Get the Best Garden Hoses with Our Garden Hose Guide
Garden hoses are a necessity, even for a small yard or patio. With the right hose, you can spray or soak — and give your plants exactly what they need to thrive — without making a mess or wasting a drop of water.
Garden Hose Guide
Garden hoses are usually between 50 and 100 feet long, although you can find them longer or shorter to meet your specific needs. Long hoses can be difficult to manage, though, especially when they’re full of water, so you might find you’re better off linking two shorter hoses together or using an automatic reel hose, like the one shown at right, to spare your back.
Garden hoses are made from a variety of materials. Rubber is a good choice, because it’s tough and durable. Metal couplings are heavier duty and more durable, but plastic couplings are lighter and easier for some people to connect. By all means, get non-kinking hose — it will definitely make your life easier.
The Best Garden Hoses
Hoses come in many types and styles. Think about how you’ll use your hose before you buy.
A good all-purpose hose will last for many years. The 75-foot Craftsman Never-Kink Hose has great durability, and it resists the mold and bacteria that can degrade a hose. For home gardeners, it comes with a repair or replacement guarantee.
A soaker hose is handy, too. It waters plants slowly and gently, without wasting water or washing away soil. The Flexon hose is a good length for flower beds or vegetable gardens.
Organic gardeners will approve of the Green and Grow hose. It’s lead- and phthalate-free and safe for drinking water.
Indoor gardeners can choose a hose that attaches easily to any ordinary faucet, with a trigger grip nozzle that easily controls the water flow. It lets you get the water right to your house or patio plants without making a mess.
Another option is this clever gadget, shown at right, that adapts hose fittings to most indoor faucets. It’s useful for indoor chores like filling aquariums and waterbeds, as well as for watering indoor plants.
Caring for Hoses
Always drain your hose after every use. Moisture encourages mold and bacteria growth that can shorten hose life.
Never run hot water through a garden hose. Hoses are not designed to withstand high temperature and will split or leak. Leaving pressure in a hose for long periods can also cause it to leak.
Store your hoses neatly, for longer hose life and a prettier garden. Coil it near the hose bib, roll it neatly on a reel or store it in your garage or garden shed. That way, it won’t get stepped on, and you won’t have a sneaky green snake in your garden.