May
08

How to Choose the Best Garden Hose

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The best garden hose is almost never the cheapest one. You can skimp on some tools and gardening items and get by just fine, but a garden hose is not one of those items. Hoses can cost as little as $8 or $9 or as much as $50 (or even more), but a situation in which the low price point is the best option is rare indeed.

First you will need to consider what length is best and then what type of hose you need. If you are watering a vegetable garden or an established perennial bed, the best garden hose is often a flat ‘soaker hose’ that you can lay right between the rows of plants and leave on the ground. If you choose a soaker hose, then watering becomes a simple matter of turning on the faucet, and coming back later and turning it off when the ground is soaked.

A round, coiling hose is a good choice if you have a hose reel or plan to buy one. If not, think about how you will store the hose before you purchase it. If you trust yourself to wind it up and hang it off the ground (you can buy simple hooks for this purpose if you don’t want to invest in a hose reel), then go ahead and buy the best one you can afford. If you know you will leave your hose lying about, then you might want to rethink your watering plan.

You do have options.

Standard hoses come in 25, 50, 75, and 100 foot lengths. Depending on your needs, buying several good 25-foot hoses (one for each bed) may make watering your separate gardens easier to handle. On the other hand, if you have only one faucet and a very large yard, you will almost certainly want to go for the longest length of hose, and possibly several of them. Resist the impulse to buy the low-end vinyl hoses. They often become brittle over time and will soon crack, which renders them useless.

Instead, look for a good rubber hose with a warranty and some PVC added for durability. Some hoses are guaranteed for 30 days and others for an entire lifetime. Bite the bullet and buy quality the first time out. Otherwise, you’ll be back at the garden supply store next season spending money on a new hose (again) that you’d much rather spend on flowers.

Finally, hoses come in diameters from 3/8 of an inch to one inch. For most applications, 5/8 of an inch is plenty, but if you are buying a short hose for a small yard, half an inch will probably work just fine. By contrast, if you need 150 feet or more, you’ll want to buy a one inch diameter in order to get the water you need to the place you need it.

The most important aspect of buying the best garden hose for you is forethought. Understand your garden and think through how you will water it with the hose. Imagine the steps you will go through, silly as that may sound, and you will save yourself the endless aggravation that comes from buying the wrong product.

Once you know what you need, go out and buy the very best garden hose you can afford.

Categories : Equipment

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