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Hi all, I sometimes go away for a few days and with having a large greenhouse have problems watering my plants, I am thinking of buying a drip irrigation system can anyone give me advice on the pros and cons of these systems and what system is the best value for money 

thanks Terry

If you have a tap from which a hose can be run to the greenhouse, I would suggest the Hozelock irrigation system.  I use one for pots and baskets, but it would work well for a greenhouse too.

There are systems which use gravity feed from a water tank, which might be more practical for a large greenhouse but I don't have personal experience of those.

Hozelock and Gardena are the most common systems you will find in garden centres. I have had poor experiences with the automatic water timers from both these manufacturers with none ever lasting more than 2 years before dying. I have just picked up a new timer from Screwfix which has the advantage of being much cheaper than the other two so at least if it doesn't last any longer I will have spent less.

It takes a bit of experimentation to fine tune whichever system you pick so factor that in and the time it will take before you leave it on auto.

Mike Allen

I suggest that if you are at times away from the greenhouse for extended periods.  Then a system that is supplied by the mains water.  Make sure any taps are fitted with a non-return valve, this prevents contaminated water getting back to the main supply.  My layout is this.  Connected to the outside tap, I have a heavt duty 1/2" hose permanantly to the Green house. In the GH I have a tap plus a two-way, or double take-off.  One take-off supplies the garden hose, the second supplies my GH irrigation system.  I have connected to the GH out-let a battery operated timer unit, cost £12-£15.  Then I used a cheap green plasic 1/2" hose.  This is attached to the outlet of the timer unit.  This hose is now attached to the inside of the roof glazing bars via pipe clamps.  The hose runs the length of the GH, crosses a few feet short of the end, and runs back down the other side. The end is sealed by means of bending the hose upon itself and securing with a jubilee clip.  I bought a pack ot two of small jet valves cost, max £5.  Then using a bradawl or a one inch wire nail, I Punctured the hoes at intervals of about 18"  The jet valves easily screw into the plastic hose.  Now test time.  Turn the water on, starting with basically the tap just open, the gradually open a bit more, until you have just above a med mist spray.  Now set the timer unit according to the manufactures instructions.  Over past years.  I have been away from home for three to four months at a time.  Back home, and the GH has been better cared for in my absence.  Hope this helps.  PM me if needed.  Mike.


The pro is that it will water while you are away. The con is that it won't feed, and may overwater and deplete the compost of nutrients if you don't keep an eye on it. If you set the timer for a set period, it does not adjust for the fact it may have been dull all day and not need watering, or boiling hot and need watering twice. I believe that to do that accurately you have to have an "electronic leaf:"


Mike Allen

Ah fidgetbones my dear respected friend.  If I may.  Plant feeding?  yes a big question mark.  Plant feeding.  Please I mean no disrespect to anyone  but!  Is it a must that our plants have been examined, diagnosed and prescribed a daily dosage of Growmore, once every two weeks?

In fact.  I grow as previously on this forum. Fuchsias and liliums along with other subjects.  OK. I hold my hands up. Feeding my plants is a hit and miss situation, yet I am so so say still up and running.  Now the matter of.  Perhaps the period has been dull, overcast.  My dear friend..  Please belive me.  I have no intentions of destroying whatever friendship we have but.  To coin a phrase.  The sun shines on the righteouse and the unrighteouse.  Likewise, in the GH or the open ground, the scientific differences are minimal.  Your mention of the " electronic leaf"  Might I respectfuly educate my hon. friend.  The electronical leaf is a devise that has been in use since at least the 1950's  Might I with the greatest respect inform/educate my learned friend.  The so-called electronic leaf was designed and is used today solely in the proporgation house.   In general practice and principle.  Its enginerring and practicle use in a general amateure greenhous is a no-go

get plant sensor ,soil moisture must be 80 ~ 82% -grow stimulated moister.

self watering soaker will keep moister at minmum, or optimum depends on water height.water level(water pressure) equal to  water amount and safe metod is minumum self watering  with manual    correction ,depends from wheater.



Thanhs for the advice everyone, I might try and set up something as per Mikes advice thanks agin

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