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WEEKEND WEB: Timer to stop me from cracking up

Gardening advice for the non-gardener from BAYTREE GARDEN CENTRE

It’s stopped raining and we are in the middle of a ruddy heatwave. I take no delight in telling you that I’m outraged with the BBC weather forecasters.

So angry, in fact, that I have been forced to take drastic action. I have created a self-help group for “dedicated, responsible, individual, people, sprinkling” or DRIPS for short.

We meet for the very first time on Thursday morning in my local village hall. I expect turn out to be huge following my extensive poster campaign in the post office. One day, there could be DRIPS in every town.

The reason for forming DRIPS was simple - I needed to ensure I could survive this drought and still keep my lawn healthy.

I had two trains of thought - should I purchase one of those water butt things or an automated watering system? Surely it can’t be that hard to water a lawn without standing there?

However, I do enjoy pretending to be James Bond whilst watering - well, you have to pass the time somehow.

I went for both options, though I had other ideas for the water butt. I need a vessel to ferment my anticipated harvest of cider-making Katy apples in and ideally dispense from. Step forward the Ward 210 litre slimline water butt.

I told Dean, my garden sundries guru at Baytree, about DRIPS and invited him to be the first guest speaker. I think he was quite honoured, though he did say he would be busy that day tiding his sock drawer.

Anyhow, Gardena make a neat garden sprinkler - the Polo. You attach your hose to one end, turn the taps on and hey presto you have a sprinkler which oscillates from side to side. My dog loved it.

It was good, but automation was what I craved - my neighbour is always bragging about his garden and all of the latest labour-saving devices he’s bought. However, he doesn’t have an automated watering system. Let the games begin.

Gardena makes an electronic timer which controls the sprinkler. Set the start time, watering durations and days you want it to come on - mine cost £35 from Baytree.

When I was setting the system up, I deliberately talked quite loudly to Claire about the timer and how great it was. I then headed indoors and watched closely from the upstairs window. I didn’t have to wait long before Lionel ,my neighbour, started peering over the fence. 23.2 seconds, in fact.

One-nil to me!


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