Watering daily, do I have the wrong soil type?

I’m using a Rachio 3 with a Flex Daily schedule. It is watering every single day and I’m trying to figure out my settings.

The main issue I believe is the soil type, which is set as loamy sand. The app shows available water as .07 inches. Loamy sand is accurate for my area, however, before the sod went down 4 inches of topsoil was placed on top of my native dirt. My root depth is current set to 6 inches (sod was new very early this spring).


Try changing the soil type to something closer to your root zone soil, like loam or sandy loam. Note the available water under advanced settings before and after the change. If the watering frequency is still not right, then you can adjust the available water parameter directly under advanced settings to tweak the watering frequency.

These changes will affect the frequency of watering, not the total watering time over a long period (e.g… month or more). If you are overwatering, the crop coefficient is the setting you probably want to tweak.

Changing it to Sandy Loam increased watering time from 31 minutes to 41 minutes per day and has it skipping about one in 4 or 5 days.

Changing it to Loam increasing watering time from 31 minutes to 58 minutes per day, but now has it watering roughly every other day.

So the the total water delivered over the month should stay the same?

Those watering times feel too long to me. I’ll read up on the crop coefficient setting. Any recommended suggestions on that?

Crop coefficient basically reflects evaporation.
So increasing it will make it water more frequently, and lowering it will increase time between watering.

It may very well be that you will have to water almost every day, depending on where you live. With Loamy Sand, the Available Water in/in = 0.07. With a root depth of 6" and 50% allowable depletion, Rachio will only water 0.07 x 6 x 0.50 = 0.21" per day. More will just run off, you soil (if it’s the right type) just can’t store it. And if it’s hot where you live, your ET (moisture evaporation) may be close to that (it’s 0.19 to 0.21 here in SC right now). That’s why your system is watering (almost) every day.

If you think your soil can absorb more, simply set the Available Water higher (it’s 0.17 for Clay Loam where I live). Maybe try 0.10 to start. If it’s too high, you’ll know right away: water will lay on the ground or run off, rather than be absorbed. If that’s the case, adjust it back. If the soil can take it, use the higher value to water more, and that will eventually reduce watering frequency. But I think you will know if it’s too high, with too much water.

Thank you, this was very helpful. The soil can definitely take it. I’m running at .17 right now and it appears to be just right. I’m monitoring it pretty closely over the next week to see what happens.