Although a garden hose is one of the most commonly used garden items, too many gardeners treat theirs poorly. This can shorten its lifespan. Get the most out of your hose by using it gently and providing maintenance as needed. As you prepare for this year’s garden, take a half hour to prepare your hoses for the gardening season as well.
Treat your hose gently to extend its life. Don’t jerk on the hose if it’s tangled; unwind and unknot the tangles. Press a kink out with your fingers so water will flow through evenly. When you’re finished watering for the day, turn off the water supply and allow water to drain out of the spigot. Water not drained this way will heat up on a hot summer day, eventually causing the material to rupture. Leaky hoses waste water and increase your utility bill.
Once you’ve drained out excess water, coil the hose neatly to prevent kinks. If left messy, it poses a danger, as you or a family member could trip on it. By spending that few extra minutes winding your hoses around a rack or reel, you eliminate the risk of tripping and save time next time you garden since it’s ready for fresh use. You’ll notice fewer tangles and kinks when you make this a habit. Over time, storing your garden hoses on the ground can cause them to develop fungus and eventually rot.
If you don’t have a reel, it’s easy to make your own using an old wheel rim. To start, find a shady spot on the outside of your home. The sun will bake the rubber and shorten its lifespan. Mount the wheel rim against the house somewhere between hip and shoulder height. How high you mount it is really personal preference. Use extra long screws or pick up a pair of mounting brackets designed for holding hoses. Once you’ve mounted the wheel rim, carefully wind your hose around its exterior. The wheel rim’s lip will help keep it secure. When you’re ready to water, simply unwind and get to work.
If you disconnect garden hoses, always connect the male and female ends together. This prevents insects from crawling up inside the hose and getting stuck or breeding more bugs.
At the end of the season, consider disconnecting all hoses and storing them in your garage or basement. A harsh winter with wind, ice and snow can shorten the lifespan of all types of garden gear, hoses included.
If it’s time to upgrade old, worn-out garden hoses, shop smart with these buying tips.
- Avoid cheap: Inexpensive plastic hoses are not only less efficient, they can be more difficult to coil
- Choose the right length: Before you shop, calculate the distance from your reel to your garden beds and buy something that will cover the distance
- Choose the right material for your needs: Vinyl is lightweight, rubber resists cracking and deterioration over time
By following these tips, you’ll get a better performance from your garden hoses and lengthen their life span. You’ll also make your daily garden maintenance time that much more easy and fun by preventing tangles in the first place and simplifying watering. Enjoy this year’s garden and happy growing!
Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.