Can we get a zone designed for pots? Some settings would not apply, such as area. Anybody have suggestions on what would be useful in this type of zone? There are a lot of variables, such as pot size and plant type.
Thanks @JimParker - I’d like to piggyback on this. We just got a new Gen3, haven’t installed it yet. I’ve installed a new 4 zone system for my yard (three for the yard, one for pots/patio). We rotate our vegetables and flowers to different areas of the yard based on common guidelines. Our zones are Not based on location. All of the zones lead to all locations locations in the yard, from 3/4" to 1/2", down to 1/4" tubing that serves individual areas, and emitters. So two plants in close proximity might be in different “virtual zones”, and on different watering schedules. If we move those plants to a different physical location (or start a new mini crop of the same type), they stay in the same “zone” because they need the same watering pattern. Wherever we put a specific kind of plant, it will still get the proper sun and may have similar soil.
Sure, there are nuances, like what do we do if we put two plants of the same type in areas with different soil types? Well, we’re trying to get a limited set of these parameters to fit within the confines of three zones. That’s the game, and I think that’s what Jim is facing with different plants in close proximity with different requirements.
Yes, pots would be a good place to start. We have one zone dedicated to shaded pots which may not be subject to the same wind, sunlight, or rain as the rest of the yard. To get more diversity within the single zone, the only thing we can think of now is to just use adjustable emitters, and use those to fine-tune more or less GPH above whatever is managed by the schedule.
All guidelines for irrigation products are based on physical zone location. I’m hoping to find folks who would like to share notes on this concept of “virtual zones”, how to manage them through Rachio scheduling, and other ways to just make it all work well. I expect it will take us a long time here to see exactly how to match specific watering patterns with specific plants types in our geo area in different parts of our yard. (As a tech nerd I see all of this going into a database and using the API to help.)
I’ll stop for now. I’d be very happy if someone says “go to this link and there’s a ton of info about how to do that”. Hey, I can dream.
Wow, no responses?
Is this too unusual, or is the challenge just not described well?
Hi @TonyG, I hear what you are asking.
There is a calculator to help set up a zone for drip emitters - Drip Emitter Calculator for Precipitation Rate & Area
I think what you are wanting is a guideline on how to segregate pots into different zones and set up schedules for them.
I added a ‘container’ zone to my Rachio, with emitters for containers spread over most of my patio and back yard garden beds. My wife is the gardener, I just try to keep her happy. There are probably over 50 containers in this zone now. I wish I would have created 3 zones instead of 1, and run 3 lines of tubing to service the areas with containers (anywhere except for the lawns). I notice, that when we are home, most containers still get watered by hand, that the Rachio is mostly used on a manual program for this zone when we are away on vacation to keep container plants alive.
The drip irrigation design rule that I read was to determine the ‘base’ plant with the least water requirements, use a small emitter on the base plant, then larger emitters on other plants to irrigate with the correct amount of gallons/day for each plant depending on the schedule duration. What is missing, is the frequency of watering. The plants in the small pots usually need more frequent waterings, the larger pots/planters take longer to dry out. Some pots do not tolerate over-watering, some like to get saturated, then dry out completely before wanting more etc. Then you get variations of sun, shade, rain vs no rain. The combinations become endless.
So if I started over, I would have 3 zones based on watering frequency (daily, every 3 days, weekly), and set up a fixed schedule for each. I would find the base plant for each zone, use a 0.5 GPH emitter and calculate the run time, and go from there. It wouldn’t be perfect, but better than a single zone.
For larger pots, I use adjustable bubblers (shrubbler, micro bubbler) to adjust water volume instead of fixed emitters for larger pots.
Hope that helps.