No big in­stal­la­tion needed – time your sprin­klers with a hose up­grade

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Hav­ing a lush, pretty gar­den to chill out in over the sum­mer months is lovely, but that re­quires a whole load of work. At least, it used to. We have a shed full of gad­gets and tools to take the ef­fort out of tend­ing your gar­den, but here we’re go­ing in-depth on one great prod­uct that can help out pretty much ev­ery­one, and with only a cou­ple of months in­stal­la­tion time: the Hoze­lock Cloud Con­troller.

The Cloud Con­troller box screws onto your gar­den tap, then you at­tach your gar­den hose to it. This is ba­si­cally an ex­tra valve that can be opened or closed by in­struc­tions from a wire­less hub. Con­nect the hub to your router and, hey presto, your hose can now be turned on/off re­motely from an app on your phone.

The point of this is not, as we as­sumed, to in­fu­ri­ate then soak some­one who’s try­ing to water the gar­den man­u­ally with the hose. You can set a sched­ule for the Cloud Con­troller to fol­low, in­clud­ing what time it should be­gin wa­ter­ing and for how long. So if you hook your KRVH XSbWR D VSULQNOHU KHDG RU ZKDWHYHU RWKHU item you use to get your plants wa­tered prop­erly (see the next page for some picks), you can set it and for­get it, know­ing that your plants will get the hy­dra­tion they need.

Well, we say for­get it, but the app is a lit­tle smarter than that... If it’s go­ing to rain for a few days, the app will fore­warn you of the change in weather. You can then choose to dial back the amount of wa­ter­ing, with just a few taps of your phone. The same goes for ex­tra hot spells, with the app warn­ing you ahead of time so that you can ad­just the wa­ter­ing du­ra­tion ac­cord­ingly. You can also pause the wa­ter­ing sched­ule at any time, in case you’re sit­ting in the gar­den, re­lax­ing with an is­sue of T3, and sud­denly re­mem­ber that the sprin­klers are about to give you an un­wanted shower.

Ul­ti­mately, the Hoze­lock Cloud Con­troller is much cheaper to in­stall than a full sprin­kler sys­tem and can save you a lot of ef­fort try­ing to keep your lawn healthy and nour­ished. One no­table caveat: while a sin­gle Cloud Con­troller covers mul­ti­ple ar­eas of a gar­den with a hose split­ter, you won’t get in­di­vid­ual con­trol of those ar­eas. You can add zonal con­trol us­ing this sys­tem, though (see left). For ex­tra details about the sys­tem, visit hoze­

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