As much as people love to have a lawn with fresh and healthy grass or a beautiful garden, the idea of having to water the thing on a daily basis sounds like the most tedious thing on the planet.
Thankfully, we live in a world where we can have plenty of processes automated for us, and with garden water timers, spending hours in the sun to water the yard is a thing of the past.
Benefits of Using a Garden Water Timer
Needless to say, the biggest benefit is that you won’t have to do it yourself anymore. However, there are also a lot of other tiny benefits that, when added up, amount to huge arguments in favor of buying your own garden water timer:
- With one of these babies, you will never have to worry about underwater or overwatering ever again. Whilst under watering doesn’t usually occur, drowning plants in water is a common mistake that plenty of people make. With a garden water timer, this can be avoided because it regulates the water flow to offer a precise amount of life liquid every time. A hose timer will simply turn the water off then the timer reaches 0, so you won’t have to do the math yourself.
- Another great advantage of having such a product is that you won’t have to worry about who is going to water the garden while you’re away. You can opt for hose timers or sprinkler system timers that will turn the water on and off whenever you want them to, even from a distance. Some fancy models can even be controlled from very far away using a smartphone app. Others have schedule systems that allow you to program the timers for the upcoming days.
- Depending on the actual product that you buy, installation can literally take less than 10 minutes. If you opt for a hose timer, you will have to attach it between the hose and the faucet, and that’s it! If you want a more complex timer, then you will have to mess around with some cables and screws, but the installation process isn’t that complicated if you follow the instructions that come with the product.
- A garden water timer can help you save money. Even if some models are more expensive than others, these devices are really good at helping you conserve water, which means that you can actually save money on water bills in the long run. Some of these devices even have a rain delay feature, which prevents additionally watering the garden right before/during/after it rained.
- Last, but not least, it serves as a great way to help intruders think that you are at home when you’re actually on vacation. As the water automatically turns on when you want it to, people who pass by will think that there is somebody at home because the water is running or the lawn has been recently watered, making it less tempting for home intruders to see your house as a potential target.
When to Water the Garden
If you ever wondered when is the right time to water the garden, know that there are two answers to this question:
- You can water the plants in the morning, before the sun is fully up and it gets too hot outside. This gives water time to reach the roots of your plant without the heat causing evaporation. This also provides the roots with water during the day so they can stay hydrated in warm temperatures.
- If you can’t water the plants in the morning, you can also do it in the afternoon or early in the evening, when the heat has passed. Make sure that there is still a little bit of sun left so that the plants can dry before nightfall. Watering late in the afternoon also helps prevent evaporation.
Rules for Watering
Water is vital to the proper growth of your plant, and while it may seem like all you have to do is just run the hose up and down the soil, there are a few rules for watering that you might want to take into account:
- Your plants usually rely on moisture, but leaving their roots to dry might actually be beneficial for the growth of your plants.
- It is better if you water your plants less often and be more thorough when you do so. Flower beds, for instance, can get by with two watering sessions each week.
- Wet leaves are more likely to catch diseases, so it’s better if you keep them dry.
- If the water doesn’t reach the roots, then watering won’t be efficient. Not enough water will only cause the upper layer of the soil to be wet.
- When you have to water a large quantity, it’s better to do so in parts. That’s because it takes a little bit for water to reach down into the soil.
- Make sure that you water around the plant instead of focusing on a single point.
- Irrigation systems can go a long way in distributing the right amount of water to your plants each time.
- Waterlogging is something you want to avoid because it prevents the roots of the plant from breathing, so they end up drowning.
- Soil that’s rich in clay is great for planting because it traps water more efficiently.
Top 7 Best Garden Water Timers
When you want to take a load off of your shoulders and still make sure that your garden gets enough water, products like the Orbit 62061Z water timer might be just what you need. Placed between your faucet and the garden hose, this timer comes with a single outlet that makes sure your plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetables, fruits, etc. are never over or under watered.
It is really easy to set up and comes with an instruction manual that will teach you everything you need to know. It has a runtime that varies between 1 minute and 4 hours with intervals that can be set once every 6 hours to once per week.
It has a weather-resistant construction that can hold up even when the sun or rain is being ruthless. There is a front dial that allows you to select options such as start time, setting up the clock, or adjusting the watering frequency.
- Rain delay feature.
- Adjustable watering intervals.
- Runtime of up to 4 hours.
- Weatherproof construction.
- Manual watering feature.
- Easy to install.
- Short lifespan.
If you’re ready to step up your watering game and invest in a product with some extra features, then you’re going to love the Orbit 21004. Through a smartphone app and a wireless connection, you can control your garden water timer and set it up according to your personal needs. Even if your wireless connection is down, you can still connect via Bluetooth.
It has a wide array of amazing features, so we’re going to name just a few. There is the WeatherSense Technology which allows smart watering based on the local conditions (yes, it also gets live weather stats) so it can always deliver the amount of water your garden needs.
There is a built-in flow meter that tells you how much water is being used in your yard. This means that you can adjust the amount of water you want to use for every watering session. You can also expand the system to connect multiple timers and all of them are controlled with the B-Hyve app. Overall, this is the product to choose if you want to enjoy some technology-oriented garden watering.
- Wireless and Bluetooth connection.
- Multiple system additions.
- WeatherSense technology.
- Compatible with Alexa.
- Easy to install.
- Difficult to use software.
