Are you planning to go on vacation or to rent out your cottage for a little while? Are you worried about your plants? Fear not: there are various automatic irrigation systems designed to make your life—and the lives of your neighbours and tenants—much easier!

Source: Gardena

Identify your needs before choosing

Purchasing an automatic irrigation system is a wise investment in terms of environmental protection, not to mention peace of mind. All you need to do is select the model that's right for you.

But before you buy, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Will you be watering indoor or outdoor plants?
  • How are your plants spaced? Are they close together or spaced far apart?
  • How much water do they need?
  • What is your budget?

Answering these questions will make all the difference when it comes time to select from the range of systems available on the market.

Practical and environmentally friendly

TIMER-BASED SYSTEMS

Source: Gardena

A number of systems are automatic and therefore controlled by a timer. This means you can be sure your plants will be watered regularly at pre-calculated intervals while you're away. Models of all types and price ranges are available, including those by Gardena, Orbit and Rain Bird.

RAINWATER TANKS

In addition to only using the required amount of water, automatic irrigation systems can also run on rainwater. They can be connected to collection tanks, rather than to the municipal water supply, thus further limiting the potential waste of drinking water. Waterworks, Algreen and a number of other brands all offer affordable options.

Outdoor irrigation systems

DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

Source: MicroDrips

Easy to install and very flexible, drip irrigation systems are ideal for small flower gardens, vegetable gardens and hedges. The basic idea is simple: the plants are regularly watered with tiny droplets; the supply is frequent and continuous, with no waste. The flow rate can always be adjusted to meet your needs.

Gardena offers various affordable options, including starter sets, which are suitable for all types of environments and plants. Raindrip is another major supplier.

Location: outdoors
Plant spacing: close together or far apart
Budget: $60 to $150 (depending on the model)

PERFORATED GARDEN HOSES

Source: Gardena

It turns out that leaky garden hoses can be useful after all! Made of porous material, this specially designed hose emits a fine mist over its entire length, ensuring targeted and environmentally friendly irrigation. This type of watering is ideal for row plants, hedges and row vegetables. Since the water flow is very low, these systems can easily be connected to a rainwater barrel. Gardena, Waterworks, Continental and Element and various superstores offer a wide range of models.

Location: outdoors
Plant spacing: close together or in rows
Budget: $15 to $80 (depending on the model)

Indoor irrigation systems

Source: Amazon

MULTI-PLANT AUTOMATIC IRRIGATION SYSTEM

Needless to say, watering indoor plants must be precision-targeted to avoid water damage to your home. And precision targeting is exactly what Gardena's and Continental's automatic irrigation systems deliver: up to 20 planters can be watered at the same time.

If you're going to be away for a few days, simply gather your plants together and connect them to the central irrigation system (tubes are used to distribute water to each plant). These automated systems offer the advantage of being connected to a tank, rather than to a tap, thus reducing the risk of water damage while you're away.

Location: indoors (can also be used outdoors)
Plan spacing: close together or in rows
Budget: $30 to $150 (depending on the model)

SELF-WATERING PLANTERS

Source: Lechuza

When it comes to automatic irrigation systems, you can't get any simpler than these self-watering planters, flower pots and cachepots! Though they come in all shapes and sizes, they basically work the same way: the perforated double bottom is covered with a highly tear-resistant membrane so plants can absorb the water they need through capillary action, without oversaturating the roots.

The self-watering capacity obviously depends on the size of each container. Most self-watering systems allow you to add water to the double bottom without having to touch the plant, thanks to a small opening on the side.

Location: indoors (can also be used outdoors)
Plant spacing: close together or far apart
Budget: $10 to $50 (depending on the model)

There are various ways to make sure your outdoor landscaping and indoor plants stay perfectly healthy all summer long! The most important thing is to clearly identify your needs so you can invest in sustainable, environmentally friendly equipment that's just right for you.

Also, be sure to test your new irrigation system before you head out of town. That way, you'll avoid unpleasant surprises when you get back!

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