Should I change from flex daily?


#1

I’m a newbie and have had the Rachio 3 for a couple of weeks. I think I set up my zones pretty well and flex daily seemed to get the hang of our lawn and gardens.

I see today that our schedule for zones 1, 2, 3 and 6 are pushed out to Tuesday with all 4 zones showing soil moisture of 6%. I realize the forecast for tomorrow shows a 50% chance for rain but it appears from the forecast I’ve looked at that altho it we may get rain, it appears we aren’t going to receive much. And today is going to max at about 93 and sunny.

My concern is this: I live in west Michigan, about 25 miles from Lake Michigan. Unfortunatley, forecasting here is not always that accurate because although weather systems generally come from the west, as they come across Lake Michigan, the lake often eats the storms up. What I’m saying is that the storms often, although not all the time, vanish as they cross Lake Michigan.

So how do I handle situations like today (and in the future)? It’s going to be a scorching hot day with zones essentially asking for water, a relatively high probable rain tomorrow with most likely not too much and an often forecast that overestimates the amount of rain in the area. If I were to manually have access, I would probably have watered last night. Maybe that’s how I should handle situations like today. Just wondering.


#2

@silverfox9142 - on the Rachio app there is a quick run button, hit that and you can fire off a schedule.

The Flex Daily schedules can take some fine tuning to dial in. I think Rachio recommends setting one zone on Flex Daily to get used to it and get it dialed in - one needs to make sure the values for root depth, soil type and especially precipitation rate and efficiency are set correctly. Flex Monthly is more predictable, but set the rain skip high enough to where the over forecast rain won’t cause the Rachio to skip in anticipation of rain.

Is the Rachio set to a specific weather station (and is that station close and accurate) or interpolated data?

Welcome to the Rachio community.


#3

I’m quite happy with how Flex Daily is responding to how I have set up the values. I have set a specific weather station that is about half a mile from our home. We have a Vantage Pro 2 and I had reviewed the data the specific weather station gives and it is almost identical to ours.

Does Flex Daily use the rain skip? I’ve got it set at .25 inches. I don’t want to set it too high or Rachio might overwater.

I had guessed that using the quick run button was what I should use but wanted other input to my newbie question. I’ll use it now for a few of the zones.

The software seems to be really well done. So your thought is that I should just set up one zone as Flex Daily and the rest as Flex Monthly?


#4

Great advice @DLane. Starting with one or two zones (front/back?) is a good way to see if flex daily works for your lawn. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get going, but fine tuning to your yard is key. The great thing is being able to watch soil moisture graphs simulate watering.

@silverfox9142

We are here to help, so if you have any specific questions or want to share screen shots of your settings this community is great for helping folks adjust their zones/schedules/etc.

As @DLane said, welcome!

:cheers:


#5

I really like Flex Daily, and more the most part I just let it do it’s thing. But I occasionally have the same problem you do — I live in an area where during the summer we almost always have a forecast of afternoon thunderstorms with a 20-30% chance of them happening. When I see that, I pretty much can accurately predict that I won’t get any rain. (In our case, the problem is that they are very spotty, and you never know what area is going to get them).

When this starts happening, I’ll normally start monitoring things, and if it looks like a zone is going to hit 0% on the moisture level chart (so it will be at or perhaps even below my allowed depletion), I will launch a manual watering for that zone. Luckily, that doesn’t happen too often, and a lot of times I find that it may not water for one day because the forecast didn’t happen, but normally the next day, not enough precip will be predicted to take care of things, so the system will go ahead and water.

I travel quite a bit and let the system run on autopilot, so I know that sometimes my yard doesn’t get rain or watering when it should because of this, but when I return home, my yard always looks great, so going down below the allowed depletion occasionally doesn’t seem to hurt it.

Another quick and dirty option would be to set your zones to empty. Unless a lot of precipitation is predicted for the next day, that will normally force a watering.

No, because it doesn’t need to — it is always calculating your moisture levels based on how much water the soil is getting and how much water the vegetation is using.

Congrats for going right to flex daily schedules! I did the same thing when they first came out, and I haven’t regretted it at all. They take some tuning to get them right, and luckily for new users there is a lot of help on this forum. And once set, they are pretty much leave them alone and forget them.

And just my two cents, I understand why advice is given to start with Flex Monthly, but in the case that both you and I have, I found that Flex monthly would end up underwatering and made things worse. Flex Daily does a much better job.