We all love to travel. So it’s time to set up an automatic watering system to keep our flowers and tomato plants happy and healthy, especially in the summer. But we don’t want to spend hours planning, installing and programming – that takes all the fun out of it.
No problem. A little research and it was clear that the Eve Aqua smart water controller combined with the Gardena Micro-Drip Starter Set would be the perfect solution. Unlike traditional irrigation systems, you can run Eve Aqua with your iPhone or even with Siri voice commands. And compared with other app-based automatic watering systems, Eve Aqua is easier to operate, faster to install, and more affordable. And there’s no bridge required.
Installing Eve Aqua
Setting up Eve Aqua takes only a few steps:
Simply insert the supplied batteries, screw the device onto your outdoor faucet, and connect to Eve Aqua via your iPhone and the free Eve app, or the pre-installed Apple Home app. (Add the second washer if your faucet’s thread is too short or if you can’t fully tighten the nut because of the faucet’s shape). It only takes a minute.
Installing Gardena Micro-Drip System
Now it’s time to set up the drip system. Our potted plants are on the left side of the patio, the faucet is in the middle and to the right we’re planning to place the tomato planters..
The Gardena system is made up of a flexible main connecting pipe along with thinner supply pipes, which channel the water to the pots. Using a large T-joint, we connect the branches of the main pipe to the base unit on the faucet. The smaller T-Joints are used to connect the supply pipes and drip heads in the pots.
Both pipes must be cut to size. The best way to start is by first arranging the T-joints and drip heads in position, so that you can easily measure distances and simply cut the pipes with garden shears.
Eve Aqua comes with a standard faucet connector to connect Gardena hoses and other accessories. Using a piece of hose, we connect Eve Aqua to the pressure-reducing micro drip master unit. We connect that to a piece of the connecting pipe and then a T-joint. This is where the main water pipe splits in two directions. The ends are sealed with the supplied caps.
At each pot, the connecting pipe is cut and fitted with a T-joint in order to connect the supply pipe and the drip head. One drip head is plenty for smaller pots, but we’ve decided to attach two or three drip heads for the bigger pots.
Regardless of how many drip heads you need, as soon as you connect and anchor them into the soil with the pegs, they basically disappear from view.
Even the larger connecting pipes seem to vanish behind the pots thanks to their dark color. If the ground is soft, you can use pegs to fix these into place, too. You’ll need to come up with another solution for stone surfaces or rocky ground.
About an hour after we started, we test the system for the first time. One Siri voice command is all that is needed to turn on the water. Then we adjust the flow rate on the drip heads – and, voilà, we’re done!
After about 15 minutes, our potted plants have been sufficiently watered to root depth. We open our Eve app and set a timer for the water to flow for 15 minutes every morning. Set it once and you don’t have to worry about it again. It’s that simple.
If the weather heats up or the rain sets in, it’s easy to manually adjust our automatic watering system using the app at any time. Even if we’re on vacation. Thanks to our HomePod, we can control Eve Aqua from anywhere in the world.