Ah what to do when going away? There are alot of options for the gardener that wants to automate the watering systems around their garden, or at least make sure things don’t wilt and die while you are gone.
One of the first options is the very old, and least expensive option. Neighbor kids! We are lucky to be graced with two neighbor kids that enjoy gardening to a degree. Earlier in the summer they were asking about my garden and I offered them some seeds to start their very own gardens. The older of the two children planted his seeds in neat rows, nicely labeled, with dowels to mark the spacing. The younger panted his all in on spot, or he got the bad seeds from last year’s seed purchase. But he only got a pumpkin and a bush bean plant. So we’ve asked the older of the two to water our garden and fruit trees for us while we are out of town. Of course to compensate them for coming over and taking care of things you should throw them a bone of sorts (but ask their parents first, it’s just good neighborliness).
Other options are more mechanized, but still need a human being to help operate them. One such option if you feel a precise time length is an in-line timer. This does require a person, but it is fairly fail proof. An example of this can be found here at Amazon. They are about $10 a piece, but would be well worth it if you have a large amount of watering to do and rarely get to turn off the first lines before you get to the last line to turn it on. This could give you a couple more minutes to be able to get it all done, just right.
Another option would be to have a completely timer operated setup. This would be great for if you don’t have a great kid in the neighborhood, or have too complicated a system to get others to do it for you. These are about $40 a piece for a two hose setup and $43 for a four hose setup. Although both of these do require batteries, you don’t have to use them all the time. You can take the batteries out of the remote for when you are gone to use in the timer (just don’t forget to tell your significant other or the kids).
How to you plan on watering your garden while on vacation?