Tricks to get the most out of your garden hose

July 27, 2015

Even if you have an automatic system, you still need a hose to wash the car and soak newly transplanted trees, shrubs and flowers. Here's what to look for.

Tricks to get the most out of your garden hose

Turn up the pressure

  • Garden hose PSI (Pounds per square inch) ratings range from 50 to 600.
  • The higher the PSI, the stronger the hose.
  • For a typical home that has water pressure of 50 to 60 PSI, a hose with 150 PSI should be adequate.

Look for strong construction

The strongest hoses are made from three or four-ply nylon, vinyl or rubber and should be reinforced with mesh. Be sure the fittings are heavy-duty cast brass.

A generous length

A generous length allows you to reach all the relevant areas of the yard and garden without strain.

Get the right sizing

  • A size A, one-centimetre hose is light and works well for watering small beds and containers.
  • A 1.5- centimetre hose is bulky and awkward to move around, but delivers water faster to a portable sprinkler.
  • A 1.6-centimetre hose is a good compromise, if you only have one hose.

Getting the most from your garden hose

  • Store your hose coiled either on a hook mounted on the side of the house or in a free-standing caddy. This makes rolling it out and storing much easier.
  • When you've used the hose for the last time in the season, unscrew it from the spigot and drain it.
  • Before winter hits, turn off the water to the outside spigot from inside the house. Leave the outside tap open to prevent frozen pipes.
  • Store the hose in a garage or other sheltered spot.
  • If a hose leaks at the spigot, replace the rubber washer in the "female" end of the hose and tighten the joint. For leaks in the hose itself, you can buy a hose repair kit at the hardware store. You'll need a sharp knife and a screwdriver.

Improved sprinkler heads

  • Traditional sprinklers lose up to 50 percent of the water they spray to evaporation. Use new drip emitters and microsprinkler heads to solve the problem.
  • For large plants or small sections of flowers, use small sprinkler heads. These heads dribble or spray water a little at a time.

Although soakers, sprinkler systems and drip irrigation have all but replaced old fashioned hoses, every household still needs a sturdy hose. The right hose makes gardening easier, and can improve your entire property's look.

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