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We purchased the Hoselock watering system because most of our plants were in the back garden and the outside water tap was in the front garden and we were fed up of dragging the hose pipe first to the front and then all the way around to the back of the house. I'm very glad that when we made the first outlay, that it was on special offer AND on a 10% off weekend at Homebase as it can get a bit pricey if you go the whole hog, as we did, and do the whole garden. But what an wonderful investment. We connected a fourway gang of outlets to the outside tap from which one hosepipe (on a timer switch) went to the back garden, one hosepipe (on another timer switch) went to the front garden, which left one outlet for a hosepipe for car washing etc and another outlet for watering cans or anything else, so that we didn't have to disconnect anything all summer. The system works by taking the water around the garden in thick pipes off which you can take as many small pipes as you wish, (the number of small pipes used does depend on the water pressure at your house). We found that, because of the water pressure, we had to do the front and back garden separately, hence the two outlets and two timers. We ran the large black pipe along the front of the house, under the gutter and took off a small pipe to each of the hanging baskets. At the end of the gutter, we inserted a tap. Which meant we could turn that off and the baskets would keep being watered (they were under a porch) whilst the rest of the front garden was not ( in periods of wet weather). The front garden itself was dealt with by using two different types of sprinklers, one was a rotary sprinkler which we placed about two feet off the ground and that did one side of the front path, the other was a 180 degree sprinkler which did the other side of the path but was placed so that anyone could walk up the path without getting wet. The back garden was more complicated and we had to split the large black pipe three ways, one along the back of the house to do our tomatoes, again this had a tap in the pipe so that we could isolate when tomatoes were not growing, then there were two other pipes one at the front of the garden and one running along the back. It is quite easy to install around corners and up walls etc because they make right angled joiners, 't' junction joiners, clips to hold the pipe to hard surfaces, there are spikes to hold up the thin pipes from the ground. To attach the thin pipes to the thick pipes a piercing tool is provided. If you do a lot in one go your hand can get a bit sore, unless you have tough skin. Once a hole is made a tiny rigid joiner is inserted into the end of the thin pipe and into the hole in the big pipe. If at a later stage to wish to reposition the thin pipe, the thin pipe can be pulled out and a little 'bung' inserted into the hole. We used a variety of different nozzles. There are sprays available that do 45, 90, 180, 360 degress, some that have several holes in and can be adjusted by screwing open / closed so that it can be a dribble or rather like 6-8 little fountain jets. They can be set depending on how long the timer is running and how large the plant / area is that you want them to water. We found that quite a large area could be covered by mounting 180 degree sprays up on garden canes. It only needs to be on for 5-10 minutes. In the winter it is advisable to store in the garage, or shed, the four way outlet and the timer (good idea to remove the battery from the timer), as they are made of rigid plastic and will get brittle with frosts and also may have water inside which might freeze and cause damage. Also at the end of each pipe run, the water is prevented from running out by an end clip. It is a good idea to remove these also, to ensure that no water is left in the system which could expand on freezing and split the pipes. Having the timers was very useful because we could set the front and back garden to water, at slightly different times, when it was dark, so other people had finished watering and the water pressure was back up. It freed up our evenings and we didn't have to get anyone to water when we were on holiday. We had a problem with one of our timers and Hoselock readily replaced it. I have to admit that when we moved house recently, we dismantled the whole system and brought it with us, because we have an even larger garden here with vegetable plot as well. What better recommendation can I give than that. However, you will probably find that if you want to use a system like this you will need to be on a water meter. We had a meter in both houses and it has not worked out to be extortionate. Although in the new hosue we are going to try to set up a system of rain-water barrels set up high, to create pressure and try to hook the system up to them, with mains water as back up.
