Even with small plots of land or even a rooftop terrace in a big city, buying a digital water timer can be beneficial.
By setting your digital water timer correctly, all of your plants will get a certain amount of water at different times, giving them the best care and saving you money.
On hot summer days, flowers and flowerbeds need to be watered daily, or they can develop unsightly brown spots. By setting a digital watering timer, watering is done automatically, giving your garden a well-groomed, green look.
The Best Digital Water Timer
With timer’s rain delay function helps you avoid wasting water by pausing the water for up to seven days. The angled-valve design makes it easy to attach this water timer to multiple hoses with no harm to your knuckles. Each zone works like a separate timer, so the tomatoes and squash can be watered every morning while the lawn sprinkler comes on every few days.
How To Work Melnor HydroLogic 4-Zone Digital Water Timer?
Buyer’s guide for the digital water timers
This review and guide provide information on some best digital water timers you can find.
There are quite a few manufacturers of digital water timers on the market, and the prices vary greatly. From a pure price point of view, the type of digital water timers can be priced from $30 to $53.
The Best Digital Water Timers For The Money
All our reviews are based exclusively on expert judgments or practical experience with most of the digital water timers we have tested. We strive to make our guide as independent and as detailed as possible.
Digital Water Timers In Comparison
Homitt Programmable Water Timer
Shock and wear-resistant water timer
This sprinkler timer with new pneumatic sealed components and top connector which is made of 30% reinforced nylon material, more impact-resistant and wear-resistant than ABS withstand up to 10 kg water pressure to greatly avoid internal leaking. A waterproof battery case with an internal rubber ring around the cover protects the batteries inside.2 size rings match well with NPT/UN standard type faucet.
Orbit Dual Valve Digital Watering Hose Timer
Control of two watering stations
You can automatically control two separate watering stations & control your sprinkler system with ease. It also allows you to turn the faucet on manually. Orbit’s simplistic design makes watering your lawn easier than ever before. An oversize dial and display program the device, while an improved brass swivel connector, complete with screen filter and washer secures the unit onto the hose faucet.
Instapark Outdoor Digital Programmable Water Timer
Easy to set up
Single-station digital programmable faucet water timer with impulse solenoid valve attaches to any garden outdoor hose faucet with a standard ¾” (GHS) thread and offers flexible and effective control of watering frequency and duration with simple, straightforward, fool-proof, and user-friendly programming.
What is irrigation automation?
With programmable digital watering devices, you can save a lot of time watering. They provide automatic watering for all kinds of plants such as lawns, flowers, flowerbeds, trees, and bushes. Once set up, they automatically provide your garden with the desired amount of water and watering on specific days and hours.
Digital watering devices are becoming more and more popular in homesteads. The devices decide if and how much water is actually released, and in some cases whether liquid lawn fertilizer should be distributed. Time functions, programs, and sensors are adapted to the water distribution system so that the plants can grow optimally. At the same time, the water consumption should be minimized and the fertilizer should be corrected.
This automatic water distribution has long been used in professional horticulture (e.g. tree nurseries), ornamental plants, and vegetable growing. You can also find these irrigation systems in outdoor areas or public spaces. This includes parks or exhibition gardens.
What kinds of irrigation automation are available?
We distinguish between irrigation computers and digital water timers. Both devices are easy to program. However, the functions of a watering computer are much broader than those of a timer.
Because of the different requirements, they have many advantages, but also some disadvantages. Both models and their individual features are presented below.
There are some irrigation automation are available:
- Watering computer
Compared to timers, irrigation computers have much more extensive functions and applications. These systems are mainly used in the professional sector, such as professional gardeners. But these models are also becoming increasingly popular with hobby gardeners.
The computers are available in a variety of designs. Models are available with one or two connections, with or without rain or soil moisture sensors, or for water valves or rain barrels.
The device is attached between the faucet and the garden hose, so installation is quick and easy. In most cases, programming is done with buttons or rotary knobs. More expensive models also have a liquid crystal display (LCD) that shows the current settings.
Underwatering computers have no real drawbacks. Since batteries are often not included, they must be purchased separately.
Unlike watering clocks, you don’t have to worry about hard times here. You can increase or decrease the intervals between cycles. This makes it possible to water several times a day. The computer always automatically provides sufficient watering. So you can easily go on vacation and you no longer have to ask friends, acquaintances, or neighbors to take care of your plants’ water supply in your absence.
- Watering timer
Watering clocks or digital water timers are the easiest and most affordable watering aides. The connection is not complicated and can be done by non-professionals, as it can be done on any faucet.
The intervals between the two watering processes, depending on the version, can be set with one or two rotary knobs. In this way, you can control the frequency and duration of irrigation. Once the duration is set, it is retained until it is changed.
