Last updated on May 4th, 2021
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People are getting more and more into gardening and a popular choice for both home gardens and allotments is to install raised beds. After all, they’re easier to work in as you don’t have to be on your knees and it’s often easier to keep pests at bay.
Because we cannot control the weather, the most reliable way to keep your plants, vegetables and whatever else you grow hydrated in a raised beds, is by installing a reliable automatic watering system or at least semi-automatic so you don’t need to stand they were a hose. This way you can manage the water you have to keep your plants hydrated throughout the year.
We have assembled what would be the best raised bed automatic watering kits we could find, five of them in total. There is also a soaker hose for those looking for something other than a drip line watering system.
Feel free to look over the detailed reviews and the buying guide before picking the most suitable model for use. But first, let us take a look at our top picks:
Watering System For Raised Bed Reviews
1. Hozelock Easy Drip Universal Watering Kit
The Hozelock Easy Drip Universal Watering Kit is a great choice for watering raised beds as its a modular system that can be altered to your specific needs in terms of length and shape. It can also be expended if you buy several kits or you can simply order more tubing and drippers. It will even work many other third-party systems which means it can be added to an already installed system that may not be part of the Hozelock brand.
It is easy to set up thanks to its push-fit design taking about 15 minutes to install, something that can be more difficult with other watering systems. This is a big plus especially if you don’t already have experience in setting up a watering system as it can be quite daunting at first.
The hose is flexible which makes it easier to install around the plants with no leaks and position as you need.
Now one of the features that really separates it from most of the other systems out there is the ability to alter the amount of water each individual dripper gives. This means that if you have a raised bed and have both established and younger seedling, you can alter the drippers to give off more water to those plants that need it and less to those that don’t such as newly planted seedling.
If you want to fully automate the watering then all you need to do do is add a water timer, you could even take this a step further by using a smart water timer.
- Each nozzle is adjustable so you can water at different rates to different plants.
- Compatible with other watering kit systems and can be extended.
- Easy to set up thanks to the push-fit design.
- The hose is made of flexible material for easy installation.
- Covers an area of 10m2.
- Provides good value for money.
The Hozelock Easy Drip Universal Watering Kit is an affordable and reliable system for those in search of a watering system for there raised beds. The fact that it is compatible with other systems makes it easy to work with if you already have a system of some sort installed.
What we really like is that the individual drippers can be altered to water at different rates, this is obviously a big advantage to avoid overwatering or watering some plants to little. We also love that it’s easy to extend as needed and you could also extend it with a different drip system such as drippers on teh ends of micro tubing which is handy for watering pots and baskets.
Read next: How to setup a automatic watering system
Read next: Best watering system for raised beds
2. Irrigatia SOL-C12 Unique Solar Powered Weather Responsive Automatic Watering System
The Irrigatia SOL-C12 Unique Automatic Watering System waters your plants every three hours ensuring that they remain hydrated but the feature we really like here is that it only waters when needed and will not water when it’s raining, the sunnier it is, the more it watered.
This watering system depends on solar power to operate the pump that supplies water to the plants but this is backed up with batteries too. This system is designed to be used with a water butt so is ideal if you have a raised bed but don’t have easy access to an outside water tap. As it waters automatically based on the weather. it also pretty much totally hands-off. You can even use it in a greenhouse too as the solar pump and control system would be outside but the water system would be inside the greenhouse.
This system also comes fitted with a water level sensor that will notify you to refill the water butt by making a beeping alarm. We even heard of people hooking it up with a small stream or pond to avoid running out of water too.
The watering system can support 12 x 20-litre pots comfortably and it is supplied with 12 drippers and a 14m tube, for a raised bed it would obviously just depend on how far you want to spread the drippers and the layout you choose.
- Waters automatically every 3 hours, more when it’s sunny and not when it’s raining.
- Ideal to automate watering if you go on holiday.
- It is solar-powered, therefore, no electric bills.
- Easy to set up and connect to a water butt or tank.
- No outside tap needed.
- It comes with a water-level indicator sensor so you know if the water butt becomes low on water.
- Provides good value for money.
- Not compatible with other watering systems.
- Instructions can be a little confusing.
