From the employee-owners of Gardener's Supply

Taming the Garden Hose


A well-trained hose

As a professional gardener, I use garden hoses a lot, and I’ve seen my share of kinks, leaks and hoses that can’t be recoiled neatly. To me, the job is complete when the garden is weed-free and well-watered — with the hose coiled and ready for next time. If asked, my coworkers might say I’m a bit obsessive about getting the hose rolled up after each use. Here are my tips to ensure leak-free watering and a tidy coil:

  • When connecting hoses and attachments, make sure the washers inside the female end are fully seated. And if the washer looks worn out, replace it. You can find garden hose washers at a hardware store.
  • Align and tighten the connections carefully to prevent cross-threading. If you need to connect and disconnect frequently, consider adding quick-connect fittings.
Hose guard

A hose with a hose guard at the end

    • If the hose has a guard to prevent kinks, do not use the guard to tighten connections; instead, grasp the hose itself to ensure a good seal.
    • When you are finished using the hose, do not leave it “charged.” In other words, turn off the hose at the spigot and release the pressure at the other end by removing attachments or opening valves. A relaxed hose is much easier to work with. What’s more, this will help extend the life of your hose and prevent ruptures.
  • To coil up a hose, pull the entire hose straight to remove any twists and kinks; then roll it up. Even better: Put the far end of the hose downhill so it drains as you roll it up.
    • Do not store a hose with kinks in it. Otherwise, the kinks might become permanent.
    • Always coil your hose in the same direction — either clockwise or counterclockwise. Use a hose reel to make coiling easier and more consistent.

Before trying to coil the hose, turn off the water at the spigot.

  • If you have trouble getting a neat coil, make it a larger in diameter. Larger circles (or ovals) are more relaxed and keep their shape.
  • If possible, drain the hose as you coil it. If left in the hot sun, a water-filled hose can burst.
  • In winter, disconnect and drain hoses before storing them. If possible, store them in a frost-free location.
  • Always buy the best quality hose you can afford. Cheap hoses are more likely to kink, leak and rupture.


  1. Mark Bennett
    June 23, 2016    

    Great minds think alike! I graduated magna cum laude with B.S.E. in bioengineering from Ivy League university and then got a Ph.D. In Chemical Engineering from M.I.T. After a post-doc doing computational fluid dynamics modeling experiments for the Space Shuttle, did a career change to environmental consulting. Have been doing that for 20+ years.
    By some trial and error (having a hose burst), and thinking about the physics and material properties of garden hoses – I have come up with SOPs that are the same as yours.
    And Gardeners has great hoses! I have one (wish I had more, but am now disabled and on fixed income).
    Now if only someone could come up with a well made watering wand! I have to buy a new one every year as the old one always breaks, AND they are constructed in a way that it is impossible to replace the worn out parts. As we move as a society from the old, wasteful throw away mindset to a sustainable mindset, we need tools that are designed so they can be repaired.

    July 2, 2016    


  3. Donald Darnell
    August 8, 2016    

    I used a 4 x 6 treated lumber at 6 feet long and buried it to about 18 inches. Heave duty hangers are available at any garden supply or Home Depot, etc.. THEN when hanging the hose, place it over the hanger and let it drop in an ‘8’ configuration. This way when you pull the hose off the hanger it will not kink. When you replace it do it the same way.. Works Great. I have 3 3/4 inch heavy hoses hanging this way and never a problem.

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