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
Hozelock Simple Water Timer
1,325 Reviews
Hozelock Simple Water Timer
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Houses 13 pre-set programs to supply water from once per day up to four times a day.
  • Simply attach to the outdoor tap with the built in connector.
  • Battery operated (This This ASIN is supplied without batteries)
  • Universal male connector at the bottom
Bestseller No. 2
infinitoo Automatic Watering Timer Device, Timing Watering Sprinkler Controller, Waterproof LCD Display, Automatic Irrigation for Gardening Plant, Balcony, Vegetable Garden, Up To 30 Days
87 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. 3
DEWINNER Hose Watering Timer, Digital Water Faucet, Garden Lawn Sprinkler Timer, Electronic Programmable Irrigation System,Rain Delay Controller
3 Reviews
DEWINNER Hose Watering Timer, Digital Water Faucet, Garden Lawn Sprinkler Timer, Electronic Programmable Irrigation System,Rain Delay Controller
  • 【Flexible Setting】Watering time: the shortest watering time is 1 minute, and the longest watering time is 300 minutes. Watering cycle: watering cycle is 6 hours, 12 hours, 1 day, 2 days, etc. The longest cycle time was 7 days.
  • 【Easy To Use】The water timer has a rotatable joint, which is convenient for quick connection and does not need to install any tools. Rain delay for water conservation.It not only effectively utilizes water resources, but also improves the efficiency of automatic irrigation and greatly reduces the labor cost.
  • 【Waterproof And LCD Screen】 Heavy duty weatherproof structure with brass rotary joint; easy to read large LCD screen with watering program, large dial and simple control, programmable.
  • 【Applicable Scene】It is widely used for family gardening, lawn, flower bed and vertical greening irrigation.
  • 【External Setting】It can be connected to 1/2'' & 3/4 inch tap; power supply: 2xaa alkaline battery (not included)
Bestseller No. 4
Aqualin Two Outlets Electronic Hose Tap Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof
211 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)
Bestseller No. 5
SEAAN Water Timer, Single-Outlet Hose Watering Timer, Electronic Irrigation System Timer Water Controller with LCD Display, Digital Garden Timer Automatic Watering Device
  • ☑【Two Modes And Timing Functions】: Automatic mode:The watering timer allows a wider range of run times and intervals. Every 1 day / every 2 days / every 3 days, the number of times of watering on the watering day is 1/2/3,and the interval is 8 hours, the shortest watering time is 1 minute, the longest watering time is 240 minutes. Manual mode:and the watering can also be controlled manually.
  • ☑【Convenient Extra-large Dial and Readout LCD Screen】Features a easy to read LCD screen, displaying amazingly detailed information; such as when next watering cycle will begin, duration remaining for current watering cycle and much more. Convenient extra-large dial and readout screen for easy set-up and review of watering schedules.
  • ☑【Easy To Use】 Inlet threads are available in 1 "and 3/4" universal thread and matches most hose faucets for easy and quick connection without any need for tools. Simple to use manual Option lets you easily access the faucet whenever you need to run the water. Design for season-long outdoor use, this versatile timer provides worry-free watering convenience.
  • ☑【High-quality 】Weather-resistant, impact-resistance, premium ABS construction with dust cover ideal for irrigation applications in gardens, yards, greenhouses, flowerbeds, and etc. Drawer-type detachable battery compartment for effortless battery replacement, 2 alkaline 1.5V AA batteries are required (NOT included).
  • ☑【Wide Applcation】: Compatible with most brands of hose fittings, the watering start time, duration time, frequency and delay time of two outlets can be independently programmed, meet your different watering needs, great for garden plants, flower,seeds, even agriculture activities.
SaleBestseller No. 7
BORUIT LCD Waterproof Digital Water Timer Automatic Irrigation Watering Timer Electronic Garden Irrigation Controller
243 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
Faucet Timer, Garden Sprinkler Timer, Electronic Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation Controller, Digital Intelligence Watering System LCD Waterproof, No Water Pressure Required
1 Reviews
Faucet Timer, Garden Sprinkler Timer, Electronic Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation Controller, Digital Intelligence Watering System LCD Waterproof, No Water Pressure Required
  • High Quanlity Materials: the soaker hose timer are made of new materials, which are of good quality and long-lasting durability to solve your inferior equipment problems.
  • Automatic watering: equipped with high-quality timers, regular watering, you do not need to do it yourself, so you can travel with confidence.
  • No Need to Pressurize: The normal tap water at home can be used directly, and it needs to be pressurized in well water and water tower to facilitate your life.
  • Environmental Protection and Water Saving: Delayed rainfall to save water, and manual override switch can keep programming and allow flexible manual watering, allowing you to do whatever you want.
  • Easy to Use: This timer features simple, easy installation and programming. There is no need for tools. Just set the start time, watering duration and frequency. The timer retains the program while changing battery. The large, easy to read dial and LCD screen makes programming easy as ABC!
Bestseller No. 9
Aqualin Garden 4-Zone Watering Computer Automatic Irrigation System Controller Water Tap Hose Timer with 2 Solenoid Valve, Grey
112 Reviews
Aqualin Garden 4-Zone Watering Computer Automatic Irrigation System Controller Water Tap Hose Timer with 2 Solenoid Valve, Grey
  • This solenoid valve watering computer has 4 independent programmable stations. It can be set 4 different Start Time(Each Start Time works on all 4 stations)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (1 X 4-way water distributor, 2 X solenoid valves are included)
  • 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)
Bestseller No. 10
Aqualin Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Electronic Watering Computer with Two Outlets Color Blue
167 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.

Last update on 28 February 2021 - 14:34. 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.