How to choose a garden irrigation controller

How many different zones do you need to control?

If you want different parts of your garden to receive different amounts of water, or to receive water at different times then you have two choices:

  • Select a garden watering controller that has multi-zone capability.
  • Use one single-zone garden watering controller for each area of the garden over which you need specific control.

How much control do you want over watering start time?

The most basic controllers require you to be present to start garden watering (but shut the water off after a duration you select – so you can then leave them to it).

Some controllers contain a light sensor and can be set so that they start at sunrise and/or sunset (which are often considered to be the best times to water your garden).

Some controllers allow you to set a specific start time (either by setting an actual time or by setting them to start watering a number of hours from when they were first programmed).

How much control do you want over watering frequency?

All but the most basic controllers allow you to set how often your garden is watered. Options might include:

  • Every 6, 12, 18 or 24 hours
  • Every 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 days

How much control do you want over watering duration?

All controllers allow you to set how long your garden is watered for (usually in minutes).

More sophisticated controllers may allow you to set a different duration for different start times and or frequencies. For example, you might be able to choose to water for 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

What additional features do you want?

Compatibility with non-mains water supplies

Most automatic garden watering controllers are designed to connect directly to a mains water supply. Some will work in conjunction with a stored water source (such as a water butt or rainwater storage tank).

Rain sensors

Rain sensors allow your controller to alter its programming if it rains, so that you don’t over-water your plants and/or waste water.

Soil sensors

Soil sensors measure the moisture content of your soil and can then alter your controllers programming to ensure that the right amount of water is delivered at the right time.

App control

Some controllers allow you to set their programming via an app so that you can set or modify your watering schedule whenever and from wherever you want.

Weather forecast integration

Some controllers (typically those that can be controlled via an app) can modify their watering schedule according to the weather forecast.

Weather station integration

If you have a home weather station, your controller may be able to access its data and affect its watering schedule accordingly.

‘Pause’ function

A ‘pause’ function allows you to suspend your pre-selected watering schedule for a while so that you don’t get wet if your’re in the garden when a watering event has been programmed.

‘Water now’ function

A ‘water now’ function allows you to override your pre-selected watering schedule and water your garden ‘on-demand’ without having to remove your controller.

Additional hosepipe connections

If your controller if connected to your only mains water tap then additional hosepipe connections allow you to connect a hosepipe so that you can water other areas of the garden manually.

Battery level indicator

If your controller’s batteries go flat then it will stop working. A battery level indicator allows you to replace the batteries before that happens.

Battery fail protection

If your controller’s batteries go flat whilst it is watering your garden then a ‘battery fail protection’ function will automatically stop it from watering.

‘Delay start’ function

If running more than one controller from a single mains water supply there may be a pressure drop if both controllers attempt to operate simultaneously. A ‘delay start’ function is designed to stop this happening.