The Hommit timer is yet another gardening product that will make taking control over your watering cycles a lot easier. Designed with waterproof construction and bringing a lot of cool features to the table, this product features a 3-inch screen that will display all the information you need to know while watering or while fiddling with the settings.
You can adjust the watering duration, but also the frequency, with the possibility of choosing a watering time as short as a second. This will give your flowers just a little bit of a refresh in those really hot summer afternoons. To install it, all you have to do is connect the timer between the faucet and the hose, making sure that you have 2 AA batteries to operate the unit.
The child lock mode is there to make sure that neither kids nor pets mess with the settings and trigger the timer to waste water. The display will show you information related to watering duration/frequency, it has a watering indicator, it shows the current time, the first watering timer, a rain delay icon, and the power indicator.
- Easy to install.
- Adjustable water duration/frequency.
- Child lock mode.
- Large 3-inch display.
- Rain delay feature.
- Complaints about leaks.
The Instapark digital timer is yet another viable garden water tool that will come in handy because it’s easy to use, easy to install, and provides a stress-free way of watering your lawn. It has a weather-resistant construction that promises to stay strong in the face of nature’s force.
It comes with a display that measures 2.1 x 1 inches and displays information you want to know at all times, such as the battery strength indicator, the timer status, or the current time. It promises to give you almost one year of power with two full AA batteries. Speaking of that, the battery compartment is detachable, so that changing the batteries with new ones doesn’t require removing the entire timer from its slot.
It works with water pressures between 14.5 and 116 psi. You can adjust the watering duration with 5-second increments up until a minute, and it goes all the way up to 360 minutes. You can also adjust the watering frequency, setting it as short as 10 seconds and as long as 7 days.
- Easy to read display.
- Compatible with standard garden hoses.
- Easy to program.
- Easy to install.
- Good price.
- Doesn’t work with high water pressure.
The Gilmour garden water timer is yet another gem worth adding to this collection of fine pieces. It comes with an LCD display that shows you easy-to-read numbers to make programming this baby a breeze. When the timer you set reaches zero, the water will turn off to save money and the health of your grass/plants.
It is built with two outlets that allow you to connect two hoses to a single unit, but you can also choose other variations that allow you to connect just a single hose. There is a large dial located on the front that allows you to change the settings of the timer and comes with options such a time setting, watering frequency, watering duration, timer start, and on/off features.
The rain delay feature allows you to postpone watering for 24, 48, or 72 hours, while the on/off feature will allow you to shift from automatic to manual watering. The unit itself is made from high-impact plastic and comes with a metal swivel connector.
- Can connect two hoses.
- Programmable start time.
- Adjustable watering duration/frequency.
- Switch from manual to automatic watering.
- Easy to operate.
- Does not work with low water pressure.
We have yet another Orbit product on the list because this manufacturer has proven that it knows its way around water timers. This particular model is a wall-mounted unit that can be placed both indoors and outdoors, as it comes with a weather-resistant construction and a variety of features that make this product really good.
What sets this unit apart from other products on the market? First of all, you have the ability to set up multiple water zones for your sprinklers, which means that if parts of your garden have different watering requirements, you can control all of that with a single unit. With the possibility to adjust the water timer from one to 240 minutes per zone, each of these zones is individually programmable.
The unit draws power directly from an outlet and the mounting process itself isn’t that complicated as it seems. It comes with a variety of other cool features that give you more control over your automatic garden watering needs, including a rain delay function, three watering programs, four start times per zone, and battery backup.
- Freeze/rain sensor.
- Rain delay feature.
- Multiple watering zones.
- 3 watering programs.
- 4 start times per zone.
- No LCD back light.
The last product on the list is another Gilmour water timer, only this time it’s a mechanical unit. With a very simple setup (as it attaches between the faucet and the garden hose), this water times comes with a dial that allows you to adjust the timer as needed. Because of its simple construction, it doesn’t require any batteries to run, so that’s one less thing you have to care for.
When the timer reaches zero, the water will be automatically turned off, and you also have the on/off function that switches between manual and automatic watering. Like other Gilmour products, this timer is also made from high-impact plastic with a metal swivel connector.
The dial can be rotated to set up the watering timer to 120 minutes maximum, which should be more than enough for small to medium yards and gardens.
- No batteries require.
- Easy to attach.
- Hose can easily be pulled.
- Easy to operate.
- Affordable price.
- Questionable long-term durability.
What is the best watering timer?
It really depends on what you’re looking to obtain from a watering timer. Some of the best models are those that are equipped with features that grant you more control over how the system behaves. That means they allow you to create individual watering schedules for separate areas of the garden, can automatically shut down when you want them to, or are connected to weather stations and delay watering in case of rain.
How do you set a water timer for a garden?
This information should be provided in the user guide that’s given to you for free when you purchase a garden water timer. The setup process is different from one brand to another, but it’s typically a simple two or three-step process that won’t five you too much trouble.
How do you use a hose timer?
Hose timers are literally attached to your garden hose and offer a variety of features that allow you to customise how your garden is being watered. They usually have features that allow you to adjust the start time or determine for how long the hose will run until the timer turns it off.
There are a lot of benefits to using a water timer, not just the commodity factor it brings to the table. It allows you to gain more control over your water bill and adjust the quantity of water used each time. It also helps with preventing over and under watering, which are common mistakes that people make when they’re trying to hydrate their lawn/plants.