Soak cycle and run other zones?


I am looking to create the most efficient scheduling without adding a bunch of fixed scheduling.

My needs:
Everyday waterings
Front yard ( 2 zones) : runs at 2AM (13min each) & 7PM (13min each)
Garden (1 zone) : runs at 7AM (5min), 2PM (5min)
Bonsai (1 zone) : runs at 7:30 (1min), 12:30 (1min), 5:30(1min)

The question I have b/c I am not seeing how to customized a single schedule to accommodate my needs. Do I really have to make a schedule for each time I want to water (7 schedules seen above) b/c I can’t run other zones while others schedules soak?

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Have the same issue. Very frustrating as this was the entire point that this controller was recommended to me.

Yea, it would be nice if I could run 1 fixed daily schedule where I set a time (calendar). They buffer in soaks, or other features in between other waterings.

Even allowing users to customize the intervals timing would reduce my fixed to 3 instead of 7. This is an easy Dev change. Also wish I can water in seconds too.

Hey @KC1414 and @VegasBW!

I chatted with Kyle in a DM but wanted to share my response here too.

For this type of setup, a Fixed schedule is your best bet. When you want this level of control and predictability, Fixed schedules are your bread and butter. However, switching to Flex Monthly might be another good option. With Flex Monthly, you get additional watering smarts but more predictability than a Flex Daily schedule.


@laura.bauman Thanks for the reply. I’m already on a fixed schedule. The issue is that cycle/soak completely locks me out of using the whole irrigation system when any schedule is soaking. The entire marketing of this device is that it’s a “smart” controller, and yet it can’t recognize that the water is off and should be able to be reallocated to another cycle/soak schedule. At this point, this controller is no less work for me than my old controller. Is this a software update that Rachio could consider? Thanks.

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I believe the term “smart” is the weather API integration. This is part of the epa certification to consume less water.

Near as I can tell, you can do the first two with a Fixed schedule, Manual soak, and specify a LONG soak time, to give you the next watering time you want. Giving you 2 cycles per day. But not 3.

You know your plants (especially if you’re into Bonsai), but I have to ask: Will ANY yard or garden benefit from watering more than once a day? That tiny bit of water will either evaporate off, leaving your roots dry, and never really developing, or it would stay constantly soggy, I would think. Most soils should be saturated, then allowed to dry out part way. And water in seconds? If you really want to put less than a millimeter of water on your Bonsais, wouldn’t a Drip system make more sense?

Yes, I misspoke. I have 6 instead of seven.

This is too complicated and long to explain here. I am well aware and versed in the different methodologies and best practices of watering my plants.

In my case and others who share my situation, I don’t have the ability to have a perfect setup for each type of situation.

Lastly, I’m not the only one asking for these features.

IMHO, the only way to do exactly what you want is to have 7 separate Rachio schedules, one for each time and zone combination, or use a standard manually programmable controller, like the one you probably just replaced. Most cheapie controllers allow for up to 4 schedules (one for each of your zone types), each with up to 4 separate run times (I used mine to manually set my soaking time). You’d be able to simply set, manually, exactly what you want. And even varying it with Budget setting if you wanted to. The purpose of a Smart controller is to take your environmental inputs, and modify it throughout the year based on temperature, humidity, rain, etc. You aren’t using any of those features, so the logic of the controller is working against you. I’d return the Rachio as unsuitable for your purposes, and use your old one. Or I can send you my old one, it would do the job.

I am here to SECOND the suggestion that Rachio recognizes a soak cycle on one program and makes the system available for another program.
I’m trying to establish some sod on a job and the easiest way for multiple waterings was a cycle and soak to water multiple times per day. As this starts before the regular fixed schedule, the fixed schedule gets delayed until the evening.
Seems like a simple Dev improvement, and definitely a step in the “smart” direction. And to the OP’s point, it would then be 3 programs instead of 7.

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