Veggie garden being watered way too often with smart schedule

Hello, I have large raised bed planters for a veggie garden that has drip tapes in it. A few months ago I have crafted a schedule using flex smart daily, smart cycle for that irrigation line and it ends up watering every day or two days for 30 min. A lot of shallow short watering which makes some of my plants not super happy, I even had some slight rot on a couple of them.

I would have really liked for the smart schedule to come up with something more spaced in time and deeper watering instead of watering the top layer every day. Any recommendation on how to do that without going full manual ?

Zone Setup
Vegetation type : vegetable garden
Spray head: drip line
Soil type: sandy loam
Exposure: lot of sun
Slope: flat
Advanced: haven’t touched anything in there except the area

I have a similar set up but with
Spray Head: Emitter
Soil Type: Loam

I do not know what the defaults were for advanced, but some of those can make a big difference. Can you post your advanced values please? I do not have mine dialed in yet. I get cracks in my tomatoes which they say (if I remember correctly) is from deep, infrequent watering.

Here’s a screenshot of it. Yes cracks in tomatoes usually because of watering bursts

Nice sized garden (wish mine was that big).

My advanced settings are listed below with yours in parenthesis:
Available Water: 0.17 in/in (0,12)
Root Depth: 5" (4")
Allowed Depletion: 50% (same)
Efficiency: 90% (same)
Crop Coefficient: also locked, but currently 66% (85%)
Nozzle Inches Per Hour: 0.38" (0.5")

To me, that is not much difference. I am questioning my nozzle"/hr and yours actually, but maybe that is about right??? My lawn is at 0.5", measured. 0.5 seem high for a drip lien, but maybe not. It is possible the root depth is too deep and would make the watering more bursty.

Yea I haven’t looked in any of the advanced settings except square footage ! What kind of watering schedule does Rachio give you with your settings ?

It would make sense that root depth has an impact for the watering duration, I guess I’ll have to do some tests.

All my other zone the smart scheduling works really well, I’m not sure why it is so off on my veggie garden.

I was hoping you would not ask me that ;-). We are still relatively cool and precipitation which obviously affects that. Off and on rain is predicted as through this weekend, yet seeing on the calendar Thu and Mon for 71 minutes.

In “advanced”, I would set the root depth deeper.

What are you recommending? I am concerned about my tomatoes cracking more.

My first thoughts, and maybe I’ll gather some additional along the way…

Raised beds always pose an interesting soil condition in my opinion. Many times they are a mix of native soil, and a ton of potting soil, which is HEAVY sand and organic material, creating very good draining soil. @Thomas_Lerman might look at moving to a sandy loam, to bring your AW down. That would help your frequency.

As for @grallik running too often, it looks like you have your crop coefficient seasonally “unlocked”, and the 85% might be a tad high for your weather…I really don’t know. You could try either locking so that Rachio controls it (and you might end up closer to @Thomas_Lerman figure of 66%), or you could manualy adjust it down to see if that pushing the frequency out enough.

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Great idea, thank you. Bumping from loam to sandy loam will change my AW? I mostly asked because the AW still is the same, but the frequency has changed in the calendar. If I still get split tomatoes, bump it again? “HEAVY sand and organic material” meaning a high concentration of both?

Thanks I’ll do some testing with that and roots depth. I’m in California central coast (hot day, cool nights in the heart of summer).

Typically if you are planting a garden, you probably used a mixture of native and some kind of potting soil, which tends to have a lot of sand and organic material to aid in nutrients, as well as drainage. If your native was loam, one could assume that adding a sandy potting soil would change the structure to a more sandy loam…

If it is an older garden, not routinely refreshed, then the organic material is probably gone, but the sandy soil is still there…

I got mine from a place that composted their material, so do not know exactly what was in it. Definitely local, but not anything from my own soil. Plus, I do routinely add Organic Nutri-Mulch to it with other good stuff. It is good to know that sandy is a common additive. Thank you.

Grab a couple handfuls and do a mason jar test. I’d bet you’d be pretty surprised at the amount of sand…

Good point, will have to do that. I probably just presumed what it is composed of. Plus, compared to my native soil, it does not look like it has ANY sand. :wink:

Many bags labled SOIL are not soil according the definition,
‘Soil must be 30 to 45% mineral’. They are actually bags of amendment with a small percentage 1-10% of mineral material.

This drives me crazier.

I have read that one cause of split tomatoes is irregular irrigation.

Yes, that is my understanding too. Adjusted my soil type as I believe I had deep, infrequent watering (irregular) as mentioned in one of my earlier posts. Thank you for you comment. Will see how it does this year and see if I need to adjust it more (if I do not do a mason soil test before that).