Trying to understand the logic for flex monthly schedules

My zones have the following characteristics:

Zone 1: Cool Season Grass, Rotary Nozzle, Sandy Loam, Lots of Sun, Flat
Zone 2: Cool Season Grass, Rotary Nozzle, Sandy Loam, Lots of Shade, Flat

And yet when I create new (and only) schedule, with every day watering,

It gives me this schedule:
Zone 1: 17m
Zone 2: 23m

How does that make sense? One would think that the shady area would get less water.

Are you using Daily Flex, by chance?

Actually I am running monthly flex. Basically I took all the defaults and recommendations…

Is it watering both zones with the same frequency?

Yes, every single day.

Pito Salas
Faculty, Computer Science
Brandeis University

Huh. Sorry, but I got nothin’… Wait… go into Irrigation → Zones → <whatever zone> → Edit → Advanced and check the Nozzle Inches Per Hour (NIPR). Are they the same? I would expect so, since you configured them both as rotary, but…

In fact: Check all the Advanced settings of each. There has to be something in there to change the calculation. The Rachio 3 may be complicated, even arcane-seeming, at times, but it’s not arbitrary–at least not IME.

Maybe someone from rachio can answer the question because I didn’t touch any advanced settings. Thanks though.

Pito Salas
Faculty, Computer Science
Brandeis University

What I’m suggesting is look at them to see if there’s a difference between the two that might explain what you’re seeing. You don’t have to change anything. Won’t hurt anything to just look at them.

Sure: They are identical, except that Zone 1 has root depth of 5.91 inches and Zone 2 has root depth of 4 inches. I don’t know how it decided that, and I don’t know how that affects the watering time.

(The other difference is Area, Zone 1 is 886 sq feet, and Zone 2 is 719 sq feet but other reading told me that area is not used in this calculation…)

Can you try resetting zone 2 to default? Strange that they would get different root zone depths.


Now they are both 5.91 inches (whatever that means). Should I do something more? Zone 1 and 2 now both are asking for 35 minutes (daily) which seems excessive to me. What do you recommend?

Ok great, maybe zone 2 was updated by accident somehow.

Flex monthly does not water every day, the calendar will show how each month will changed based on time of year. If the frequency looks ok, but the minutes are still too high, I would just lower the recommended minutes.


Thanks, I’m good for now.

Deeper roots means more water to get to the root depth, I assume.

Or maybe I have to take back my comment about the Rachio 3 not being arbitrary? :rofl:

Just kidding :slight_smile: