In recent years, the number of record summers has increased significantly. If you hope for too long for rain or leave your garden unattended during a holiday, you risk serious plant damage. Even a day without water can be too much for some plants and cause them to die completely. With a watering computer the supply of the garden can be individually automated. Some smart models can even be networked with intelligent soil sensors or voice control. We present the most popular irrigation controls in a test comparison and reveal why the GARDENA MultiControl duo Watering Computer was able to convince us absolutely.
Our recommendation: GARDENA MultiControl duo Watering Computer
With its high-quality workmanship and simple handling, GARDENA MultiControl duo 2018 was also able to convince Stiftung Warentest and beat all other tested irrigation systems as the winner. The practical GARDENA irrigation computer can be used either with taps whose thread corresponds to the classic dimension 26.5 mm (G ¾) or 33.3 mm (G 1). The particularly robust GARDENA MultiControl duo can withstand water pressures from 0.5 to 12 bar and water the garden up to three times a day in periods of one to 239 minutes.
Who likes, can supply with GARDENA MultiControl duo even two different garden ranges with completely different quantities of water or network further intelligent components of the manufacturer with it.
In the following brief overview, we have summarised the most important facts for selecting the right irrigation system for you.
Brand: Depending on your personal preferences, there are many different ways to find the right irrigation computer. However, if you are looking for a smart model that can be expanded bit by bit, you should give it a little more thought. Our comparative winner, GARDENA MultiControl, for example, was developed to match the manufacturer’s GARDENA smart system. Apple fans should also take a look at the smart Eve Aqua irrigation computer, which can be controlled with Siri voice commands.
Connection: Most outdoor taps have a 3/4 inch thread. Accordingly, all the irrigation computers presented here are designed to be compatible with this thread by the manufacturers.
Display: With all models presented here (except Eve Aqua) the set watering times can be seen comfortably on the display of the respective device.
Watering control: While watering clocks can usually only be operated mechanically, watering computers automatically dose the amount of water at preset times. Thanks to its compatibility with GARDENA smart system components, our comparative winner from GARDENA can automatically react to dry soils and calculate the correct amount of water on its own.
Watering intervals: Our watering computers presented here supply the garden with water between two and four times a day, depending on the model. However, as the watering time can be set to at least 60 minutes for all models, one or two waterings a day is usually sufficient. Our favourite, GARDENA MultiControl, covers a record twelve hours with up to three watering intervals and a maximum watering time of just under four hours. Even in the hottest summers, swamp plants are not neglected in the garden pond at home.
Price: Inexpensive irrigation computers are available for less than 40 euros. But if you want to use smart functions, you have to invest a little more. GARDENA MultiControl can be bought in stores for around 100 euros, for example.
Voice controllable alternative: Eve Aqua watering control
With this voice command and a HomeKit-enabled device (e.g. Apple TV or iPhone), Apple fans can start their Eve Aqua watering computer from the comfort of their deck chair or hammock. In addition, nobody has to run to the tap to program the intermediate Eve Aqua – all important data is displayed directly on the smartphone.
Eve Aqua is the smartest irrigation computer in our comparison and particularly easy to program, but it can only be used by owners of compatible Apple devices and has not made it to first place in our ranking due to this limitation.
Comparison list: Technical data of irrigation computers up to 100 Euro
The two somewhat more expensive irrigation computers in our comparison are particularly worthwhile for users who want to plan and carry out their irrigation control individually down to the last detail. In a direct comparison, both models show clear strengths and weaknesses that make them interesting for very different users.
For example, GARDENA MultiControl duo can supply the front garden and a flower bed behind the house with different amounts of water simultaneously or react to the current measured values from GARDENA smart system floor sensors. Stiftung Warentest Sieger is therefore suitable for all garden lovers who want to set up their irrigation system only once but do not want to change it regularly.
Eve Aqua, on the other hand, is aimed primarily at Apple fans who can access the watering computer with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, an Apple Watch, a HomePod loudspeaker, Apple TV or iPad. Thanks to the HomeKit connection, Eve Aqua is even voice controllable. In addition, this model is the only one in our comparison that offers parental control and consumption measurement – but only for Apple users. Owners of an Android device unfortunately cannot (yet) control the smart watering computer. Eve Aqua is a good solution and therefore a good solution for Apple users who often want to adjust their garden irrigation spontaneously.