Moisture Sensor Integration


Here in coastal VA, I’ve gotten my Rachio tweaked to where it does well 90% of the time, but that 10% of the time … if I’m not paying attention … can really stress the hell out of my lawn

It’s summer #2 of me tweaking with things, and I still have to run out and stick a screwdriver in the ground every so often to verify things when the system goes more than 2-3 days w/o watering. I’d rather just have a sensor that knows for sure when the ground is actually dry than managing a whole bunch of inputs that contribute majorly towards making an educated guess as to when the grass should be dry.

Still love my Rachio. But moisture sensors would take the remaining guesswork out of the way for me…


this place has one more left at half price.


The Rachio controller works great for most things but it can not predict environmental conditions in certain situations. For example, I use one one of my zone outputs to control my vertical hydroponic system that is located in a greenhouse. Because of this, I must use a soil sensor to adjust to the needed settings (this includes adjusting the water zone times).


Looks like a low end product when I look at their website.


I’ve encouraged Rachio to permit more sensor inputs. The number one selling soil moisture sensor in the residential commercial irrigation industry is the Toro Precision Soil Sensor Kit. Toro brought this over from their golf irrigation division. I see no reason why it could not work with Rachio, but I cannot get a definite answer. Rachio is there a way you could try it out?


This Toro Precision Soil Sensor device uses batteries (no solar power) and doesn’t measure nutrition or light (lux). Okay for grass but pretty much would be worthless for gardens. The EDYN device provides more data sets plus has supported smart device apps. I see this toro device as old technology, not to mention you would need to hardware the Toro receiver on Rachio side. This wouldn’t be the case for the EDYN device since it utilizes standard networking communications (ex. DHCP).


The Toro PSSKIT uses radio frequency to communicate back to the module wired into the controller. Yes, it uses batteries. But i used one for two years with a standard controller. I had outstanding results This EDYN product is a novelty item I would say. Doubt the company’s long term viability. Best measure of soil properties is a soil test. To get to high end results and measurements you are up to the level of Dynamax products.


Not sure why you want to use RF (instead of WiFi) and an additional piece of hardware hardwired to the Rachio controller. Physical (hardwired) inputs are nice to have but certainly a dieing technology (especially for residential use). The EDYN sensor is working great for me. In fact I just purchased another one. With everything it monitors and simplicity to set up, it’s going to be around for a while. So I disagree with your comment about it being a novelty item. I have tested this device myself and have over 100 plants that are growing lusciously with the help of the EDYN sensor. The down fall right now is that I have to adjust my Rachio controller manually (frequently). I’m really hoping Rachio will develop an API for the EDYN sensor.


Just to touch on the question of the Toro Soil Sensor- @robertokc is this the one you are referring to?


Yes, this is the sensor. In a few cases soil sensors might be a good choice. But some people are obsessed with trying to change the purpose of Rachio and use sensors that are suspect.


It was a great sensor, I own 10 of them and now they out of business? Just collecting dust, they also like yellow flowers in my yard year round. Not too bad, :(.


Does anyone have experience using the Netro Sprite with its bundled Whisperer sensor?


@dpryan what software are you running on the Zero to bridge from bluetooth to WiFi (MQTT?)?


Is moisture sensors in the works for Gen3? It seems that Gen3 may have the rf baked in for this and is using currently with the flow sensor. doesn’t seem like a stretch to adapt this to moisture sensors.


I really really really hope so!


New Gen2 user here. I tend to agree with the suggestions, a closed loop system is always better.

That said, I don’t think we need to spend $$$ on moisture sensors for every zone, etc. If the Rachio algorithms are as good as they say, we could take manual readings a few times a year (or at least when setting up) and provide the system with the additional input to better estimate moisture.

I can’t find any way to do this today.


i would suggest a lower boundary setting for dryness/ overwatering. like the flow meter against leaks.


I am using WirelessTags that work with RF that connects to the web through interface, they are $20 and connect to IFTTT. They are very precise but they stop working soon, 6 months average life.


@geonerd Can you explain more about this process?



Studies at University of Florida, University of Arkansas and New Mexico State demonstrated average of 50 percent water savings when used in combination with a traditional controller. When I hang my new Gen 3 controller, I plan to reinstall my Toro Precision Soil Sensor in a representative area of my landscape and see how things go. I noticed overwatering from Rachio this summer.
Rachio is great, but I think I can still water less by using a soil moisture sensor. But it is not necessary to have a soil moisture sensor on every zone. There are a number of soil moisture sensors out there that resemble toys. Toro developed their wireless soil sensor from one that had been used in their golf irrigation division for many years. It also monitors temperature and suspends irrigation when air temperature is at or below 37 degrees.