I just installed my controller. On my old fixed controller, I was doing about 5 minutes three times a week, which seemed to work about fine (this time of year, July and August somewhat more). The suggested schedule with the Rachio controller was over an hour per zone, once and then nothing for two weeks, but then three times in the next week (and it doesn’t show anything for the next month, but I’m not sure what that means). In setting things up, part of the problem is that I’ve got zones with mixtures of trees and shrubs, and mixtures of amount of sun. I’m also guessing about soil type. But none of that should make things so off-base as to call for more than 10 times as much watering as I’ve found adequate in the past.
Flex daily does do deeper, more infrequent waterings. Mixed vegetation zones aren’t ideal for it in general just due to the assumptions it makes in regards to soil moisture. I’d recommend picking one or two non-mixed vegetation zones and see how it performs. You can always adjust the watering minutes down if you feel it is applying too much. Here is some good information in regards to the different schedule types.
Thanks. But why would it have a two-week gap and then have three times in a week? And why doesn’t it show what the next month’s schedule is?
The gap could be due to forecasted precipitation or if you’ve chosen a crop type with deep roots (i.e. shrubs, trees) we assume deep but infrequent watering.
We only get forecasted weather for two weeks, and flex daily works off of real time weather.
If you would like a more predictable, but monthly adjusting schedule I would try flex monthly. You can view the full watering duration and frequency on the calendar.
Thanks (and I didn’t respond sooner since I didn’t want to bug you on the weekend) but that doesn’t seem to account for things. After we communicated, I set up a fixed schedule, but deactivated those and reactivated the flex daily. It’s calling for nearly six hours (when I used to do about 30 minutes) today and Sunday (cool days), then nothing for 12 days, even though we have predictions of quite hot temperatures during much of that.
I saw in an earlier thread of a similar perceived problem an offer to look at the data and try to figure out what’s going on. If someone can do that, that would be great. (Email for account is same as for forum.) There really are 2 questions. First is what’s discussed above. The other is the amount of time called for. Even accepting the idea (which I assume does make sense) of longer deeper watering for shrubs, the amount of time called for here is SO much more than has sufficed for me, that I just don’t get it. Maybe I have some just totally wrong guesses about things? But even putting aside the amount, I’m really surprised about the scheduling discussed above.
(I’m also surprised that the program doesn’t adjust for weather through adjustments in time as opposed to schedule. If, e.g. there were a 20 % decrease in transpiration, you can’t really do a 20 % decrease in scheduling of say 3 times a week, only a 1/3, while you could easily do a decrease in time. Just curious. And I’ll be the first to admit I know next to nothing about the science behind your scheduling, but this is a lay person’s reaction.)
What kind of zone are we talking about? You’ve given no information to go off of. Are these grass zones with spray nozzles? Shrub zones with bubblers? Tree zones with drip emitters? It all make a huge difference. There are two things here…first, you have always water “wrong”, and Rachio waters “right”. Long, infrequent waterings promote deeper, healthier root systems that are more drought tolerant. Second, I’ll bet your zones aren’t set up quite right for your specific system, so give us some details of what you have.
For reference, my tree and shrub zones each run for shy of 4 hours each. It took me a while to re-train my plants for this type of watering after watering wrong for so many years…