I just installed my Rachio gen 2 controller - really excited to get “smart” with my irrigation. I set up my device w/o any issues, and set up my 8 zone front/yard combined (incl a shrub/flowerbed) yard as best as I could with my limited knowledge of soil composition. I used the really helpful thread here (Using Web Soil Survey to define your soil settings) to determine that my soil on the US Soil Survey was “Ovan Clay” with an AWC of 0.18, and set the majority of my zones to:
-Warm season grass
-Lots of Sun
-Fixed Spray head
I was excited to try out the flexible schedules to see how the Rachio smart brain worked, but was surprised to see it water much longer than I currently water. My current schedule: M, W, F 10 min each zone (80 min total, 240 min weekly.) Rachio flex monthly: every 4 days, 290 min total on a smart water cycle each watering day. This can mean twice a week, which is more than twice my existing watering schedule.
Long-winded way to ask, is all this watering really necessary? I’m getting nice, healthy green grass with my existing fixed schedule of 10min per zone, and I’d like to think I’m putting in all my variables correctly (each zone has an AW figure of less than 0.18.) I was hopeful that the Rachio smart schedule would help me water for less time, but it’s going the other way. (To experiment, I changed the zones to just Clay and it didn’t really make a dent in the times.)
Is there anything else I should be considering here? Any other variables I should be accounting for (ie does sq ft area matter, etc) I’d hate to just go onto a fixed plan and remove the “smartness” of the Rachio right off the bat, but it is a LOT more water than what I’m currently using for a nice green lawn.