Watering timers are easy to install and use. They can also be set individually. Digital water timers are relatively inflexible because watering times can only be set from one minute to a maximum of two hours. For the hobbyist gardener, this period is usually sufficient, but not enough for large plants or gardens.
What should you look for when buying digital water timers?
Choosing the right device depends on your individual ideas and needs. For this reason, as mentioned above, we recommend that you make a watering plan for your patio or garden.
An automatic watering system cannot completely water your garden. Without a plan, you may not know later what additional equipment is needed. When planning, you should also consider the number of devices you plan to use and their specifications.
Since you may need to expand your irrigation system over time, you should make sure that the model you want is expandable or has additional connections.
When buying should pay attention to the following:
- Power source
Most manufacturers use batteries for power supply. However, they are usually not included and must be purchased separately. Two types of batteries are generally used: 1x 9V or 2 1.5V alkaline batteries.
Some models now even have solar power available. These units are purchased with a solar storage tank. Functionality is best used in conjunction with a battery. They are charged by solar panels and therefore can guarantee operation even on cloudy days. Appropriate orientation to the sun is a basic requirement.
- Additional sensors
The most important sensors are rain or soil moisture sensors. When buying, make sure that the chosen model provides these connections.
The soil moisture sensor is located between the plants and measures the soil moisture at regular intervals. Watering is only activated if the measured value is less than the set value.
The rain sensor can detect precipitation based on moisture. Irrigation is interrupted as soon as the sensor detects precipitation.
- Watering duration
The maximum values that can be set for the low-cost versions are about one hour. For higher quality, the duration is 10 hours. For a typical vegetable garden, we recommend a watering time of about two hours.
The irrigation system is programmed and put into operation using the display. In some models, you can even detach the display from the unit and take it with you. Often older units do not have a display. The settings here are made using rotary knobs. However, they have the disadvantage that the battery charge status is not displayed.
How does the automatic watering of plants work?
The actual operation of irrigation systems is very simple. Digital water timers are simply installed between the faucet and the garden hose. The faucet is then turned on and the irrigation cycles and times are programmed.
Once the digital water timer is fully set and the pipes are in place, the automatic irrigation system can begin its operation. If necessary, the valve in the unit opens and lets water in. When the watering time expires, the digital water timer stops the water flow again. In combination with rain and soil moisture sensors, the system decides on its own whether there is enough water in the soil.
Setting watering cycles on most devices is very easy. With very high-quality irrigation systems, you can also make various settings and adjust the desired parameters for every conceivable occasion. Thus, these systems require a longer learning curve, which is worth it in the long run.
Digital Water Timers Price:
- Instapark Outdoor Digital Programmable Water Timer
- Homitt Programmable Water Timer
- Melnor HydroLogic 4-Zone Digital Water Timer
- Orbit Dual Valve Digital Watering Hose Timer
Automatic irrigation systems offer you several advantages: On the one hand, there are huge time savings that cannot be achieved with manual irrigation using a hose or watering can. In addition, optimal plant conditions are created because the watering is continuous and hard-to-reach areas can be provided properly. In addition, water consumption is extremely low, and there is no need to worry about over-watering.
FAQs- Digital Water Timers for your Garden
Before purchasing a digital water timer, you should find out how many irrigation lines and connected water distributors you need to install. It is helpful to make an irrigation plan in advance. You can create one yourself using a sketch of your garden, or by using an online tool such as a garden planner.
In it, you determine where the water connections are, how the water pipes should run, and where the irrigation systems and distributors should be positioned. This allows you to see in advance whether all areas of the garden are optimally fed. It also leads to material requirements, so you can keep track of overall costs.
Buying a digital water timer, keep in mind that it is possible to expand the system in the future. This will save you from making the wrong and double purchases.
To reduce the risk of water entering the battery or battery compartment, the digital water timer should only be mounted vertically and with the coupling nut facing up. You should also make sure that the system is screwed tightly to the faucet. If sufficiently stable, there is no need for an additional wall mount.
In the case of a freely accessible system, it is possible to attach the digital timer to the wall with an anti-theft device. You can purchase them additionally.
When choosing a port, consider that there is enough water for the timer and the connected hoses. If you do not want or cannot connect the control unit directly to the pump or faucet, an extension with a hose is also possible. However, here too, an upright installation must be ensured. In this case, you may also need an adapter.
In addition, the device can also be connected to the faucet with a two-way distributor so that an additional hose can be connected. In this way, the digital water timer will not need to be reprogrammed later.
The cheapest alternative to a computer and a digital timer is a watering can, but, the time required for such watering is enormous. Also, don’t underestimate the physical demands of it. Therefore, if you value time savings, do not want or cannot exercise excessively and a good water supply is important for your garden, then automatic irrigation systems are ideal for you.