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

SaleBestseller No. 1
infinitoo Automatic Watering Timer Device, Timing Watering Sprinkler Controller, Waterproof LCD Display, Automatic Irrigation for Gardening Plant, Balcony, Vegetable Garden, Up To 30 Days
90 Reviews
infinitoo Automatic Watering Timer Device, Timing Watering Sprinkler Controller, Waterproof LCD Display, Automatic Irrigation for Gardening Plant, Balcony, Vegetable Garden, Up To 30 Days
  • 【Automatic Irrigation Timer】Intelligent garden timer, which can control the watering time to the minute, can set the minimum single watering time to 1 minute, and the longest single watering time is 300 minutes.You are not worried about forgetting to water plants on time or forgetting to turn off faucet.
  • 【 Anti-leakage Construction】 The top connector is 3/4" universal thread and matches most hose faucets. This heavy-duty garden timer is made of 30% reinforced nylon material, which is more durable than ordinary ABS material. With automatic watering function, equipped with high-quality timer, regular watering, cycle time is 6 hours, the longest cycle is 7 days, travel is more worry-free.Really effort and time saving in garden management.
  • 【Waterproof and Simple and easy to use】Simple installation, rotating touch design, set the corresponding program according to individual needs, and strong autonomy.The exterior and interior are specially designed for leaking prevention. Its protection grade reaches IP65 and effectively guarantees the superior waterproof and dust-proof properties.
  • 【Multi-functions】With a large digital display, oversized dial, & simple controls, programming is fast & easy; This automatic water timer makes your garden irrigation system intelligent and smart.
  • 【Multi-use 】This garden timer is simple and easy to use. This automatic irrigation timer can be used for watering lawns, flowers, plants and pots in gardens, vegetable gardens, patios, etc. It’s also applicable in sprinkling and drip irrigation systems, rain buckets, pet water feeding, etc.
Bestseller No. 2
Aqualin Hose Water Tap Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof, Blue
351 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. 3
Water Timer, Automatic Watering Timer Programmable Irrigation System Controller for Garden Lawn, with 3 Separate Irrigation Programs, Rain Sensor, Child Lock, Manual Irrigation, IPX5 Waterproof
2 Reviews
Water Timer, Automatic Watering Timer Programmable Irrigation System Controller for Garden Lawn, with 3 Separate Irrigation Programs, Rain Sensor, Child Lock, Manual Irrigation, IPX5 Waterproof
  • 3 Separate Irrigation Programs: Garden irrigation timer can setting 3 independent irrigation programs to meet your different needs. Garden watering system timers allows a wider range of running times and intervals, each irrigation program can set different watering frequency and watering time. The watering time for each group is 1s to 99min 59s, and the irrigation interval is 1h to 15 days.
  • IP65 Waterproof and Rain Sensor: This garden water timer protection grade reaches IP65, the superior waterproof properties make it more durable and stable in outdoor use. If it rains, the rain sensor mode of the watering timer system can automatically sense the rainwater and stop irrigation, avoid excessive watering and saves water.
  • Manual Irrigation and Child Lock: The manual mode of the automatic sprinkler can be used for instant watering without interrupting your scheduled irrigation program. Water timer irrigation child lock mode can lock the timer to ensure not accidentally triggering change programmed setting.
  • Durable Water Timers: The top connector of the water timer for garden hose is 3/4" thread which is matches most hose faucets. This garden automatic watering systems is mainly made of durable ABS plastic, the water inlet equipped with a filter, which can effectively filter impurities such as small stones and sand, and can prevent the water inlet from being blocked.
  • Widely Applications: Automatic water irrigation control system suitable for various irrigation systems such as atomize and large area irrigation, pot drip irrigation.This garden watering timer also apply to garden,outdoor lawn,outside plant, shrubs, grounds, courtyards, etc.
Bestseller No. 4
Aqualin Water Hose Tap Timer Watering Computer with 2 Solenoid Valves Garden Irrigation System Controller, Blue
388 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.
Bestseller No. 5
Aqualin Water Timer Tap Hose Timer Watering Computer Garden Irrigation System Controller
5 Reviews
Aqualin Water Timer Tap Hose Timer Watering Computer Garden Irrigation System Controller
  • Programmable: The watering computer allows you to set the desired watering Start Time, Frequency and Duration. Watering duration: 1-240 min, Frequency: Every 4/6/12 H or every 1-15 days
  • Easy To Use - Features a swivel coupling for easy and quick connection without any need for tools, instruction is simple and clear.
