What Irrigation System Should I Consider?
Watermyplants is a Brisbane-based business that can assist in providing watering devices for potted plants on patios, balconies, inside homes, and in offices.
The units are manufactured by Claber SPA of Fiume Venato (PN), Italy, who have been manufacturing irrigation equipment for the past 50 years.
The primary item is the Aqua-Magic System, comprising a solar-powered irrigation pump that delivers water to up to 20 drippers, linked by a 6mm diameter plastic hose from a water storage container. The system is completely independent from a mains power source and from a water tap; it is also water-proof and weather-proof.
The electronic circuitry for the pump involves an LED that determines the battery level and 54 possible irrigation solutions, which are set by adjusting two rotating knobs: one determines the frequency (selecting between one and seven days), while the other sets the amount of water to be delivered to each dripper (between 40ml and 200ml). The photovoltaic panel absorbs light energy, turning it into electrical energy which is accumulated in two rechargeable AA size 1800mAh batteries.
Please note that rechargeable batteries tend to be almost flat when purchased. To recharge them, turn the dial to OFF and expose the timer pump unit to direct sunlight for at least eight hours. Alternatively, use an external battery charger to charge them fully.
The kit contains a solar timer pump, an anti-siphon valve, a suction filter, a wall mounting bracket, screws, wall plugs, 20 metres of feeding tube, 20 self-regulating drippers, 20 support stakes, five 3-way hose couplings, and six end-of- hose plugs.
Once the drippers and hose are set up, and the water tank is connected, the pump unit is activated by selecting the watering frequency. Programming is now complete; the LED flashes quickly for a few seconds and then SLOWLY (reduces to one flash every two seconds). Once set, watering will begin immediately. Watering will finish when the quantity of water set with the “DRIPPER” selector dial has been dispensed.
An alternative system is the Aqualux distributor, designed for use in sheltered situations (preferably an indoor setting). This unit, with integrated timer and pump, creates a drip irrigation system for up to 20 pots. It is suitable for house plants, as well as for terraces and balconies, where the unit can be installed in a sheltered position.
The system can be powered electrically by a USB adaptor (included), or two rechargeable AA 1.2V NiMH batteries. It includes a foldable water tank in thick PVC, which has a 30-litre capacity, and a handy opening at the top for filling. Four different programs are available (7, 14, 21, and 28 days of autonomy), selected with a simple dial. Press the start button to start the program immediately or set with a delay of up to 23 hours. The backlit LCD display shows the selected program, the duration of the watering cycle in progress, any programmed delay, and the time remaining until the next irrigation cycle. This system is supplied with 20 metres of PVC feeding hose, 20 drippers, 20 hose stakes, six 3-way hose couplings, and six end-of-line plugs.