For those looking for a solar-powered automatic watering system and perhaps you don’t have easy excess to an outside tap and want to connect to a water butt or tank, you cannot go wrong with this model.
The instructions are perhaps a little confusing but you can get YouTube videos that help. This model operates well if you’re away from home and want a system that only really waters when it’s sunny and not when it’s raining like a system connected to a water timer would do, unless you had a smart water timer.
Overall it’s a great system, connect to a water butt and when it’s sunny it will water more when it’s raining it won’t. No water timers needed and it’s fully automated so you can go on holiday for a week without having to worry about your plants wilting. The only limitation is that you’re limited by the amount of water in the butt but most will last a couple of weeks.
Read next: Best raised bed kits
3. Hozelock Classic Micro Irrigation System
The Hozelock Classic Micro Irrigation is designed to cater for greenhouse plants, hanging baskets and potted plants among others but it also works well for watering raised beds as you can move the drippers around to where you need to water plus because it comes with a timer you can automate the watering.
So this system comes with 15 meters of the main water supply tube plus 10 meters of the microbore tube that feed off the main tube and have a dripper on the end. This is more than enough for a fairly large raised bed.
It also comes with the sensor controller plus that is really a fancy name for water timer so you can set up when you want the system to come on and off.
You will find that this micro irrigation system is easy to set up and it is supplied with all the fixtures you need and plenty of accessories to get you set up and started. Once you set it up, you can relax knowing that your plants are getting adequate water even if you are away.
- Easy to set up drip system with 15 meters of water supply hose and 10 meters of micro hose.
- Includes 25 drippers to water where needed.
- Comes with a sensor controller plus to water in intervals as programmed to automate watering.
- Can be connected to other drip systems or extended.
- Gives good value for money.
The Hozelock Classic Micro Irrigation is ideal if you want to use a drip system to water a raised bed and want the complete system with a water timer included. Now, this sort of system is usually used with pots but it works really well for borders too.
4. Esotec Solar-Bewässerungs-Set Automatic Water System
Introducing the Esotec Solar-Bewässerungs is another solar-powered watering system which is a good alternative to our Runner-up and it has slightly more drippers, 15 in total. This affordable model not only waters your plants twice a day, but you can also set the timer to run between 30 seconds and 12 minutes by simply adjusting the timer switch. What it can’t do, however, is just water when its sunny which is why it wasn’t our runner-up, still it’s a good system worth considering.
The water system draws water from any source such as a water butt, tank or large bucket or even a natural source of water and uses its pump to draw the water up and water your plants as programed.
If the water level is too low, the pump has a sensor that cuts off the supply to the plants which helps prevent damaging the pump. This prevents the pump from overworking and being damaged. Now it does have a LED warning to let you know but no audible warning.
It offers a maximum flow rate of 14 litres per 24 hours, which is adequate water for plants to stay hydrated.
- Automatically waters twice a day, between 30 seconds and 12 minutes.
- 15 drippers included.
- Relies on solar energy therefore no electric bills.
- Very easy to install and piping can be cut to length.
- Comes with a pump to draw water from various sources.
- Features a control dial to dispense different amounts of water.
- It’s maybe a little smaller than you might expected.
The Esotec Solar-Bewässerungs is perfect if you are looking for a solar-powered watering system for a small garden or raised bed automatically.
In addition, the water inlet hose is fairly short so you may have to find a creative way to ensure the pump has access to water at all times unless you have a water butt or water source next to your raised bed already.
Overall its a great system, a little more restricted than our Runner-up by the fact that it water every day twice a day and although you can reduce watering, it still comes on if its raining which is something our Runner-up does not.
5. Bradas Soaker Hose
The Bradas Soaker Hose is made from a durable and flexible recycled rubber that allows water to sip through slowly. All you need to do is connect the soaker hose to an actual hose pipe using hozelock connector or similar, teh type you use to attach a hose gun to a hose pipe and let the water travel through the entire tube for as long as you think is needed. This can be automated further by using a water timer.
To make a full water system setup you can also buy T peices and corners pieces and build a custom system to ant shape. What we really like about this system is that it can also be buried below the soil level out of sight or left in the surface of the soil and pegged down.
- Made from durable rubber that has been recycled.
- Can be buried below the soil for a more permanent setup.
