What are Flex Monthly Schedules?
Flex Monthly Schedules determine an optimal, predictable monthly schedule using historical ET data to adjust the watering interval and duration on a monthly basis to follow seasonal changes. If enabled, Weather Intelligence features will skip waterings based on real time weather data.
How does the schedule change?
Below is a real example of a watering schedule for grass in Denver over the transition from spring to summer:
April: Every 4 days
June: Every 2 days
As you can see, the watering interval becomes more frequent as the weather gets warmer in the summer.
Why is this a better way to water?
First, let’s understand how we pick the duration and why that can stay fixed while the interval changes. It’s easiest if we think of your yard as a bucket. There are attributes like soil type and root depth (based on plant type) which determine how big your bucket is. The bigger the bucket, the longer you need to water in order to fill it. Based on your sprinkler head and the size of your bucket, we determine exactly how long it takes to go from an empty bucket to a full bucket.
We always wait until your bucket is half empty to water. In irrigation terms, this is called Management Allowed Depletion. Watering deep and only when the bucket is half empty promotes deep root growth and makes your plants more drought resistant. When we do water, we want to completely refill the bucket, but not let it spill over (i.e. runoff). This is called watering to Field Capacity, or soil saturation.
How is the schedule changing?
Your bucket empties over time due to a variety of factors which are primarily driven by the weather. Based on 30 years of weather history in your area, we can determine how quickly, on average, your bucket should empty for each month. The watering interval & duration are updated on a monthly basis to best match the historical ET data available to keep your lawn healthy while saving you water.
How is weather data used?
We all know historical data can differ from actual weather. To save every gallon possible, Weather Intelligence features will skip waterings based on real time weather data anytime it rains or is cooler than average. For example, Rain Skip will issue an automated rain delay anytime rain is observed or forecasted, and Saturation Skip will skip a watering anytime your lawn's "water tank" hasn't reached its allowed depletion threshold.
How can I edit the watering interval?
While you cannot directly edit the watering interval on Flex Monthly schedules, you can change advanced zone settings defaults that will impact the water requirements of the zone. If you want to learn more about how you can fine tune your Flex Monthly Schedules, please see: How do I edit intervals on Flex Monthly Schedules?