Bestselling garden irrigation controllers

Bestseller No. 1
Aqualin Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Electronic Watering Computer with Two Outlets Color Blue
234 Reviews
Aqualin Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Electronic Watering Computer with Two Outlets Color Blue
  • Working water pressure of this water timer: 0 - 8 bar, this water timer still works well even if the water pressure is 0
  • This hose timer allowes you to use impurity water. Two outlets can be independently programmed, meets your different watering needs
  • This watering computer can be attached to all 3/4''(19mm) or 1''(25mm) standard tap or faucet
  • Water-proof design allows the irrigation timer to work outside
  • If you have any trouble on the product, please contact us without hesitation, we are willing to helping you to solve the issue.
Bestseller No. 2
BESEN Garden Irrigation Controller Garden Watering Timer Automatic Irrigation Control, Battery Powered, Adjustable Water Pressure, for Gardens, Vegetables, Lawns and Farms
2 Reviews
BESEN Garden Irrigation Controller Garden Watering Timer Automatic Irrigation Control, Battery Powered, Adjustable Water Pressure, for Gardens, Vegetables, Lawns and Farms
  • ✔【Sturdy and durable】Made of high quality engineering grade ABS and stainless steel polymer material, with 2 time type setting knobs, hour and minute, rust proof, oxidation resistant, lightweight, sturdy and durable, long time use without worrying it will be damaged
  • ✔【With filter function and energy saving】Built in stainless steel high density filter in the water inlet hole, can filter impurities, with ultra low power consumption circuit design, with longer service life, widely used in garden, lawn, greenhouse, orchard, nursery, poultry feeding etc.
  • ✔[Easy to install and use] Suitable for all the same type of connections, can be connected to a tap or water pipe directly, turn the switch knob, "How Often" can set the interval time: 1 to 72 hours, "Frequency" can be set Interval time: 1 to 120 minutes, turn the knob "On" or "Off" for temporary watering 
  • ✔【New design】The universal pipeline and the controller shell are perfectly combined into a whole, this design, soaked in water can also run freely, two 1.5V ordinary AA batteries to drive, cycle irrigation interval frequency: 1 to 7 days, can set how long the interval watering once
  • ✔[Quality Service] As a practical garden watering controller, it not only saves time but also makes irrigation fun, it is lightweight and sturdy and very energy efficient. All customers are eligible for 90 days 100% refund and one year warranty, please buy with confidence
Bestseller No. 3
Watering Timers Intelligent Weytoll Water Irrigation Controller Knob Type Garden Irrigation Timer Battery Operated Automatic Watering Timer for Gardens Countyards Lawns Greenhouse
3 Reviews
Watering Timers Intelligent Weytoll Water Irrigation Controller Knob Type Garden Irrigation Timer Battery Operated Automatic Watering Timer for Gardens Countyards Lawns Greenhouse
  • ❥Automatic watering timer, saving water and time, is applicable to gardens, balconies, courtyards, lawns, greenhouses, etc.
  • ❥Watering timer can be widely used in trickle irrigation, sprinkling irrigation, atomization and more, satisfying diverse needs.
  • ❥High quality material, durable for long term use. IP65 waterproof level makes it suitable for outdoor use.
  • ❥With brief instructions around the rotatable knobs, easy to operate. With transparent protective cover, waterproof and dustproof.
  • ❥Battery operated: easy to install 2 x 1.5V AAA battery into the battery compartment. Replace batteries in time when the indicator light doesn't blink or is always on.
Bestseller No. 4
Aqualin Hose Water Tap Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof, Blue
442 Reviews
Aqualin Hose Water Tap Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof, Blue
  • 8 watering programs can be set, 15 different frequency settings are available
  • Water pressure: 0-8 bar. The watering timer works well, even if the water pressure is 0
  • LCD display shows watering status and time, low battery indicator is available
  • The watering computer fits all standard taps or faucet with 3/4 "thread
  • This garden hose timer is simple to use, waterproof with protect cover (please tighten the cover when using outdoor)
Bestseller No. 5
Aqualin Two Outlets Electronic Hose Tap Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof
419 Reviews
Aqualin Two Outlets Electronic Hose Tap Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof
  • Water timer with 2 independently programmable vavles provides maximal flexibility
  • Different frequency settings are available, by hour or day. Max. watering time: 360min
  • The water timer is waterproof, weather-resistant and impact-resistant, ideal and practical for garden irrigation
  • The cover for operating zone protects the timer from water and dust. Clear screen displays the programm details. Power supply: 2 X AA batteries are required (not included)
  • It can be attached to all 3/4'' or 1'' standard thread tap / faucet. The watering computer can connect to a rain sensor (Rain sensor not included)
SaleBestseller No. 6
Hozelock Ltd Hozelock Select Controller Water Timer, Standard
20 Reviews
Hozelock Ltd Hozelock Select Controller Water Timer, Standard
  • Easy to set up and adjust – the controller has 6 fixed daily watering options available and an additional 10 fixed programmes
  • Separate manual watering button – a quick and simple way to allow immediate watering
  • Limited rotation of dial – the dial is designed to prevent an accidental start time being selected
  • Led light – The LED light displays when the battery is low
  • Compatible with water butt tanks – the select controller Works at a pressure as low as 0.1 bar
SaleBestseller No. 7
Aqualin Water Hose Tap Timer Watering Computer with 2 Solenoid Valves Garden Irrigation System Controller, Blue
499 Reviews
Aqualin Water Hose Tap Timer Watering Computer with 2 Solenoid Valves Garden Irrigation System Controller, Blue