I am a lazy mare. I love gardening, and greenhouses and growing plants and veggies from seed, I love watching them grow, standing there looking at my lovely little plants, willing them on - but I am a lazy waterer. The problem with being a lazy waterer is that my plants wither and sometimes don't recover. So I got myself the Micro Irrigation System from Hozelock to water the plants in my greenhouse. I bought it at Tesco for £14.99. I have to admit that I didn't understand how it worked, but Mr thecatsnose is quite handy and he assured me that he would be able to sort it out. When I opened the box, there was a long thin length of tube, and a fatter length of tube and lots and lots of little plastic bits and pieces - which I now know to be drippers, sprayers, T-junctions and end stops. From start to finish it probably took a couple of hours to install the system, because the tubes need cutting to the correct length to reach each individual plant and there are a few fiddly bits. The way it works is that the big pipe runs from your outside tap into the greenhouse, just like a normal hose. This is capped at the end so the water doesn't spurt out everywhere. Then you cut the thin pipe to the lengths you need to reach from the big hose to your individual plant pots. You make holes in the big hoze with a little tool they provide, and connect the tubing to it, so it comes off at a right angle and feeds into your pot, and on the end you put a little dripper - repeat for the amount of pots you need to water, and then you're done! The idea is that you can water about 20 plant pots at the turn of your tap, rather than keep filling up a watering can. It is supposed to save water too, I expect it does, because you aren't sloshing it around and getting more down your arms than in the pots :) I am on day 3 of using the system and it's great. I have added the Hozelock Automatic Timer, so I don't even need to bother my a$$ going turning the tap on!
I was tired of the expense of replacing all the tub and potted plants on our porch every year after forgetting to water them, and so three years ago decided to invest in an automatic watering system. I looked at the options available; at the time my local DIY warehouse stocked two variants, but I opted for the slightly more expensive hozelock system as it had more options, and I trusted the name. [this decision has been vindicated now that I can no longer source the cheaper system, and am going to extend what I have already installed]. Hozelock offer two different timers for controlling the water flow; a battery powered manual clock that operates once per day at around £30, and another battery powered fully electronic control that will operate twice a day with variable times on, for around £40. I purchased the cheaper option, and have found it very reliable, the battery life being well in excess of the quoted one year, the only niggle being the need to set the control to start watering at the required time: after that it copycats every day until you tell it otherwise. There is an override, in case we ever have a heat wave. [The controller is not necessary if you don't mind manually activating your system every time you want to water.] If you do use one, it attaches to any outside tap, and I would recommend fitting it after a 'splitter' to give you two outlets, or better still to a four outlet bar with individual taps on that you mount on the wall. This gives control for hose[s] and watering system[s] without having to continually dis/re-connect. Once the controller is installed, a thick tube is run past where the water is required- this fixes to walls/fences with overgrown cable clips, and has right angle bends and t pieces available to build whatever layout you desire, complete with shutoff taps for the branches not in use, and endplugs. When you reach the desired point, it is simple to pu ncture this tube with the supplied tool, and attach the micro tube to one of a variety of sprinkler/dripper heads. This micro tube can also be branched to feed more than one plant. The most useful sprinkler heads are adjustable, so that you can regulate the flow during the season, depending how much any one place requires, though you can also fit fixed pattern and flow rate heads for specific areas and greenhouses etc. If you change your mind, it is easy to remove a micro tube and plug the hole in the main tube with the supplied plugs. I have been using the system to water three potted shrubs, various hanging baskets, and some planting troughs very successfully over the past couple of seasons. I find that I have to 'balance' the system using the adjustable heads, so that each container gets the water it needs during the predetermined two/three/five minute run time each day- during the growing season, the hanging baskets need more and more, while the shrubs remain fairly constant. It's great not having to try and water overhead, or having to carry loads of watering cans through the house, it has made a great difference to how well my plants have grown, as well as saving water by not wasting any. The system has more than paid for itself by not having to replace the plants that used to die with sad regularity due to drought and forgetfulness. I would recommend buying one of the starter packs for greenhouses or hanging baskets; there might be a few bits you don't immediately use, but you get a lot more for your money, the leftovers often come in later as you'll almost certainly want to extend your system, and you can buy any extra bits you require piecemeal. My neighbour was so impressed, he's now done his whole back garden. . . my Dad has installed a system as well. Both found it easy to do, and have also been very happy with the result