Which is the best irrigation system for your garden?

Which is the best irrigation system for your garden?

Are you tired of hand-watering your garden or worrying about your plants while you’re on holiday? Irrigation systems might seem daunting, but we’re here to simplify the process of finding the best irrigation system for you.

Benefits of Automated Irrigation Systems

Automated irrigation systems save you time and water while ensuring your plants receive consistent care. Although setting up these systems takes some effort, once they are up and running, you’ll have more time to enjoy your garden and improve your yields of healthier and more pest/disease resistant plants.

Customisable and Efficient (Save Time and Save Water)

Irrigation systems are typically easy to customise. No matter what you grow, you can attach the appropriate fitting, such as drippers, sprayers, or soaker hoses, to maximise each plant’s potential. Opt for a system that doesn’t require proprietary parts, so you can use your favourite fittings without being tied to a specific brand. This means you’ll be safe from over/underwatering and water will be used more optimally to avoid waste– great during hosepipe bans!

Single vs. Multiple Zone Watering

Many systems come with single-zone watering as standard, meaning the entire area gets the same watering schedule (e.g., every plant for 3 minutes). However, some of the best irrigation systems, like Harvst’s WaterMate, offer multiple zones as standard. This feature allows you to set different watering schedules for different plants, such as strawberries and tomatoes. While some tap timers support up to 16 zones, most home gardeners only need 2-4 zones.

Go Away on Holiday

With automated irrigation, you don’t need to worry about your plants when you’re away. Most systems will run on a timer but as you’ll see below, you can also fit sensors for more precise watering if there’s a heat wave while you’re away from home. Some systems even allow you to change the irrigation settings remotely!

Choosing the Best Irrigation System for Your Garden

To help you decide on the best irrigation systems for your garden, we’ll review the top 3 kits based on garden size. We’ll also delve into the detailed features of each kit, including information on watering timers. This comprehensive guide will provide you with a clear picture of your options, making your decision much easier.

There are other name brand irrigation options on the market that we do not mention here. This is because they primarily serve agricultural rather than domestic markets, so create unnecessary complication if you’re new to automatic irrigation. If you’re curious about these kinds of options, we recommend you speak to an irrigation expert, but suffice to say they’ll likely be overkill for your requirements and significantly more expensive.

Enjoy a lush, healthy garden with the right irrigation system, and spend your holidays relaxing instead of worrying about watering.

Best Irrigation System: Solar Irrigation Kits for Small Gardens

Harvst WaterMate Mini Smart Irrigation System

From £299.99

✅ Up to 40 plants via drip watering (4L/hr standard drippers)

✅ Watering on timer

✅ Watering based on sensors*

✅ Settings and climate data available remotely

✅ Community growing web app

✅ Dual zone watering

✅ Made in Britain

✅ Everything you need in one kit

✅ Can use non-proprietary irrigation fittings

✅ Solar power supply option

✅ Mains power supply option

✅ Pump water supply option

✅ Garden hose water supply option

✅ Specifically designed for fixing to a greenhouse

*Temperature sensor included, humidity sensor sold separately

Irrigatia SOL-C60 Solar Automatic Irrigation Tank

£256.20 (+ extension kit)

✅ Up to 60 plants via drip watering (1L/hr standard drippers)

✅ Watering on timer

✅ Watering based on sensors*

❌ Settings and climate data available remotely

❌ Community growing web app

❌ Dual zone watering

❌ Made in Britain

❌ Everything you need in one kit**

✅ Can use non-proprietary irrigation fittings

✅ Solar power supply option

❌ Mains power supply option

✅ Pump water supply option

❌ Garden hose water supply option

❌ Specifically designed for fixing to a greenhouse

*Sunlight sensor included

** Requires fittings to be purchased separately (+£26.60 for 20 drippers)

Gardena Solar-powered Irrigation AquaBloom Set

£124.99

✅ Up to 20 plants via drip watering (0.5L/hr standard drippers)

✅ Watering on timer

❌ Watering based on sensors

❌ Settings and climate data available remotely

❌ Community growing web app

❌ Dual zone watering

❌ Made in Britain

✅ Everything you need in one kit

❌ Can use non-proprietary irrigation fittings

✅ Solar power supply option

❌ Mains power supply option

✅ Pump water supply option

❌ Garden hose water supply option

❌ Specifically designed for fixing to a greenhouse

Best Irrigation System: Solar Irrigation Kits for Large Gardens

Harvst WaterMate Pro Smart Irrigation System

From £335.99

✅ Up to 120 plants via drip watering (4L/hr standard drippers)

