Watering schedule optimization


#1

Hi I am working on optimizing my watering schedules. My goal is overall plant health and if i can get water saving then great. Note I had read through a few of the posts and I identified a key item is defining custom nozzles an ensuring my setting are accurate. I understand soil type and root depth are also important parameters.
I have added all the nozzle types and their associated flow rate into the ios mobile app. I am not trying to associate the various nozzles with each zone. What I am finding is that only 1 nozzle can be associated with each zone. Is that by default? am I correct in assuming i should select the nozzle with highest flow rate. My lawn does not just have 1 nozzle type. there various iterations of nozzle for example 15 full, 5 Half and 15 quarter that have their respective flow rates. Please advise
I have 2 type of areas. Lawn and planter area.

Planter area
In the planter zone I have the following: 2 Bubbler nozzle types and here are the details of the 3 areas that are controlled by single solenoid.
area 1: 5x7 flat
area 2:5x10 steep slope
area 3: 7x 15 steep slope
here is the vegetation I have: carpet rose, pumpkim pie african daisy, sweet memories purple sky flower, plumeria, butterfly pea shrub
nozzles: bubblers rainbird MPR 5Q and 5H
1 solonoid
soil: Loamy sand

Lawn area
28x56 a mix of cold weather grasses , slight slope
2 solonoids
Nozzle types: Raibird MPR 15fFull, 15Q, 15h, 12F,H, 12Q.
soil: Loamy Sand

Any help in optimizing my setting is appreciated. I am in San Diego about 10-15 miles inland.


#2

So, nozzle types can get confusing. First off it’s misnamed. The nozzle type defines the percipitation rate of the zone, not of each head. The measurement is in inches per hour and it used to tell rachio that if it ran the zone for one hour, how much water has accumulated on the surface. This is used with some intergalactic formulas to compute how often the zone needs to stop to let the water soak in. So with your heads I would define a custom nozzle that is set to 1.58 inches an hour to start, it’s up to the pattern of heads and the radius. Use this chart to get a better starting point, http://www.rainbird.com/documents/turf/chart_mprnozzles.pdf
The best way to get an accurate measurement is to get catch cups and run a test…that will give you the pr and the efficiency of the system.

The bubblers are harder to figure out. There is a spreadsheet floating around on the forum to help you compute that.

Once you have these numbers nailed down, you can start using a flex schedule which gives you the best in plant health with the least amount of water to maintain that level health.


#3

@Plainsane.

Thanks for the response. I actually used the Rainbird MPR nozzle guide to actually configure what I understood to be nozzles and not the zone flow rate. It sounds like that is correct and what I read is the lowest flow is what is usually added as the flow rate for the zone. I noticed there is recommended calculation to use the lowest flow rate in the cup test. Did I understand the correctly or do I need to calculate an average?
Can anyone point me to spreadsheet on how to better calculate bubbler flow rate, please?


#4

Take a look at this - it’s for drip, but I think the same logic might work with the bubblers. Drip Emitter Calculator for Precipitation Rate & Area


#5

If you do a catch cup test, there is a formula to compute pr, then there is a,formula to compute efficiency. I recommend this approach as it will increase the accuracy of the gallons used in their graph.