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How to install an automatic watering system

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
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To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

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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Total time:

Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.

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Step 3

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.

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Step 4

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.

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Step 5

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.

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Step 6

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.

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Step 7

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.