Trigger a device 20 minutes before Rachio starts a schedule using Smartthings or IFTTT?

So I use a Husqvarna Automower 450X to cut my grass. Husqvarna Automowers just got IFTTT integration. Unfortunately, it likes to eat my sprinkler heads causing damage to them. So now in IFTTT, I can send it to the charging station when a Rachio schedule starts.

The only problem is it takes it up to 20 minutes to get to the charging station so the active heads are in danger for up to 20 minutes. I need to send it to the charging station 20 minutes before a Rachio schedule (Flex daily) starts.

One way I can think to do this is to trigger a device (ie. an outlet connected to my Smartthings hub) using my Smartthings hub or IFTTT, 20 minutes before a Rachio schedule starts. I can then use IFTTT to tell the Automower to go to the charging station when the device is triggered.

How can I accomplish this? Can Smartthings or Rachio trigger a device 20 minutes before a schedule starts? Is there another way to do this?


Stupid question. If you were to tell your Automower to get to the charging station every day before the Flex Daily start time (whether Flex Daily is going to run or not) would the lawn still get mowed? If so, you wouldn’t have to do another integration. If you are currently using a Flex Daily that’s programmed to End Before Sunrise, you could just go in and look at your history and see when that watering starts. Then reset your schedule to have that Specific Start Time.

If this would work for you, it would be a lot simpler.

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That’s a great question! The easiest way to avoid the Rachio controlled irrigation & the Automower running at the same time would be to set up a schedule in the Automower app telling it not to run for 4 hours per day to cover the varying Flex Daily schedule durations. So it would go to it’s charging staion and sit for 4 hours per day. The problem with that is my Automower is rated for 1.25 acres which is what I have. For it to keep 1.25 acres cut, it needs to run as much as possible or it will start to miss spots. That’s what happened last year.

So the less down time, the better. Now that the Automower has IFTTT integration, I can have it go to the charging station when the Flex Daily schedule starts and then start cutting when the last zone stops. This has greatly reduced downtime (about 15 hours less downtime per week). But this way will lead to sprinkler head damage as the first couple of zones run while the Automower is gong to the charging station. I need to give it a head start. This will minimize downtime yet damage free.

To give the Automower a head start, the only ideas I can come up with is 1) to create a fake zone somehow that runs for 20 minutes every time the irrigation schedule starts or 2) have Rachio trigger something (ie. a wall outlet connected to Smartthings) 20 minutes before the irrigation schedule is to start. Then use the outlet as a trigger to tell the Automower to go to the charging station via IFTTT. This would allow the use of Rachio-Smarthings-IFTTT to send the Automower to the charging station 20 minutes early.

At the end of the daily irrigation I simply use Rachio schedule completed as a trigger in IFTTT to tell the Automower to start cutting again.

OK. I’m stumped. I don’t know Smartthings, but only IFTTT, and I don’t see any where to do it there. You can tell when a schedule starts or stops, but no way to know ahead of time that it’s going to run. The fake zone is a clever idea, but since you are running Flex Daily and it depends on moisture levels to run, you’re going to have to have a fake zone that exactly matches each zone so that they stay in sync (if you are lucky, you might already have some exact matching zones, so you might be able to cut down on the number of fake zones). But that also means you have to have enough unused zones on your Rachio. Plus you’d need to go in occasionally and make sure the fake is still in sync with the real zone. (I have two overlapping zones in my backyard that I try to keep synced, but occasionally something will happen and the moisture levels will be different).

Of course, another solution would be to just go to fixed schedules, but then that defeats the whole beauty of Flex Daily, and watering just what you need.

Just as a side note, if you have the mower start again as soon as the watering stops, might the grass be too wet for the mower?

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@jmed999 Would love pictures of this magical mowing robot…




This isn’t where I bought mine. It’s just a good video.

It’s perfectly fine for it to cut the grass when wet. It uses 3 small razor blades and actually does it’s best work in the rain. Thanks for your replies!

That looks amazing! I’m going to try and get one for the office :wink:


Would it be possible to have IFTTT run Rachio only when Automower is in the charger (not sure what the IFTTT triggers for Rachio and Automower are)?

With the 450XH that would give Rachio 4 hours of watering each day in between mowing sessions.

Not sure if the Rachio could handle the frequent starts/stops?

How do you like your Automower? How well does the 450XH handle 1.25 acres? Does it need to run around the clock to keep up?