backyard basics Rachio Thrive Review Better Than The Competition? (2023)
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Rachio Thrive Review: Better Than The Competition? (2023)

How well does Rachio Thrive stack up against the competition? We reviewed Rachio Thrive, as well as its major competitors, to help you make the best decision possible.

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See our high-level takeaways below, or skip to our full review!

Our Take:
Rachio Thrive Logo
Rachio Thrive Product Image



  • check Mailed to Your Door
  • close Requires Rachio Sprinkler Controllers
  • check Natural Ingredients
  • check Safe Around Pets and Kids
  • check App guides proper application
  • check Delivered in Liquid Form
The Bottom Line:The big downside to Racho Thrive is that it is made from a company that specializes in sprinkler controller systems, and the system works in conjunction with their app and controller. If you already have an irrigation system installed, Rachio Thrive is a great product, but if you don't have an irrigation system you will need to look elsewhere.
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Full Review:
Rachio Thrive - Cover Image

A thick, green lawn is hard to come by. Despite our best daydreaming about the perfectly crisscrossed yards that rival the local sports team, lawns can be a hassle. The problem with traditional fertilizers is that they only account for one variable (nutrition) while ignoring other essential variables such as climate and water.

Rachio Thrive Review

Rachio Thrive is different because the system considers all of the critical factors necessary for a healthy lawn. A Rachio lawn kit includes smart watering control, natural Thrive treatments, and an application schedule to help make a green lawn more attainable than it has ever been in the past.

Rachio makes the smartest sprinkler controllers on the market and expanded its product line to include Thrive, its natural lawn food. Considering Rachio has its roots in smart sprinkler controllers, it is no surprise they understand and promote the importance of proper watering as the basis for Rachio Thrive Lawn Champion working effectively.

Rachio believes that proper watering is just as important as adequate lawn nutrition, so Rachio Thrive is intended to be used in conjunction with a Rachio sprinkler controller and the associated app. This makes Rachio a little different than its competitors that provide little attention to watering other than general guidelines. To have the healthiest lawn possible multiple factors need to be considered, and the Rachio Thrive systems lay it all out for you.

Rachio Thrive Review

How Does Rachio Thrive Work?

The heart of Rachio Thrive’s system is the Lawn Champion treatment. When you apply traditional fertilizers, you have to worry about burned grass, which happens when too many chemicals are added to your lawn. Too much lime or fertilizer can make the soil salty. Inadequate watering often exasperates this issue.

You don’t have to worry about burning your grass with Rachio Thrive. Lawn Champion uses natural ingredients to foster a healthy lawn. Elements such as microalgae provide proper nutrition to develop thicker roots, rather than merely targeting greener blades. Some of the competitors use seaweed, but seaweed is often overly saturated with salt, which will make your lawn dry out too quickly.

Other natural ingredients include ash, which is naturally rich in calcium carbonate and helps keep your soil neutral. It's also packed with micronutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. This proprietary blend is designed to keep your lawn healthy and happy.

Since Lawn Champion avoids chemicals, it is also safe for your pets and kids. You won’t have to worry about whether chemicals have been sufficiently dissolved enough to let your little ones go outside.

The Rachio Thrive system utilizes Lawn Champion to feed the root system and improve your soil quality. A customized watering schedule is layered on top of Lawn Champion, and together they develop a healthy lawn ecosystem, which leads to thicker, lusher grass.

Who are Rachio Thrive’s Biggest Competitors?

There are some competitors in the DIY lawn care space, but the most notable are Sunday Lawn Care and Scotts Annual Program. While both subscriptions have their merits, Rachio Thrive sets itself apart by focusing on total lawn health, including dynamic watering schedules and customized lawn food application schedules. Below is a side-by-side comparison table highlighting some of the brand differences.

Rachio Thrive vs. Sunday vs. Scotts
Comparison Table
Rachio Thrive Competitor Analysis
Rachio Thrive Logo
Sunday Logo
Scotts Logo
PriceaddRachio Thrive💰💰💰Sunday💰💰Scotts💰💰💰
Biggest Selling PointaddRachio ThriveThe system focuses on ecosystem health, including appropriate wateringSundayCustomized and all-natural lawn health solution in liquid pouchesScottsThe most brand recognition
Fun FactsaddRachio ThriveRachio app customizes lawn treatments and water applicationSunday1% of all sales go to restoring the native tallgrass prairieScottsThe app includes lawn inspiration and tips
Natural IngredientsaddRachio ThriveSundayScotts
Associated AppaddRachio ThriveSundayScotts
Soil Test for Customized ResultsaddRachio ThriveSundayScotts
Liquid or SolidaddRachio ThriveLiquidSundayLiquidScottsSolid
Weed Control IncludedaddRachio ThriveSundayScotts
Kid and Pet FriendlyaddRachio ThriveSundayScottsWhen used as directed
WebsiteaddRachio ThriveSundayScotts