✅ Watering on timer

✅ Watering based on sensors*

✅ Settings and climate data available remotely

✅ Community growing web app

✅ Dual zone watering

✅ Made in Britain

✅ Everything you need in one kit

✅ Can use non-proprietary irrigation fittings

✅ Solar power supply option

✅ Mains power supply option

✅ Pump water supply option

✅ Garden hose water supply option

✅ Specifically designed for fixing to a greenhouse or polytunnel

*Temperature sensor included, humidity sensor sold separately

Irrigatia SOL-C120 Solar Automatic Irrigation Tank

£286.95 (+ extension kit)

✅ Up to 120 plants via drip watering (1L/hr standard drippers)

✅ Watering on timer

✅ Watering based on sensors*

❌ Settings and climate data available remotely

❌ Community growing web app

❌ Dual zone watering

❌ Made in Britain

❌ Everything you need in one kit**

✅ Can use non-proprietary irrigation fittings

✅ Solar power supply option

❌ Mains power supply option

✅ Pump water supply option

❌ Garden hose water supply option

❌ Specifically designed for fixing to a greenhouse or polytunnel

*Sunlight sensor included

** Requires fittings to be purchased separately (+£26.60 for 20 drippers)

Irrigatia SOL-C180 Solar Automatic Irrigation Tank

£338.20 (+ extension kit)

✅ Up to 180 plants via drip watering (1L/hr standard drippers)

✅ Watering on timer

✅ Watering based on sensors*

❌ Settings and climate data available remotely

❌ Community growing web app

❌ Dual zone watering

❌ Made in Britain

❌ Everything you need in one kit**

✅ Can use non-proprietary irrigation fittings

✅ Solar power supply option

❌ Mains power supply option

✅ Pump water supply option

❌ Garden hose water supply option

❌ Specifically designed for fixing to a greenhouse or polytunnel

*Sunlight sensor included

** Requires fittings to be purchased separately (+£26.60 for 20 drippers)

Top 12 Best Domestic Irrigation Systems

1. Harvst WaterMate Pro Smart Irrigation System

The WaterMate Pro is a smart irrigation system built to water your plants automatically by both timer and sensor data. One of the best irrigation systems on the market for durability and flexibility.

Up to 120 plants via drip irrigation | Suitable for large gardens, greenhouses, and polytunnels up to 40 sq m | from £335.99

Design Features
  • Made in Britain
  • Non-proprietary irrigation fittings
  • Everything you need in one kit
  • Customisable
  • Designed for greenhouses, polytunnels*, pots, garden beds, allotments and more
  • Choose between a solar or mains power supply
  • Choose between a powerful 35 psi pump or garden hose water supply
*supplied with greenhouse and polytunnel fixings
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Watering from sensor input
    • Temperature
    • Humidity* 
  • Can set watering schedule remotely
  • Dual zone watering
  • Works with drippers, sprayers, and soaker hoses
  • Water level sensor** 
  • Easily accessible climate data

*available with add-ons

**WiFi needed for email alerts

Other Features
  • Digital grow diary
  • Online community

2. Harvst WaterMate Mini Smart Irrigation System

The WaterMate Mini is a smart irrigation system built to water your plants automatically by both timer and sensor data. One of the best irrigation systems on the market for durability and flexibility.

Up to 40 plants via drip irrigation | Suitable for small gardens and greenhouses up to 6 sq m | from £299.99

Design Features
  • Made in Britain
  • Non-proprietary irrigation fittings
  • Everything you need in one kit
  • Customisable
  • Designed for greenhouses*, pots, garden beds, allotments and more
  • Choose between a solar or mains power supply
  • Choose between a pump or garden hose water supply

*supplied with greenhouse fixings

Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Watering from sensor input
    • Temperature
    • Humidity* 
  • Can set watering schedule remotely
  • Dual zone watering
  • Works with drippers, sprayers, and soaker hoses
  • Water level sensor** 
  • Easily accessible climate data

*available with add-ons

**WiFi needed for email alerts

Other Features
  • Digital grow diary
  • Online community

3. Irrigatia SOL-C180 Solar Automatic Irrigation Tank

Controlled by weather-responsive technology and powered by solar panels, the C180 tank series detects changes in the weather and adjusts watering accordingly.

Up to 180 plants via drip irrigation* | £338.20

*Not included

Design Features
  • Non-proprietary irrigation fittings
  • Customisable
  • Designed for greenhouses, pots, garden beds, allotments and more
  • Solar power supply
  • Powerful pump water supply
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Watering from sensor input
    • Sunlight
  • Works with drippers and soaker hoses
  • Water level sensor

4. Irrigatia SOL-C120 Solar Automatic Irrigation Tank

Irrigatia’s C120 tank irrigation system is regulated by its weather-responsive technology, powered by solar panels.

