So I need to start with my husband set up the Rachio on a rental we have in AZ. I know very little about the app and he is so busy with work, Im afraid the yard will suffer. All has been great, but now that it is heating up in AZ, the system is not coming on when its told (settings). Meaning it should be wrapped up by 7am due to heat but I get notifications on the app at 10:30am saying the system will now run for 326 minutes (mostly all drip and sprinklers only for grass). Tenant says grass is dry. Does this mean we need to just manually set the stations ourselves (7)? when to come off and on, how long etc? I thought the reason we bought it , since we are out or state, was to read the current weather conditions in the areas and know when to come on. Am I wrong? Signed a frustrated wife.
Well, I guess there are a couple questions here…lets start by working on the schedule. Can you post screen shots of your schedule settings? The house is in AZ, but where are you? Obviously, schedule will run based on the location the controller is set to, so you may get notifications that don’t quite line up, just because of time zone differences.
Ok, a whole lot to unpack here…
First off, you are getting the notifications at 10:30 because you have your flex daily drip set to end by Sunrise, and the whole drip schedule takes 19 hours to complete, so there might be times that the schedule has to start at about 10:30am the day prior depending on how many zones are scheduled to run. Depending on your zone settings, Flex daily won’t always run all zones the same day. It adjusts as needed. FYI, if using emitter style drip (which is most common in AZ), watering during the day isn’t an issue, in fact can help plants in the heat of the day…
As for the grass, without knowing what kind of sprinklers are there, I struggle to understand how the grass would be dry. You have fixed schedules 7 days a week, watering 11 minutes per zone, TWICE A DAY! Unless your zone settings are WAY off for precipitation rate and you have some very low flow nozzles (like Hunter MP-Rotators), that is a ton of water if those are standard pop up spray nozzles.
Thank you so much. I will show this to my husband. Each grass (front and rear) has 2 zones and the landscaper mentioned it needed more water. BUT when the sprinker guy went out, he mentioned that the grass heads (just pop ups) needed adjusting so hopefully that fixed the issue and it was just lack of coverage. Not overall water. So would you suggest tweaking anything? Resetting all and just program manually, station by station or let the auto system go? Arborist & sprinkler co all say to not to water during the day. Even with emitters as it’s 105. I just want to the yard to stay green but dont want my tenants to have a $800 water bill either.
I’m in AZ as well, born and raised. Drip is fine to run during the day. Those emitters are soaking the ground under the rock, and will see little to no evaporation loss. On extremely hot days, the watering can actually be beneficial. Grass, not so much. Mainly because of the almost instant evaporation and wasted water.
I mean, if you have pop up spray heads, they can have a precipitation rate anywhere from 1.5" - over 3"/hr depending on manufacturer and model. So, 11 minutes isn’t horrible, but doing it 7 days a week, TWICE A DAY is A LOT! Your lawn really would benefit from longer watering to get a deeper soak. Chances are you are only wetting the top 2" of soil, while the bermuda roots are sitting at 6", starving for water.
I have my grass zones on a Flex Daily schedule, and right now it is running 4-5 times a week (more than normal this time of year, but I did a bunch soil work and dethatching this year, so I have my root depth set pretty shallow to get the Bermuda to bounce back out of dormancy this year), but only once in the early morning. Each watering puts down about .3" of water with my current settings (I have low flow MP-Rotator nozzles).
Glad to hear your are in AZ and have experience! We are getting sooo many opinions from people there. So do you suggest to be on a Flex Schedule for the yard?
I love Flex Daily. When properly set up, it works very well. But you being remote, and not having daily interactions with how it is looking, plus ( no offence, and correct me if I’m wrong) a limited knowledge of what the zone sprinklers are (manufacture, model, precipitation rate), I’m not sure it would be a good idea to try and switch mid summer. Sounds like the grass is already stressed, and while trying to dial in your settings, I’d hate to see it get worse. The current stress the grass is under I believe is from short, frequent waterings that aren’t getting to the root zone of the grass. You are watering the top surface of the soil, but there isn’t enough water to soak into that root zone. If you deleted the evening run, and made the morning run 22 minutes per zone (maybe more depending on the sprinkler nozzles you have), I think you’d be in a MUCH better situation as a start.
Thank you. Absolutely no offense taken. This is alll my husbands wheel house but he has just been so busy, its not getting addressed so I thought I could step in and help. Not sure if that’s is the best mode though…lol… anyway, I printed out your comments and will let him review. Thank you again for your time and input. We do use a company called Manning Sprinkler there and they have been great. They will be out Friday to repair a valve so Im going to go over each watering station with him while he’s there as he sees the system run & see what he recommends. Thanks again!
Curious to see what they say. If they are recommending twice daily watering like it is currently set to, I’m leery of their recommendations
I think the grass just recently got bumped to 2 x a day after comments from the landscaper and sprinkler guy. But I will ask about going longer for the grasses …earlier in the day as well. 1 x. So it goes deeper.