Understanding soil sensors - how would it work in this case?


I have a 0.60 acre land with 16 zones. There front and back yards. Front yard has 2 valve boxes and back yard has 2 as well.

Objective: Only run the sprinklers when the soil is not wet and water the lawn just enough

Now i m guessing this is impossible to do with 1 sensor. Because a sensor can only detect where its installed so while it may say zone 3 in the backyard is good, there is no way it will know zone 1 in front yard is dry. So unless I run 16 different sensors, this is impossible.

Is that a fair statement? Then there is no way to really know how long each zone needs to run.


Hey @Derstig-

Are you set on using soil sensors, or would you be open to using Rachio’s intelligence to monitor your soil moisture via zone settings and weather data? We do offer intelligent scheduling that only waters when our algorithms estimate your zone to be “empty”, and water only enough to “fill” that zone back up. This takes a bit of attention when you are getting set up, but we have many users that are very successful after that. Let me know if you are interested, and we can dive into how it works and how to get set up.

If you do want to do soil sensors, there may be some strategic ways to set them up. Keep in mind, the gen 2 only allows for two sensors to be installed. Also, these sensors work as a “pause” on all of your zones, it cannot be applied to just a grouping of zones. If your zones are relatively uniform, then you could work under the assumption that if one is dry, they all are. This will only really work if they are all about the same conditions.

Let me know what you think about these two options, and if you have any questions!

McKynzee :rachio:


I am not set on the soil sensors:) but I cannot get rachio to do this, I m not sure what I m doing wrong. In either of the flexible schedules (daily or monthly), even with smart/intelligence options turned on I do not see any moisture data. My controller never varies how much watering it does or when it does it. Its always same time every day, same amount. If it rains, it skips it yes but the next day it runs everything same amount.


Awesome! I think we can get flex daily working well for you. Have you set up your zones to have accurate settings? If not, the community can be very helpful in tuning there. The below post gives some awesome starting points for getting flex up and running.


I have done all of this already though, even went great lengths accurately estimating the square footage etc but I am not seeing any of the expected behavior. I cannot even see moisture level button when I go to edit a zone.


Hey @Derstig-

Not being able to see you moisture graphs is very strange. Do you mind DMing me your Rachio username so I can review your account?

McKynzee :rachio:


Hey @Derstig-

I reviewed your account, and the reason you are not able to see your moisture graphs is because you are currently using a Flexible Monthly schedule. Moisture graphs are only available on zones in a Flexible Daily schedule!



I was on that before and it still didnt show me. I will switch back now


Let me know if that resolves it- if not I can look into it again!