are all of these plants in ground or are some of them potted?
In addition to what @azdavidr asked, smart cycle won’t do anything with emitters. Won’t hurt that it’s set to on, it just won’t smart cycle. Also, I saw that some of your plants are hydrangeas. I would keep a close eye on them and how they respond to the watering. I had to put higher GPH emitters on mine, and the bigger they get, the more water they seem to need. Unlike my camelias, which would probably do fine here in NC if I never even watered them with my system. They seem do to well on the amount of water nature gives them.
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.
I would think that you’d be better off with fixed flow emitters, but @Linn could probably guide you better. I don’t have those plants and am not sure of their requirements. If you have some that are quite a bit more mature than others, it’s better for the plant to have multiple emitters spread around the circumference of the root ball.
If you’re using the existing ‘emitter’ nozzle you are likely under-watering right now due to the precipitation rate (PR) default setting for the emitter nozzle, which assumes that you have emitters spaced out evenly and continuously. Take a look at this post to dial in your emitter based zones.
Again, @Linn may be a better guide as to how many gallons to deliver. The ‘Water Use It Wisely’ site is for Phoenix, so your mileage may vary. Before going through the PR calculation process above, you’ll want a reasonable estimate of your root depth and soil settings first ! Rachio will make a schedule with an ‘inches of water’ number, and you’ll use that number to calculate the PR.
Once you have a custom nozzle with the PR that you calculate from that description plug it into your zone. You should then see your duration match your target watering time.
I use two 2GPH emitters on each of my hydrangeas. I have a lot of 1 GPH emitters on the other plants in the zone and I use a custom nozzle of .2 in/hr. I also use flex daily and NOT flex monthly. I wouldn’t trust flex monthly with them. It would skip too many needed waterings.
Even though I live in NC, I used the Water Use It Wisely recommendations.
I was just out of the country for 3 weeks. We had some horribly hot weather while I was gone and almost no rain. And I came home to find all my landscaping plants looking absolutely great (well, with the exception of the one new plant that the deer thought was candy!).