Cost Of Living: Automatic garden watering systems

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The Independent Online

Unless you have adapted your garden and grow only drought-proof Mediterranean plants, leaving shrubs and herbaceous borders to fend for themselves during the holidays is a risky business. Most of us pray for rain in the UK while abroad, for one reason or another. This year, with no hosepipe ban in force, an automatic watering system can guarantee that your garden gets a regular soaking, and you have peace of mind.

Depending on your requirements, your system will consist of a combination of rotating sprinklers, staked drippers and porous, underground soakers, connected to the supply by a thin hose, known as micro tubing. Designed for self-installation, a system can consist of a number of components suitable to the needs of your particular garden.

By means of a system of hidden pipes, drippers and micro-jets connected to a single garden tap and controlled by a timer, you can water a few pots on the patio or the entire garden, every day throughout the season. Pipes buried 5cm below the surface connect to sprinklers and drippers, which should be placed near to the roots of shrubs, in the shade of the leaves.

If you have a small garden, you can start with a kit and extend the equipment as your growing needs dictate.

What it costs:

£250 for a 50-square-metre border

Shopping list:

Hozelock pressure reducer, £11

Pack of five drippers, £5

High-volume sprinkler, £3

50m micro tubing, £4

125m supply tubing, £15

75m porous soaker hose, £18

Timer, £35


Mini auto-watering kit, sufficient for 20 plant containers, £50

Timer with four-way brass manifold, £85

Lawn watering kit for lawns that are up to 200 square metres, £86