Up to 120 plants via drip irrigation* | £286.95

*Not included

Design Features
  • Non-proprietary irrigation fittings
  • Customisable
  • Designed for greenhouses, pots, garden beds, allotments and more
  • Solar power supply
  • Powerful pump water supply
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Watering from sensor input
    • Sunlight
  • Works with drippers and soaker hoses
  • Water level sensor

5. Irrigatia SOL-C60 Solar Automatic Irrigation Tank

Irrigatia’s C60 tank series irrigation system is ideal for use in larger gardens and utilises the latest technology in automated watering for your garden plants.

Up to 60 plants via drip irrigation* | £256.20

*Not included

Design Features
  • Non-proprietary irrigation fittings
  • Customisable
  • Designed for greenhouses, pots, garden beds, allotments and more
  • Solar power supply
  • Powerful pump water supply
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Watering from sensor input
    • Sunlight
  • Works with drippers and soaker hoses
  • Water level sensor

6. HydroSure Automated 50 Pot Drip Irrigation System

Keep your garden watered during the hose pipe ban! A complete garden watering system with all the components required to build a water-saving Micro Drip irrigation system.

Up to 50 plants via drip irrigation | £213.82

Design Features
  • Everything you need in one kit
  • Customisable
  • Designed for greenhouses, polytunnels, pots, garden beds, allotments and more
  • Garden hose water supply
Watering Features

7. Hozelock 25 Pot Watering Kit

Watering kit for 25 pots. Automatic watering – ideal for your patio pots and hedgerows. Saves time, water & effort keeping your garden watered.

Up to 25 plants via drip irrigation | £213.82

Design Features
  • Non-proprietary irrigation fittings
  • Everything you need in one kit
  • Customisable
  • Designed for pots or garden beds on a patio or balcony
  • Garden hose water supply
Watering Features

8. Claber Aqua-Magic Solar-Powered Drip Irrigation Kit

Want to set up a drip irrigation system without a tap or a power socket? Now you can with Aqua-Magic System, an exclusive timer that exploits sunlight energy through its built-in photovoltaic panel and features an integrated pump to draw water from any provided tank.

Up to 20 plants via drip irrigation | £129.99

Design Features
  • Non-proprietary irrigation fittings
  • Everything you need in one kit
  • Customisable
  • Designed for pots or garden beds on a patio or balcony
  • Solar power supply
  • Pump water supply
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Works with drippers

9. Gardena Solar-powered Irrigation AquaBloom Set

Plant care for when you’re not there. With GARDENA AquaBloom your balcony and tub plants are in good hands – all season long. AquaBloom waters and takes care of your plants even in times when you’re not around. The helpful system requires neither a water tap nor a power supply in your garden or terrace.

Up to 20 plants via drip irrigation | £124.99

Design Features
  • Everything you need in one kit
  • Customisable
  • Designed for pots on a balcony or terrace
  • Solar power supply
  • Pump water supply
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Works with drippers

10. Typical Amazon Solar Watering System - AnseTo

Solar-powered irrigation with rechargeable batteries. No need for a fixed power supply or tap, water is taken directly from a container such as a bucket. There are 12 types of irrigation and the plants can be watered automatically at preset intervals and in preset quantities. It is low-carbon and environmentally friendly, and at the same time saves a great deal of water for irrigation.

Up to 30 plants via drip irrigation | £89.99

Design Features
  • Everything you need in one kit
  • Customisable
  • Designed for greenhouses, pots, garden beds, and more
  • Solar power supply
  • Pump water supply
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Water level sensor
  • Works with drippers

11. Typical Amazon Remote Watering Timer System - LinkTap

Keep your plants watered from anywhere when they need it. The LinkTap D1 smart water timer lets you schedule watering times while taking weather conditions into account.

Timer only | £199.99

Design Features
  • Designed for greenhouses, polytunnels, pots, garden beds, and more
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Can set watering schedule remotely
  • Dual zone watering
  • Works with drippers, sprayers, and soaker hoses

12. Typical Amazon Analog Watering Timer System - SOGUYI

2-zone outlet easier for you to schedule watering separately for different areas. It has 2 watering modes, auto/manual. With auto mode, the watering duration can be 1s-99mins, and watering frequency can be 1h-23h or 1 day-15 days. With manual mode, you can water from 1s to 99mins, it allows you to water temporarily without interrupting the preset watering schedule.

Timer only | £35.99

Design Features
  • Designed for greenhouses, polytunnels, pots, garden beds, and more
Watering Features
  • Watering on a timer
  • Dual zone watering
  • Works with drippers, sprayers, and soaker hoses