Choosing the best gardening equipment greatly affects your ability to properly maintain your garden. The cornerstone of proper garden maintenance is the adequate irrigation system. In the majority of gardens, especially smaller ones, this comes in a form of a garden hose. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Other than the hose, you also need some additional equipment. Different plants may require a different type of water spaying pattern, which can be handled through the proper use of a hose nozzle. Lastly, if you want to have both the length of the garden hose, you might want to get yourself a hose reel. This way, you can easily store your hose when not using it. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips on how you can choose the right hose, hose nozzle and hose reel for your garden.
There are several criteria for choosing an adequate garden hose, the three most important being dimensions, material and strength. Here’s how you can make the right choice.
1. Hose dimensions
Choosing hose dimensions requires you to focus on two crucial aspects – length and diameter. The length of the hose allows you to drag it all the way from the water source to the most remote parts of your home.
Due to the fact that we’ll also add the hose reel later, you don’t have to worry about the storage of the hose that much. Standard hoses are usually long between 25-100 feet, which gives you plenty to choose from. Remember, longer is always more versatile.
In terms of hose diameter, this is important because it affects the water flow. The width is measured in inches and the most common hose is three-quarters of an inch. Other than this, standard issues are also five-eights of an inch, as well as half-an-inch. Keep in mind that you’re trying to find the middle-ground between the heavy pressure and too slow water flow.
2. Hose materials
When it comes to hose materials, there are three most common options that you should pay attention to – basic vinyl, rubber hose and reinforced hose. The basic hose is the least expensive but also the least durable of the three.
A rubber hose is the most expensive option but it’s also quite long-lasting and flexible. A reinforced hose is more resistant to all sorts of pressure, which is why it’s recommended for areas with high foot traffic. In the end, this is a matter of cost-effectiveness.
3. Strength and flexibility
Strength and flexibility are quite the opposite in this regard, which means that you need to check your priorities before making up your mind for one or the other. For instance, if you’re expecting a lot of water pressure, it’s probably best to go with a reinforced hose. However, if flexibility is a priority, a rubber hose is an obvious choice.
Lastly, for those who are primarily budget-oriented, vinyl is a clear choice. Just bear in mind that you’re not making this purchase every day, which means that it’s probably smart to go with something a tad more extravagant. Then again, this purchase is never positioned particularly high on your priority list. It’s also true that there are other gardening tools and gardening investments that you’ll have to fund.
The next thing you need to buy is a decent hose reel, ideally a reliable auto wind hose reel. So, what are your options when looking to make this purchase? What should you look out for?
1. Advantages of a hose reel
Unlike with buying a hose, which is pretty self-explanatory, a lot of people fail to see why their garden needs a hose reel, to begin with. First of all, a hose reel prevents tripping hazards in your garden. Second, it keeps your hose safe and intact. How? Well, by winding it on a hose reel, you are moving it out of the way of the toot traffic and wheel carts that might pass through your garden. Remember, a hose is meant to endure internal, not external pressure, especially not external pressure of that kind and on a regular basis.
2. Types of garden reels
Based on the mounting type, there are wall-mounted, cart-mounted and horse cabinet reels out there. Depending on how much space you have, what kind of layout you have in your garden and more, one of these options may seem as superior.
Then, there are three types of reels based on the mechanism itself. First, you have the ones with a hand crank. Next, you have self-retracting reels, which use an in-built spring in order to reel in the hose. Lastly, you have the most expensive and the most sophisticated type, the auto-winding reels. These two come in two forms – water pressure-driven and motor-driven.
Based on your needs, your budget and even your personal preference, you should make your choice.
3. The cabinet
One more important thing worth mentioning here is the importance of the hose cabinet in your choice. The four most common options are – plastic, resin, wrought iron and steel. These come in all shapes and forms but they’re definitely different in physical properties like durability and weather resistance. In other words, whether you’ll keep the cabinet indoor or outdoor will also play the role in your choice. Needless to say, the material has the greatest impact on the budget.
Hose Nozzles and Sprayers
Using your thumb is not just frustrating but also highly inefficient. Especially when there’s an inexpensive tool such as a nozzle to help you out.
1. Most common types
The list of most common garden hose nozzle types is quite lengthy. There’s the standard pistol grip, the dial nozzle, the water wand or even a fireman nozzle. Of course, those looking for something simple can always go for a traditional nozzle. Overall, this is mostly a question of aesthetics and handling. Still, seeing as how you may see gardening as your passion, this may drastically affect your overall experience. Those who want something a bit more interesting can go for a fan nozzle or a bubble nozzle. It’s best not to risk it the first time, though.
2. Type of material
There are two options in terms of materials that you could choose among. First, there’s the metal nozzle, which is a standard option. Then, there’s a more chic and eco-friendly option of plastic. The majority of nozzles, however, will contain elements made from both of these materials. Generally speaking, metal is the safest choice in terms of quality and performance. The majority of these nozzles also come with a special coating and alloy in order to be rust and weather-resistant.
3. Dial Nozzles
The spray pattern is quite important for your gardening efforts, which is why getting a dial nozzle is probably the best choice that you have available. This is because a dial nozzle allows you to change the spray pattern on the go. When you need to soften things up a bit, you should look for a mist or a cone. Then again, you also have the jet, the flat and the soak options available. It is like owning many different nozzles and paying for it just once. A proper bargain if there ever was one. Some of the best dial nozzles have as many as 9 different patterns.
At the end of the day, with so many options it seems like it’s such a simple thing to go wrong. The truth is that the likelihood of this is not that great and the consequences are not that bad. When in doubt, go for a premium, especially since even premium is not that expensive.
Going for a rubber hose, an auto wind reel and a dial nozzle are choices where you just can’t go wrong. Sure, these options are a tad more expensive but since this is a one-time investment it’s definitely worth it.
I’m Willy Beamen, contributor for Bizzmarkblog with 15 years of experience from Sydney, Australia. My work is mostly focused on helping small business owners and local startups to get off the ground and expand.