Runtime truncated

Got this message today from the system on a zone set up for the new flex schedule.

                        Today at 3:45 AM
                        The runtime for zone 10 FY Trees Red in FY Trees was truncated from 180 to 180. Please check your zone configuration.

I can’t figure out what it is trying to tell me.

Little confusing, but we never allow flex schedule watering to go over 3 hours, safeguard :wink:

so since trees need deep and long watering, then trees should never be on flex scheduling since you can’t get enough water? Would normally water these trees 8-10 hours on a less frequent schedule.

It’s open for discussion, we wanted to let flex schedules harden for a bit and make sure there were no unforeseen consequences. I can see increasing that hard limit, it’s a trivial change.


the limit probably makes sense for most vegetation types, but perhaps there needs to be a higher limit if the type selected is trees? It’s easy to get around by just using a fixed schedule, but of course these are big water users that would be nice to get on flex schedule I think (based on faith so far, but at least it makes sense).

Aw, great point. What do you think a reasonable limit is?

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix gives this advice (I’m thinking from the standpoint of someone who lives in desert) and of course drip is the normal watering method here.

“DRIP IRRIGATION: If you are using a drip irrigation system, be sure that the system runs at least two hours for each watering. This will ensure that the plant is being watered deeply. About every fifth watering, let the drip run for 8-10 hours.This will leach away any salts that have accumulated around the plant.”

So I think 8 -10 hours would be reasonable limit. We have high alkaline soil, so if we don’t get watering that goes beyond root zone, then there is salt buildup which will kill plant.

Out side the scope of this post, another nice feature would be something around alkaline soil, which would automatically do a long cycle and flush salts periodically. Lots of places have this kind of soil

Ok, that sounds reasonable. We can do a max runtime per crop type. Will try to get this out in next few days.


@garmanmd Code done, will go out tonight or tomorrow. New max runtimes, based on root zone depth.

Annual 3hr
Xeriscape 3hr
Warm Season Grass 3hr
Cool Season Grass 3hr
Perennial 5hr
Trees 10hr
Shrubs 8hr


wow that is incredibly fast. You must have some good structured code.

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werd…calcium is good at removing salts from the soil as well, just if you find yourself needing a very fast method for removing salts.

calcium is probably the worst thing you could do. The problem starts with calcium binding together with the soil to form caliche or hardpan. This is a rock like layer that prevent good drainage and when the water sits the salt leaches out. Soil sulfer can help break up the calcium. If you are planting, you need to use a pick to break it up and replace with soil. I have even used a jack hammer to try to get through it when planting a larger citrus tree.

Reference to very basic article about caliche from wikipedia

your point is well received…
so i would agree with you if the soil is sodic, regardless, i would use a soil sample and a touch of reading because if you soil is sodic this probably is not the correct approach (although i can point you to a few articles that use gypsium, with is an anion, not a cation form of calcium). nothing beats a good hard rain from mother nature, but if there are traces of salts in the water supply (well water), a long flush might not work, is the only reason i brought it up.

Here is a quote from a booklet entitled “Landscaping by the Numbers, a guide for the desert” published by which is a consortium of the Phoenix area cities

Salt accumulation - Salt buildup may occur due to the watering and evaporation cycle. Plants may eventually show salt burn symptoms such as leaf yellowing and leaf burn. Leach salts from the soil two to three times each summer by irrigating twice as long as usual. Heavy summer rains might also leach the salts away

So without getting into the weeds of the chemistry which I frankly don’t understand and is probably different than other parts of the country, this is the advice given by multiple sources for watering here in the desert. So the point is, that sometimes a good soak is helpful. We sometimes get a rain that does that, but most of our rains are short. We only get about 6-7 inches a year.

I can also affirm that the “may” in the quote above is really “will”. Most of us have moved to more desert adapted plants which are less affected by this issue. But still many plants are.

@garmanmd, awesome gardens! I try go there every time I’m in Phoenix.

That’s a great idea! I’m sure there’s other soil and vegetation types we could explore to make the Iro smarter. Just curious, do you think all users would enjoy more choices, or do you think the current choices overwhelm?

Best, Emil

I can’t speak for other users, and of course my interest is around desert like conditions. Of course much would also be the same for eastern Ca, Las Vegas, Part of Nevada, NM etc.

One alternative might be to keep it simple with the current choices, but then have an advanced or expanded choice that has some more niche oriented focus. Just a thought, because for many users too many choices become overwhelming.

I’m going to a Desert Botanical Garden class on watering on Wednesday. Be interested to see if I pick up other insights. Our climate is hard on plants in the summertime especially.

That’s a great publication and has been among my gardening books for several years. While written for the Arizona deserts, it contains lots of practical advice–some that could be used in other climates. Here’s a link:

There are some worksheets to help determine run times, a picture to help estimate emitter flow, an explanation of the can test to measure lawn sprinkler output, and some photos of well planned xeriscape gardens. That’s how we landscaped our front yard years ago.

@garmanmd, you’ll enjoy the class at DBG and if you aren’t already a member, consider joining. You’ll get notifications of upcoming classes and discounts. :wink:

I’ve been a member for many years. Yes it’s a great garden

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Me, too. They offer so many terrific classes, I sometimes have a difficult time choosing. :smile:
Last year I considered the desert landscaping school, but opted for more Master Gardner classes instead.

On this property the Iro gets put through its paces. We have xeriscape in front, in back: mature citrus trees, a small patch of lawn, veggie gardens and shade and flower gardens.

I :heart: my Iros.

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