Water timers are devices that help to automate your garden watering , they can be used in conjunction with lawn sprinklers, drip systems, pools, aquariums, etc. There are different types of water timers for different needs, including countdown timers and flow counters, that function by counting down minutes or gallons. Most are relatively simple to operate. The most popular brands are Gardenar, Gilmour, Nelson, and Melnor.
Digital Water Timers
The majority of water timers can be divided into two types, Analogue water timers and Digital water timers. The digital water timers are rapidly becoming more available to the home gardener, as they have proven themselves more reliable than the older analogue water timers.
Digital water timers are more expensive than analogue varieties. Digital water timers can be programmed for longer periods enabling you to organize a watering schedule during vacations, or to begin watering during the appropriate season without having to do anything else other than organize the water timers schedule. Some come with moisture sensors that are supposed to detect whether it is raining or not and skip cycles during rainy periods - my personal experience with this aspect of digital timers is Don't waste your time - moisture sensors are not that reliable and can be more trouble than they are worth.
Analog Water Timers
The analogue water timer has some advantages over digital varieties, primarily in its simplicity . While a digital one may have a number of dials and and at times confusing controls, the analogue water timers tend to have only one or two easy to understand and idiot-proof buttons.
You can usually have one or two dials which allow you to set a AM and PM, and duration of your watering cycle. You will be able to adjust the controls so that your garden can be watered several times a day, ensuring that you can get long-term watering for your garden.
Mains Water Timers
Another version of electronic water timer is the 'mains timer', which is connected into a mains water supply, which can be used to trigger the irrigation cycle . The advantage of this system means that you can water your garden many times daily, allowing you to concentrate attention to the plants that most need it.