How to install an automatic watering system

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

30 minutes

An automatic watering and feeding system will take the strain out of watering plants and crops for you this summer. Simply set it up and top up the reservoir every few weeks - adding some liquid feed at the same time - and you can sit back and watch your garden grow, or go on holiday, safe in the knowledge that your plants won't go thirsty.

You will need

  • Watering kit (this one is 2 PotKit, available from AutoPot)

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Set out the watering kit, attaching the pipe to the tank and valve. If you raise the tank on a few bricks, it will increase the water pressure and improve the flow.

Check the valve fits neatly onto the base between the two pots, making sure there is no dirt or compost underneath, as this can stop it working efficiently.

Place a filter disc in the base of each pot to prevent any compost from washing down into the tray, where it could affect the function of the valve.

Put a layer of coarse material, such as expanded clay pebbles, in each pot to prevent waterlogging. Add a layer of good-quality multi-purpose compost and firm it down.

Place the plant in the centre of the pot and firm compost in around it. Don't stand the pot in the tray yet. Water thoroughly from above and let the excess water drain away.

Position the plant pots in the tray, placing one of the root control discs provided, under the base of each. Stake the plants or attach them to support strings.

Fill up the tank with tap water. It's a good idea to add a suitable liquid plant feed to the tank as well, so that your crops will be watered and fed at the same time.

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Keep the tray and valve clean so the watering system works well. If any dirt falls in, wash the tray, valve and mats thoroughly before replacing the pots.

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