One of the great benefits of most hydroponics growing operations is that most of the processes from lighting, water flow, monitoring, and dosing can all potentially be automated rather easily. We love to cultivate plants with water and sometimes that includes growing plants the traditional manner, with soil.
We have a raised bed garden that we are just getting started with this season and because this outdoor garden often needs daily manual watering we decided to automate the watering process as easily and simply as possible. One option is to go with a drip irrigation system with buried lines which can take a while to install and may require special treatment.
For this raised bed garden we chose the simplest manner of automated irrigation. We opted to go with an Orbit automatic faucet timer connected to a hose and ultimately to a 75′ soaker hose that covers the sections of the raised bed garden. While some irrigation systems can take a lengthy amount of time to install, we had this automatic irrigation system connected and operational in under an hour.
The Orbit automatic faucet timer comes with several different configurations. Our timer was a single outlet model however depending on your needs they have multiple outlet models. The Orbit automatic irrigation timer runs on two AA batteries and they are very easy to remove and change if necessary. The timer is quite simple to operate with a very easy to read settings dial. If the user just wants to use the hose like normal, there is a “manual” button and after selecting how long you want the hose to run, it will turn on and flow as needed.
The raised bed garden we were working with needed to be monitored a little bit initially to determine exactly how long we should run the soaker hose in order to properly irrigate the plants. After we had it dialed in to the right amount of moisture the only thing left to do is add plants and look out for garden pests.
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