Planning for a holiday in a heatwave means any keen gardeners are worried about watering the garden while they are away. Fear not – we’ve got you covered. We did this Hozelock Automatic Watering Kit review a few years ago, and we pull out the kit every year when we go away in the summer: looking at the long range forecast, it’s definitely time for a re-share!
We’ve already had our two week holiday this year; we went to Wales. And it was bloody glorious – all this sunshine! AMAZING.
But Mr LittleStuff was a bit concerned; he’s the Master Gardener of the house. He loves his garden, really very much a lot, and I’m happy he does because it means I have a beautiful outside space to sit in whilst he’s pottering about with posh secateurs and muttering about bindweed.
Usually when we go away we’ll ask one of our lovely neighbours to pop over and give the plants a bit of a water on a hot day. But of course – right now, every day is hot. And we know that it’s a good 30 minute job to get the garden watered every day. It’s just too much to expect a kind neighbour to take on. But nor did we want to come back to a dead wasteland either…
Thankfully, it was around this point that Hozelock asked if we’d like to try out their automatic garden watering system? I might have bitten their hand off…
Hozelock Automatic Watering Kit Review
So two days before we went away, we spent a couple of hours getting it all set up in the garden. I’ll admit it – the kit looked confusing and complicated when first unpacked. But once we laid it all out and started from the beginning it soon made complete sense, and in fact Mr LittleStuff completed most of it single-handed.
So this was our outside set up. Attached to the tap on the left is the timer; we set it for twice daily for 30 minutes. So at sunrise and sunset every day, the tap would turn on, and the water would run.
We’ve got quite a large garden, so we decided the best course was three different hoses to cover it all, for which we needed the Hozelock 4-Way Tap Connector you can see on the right.
We used our standard hose attached to a normal garden sprinkler for the beds on the far side. For the long south-facing bed which gets most of the sun we used the Universal Kit; a long hose which you pierce with sprinklers where you want them.
Finally we used the ‘Hozelock 2804 Plus Auto 25 Plant Pot Hedge Watering Kit’ across the patio for the pots. In order to make that work, we collected the pots from all around the garden and gathered them together so that the hose would reach them all (there are extension hoses to make sure you can deal with groups, you don’t need a long line!). We also needed a few more drippers than were provided in the kit (we had 28 pots to water with our 25-pot system), but the extras are easy to pick up.
The system for the pots is very visible – it’s not pretty, and we really wouldn’t want it up all the time. but it was so simple to construct, and easy to take apart again, that we’re pretty happy to only put it together when required.
The pressure drippers themselves are aptly named. they really do just… drip. I wasn’t convinced it’d be enough water during a heatwave, if I’m honest.
So Did It Work?
Well, firstly, as a comparison, here’s two plants that we didn’t include in the watering system; one in a pot, and one at the back of a bed;
The hydrangea on the left we rescued pretty quickly within a day or so, though we lost all the flowers. The miniature flowering cherry in the pot on the right wasn’t so lucky – we’re hopeful the whole tree’s not dead as we have the odd green leaf breaking through now, but we’ve no real idea how much will be left by Spring next year.
But the rest of the garden? The bit that got watered?
This is Pots Row, including some of the tomatoes.
And the needy south-facing bed?
You can just see the dead-looking flowering cherry in the background of all that lushness. LOOK at how green it all is!
Hozelock Automatic Watering Kit Review:
We are absolutely TOTALLY sold. We love this system, and will use it every year from now on. It’s not the cheapest investment initially (our complete kit totalled about £150, and we covered a large amount of pots and garden), but it has saved us a fortune in lost plants (and sad post-holiday gardener faces) every year.
Hozelock Easy Drip Universal Automatic Watering Kit – £70
Additional Pressure Drippers (we popped to our local garden centre for these, they’re readily available) – £10