- Provides good value for money because it is durable.
- They provide excellent customer support.
The Bradas Soaker Hose is a durable product that you can use in a small or large raised bed and is best if installed under the surface of the soil but it does work just as well on the surface. We just like the idea of being able to hide the watering system and not have pipes on show.
Read next: Best soaker hoses reviewed
Selecting the best way to water raised beds will depend on the size of your raised beds, whether you want a fully automated system with some sort of timer or way to water automatically and the plants you are growing. There are plants that need a lot of water and some which need occasional doses of water to grow healthily.
Here are a few other considerations to make before you select the best raised bed automatic watering kits.
Do you want to use solar power?
How is the watering system powered? Does it rely on solar energy or does it need batteries, perhaps it’s just on a timer or you don’t mind manually turning it on.
Drip vs soaker hose
Both the drip and the soaker hose make for a good watering system depending on the size of the area to be watered.
Drip watering systems cover both large and small areas with ease. Some come with individually adjustable nozzles and a backflow valve to make sure the water is distributed equally.
These systems possess emitters that deliver water directly to the roots thus maximising on water consumption. They work great on slopes and they can incorporate timers to deliver water at specific times of the day which can be very handy. If you use smart water timer you can potentially even water when on holiday and get a warning if there is a leak or loss in pressure.
Soaker hoses are mostly made from polypropylene that has holes to let water seep in. These soaker hoses are inexpensive and they can be buried slightly below the ground to deliver water to the roots without getting the leaves wet and it also means the pipes are out of sight. They are quite convenient for simple watering activities but they cant water different plants at different rates. They work well if you want to install a watering system and then plant the raised bed with more permanent plants and shrubs.
The best watering system for vegetable gardens will be able to work with other watering systems. If you already had an old network of drip system, the new one should be able to connect to the old system seamlessly. You can use different drippers without any issues because the system is designed to retain pressure regardless. A good example would be our best pick which with most other standard watering system setups. It basically means that the tubing and accessories are universal.
In many situations, instalment should not be an issue. The only issue one might face is with cheaper kits that are made from low quality plastic that quickly becomes brittle and difficult to assemble as the parts are not true push-fit.
However, some rigid kits and hoses make the desired layout difficult to attain because the materials used are cheap. Avoid these at all costs. We recommend that you always look through customer reviews to determine any installation challenges experienced. Buying a respected brand usually solves this issue, just don’t be temped by cheap water system kits online, their cheap for a reason.
Timers and sensors
Watering systems that have pumped in most cases they will come with a sensor. The sensor picks up the information in regards to the water level and shuts off the pump or alerts the user using an alarm or LED if teh water becomes to low.
Timers are very important when you need your plants to be watered daily at a specific time and you cannot manually turn the water on or simply want to automate the watering.
Most systems can be attached to a timer and connect to an outdoor tap, however most solar-powered systems that connect to a water butt will automatically water when sunny or a couple of times a day at a length of time you program into it. You can’t set them to water at certain times like you can water timer.
How to optimise on your watering system
- Always check if any of the emitters are blocked with soil and unblock because they will prevent the plants from getting water.
- Cover your watering system with mulch to protect the structure from the damaging sun and to conserve water that may be evaporating.
- The drip lines need to be secured with well-spaced stakes.
- If your system has a filter and most do that dry water from a water butt, clean it regularly or switch it out if it becomes too old.
- Disassemble the drip system when it is not in use for long periods of timeto prevent the emitters from being clogged over winter.
Keeping your raised beds well-watered and healthy throughout summer will be rewarding when you get to harvest those fruits or eat those homegrown vegetables.
What system you choose really depends on whether you want to fully automate the process, whether you want to use drippers that can be adjusted independently and whether you want to connect your system to an outside tap or use a water butt where this may not be possible.
Which model did you select to be the best way to water raised beds? Let us know in the comment section below.
We are still sticking to our top picks that include the Hozelock Easy Drip Universal Watering Kit which is great if you want to adjustable the drippers individually and connect to an outside tap with the possibility of adding a timer.
The Irrigatia SOL-C12 Unique Automatic Watering System is also a great pick if you want to fully automate the watering and want to connect to a water butt and make use of solar power.
Last update on 2021-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API