25 May 2021

5 of the best watering aids for small gardens

25 May 2021

If you’re an urban gardener with a small space and not much room to house large hose reels and other watering essentials, there are some products on the market which can help you save space and time.

Collapsible watering cans, solar-powered watering systems for those with balcony plants or a handful of containers, and self-watering planters can all save you time and space in a small garden.

Here are five items which could make watering a breeze…

1. Gardena AquaBloom set, £95.95, Amazon

A woman surrounded by pot plants with a Gardena AquaBloom watering system (Gardena/PA)

You don’t need an outside tap or an electricity supply to water your balcony plants – just a bucket of water nearby – as this solar-powered irrigation system will do the job for you.

The kit works from a solar-powered control unit and integrated electronic pump, which will draw the water from your bucket and distribute it via micro-drip feeders, watering up to 20 plants.

The kit comes with the solar panel, micro drip components which feed into each pot and has 14 selectable programmes, so you can choose the watering frequency you want. The main unit can be placed anywhere sunny, whether on a table or fixed to a wall.

Ideal for the balcony gardener who just wants to chill at the end of the day, rather than spending time watering pots, or if you’re going away this summer and don’t to want to return to wilted, bedraggled container plants.

2. Hozelock Micro Reel, £19.36, powertoolsdirect.com (and all good gardening retailers)


Do away with all that palaver of getting out the oversized hose reel – which is full of kinks – just to water a few container plants, with this handy new micro reel, which is so small you can carry it around with you while you water. It features a 10m hose and fittings, and has a ‘click and go’ design, meaning you just click the connector on to your tap and let the rotating drum unwind the hose as you walk.

It’s super easy to rewind the hose too, thanks to its integrated handle, and you can simply water the plants you need to get to by walking out the exact amount of hose your need, or wind it off the reel for greater flexibility.

3. Elho Self-watering Insert, from £6.99, elho.com

Even watering houseplants can be a faff if you’re not sure how often you should do it or you’re prone to forgetting. So you could replant your treasured houseplant in this handy self-watering insert, made from recycled plastic, and then put it into a decorative pot (the insert comes in a variety of sizes).

The insert provides an easy watering system, featuring a water meter on the device, which shows you when the plant needs feeding, and helps prevent you overwatering.

4. Collapsible Watering Can and Bucket, £25, colapz.co.uk

If you’re short of space but need a watering can or bucket, look no further than this clever gizmo, which basically folds flat when not in use, but pops out as a watering can when your plants are thirsty. It’s UV resistant, will hold seven gallons of water in watering can mode, and nine if you’re using it as a bucket. The best thing is its foldability, because in its collapsed state, it reduces to 9cm x 22cm x 22cm, small enough to slot on to a shelf easily, or even hang on a hook without bumping into it.

5. Pila Colour Planter, £58.99, lechuza.co.uk

Stylish city slickers can add smooth lines to their urban outdoor space – and not get their watering cans out too much – with these new self-watering Pila colour planters, which come in six shades, ranging from petrol blue and pastel green, to light grey and sand brown. The sleek-looking containers can be used both inside and out, and come with a water level indicator, so you know when your plants need moisture, plus a removable plant liner.

Another cool addition which Lechuza has introduced, is a stackable storage module, which can go underneath your pot plant, so you can play around with different heights of planters, knowing that you’ve space underneath your greenery to store accessories.

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