  • Backlit LCD Screen - A large, easy to read LCD screen with Backlit, displaying detailed information and makes it possible to use this hose timer at night.
  • Rain Delay / ECO Function-Skip watering during and after rainy days, without interrupting the programmed watering progress.Unique ECO funtion makes the timer work more intelligently. Rain Delay time: 0/24/48/72 H
  • Manual Watering – Manual watering function is available, watering time: 1-240min / 2 AA batteries required (Not included). / Solid quality, fully waterproof.
SaleBestseller No. 6
Aqualin Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Electronic Watering Computer with Two Outlets Color Blue
181 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
BORUIT LCD Waterproof Digital Water Timer Automatic Irrigation Watering Timer Electronic Garden Irrigation Controller
252 Reviews
BORUIT LCD Waterproof Digital Water Timer Automatic Irrigation Watering Timer Electronic Garden Irrigation Controller
  • Temperature range: 0-40 degree,Work pressure: 0.05~0.8MPa. Weight:330g.Power supply: 2x 1.5V AAA (Not include).
  • Extra-large LCD, vivid text provides best-in-class(Clock time ) readability.
  • 1-16 Set of water programs.Watering time can be set from 1 minute to 9 hours 59 minutes.
  • Manual Watering:A manual button allows instant faucet use without interrupting your set program.
  • Setting the watering frequency and water time, even if you are away on holiday, do not worry plants unattended.
Bestseller No. 8
Water Irrigation Timer Controller Watering Hose Timers, Garden Hose Controller Faucet Timer, Garden Automatic Irrigation System Controller Watering Digital Timer
92 Reviews
Water Irrigation Timer Controller Watering Hose Timers, Garden Hose Controller Faucet Timer, Garden Automatic Irrigation System Controller Watering Digital Timer
  • EASIEST IRRIGATION SYSTEM CONTROLLER TO USE: This watering timers features simple, easy installation and programming. There is no need for tools. Just set the delay time, watering duration and frequency and you are ready to go. The large, easy to read dial makes programming easy as ABC!
  • GARDEN AUTOMATIC WATER TIMERS WITH FLEXIBLE SWITCH: One-Touch button for flexible switch between Manual and Automatic watering, or Turn ON and OFF at the irrigation timers. Manual Watering allows instant faucet use without interrupting your set program.
  • TIMED WATERING: No more over- or under-watering with timed and programmed watering. Water interval time can be 12/24/48 hours, watering duration with range of 2/5/10/15 minutes, delay time from 0 to 22 hours. Set the timer and forget it, all the while reaping the beauty of a well-hydrated garden.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Strong, weather-resistant, quality ABS materials and a waterproof rating of IP65 to ensure it will last season after season without the worry of rust or corrosion. The built-in rain delay setting allows you to pause your current watering schedule for a day or two on account of the rain. This helps you save water and money as your plants take in natural watering through the rain.
  • GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE - If you have any quality concerns about watering timer, if you receive a defective item, a damaged package with missing parts or you have any questions about the order please email us.
Bestseller No. 9
Aqualin Automatic 4-Zone Irrigation System Controller Garden Water Timer Watering Computer with 2 Solenoid Valve
123 Reviews
Aqualin Automatic 4-Zone Irrigation System Controller Garden Water Timer Watering Computer with 2 Solenoid Valve
  • 4 stations of the watering computer can be programmed partially independently. It can set 4 different Start Time(Start Time is effective for all 4 stations), Watering frequency: Every 1 - 15 days or week mode, watering duration: 1...180mins
  • This water timer can connect 4 hoses with its 4-way water splitter. Water flow can be adjust. Sealing caps in the back protects the connection port from rain and dirt.
  • Manual watering and Rain Delay function and are available, Delay time can be set: 0/24/48/72 H (Rain sensor not included). Rain delay function will protect your plants from overwatering in rainy day.
  • A large, easy to read LCD screen, displaying watering program. Low battery indicator is available. Power supply: 2 X AA alkaline battery required (not included)
  • It can be attached to all standard taps with 3/4 " or 1'' thread, it can connect to a 4-way water distributor and 4 solenoid valves (a 4-way water distributor and 2 solenoid valves are included)
Bestseller No. 10
Aqualin Two Outlets Electronic Hose Tap Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof
66 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 12 May 2021 - 5:56. 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.