  • Two Independent Outlets - Features two independent valves with maximum flexibility settings. The watering start time, duration time, frequency and delay time of two outlets can be independently programmed, meet your different watering needs.
  • Flexible - This watering computer allows you to set your desired frequency and duration. Watering time: 1-240 min, Frequency can be set by second, minute, hour or day
  • Easy To Use - The water timer features a swivel coupling for easy and quick connection, no tools required for installation
  • RAIN DELAY - Easily skip watering during the rainy days, without interrupting the programmed watering cycles
  • Universal Connection - Can be attached to 3/4''(19mm) or 1''(25mm) threaded tap or faucet, fits most of the tap. (battery installation video is in the picture area, please have a look, in case that you insert the battery box reversely)
Bestseller No. 8
ECTECH 2 Port Digital Hose Tap Water Timer,Automatic Garden Lawn Irrigation Watering Computer System Controller Two Timed Outlets
2 Reviews
ECTECH 2 Port Digital Hose Tap Water Timer,Automatic Garden Lawn Irrigation Watering Computer System Controller Two Timed Outlets
  • Automatic Watering Timer:ECTECH 2 port intelligent garden timer will water your garden automatically when you are on holiday.
  • Easy to use:Simple installation,Waterproof design,directly connect it to water tap.
  • Electronic Watering Timer:single watering time from 5s to 600 minutes,cycle time is 6 hours,12 hours or from 1 to 7 days.
  • Rain delay: Option to postpone for 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours without disturbing the preset programmes.
  • Battery Powered:Powered by 2pcs AA batteries,not included.
SaleBestseller No. 9
MKNZOME Watering Timer, Hose Timer Automatic Electronic Garden Irrigation System Controller Lawn Sprinkler Timer, Multiple timing settings, for Greenhouse Orchard Garden Landscape Balcony#1
31 Reviews
MKNZOME Watering Timer, Hose Timer Automatic Electronic Garden Irrigation System Controller Lawn Sprinkler Timer, Multiple timing settings, for Greenhouse Orchard Garden Landscape Balcony#1
  • 💧A programmed irrigation timer: It waters your garden when your on holiday, at work, and save much more water and reduce the labor cost than traditional irrigation equipment. Through the manual button to set the irrigation schedule, use the automatic watering function, regular watering.
  • 💧Watering frequency: Mknzome water timer allows wider range of run time and interval. It can control the watering time to minutes, the single watering duration can be set to the shortest 1 minute and the longest 300 minutes. The shortest cycle time is 6 hours, the longest interval time can be set to 7 days. Which can meet different individual needs.
  • 💧Easy to use: Mknzome sprinkler timer can be installed on the faucet without other auxiliary tools, fits all standard taps or faucet with 3/4 "thread. Comes with a transparent cover with good waterproof function, don't worry about the rain. With a large clear LCD display shows watering status and time, and simple programming, It's very flexble to operate.
  • 💧Durable material: This hose timer device is mainly made of durable ABS plastic, easily handling high-pressure living water no matter in city or in countryside. The water inlet is equipped with a filter, which can prevent the water inlet from being blocked, you can count on many years of qualitied service.
  • 💧widely used: Suitable for various irrigation systems, such as the atomize, the drip irrigation, and the large area irrigation. Apply to family garden, lawn, flower bed, outside plant, vegetables, landscape. It'can bring you a high-quality life, enjoy the freedom of self-watered, suitable as gift for gardening fanatics who are on vacation.
Bestseller No. 10
RUIZHI smart irrigation timer, automatic sprinkler, programmable waterproof timer, LED display, garden and agricultural horticulture irrigation sprinkler controller, automatic watering system
2 Reviews
RUIZHI smart irrigation timer, automatic sprinkler, programmable waterproof timer, LED display, garden and agricultural horticulture irrigation sprinkler controller, automatic watering system
  • 1. Intelligent automatic irrigation control: a variety of program settings, real-time automatic operation. Thanks to flexible programming and automatic irrigation, you can easily water according to your wishes according to the current time, start time, irrigation time (1 minute to 9 hours and 59 minutes), and irrigation frequency (1 hour to 30 days). You can set up to 16 schedules, which are more flexible than other schedules in terms of time setting.
  • 2. Waterproof and durable timer watering: There is a protective cover, the protection level is IP67 waterproof and 10 kg water pressure test. The upper plug is made of reinforced ABS material, so it is more durable.
  • 3. [Better care of plants and water saving]: Using smart irrigation programs can not only protect water resources, but also improve the efficiency of automatic irrigation and significantly reduce labor costs. Even if no one is at home, the water computer can automatically water the flowers on a regular basis.
  • 4. Easy to use: The faucet computer opens the valve at the selected time and water can flow. Suitable for 2 types of taps: 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch threaded taps. There are 2 types of hose connections: nipple connection and hose connection. The easy-to-read LCD display makes all settings clear at a glance.
  • 5. Battery indicator: When the battery is low, the valve will automatically close, and the battery indicator in the display will promptly warn the user when the battery needs to be replaced. Watering timers are very suitable for lawns, greenhouses and gardens.

Last update on 24 September 2021 - 22:12. Product price & availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price & availability information displayed on the Amazon.co.uk website at the time of purchase will apply.