Tips for using and storing your garden hose
A reliable garden hose is an essential home maintenance tool for any homeowner with a yard. Even with modern automatic irrigation systems, there are many tasks for which a garden hose is still a necessity.
How to Choose the Best Garden Hose
Selecting the right garden hose for your needs requires attention to a few factors, which in turn determine the price of the hose. Considerations when choosing a garden hose include:
- Material. Most garden hoses are either vinyl or rubber. Vinyl hoses are lightweight and inexpensive, while rubber hoses are more durable and a bit pricier. Reinforced hoses are also more expensive, but are less likely to kink and will last longer when exposed to variations in temperature.
- Ply. A ply is essentially a layer of material; the more plies in a garden hose, the stronger it is. One- to six-ply garden hoses are the most common.
- Length. To determine the length you will need, measure from the hose bib to the furthest spot you will need to water. Most garden hoses range from 25 to 100 feet in length.
- Diameter. The most common hose diameters are ¾-inch and ⅝-inch, but ½-inch and 1-inch hose diameters are also available. The diameter affects the water flow rate.
- Options. Specialty hoses may cost a bit more. Types of specialty hoses include: a flat garden hose, which collapses flat when not filled with water; a soaker hose, which has many tiny holes along its length to slowly water an area (as an alternative to a sprinkler); and a recoiling garden hose, which is permanently coiled for ease of storage.
- Warranty. Garden hoses usually carry warranties ranging from five years to lifetime.
Garden Hose Accessories
Once you have selected the perfect garden hose, it is time to think about how it will be used and stored. If the hose will be needed in many parts of the yard, a garden hose cart, which will be helpful in easily moving the hose, can be a good investment. Some carts incorporate garden hose reels with a crank for quick recoiling.
If the garden hose will be used primarily in just one spot, an attractive garden hose hanger can help to keep it looking neat and tidy. You could also find a charming and decorative ceramic pot that is specifically made for use as a garden hose holder.