Northern Outlook - - GARDENING -

Bring tap timers and hose fit­tings that you’ll not be us­ing over win­ter in out of the up­com­ing frosts. Left on and full of wa­ter, in a frost the wa­ter will ex­pand and break the seals. I’ve spent a lot of money over the years on tap timers. My favourite ver­sion is now a cheap $15 dial you man­u­ally turn on which au­to­mat­i­cally ticks down the set time and turns the wa­ter off. The more ex­pen­sive elec­tronic ver­sions that turn on by them­selves are great in the­ory but you have to wait a full cy­cle to en­sure they work. So if you want your gar­den wa­tered at 5am, you have to set it at 5am, and wait un­til 5 the fol­low­ing morn­ing to check all is work­ing cor­rectly. And if the bat­ter­ies go flat, some­one has turned the tap off or a fit­ting has bro­ken, you don’t re­alise un­til things are start­ing to shrivel up.

I’ve de­cided gar­den­ing is not that au­to­matic and it is eas­ier to turn on the tap when needed and use the timer to en­sure it gets turned off. I just wish I could find one with shorter and more pre­cise tim­ing.

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