The 10 Best Garden Hoses
What Makes One Hose Better Than Another?
Hoses are like extension cords, in that your first concern should always be the length. It pays to measure the distance from your spigot to all the places where you'll need a hose to reach. If that distance exceeds one hundred feet, you can either buy an industrial-length hose, or buy two or more hoses that you can, in turn, hook up to one another. Keep in mind that the longer the hose, the more difficult it will be to roll it up or uncoil it.
The next area you want to consider is thickness. Standard garden hoses measure one half of an inch in diameter, and while this is fine for general gardening purposes, you may want to look into a 3/4-inch hose should you need to deliver more water and pressure.
If you only need to use a hose every once in a while, a vinyl hose might do the trick. Vinyl hoses are cheaper than their rubber counterparts. Vinyl hoses are also more compact, lighter, and less prone to kinks. With that said, vinyl hoses don't provide as much pressure as a rubber hose does, nor are they as durable to stand up to the elements.
When choosing attachments, be sure to read the product descriptions. Your primary concern with this is making sure that the nozzle will be a perfect fit for the diameter of your hose. If you have environmental concerns, look for hoses that come advertised as BPA and phthalate free. If you want to avoid any risk of bacteria in the hose's water, look for a model that features antimicrobial protection.
4 Garden-Hose Hacks That'll Save You Time & Money
Here are four ways to get the most out of your garden hose, even after it's faded and worn with holes:
First is the Toothpick Plug. Assuming your yard hose springs a pin leak, stick a toothpick in the hole, then snap the toothpick off. You can reinforce it with some duct tape, but the principle is that the water will then cause the wood to swell, closing off the leak until you've got an airtight path.
Next up is the Tree-Branch Rack. Kinks are the primary cause of garden hose leaks, so one way to avoid them is by rolling up your hose, then finding a nearby tree branch, and draping the wrapped-up hose around it.
Third is the No-Frills Sprinkler. If you've got an old hose that you're willing to sacrifice, drill a hole into the rubber - or plastic - every two feet or so, starting approximately ten feet from the nozzle. Once you're done, you'll have yourself a sprinkler. Just be sure that the holes are aligned and that you can clamp the hose on either end to keep it straight and upwardly faced.
Fourthly is the Rubberized Grip. When a hose is no longer usable, you can cut it into pieces, any of which can be used to create a soft grip that you can wrap around a paint can handle, or even the chains of a swing. You can also use a piece of hose along with a length of wire and two pieces of wood to stake a newborn tree. Finally, you can wrap a length of hose around any outdoor cords, thereby protecting them from getting stepped on or being run over by a vehicle.
A Brief History Of The Garden Hose
There is something very American about a garden hose, whether it be the idea of spraying down a lawn or hooking up the nozzle to a sprinkler and watching the kids jump back and forth. The garden hose is white-picket fences. It is that dream house in the suburbs. And while there are many other hoses, including an air hose and a brake hose, a garden hose is the most connected to who we are and what we do.
Hoses have been around for centuries. Conceptually, hoses represent a closed, tubular means of transport, usually for some form of liquid or gas. Most hoses are made out of reinforced rubber to withstand several bars of pressure. In addition, most garden hoses are designed using what are known as male and female connectors at either end. The male and female connectors from hoses of the same size can be hooked up to one another, allowing for an increase of the apparatus's length. This is especially helpful when someone has a spread-out lawn or a driveway that is longer than one hundred feet.
The typical garden hose is hooked up to a spigot. As of the turn of the 21st century, most people tend to use what are known as quick connectors to hook their hose up automatically (without any need for screwing). Quick connectors also allow for the connecting of a second apparatus to the spigot. This reduces the pressure, but it also increases the amount of work that can be done.