A top-quality hose is a worthwhile investment. It ensures that you can get the job done efficiently and with ease.

These sturdy hoses are made of rubber and have metal fittings.

The hot weather this summer has meant lots of watering. I recently spent most of a day going to my landscape clients to make sure their gardens and new plantings were well-watered. Using timers, sprinklers, soakers and hundreds of feet of hose, I had four new gardens getting watered by 9 a.m. Tops on the list was a woodland planting of six dozen ferns.

It got me thinking about hoses. When I take care of peoples’ gardens, I bring my own hoses. Reason: Homeowners buy cheap hoses. And they are, well, cheap. They tangle easily, they kink and they leak. Cheap hoses give watering a bad name. They turn a garden task into a tedious chore.

So, make life better with a decent hose. When you shop, don’t go by price. Go for quality. You can expect to spend a dollar or two per linear foot. Here’s what I look for:

  • Metal fittings are best. They hold up better than plastic. I like our Colorful Rubber Hoses.
  • The hose should have some heft when you pick it up. Yes, there are lightweight hoses, which are especially good for small gardens and people who have trouble managing a heavy hose. The same rules on price apply for the lightweight models: a buck or two per square foot. Our Super Slim Lightweight Hose weighs less than half as much as a conventional hose, yet is built to last with industrial spring guards at each end and chrome-plated, solid brass fittings.
  • Make sure the female end of the hose has a good washer in place. While you’re shopping, buy a packet of washers. They wear out after a few seasons and the fitting loses its seal. A new washer is all that’s needed to fix it.
  • Buy an on-off valve for the end of the hose. That way, you have control of the water at the end of the hose as you switch from sprinkler, to watering wand to hose-end sprayer.
  • Store your hose in a frost-free location during the winter.

Remember, though, that even a decent hose can be a bit ornery. No hose is “kink-free,” a term I think is right up there with “deer-proof”. But, a good hose will kink a lot less often. Well-placed hose-guides will make things easier, too. And, when you’re coiling the hose at the end of the task, remember that it’s much easier when the hose is not charged. In other words, the water is off and you’ve released the pressure.

David Grist
Online Content Coordinator, Gardener’s Supply