Biggest Rachio Thrive Pros and Cons

If you currently utilize a lawn care service or have historically bought the big brand fertilizers from the local hardware store, then purchasing Rachio Thrive might still feel like a big decision. Here are the biggest pros and cons to consider:

  • check All-natural lawn food
  • close Predicated on investment in Rachio controller if you don’t have one
  • check Safe for kids and pets
  • check Easier on the planet than chemical fertilizers
  • check Complete system considers watering and nutrition
  • check Rachio smart sprinkler controllers are best-in-class

Rachio Thrive Reviews

Is A Smart Sprinkler Controller Worth It?

Most people don’t consider whether they are watering their lawn under the right conditions, or for maximum efficiency. The result is wasted water and money, and a less than ideal lawn. The best smart sprinkler controllers solve these problems, making your life easier while providing better lawn care results. Rachio makes industry-leading intelligent sprinkler controllers, and the most advanced controller accurately reads the weather and adjusts the watering schedule, so your lawn receives the ideal amount of water at the optimal time.

While Rachio controllers can also be managed remotely via the associated app, the app also provides the most favorable application schedule for Lawn Champion, Rachio Thrive’s natural lawn food.

Suppose you are hesitant to invest in Rachio Thrive because it requires the use of a Rachio sprinkler controller. In that case, the bottom line is that Rachio will make your yard the envy of the neighborhood because it controls multiple variables impacting the health of your yard, where the competitors only control one variable.

If the idea of the perfect backyard appeals to you, then a sprinkler system is worth it.

Does Rachio Really Save Water?

The most significant way Rachio conserves water (and money) is by utilizing weather data to optimize your watering schedule. There is no sense in watering your lean during a thunderstorm. Tens of millions of American households have an irrigation system, and Rachio takes any dumb system and almost instantly converts it into a smart system. In many ways, Rachio is like the Nest of residential irrigation systems.

Have you ever heard of evapotranspiration? It sounds like an intimidating concept, but really it is just a term used to describe water lost to environmental factors (such as excessive sun exposure on those dry spots in your yard).

The Rachio system enables the user to simply create zones, and describe the different elements in each zone. For instance, one zone might be mostly shrubs in a shaded area, while another zone might include difficult-to-grow grass in an area most exposed to the sun. Setting up these zones with the Rachio app’s help will enable the system to adjust watering in each zone as needed.

When considering the weather adaptation, the smart zones, and the ability to control a Rachio smart sprinkler system from your smartphone, Rachio controllers absolutely save water.

Does Rachio Require a Subscription?

There is no subscription required to use a Rachio controller. The initial investment should provide years of water savings and green lawns. Rachio Thrive does come in a subscription format. After the initial application is ordered, subsequent applications are mailed every 90 days. Rachio intends for you to apply Lawn Champion every 45 days, so each shipment you receive will include two applications.

The Rachio Thrive subscription automatically pauses during the winter non-growing months, so you don’t have to worry about pausing the subscription yourself. Since various climates have different types of winters, Rachio considers your specific environment when developing your subscription plan (and determining the length of your winter subscription pause).

Rachio Thrive Review: The Verdict

The majority of fertilizers are full of chemicals and come with a one-size-fits-all mentality. It's also a hassle to go to the hardware store and lug bags of solid fertilizer home for application. Rachio Thrive solves these problems and more.

The Rachio Thrive system relies on an all-natural lawn food called Lawn Champion to nourish your grass and improve your soil quality. While other fertilizers will give you green blades of grass, the Rachio Thrive system focuses on developing a healthy ecosystem for your lawn to thrive.

Naturally, this means they have mastered the science of proper watering, because a healthy lawn needs adequate nutrition and the right amount of water, at the correct times. Rachio Thrive takes care of all of this so that you can reap the benefits of a beautiful and healthy lawn. If you have been thinking about trying Rachio Thrive, do so today.

Rachio Thrive vs. Sunday Lawn Care

We love Rachio Thrive, but if you want more information on how it compares to the competition, check out our review highlighting the competitive differences of Sunday vs. Rachio Thrive vs. Lawn Serv vs. Lawnifi vs. Scotts.

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