Questions about a mixed zone


#1

Just got my Rachio installed yesterday and I’m not sure how to set up one of my zones.

I moved into a new build home in central Texas about 2 years ago and being the wonderful people that builders are, gave me zero info on the plants in my front yard. I have two trees, one I think is red oak and I’m not sure about the other, but pretty sure it’s another oak, and the flower bed has a crepe myrtle, a few firecracker plants, some general shrubs, and a mix of Mexican heather and some creeping plant that I’m not entirely sure what it is. Luckily the rest of the yard is just bermuda grass.

Each of the trees, the crepe myrtle, and the area with the heather and other plant were set up with a bubbler, however I’ve next to completely turned off the heads for the smaller plants since I was told they don’t need hardly any water. I’m not necessarily a fan of the bubblers on the 3 trees since they’re adjustable and it seems like the consensus is those aren’t great since you can’t tell how much they’re putting out.

The rest of the bed is serviced by a rainbird 15RCS, 8-VAN, and an 8Q (the crepe myrtle is in there with it so the bubbler is with that as well). After looking up the flow rates it seems like they’re all over the place so I’m definitely open to suggestions for the flow rate to set or recommendations on replacement sprinkler heads.

The way I currently set the zone is flex monthly, with smart cycle and soak. I set the zone type to trees with a fixed spray head so it’d take advantage of the soak since runoff is a problem here (silty clay soil). I currently have a crop coefficient set at 65% and set the nozzle to 1.5 in. It’s currently estimating 1 hr 23 min for the next watering and I’m really not sure if that’s too much or too little.


#2

Yea, I don’t like adjustable bubblers either. As you are aware, a mixed system isn’t ideal, and if repiping a second zone isn’t an option, here’s what I would do…

I’d say you could replace the bubbler head with drip manifold, which will allow you to run 1/4 drip tubing and drip emitters. For the tree’s, I’d run 4-5 2gph emitters to them, and for the bushes, I’d run 1 2gph emitter. This is about the closest that you will be able to balance out the mixed system. As for the spray nozzle, is it necessary? Can you just run drip emitters to every plant?

Second problem is that you would typically water trees and shrubs differently, but since they are on the same zone, you’ll have to water according to the needs of the lesser shrubs, meaning more frequently. This isn’t ideal for the trees, but it is what it is…


#3

Yeah, the back story is when I first moved in, I didn’t even have a sprinkler system. Later on the builder went, “we messed up, you’re supposed to have one included in the house so we’ll install one for free.” I thought it was weird they were putting the trees and the shrubs on the same zone, but I figured they knew best. Womp womp I guess.

If a bunch of manifolds would be fine and allow me to avoid a bunch of digging up the thing, then that should be fine though. Do you know if something like this would fit on the hosing they’ve already run to the trees? https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rain-Bird-2-0-GPH-Manifold-MANIF2-1PK/202078392. Do you have any recommendations for emitters to use with it?

I’m really new to all of this so the more hand holding you can do with me the better :slight_smile:


#4

Your Oaks will only need establishment watering and then a good soaking about 1 x per month until they are of 3 years of age. After that, you can soak them deep 1x every 2 months and 0 gallons in the winter months or months that fall below 60 degrees F.

As far as the Heather goes, is it the Cuphea Hysopofolia? Those only need establishment watering with deep and less frequent watering after that.

Since you don’t have the ideal system now, the aforementioned workaround may help.

It is important to use the 1/2 to 1gph emitters on the plants and the higher 4gph on the tree so that when they do come on, they are more balanced for your condition.

In the perfect world, trees are on their own zone. Shade plants on their own. Sun on their own.

If and when you decide to set up your own system from scratch, be sure to micro-climatize as mentioned for best results.

Don’t forget to put in your Rachio as your final measure.


#5

Okay, converted to drip. I did everything on .5 and the trees each have 3x 4 gph. I did decide to do 1 gph between each of the small bushes outside our front windows though.

Do you have any recommendations for flow rate for a crepe myrtle?


#6

Crepe Myrtles are in the medium drought tolerant class. The will do well if you put only 2x 2gph emitters.

If any of these trees are brand new, I would recommend installing the Rainbird deep well watering tubes.

Your drip can go on an extension tube and be afixed into these deep watering tubes.


#7

Not brand new, everything is at least a year old at this point. I don’t have any 2 gph emitters, would I be okay with 1 4 gph emitter?

I have 2x 1 gph emitters within 12 inches or so of it right now for very small nearby plants. Any way to work off that?