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
Niady Wi-Fi Remote Control Automatic Drip Irrigation System Pump Controller Garden Watering Device Kits
  • In order to make it easier for everyone to use and let the device be used in more scenes, APP provides three kinds of timed automatic watering mode.
  • With this irrigation, you can now maximize the efficiency of your irrigation system.
  • Very practical and can be applied in your home garden, roof garden, lawn, balcony, courtyard etc.
  • Made of high quality ABS material, durable in use.
  • WiFi intelligent control, very convenient, APP smart home remote control, irrigation time can be set freely.
Bestseller No. 2
LCD Irrigation Controller Kit Water Timer Automatic Watering System for Home Garden
  • With rain sensor, automatic watering timer, garden irrigation time controller, watering timer, works automatically after setting the timing program.
  • When rain drops on the rain sensor, the irrigation timer will automatically stop working to avoid excessive watering in rainy days.
  • With waterproof sealing cover design, it can be used outdoors or in rainy days, and you can easily water all plants with this irrigation system.
  • Multi-function LCD display: display the day of the week, hour, minute and programming time for easy reference; buttons for easy setting and resetting.
  • The air outlet is designed to keep the machine dry and prevent water from accumulating in the machine to ensure the normal operation of the machine.High-quality environmentally friendly engineering plastics have excellent performance, good rigidity, high mechanical strength, heat resistance and good insulation properties.
SaleBestseller No. 3
BORUIT LCD Waterproof Digital Water Timer Automatic Irrigation Watering Timer Electronic Garden Irrigation Controller
92 Reviews
BORUIT LCD Waterproof Digital Water Timer Automatic Irrigation Watering Timer Electronic Garden Irrigation Controller
  • 【Automatic&Intelligent】With a timer, you only need to press the buttons to set the irrigation time and it will water the plants on time; The watering system can water your plants according your desire automatically ,don't worry about your plants any more when you have a long travel
  • 【 Versatile Settings】16 groups of watering time can be set per day at most; different programs for your special demands: single and multi program, regular and cycle, program of one day or several days.
  • 【Multi-functional LCD Screen】Displays day of the week, hour, minute and programming time for easy reference; buttons for easy setting and re-setting.
  • 【Battery Powered】Only 2 AAA batteries required(Not included); not tethered to socket, you can use it any corner in your garden.
  • 【Widely Usage】Suitable for the control of irrigation systems in the domestic sector, such as lawn sprinkler, sprinklers, greenhouse and more.
Bestseller No. 4
Watering Timer Electronic Garden Watering Timer Automatic Watering Irrigation Controller LCD Display
1 Reviews
Watering Timer Electronic Garden Watering Timer Automatic Watering Irrigation Controller LCD Display
  • Save water and time: the use of intelligent irrigation system not only provides efficient water resources, but also greatly reduces labor costs through efficient irrigation.
  • The filter screen is designed at the inlet of the controller to effectively filter impurities and avoid blockage. Easy to disassemble and clean.
  • The timer can be used to set the watering program for the garden, to set a specific watering time, and to set the current specific time to automatically turn on the sprinkler and irrigation system.
  • It can water plants when no one is at the home and care for them to improve their survival.
  • The timer is waterproof, it can be used outdoors, and adopts high quality material, more impact-resistant and wear-resistant .
Bestseller No. 5
RUIZHI smart irrigation timer, automatic sprinkler, programmable waterproof timer, LED display, garden and agricultural horticulture irrigation sprinkler controller, automatic watering system
3 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.
Bestseller No. 6
Aqualin Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Electronic Watering Computer with Two Outlets Color Blue
241 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. 7
Holzsammlung Smart 1-Dial Programmable Automatic Hose Timer/Garden Irrigation System Controller/Sprinkler Timer
1 Reviews
Holzsammlung Smart 1-Dial Programmable Automatic Hose Timer/Garden Irrigation System Controller/Sprinkler Timer
  • 💧Meant for use with hose-end sprinklers, drip irrigation systems, or soaker hoses.
  • 💧1 dial allows complete timer control functionality. Cycles easily from set clock, set watering time, how often, how long, then run program.
  • 💧Single outlet and convenient large dial with large LCD display readout screen for easy set-up and review of watering schedules.
  • 💧Low energy use (less than 20 micro amps in standby mode) ensures long battery life
  • 💧🦎Customer Satisfaction Guarantee: 100% quality and satisfaction guarantee. We dedicated to make high grade products. Please contact us if there is any problem, we will work proactively with you to resolve it.
Bestseller No. 8
Aqualin Hose Water Tap Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof, Blue
449 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. 9
Aqualin Two Outlet Water Hose Timer Garden Watering Computer Electronic Irrigation Controller, Green
506 Reviews
Aqualin Two Outlet Water Hose Timer Garden Watering Computer Electronic Irrigation Controller, Green
  • 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
  • Maximal Flexibility - 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. 10
Aqualin Two Outlets Electronic Hose Tap Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof
432 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)

Last update on 3 November 2021 - 0:14. 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.