Zone-centric versus Schedule-centric

Traditional, dumb controllers make you define schedules, then attach zones to the schedules.
Create a display similar to Microsoft Outlook Schedule: days across the top, hours of day up the side, zones in the cells.
Program days/times from the zone’s point of view, not a “schedule”.
Allow both graphical drag/drop capabilities and keyboard entry, again, similar to Outlook Calendar.


I understand your line of thought, but there are many places where watering is not allowed between 10 am and 6 pm. The start time known as a program on standard controllers is still important, but with Rachio only zones that need irrigation will water

Clearly, there are many factors in play. That is why software-based apps are so interesting.
Just like Outlook has the concept of a “working day”, rachio can “grey out” the hours when watering is prohibited.

I am not suggesting that you eliminate the concept of the schedule. I’m sure many people find it intuitive and useful.
I am suggesting that in addition, you create a zone-centric GUI.

In my family, I’m the software engineer that deals with the inanimate objects, my wife tends to the living things.
She keeps talking the grass versus the azalea’s versus the fruit trees.
That is, she thinks in terms of each zone’s needs, not there are 4 scheduled start times and which zone goes into which schedule. Today, I do that translation for our dumb controllers.
With rachio, I’d like the GUI to mimic her point of view and show her, with perhaps color coding, when each zone gets watered.


This is my thinking, exactly. I almost returned my rachio because of this.

When I think of watering, I think of how much watering a particular zone is getting: “The azaleas in front are getting too much water”, or “The flower garden isn’t being watered frequently enough”, or “The drip along the side never gets a chance to dry out a bit”.

I know rachio is smart about watering, and for an established lawn, that works great. But I have one lawn zone and 15 non-lawn zones. Even with the most accurate weather information, soil condition, emitter type, etc., nothing can match looking at the plants and seeing how well they are doing with the water they are getting. And then adjusting for that zone.

The process for changing the flower garden zone from watering every 4 days to every 3 days is painful:

  • Find the schedule it is in now (which means opening each schedule and seeing if this zone is there)
  • Remove this zone from this schedule
  • Create a new schedule that waters every 3 days (if I don’t already have one).
  • Add this zone to this new schedule.

I’d like to be able to:

  • Open that zone
  • Change watering days to 3

I understand this is conceptual change to the UI, so here is an alternative:

  • Open that zone
  • See that it is in schedule “Every 4 days”. Change it (right there) to be on the schedule “Every 3 days”.


I would love to see this change as well. Surprised to see such little activity on this thread.