All You Need to Know About Garden Hoses
In 2014, a survey showed that 113.5 million people in the United States had done some gardening in the previous 12 months! One of the key elements to a perfect lawn or garden is having the right hose. Should you get a lightweight hose, a heavy duty garden hose, one of those hoses that never kink, or even an industrial water hose? Read on to learn the important basics about your garden hose.
Consider Your Needs: Length
- Longer isn’t always better. A lot of people are under the misconception that longer is always better when it comes to a lightweight hose. Most garden hoses can be bought as short as 25 feet and as long as 100, and it can seem like a no-brainer to get the longest one so you can drag it around for all your watering needs. This could be a mistake for you, though.
- More hose means more trouble. Remember that the longer a hose is, the heavier it is. What seems like a lightweight hose when you buy it won’t seem so light when it’s full of water. Longer hoses also need more room to store, can be much harder to drain for winter and can leave you with low water pressure by the time the water snakes through all that tubing.
- How much length do I need? Measure from your water spigot to the farthest point that you’ll be using it. Buy a hose just slightly longer than that. If you live in the city, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need more than 50 feet. Also, remember that it’s possible to buy two hoses and connect them. That way you can use the shorter single hose most of the time, but have the freedom to attach more length when you need it.
Consider Your Needs: Diameter
- What does diameter matter? The more diameter you have, usually, the more water flow you’re going to get. Just don’t forget that this also means more weight to carry around!
- Choosing the right diameter. Most hoses come in 3/4 inch, 5/8 inch, and 1/2 inch diameters. If you need a lightweight hose, you’ll want the smallest diameter, and these are also best for watering containers and baskets. They’re not great for washing your car or hooking up sprinklers, though, so all-around usefulness you’ll probably want the 5/8 inch hose.
Consider Your Needs: Materials
There’s basically two materials you’ll find in hoses: rubber and vinyl. Some are a combination of both.
- What are the benefits of vinyl? Vinyl is cheap, and if you’re looking for a lightweight hose this is your best bet. Unfortunately, vinyl isn’t very sturdy and doesn’t do well if you leave it exposed to the weather. Only get vinyl if you really need the budget option, if you only use your hose on occasion and can keep it indoors, or if you really need a lightweight hose.
- What are the benefits of rubber? These are very strong and sturdy. They last a long time, can carry hot water, tend not to kink, and resist cracking. However, they are also the most expensive option and definitely the heaviest.
- What about a mix of the two? These are stronger and more durable than vinyl and less expensive and heavy than rubber. However, they can leach chemicals into your water, so never use a composite hose if you or your pets will be drinking from it.
You need a good hose to have a good yard and garden. Think about your needs carefully as you look for a hose, so you can get the right length, diameter, and material for your needs.