As it is taking some time to water my garden in this hot weather, I have decided to install a sprinkler system.
I have a clematis hedge around my garden growing up a trellis from an enclosed wooden border between the lawn and a low garden wall. This border is long and thin, so I have installed a soaker hose right along it, which seems to work well. I am now extending this so that it goes right the way round the back garden and into the front garden, alternating soaker hose and normal hose, as needed. It is fed from a two-way switched hose fitting to the outside water tap. I can switch this to do the clockwise portion, the anti-clockwise portion, or both.
I am adding to this a micro water irrigation system, to water various raised beds, hanging baskets etc.
I am then adding about three sprinklers for watering the lawn. This is all done with normal flexible hose. It is fun putting all this together like Lego.
It is all quite cheap. I am buying most off it on Amazon, with a bit from the local B&Q.
I plan to have every plant in the garden, and the whole of the lawn, covered by the system.
I am adding a couple battery timers to automate the system. I think I will have one for the clockwise section and one for the anti-clockwise system, and perhaps another for the lawn sprinklers. It is not all completely designed yet.
This should allow me to automate watering when I am away.
I think I will then experiment with wireless controlled automation, by replacing the timers with home-made solenoid operated wireless valves. I have not found a good, cheap pre-packaged wireless valve, but solenoid operated valves are cheap and adding a wireless modules and a battery pack to this, and putting it in a waterproof container, should not be too hard. I will probably use a Jeenode.
I will then be able to control everything by HouseControl. This will give me lots of options to automate things. For example I can look at the weather and recent rainfall, to see what needs watering. I can look at the calendar to see when I am away, and automatic watering should be done. I will also be able to operate the system remotely over the Internet to override the automated watering, if necessary.
I might add soil moisture sensors and perhaps chemical sensors to see when the plants need feeding. There are various commercial offering for this such as Koubachi and Parrot, which I will look at.
But one step at a time. First, I will get the full sprinkler system built, and then add off-the-shelf timers. Only when these are working well, will I look at more advanced control.