People have many ways to determine when Spring has sprung. For many, it is when they first see a robin on their lawn. Others associate the warmer weather with Spring. For me? It is the moment I receive my first batch of plants via mail order! I am a sort of self-proclaimed avid gardener (it is pretty easy having this title when you have a small farm with top soil approximately 6 feet deep all over your yard!) I love to plant new plants - especially trees - and watch them grow until they are much bigger than me.
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I just received my first package from a plant mail order company. The package contained six new blueberry plants for my collection. I rushed out to the garden and planted them right away. Then, I laid one of my soaker hoses down along side the plants and connected it to the main hose. I was surprised to notice that I had left my hose timer on the garden faucet all winter!
I hooked up the hose to the timer, reset the timer, and let it do its job. The timer turned the water on and little beads of water began to protrude from the soaker hose. All was good!
This hose timer is a Melnor 3020 two cycle timer that I had purchased at Home Depot a couple of years ago. I have purchased about a half dozen of these timers over the years, and they all pretty much work the same with negligible differences. They are all made overseas in Asia and imported to the US and sold in stores, such as Home Depot.
There really is nothing special about the design that is outstanding over others I have purchased. I always get the 2 cycle timers because I do not need the extra cycles - two is plenty! I do not believe in watering plants a half dozen times a day! Two cycles will allow the water to turn on and off twice each day.
Operation is basically simple: 1) install two fresh, alkaline C sized batteries. 2) program the time to turn on and off for the two cycles following the directions in the booklet or on the face plate. 3) secure the timer to your faucet bib and tighten by hand. 4) fasten the hose to the other end. 5) turn the water faucet on. 6) check operation the first time around 7) walk away and enjoy a nice cold beer!
This is actually my second Melnor 3020 timer. The first one was broken by a contractor. He was trying to remove it and accidentally cracked the plastic part that connected to the hose bib (opps!). On that broken one, the door also broke off earlier in the year. My other Melnor 3020, which I purchased at the same time as the broken one, is still working like a champ. It reliably turns the water on and off, pretty much on schedule.
The device is pretty much all made up of plastic. It has a little door on top that opens to reveal the buttons needed to program the time. On the bottom is another door that removes so you can insert the batteries. I have not had any problems with water leaks (with this brand/model) nor any other problems for that matter.
I also have other water timers from other manufacturers, such as Nelson and Orbit. These all operate pretty much the same with no major differences. The device is fairly simple: A plumbing device that has a timer that activates a solenoid to open and close a valve to allow water to flow or not flow. As the device is made up of all ABS type plastic, I would not recommend using this for hot water.
The devices are a bit expensive. I paid about $25 each for these at the Home Depot. They all cost about that much, plus or minus a few dollars. I use several of these all around my small hobby farm. Some are setup to water my small berry bushes, others for garden vegetables, and yet another for a sprinkler near my flower garden.
The nicest thing about these devices, other than that they work very well, is that once you set them up, you do not have to ever worry about your garden not getting enough water. It frees up time from having to water your garden every morning. I use lots of soaker hoses to get the water down by the roots of the plants, where the plants really need the water. In this way, it saves a lot of water from getting wasted. On the down side, the water will turn on even on rainy days when you do not need the water on. Nevertheless, I find it to be a minor trade off for a great piece of garden equipment! Thanks for reading my review and best wishes for a wonder Spring ahead!
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