Last week, we made some changes to an existing garden that created two new planting areas in a shaded walkway. The garden’s current irrigation system had ample coverage, but was composed of all spray heads and no drip. The new planting beds needed a lot less water, just a one gallon drip emitter to each area would be plenty. Another issue was that new beds were also a good distance away from where we could connect into the existing irrigation. Luckily, and also much closer to where we created the new planting area, was a hose bib.
Perfect! We were able to create a separate zone that matched the watering needs of the shadier area by using a battery operated timer. Since the hose bib was fairly new and without leaks, setting up the new irrigation was really quick. Probably the most amount of time needed was to drive to the store for the parts. I really like the Dig, now called Galcon, battery operated timer. I’ve been using the Galcon 9001DB timer for years and find it to be highly reliable, easy to program and gentle on battery life. Speaking of batteries, don’t forget to change the timer’s 9 volt battery at least once a year if you live in climate where you only use the timer in spring and summer. If you’re using the timer year round, you’ll want to change it every 6 months.Once I had the parts in hand, it probably took about 30 minutes to connect the brass Y, the goose neck, the timer, add the battery, program the timer, connect the filter, pressure reducer and connector to connect in to the 3/8″ line, then run the line from the timer, along the fence to the new beds. And then depending on your needs, run the 1/4″ line and emitters to the individual plants. That’s how easy it is. For more info, read our review of the Galcon timer.
If you have a tight space, Galcon makes a narrower timer that might work for your needs. Or better yet, another favorite battery operated timer is the Orbit timer. It has one very narrow dimension and is super easy to program. I’d say the only minus over the Galcon is that it doesn’t have as much programming flexibility, if that is something you need. For example, if you were watering potted plants and needed multiple, shorter run times. Another plus with Orbit is that they offer two valves in one battery operated timer. You can read our review on the Oribt timer here.
ps – read more about setting up irrigation in our previous post How to Set Up Drip Irrigation.