Garden Hose Knowledge For Beginner Gardeners
Got a garden? Ok – got a garden hose? Don’t tell me you water the flowers or the lawn with a big ole’ bucket? Anyone who has a garden needs a garden hose and some related equipment, to be able to provide water for thirsting plants sensibly.
There are all sorts of nozzles, sprayers, and fittings that work together with the hose itself to provide watering solutions for many different types of vegetation, in many different climates. Compared to the possibilities available, watering your lawn with a bucket is like trying to build a garage with just a sledgehammer:
Clumsy and Not Very Flexible
With modern spray nozzles, anything from a hard beam of water to a mild rain is possible, and you might need both – and the points in between – more often than you would think. Some plants are very delicate, and too much water in one spot could harm them. Other plants may be located so far inside a flower bed, that the easiest way to reach them, is to concentrate the water into a hard beam that will reach as far as you need it, and dissolve into light rain, as it approaches its destination.
Depending on your needs, there are different types of garden hose available – from cheap vinyl hoses for the small garden, to heavy-duty garden hoses made of real, reinforced rubber. These hold more pressure and take more abuse than the cheaper variety. Many different garden hose fittings are on the market, for connecting to different types of threaded and unthreaded faucets or to adapt to different sizes of hose to each other.
When you are not busy watering your garden, a garden hose reel is the best way to store the hose compactly, and still allows for quick and easy use. Garden hose reels can be wall-mounted, or they can be portable, with a set of wheels attached. If you find you need a very long garden hose and can’t find one ready-made that fits, nothing is easier than getting a special garden hose connector and simply putting two lengths of hose together.
If either of the hoses is damaged, it doesn’t mean you necessarily need to get a new hose as you can get garden hose parts that make it easy to fix the damage yourself.
If you don’t want to stand there holding a spray gun all day, get a sprinkler to do the job. There are so many types to get, that you will surely be able to find something to fit your needs. Some are good for sprinkling their close surroundings lightly, while others excel in sending water on a long-distance journey across your garden, should you so desire.
For the easiest possible storage solution, look at a retractable garden hose reel. Some of these don’t even rely on a crank to reel in the hose, but work using water pressure!
Whatever your watering needs, there is a garden hose, sprayer, sprinkler, or other parts that will meet it!
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Garden Hose Fittings Provide Flexible Watering Solutions For Your Garden
They are not much to look at, but without them, you would have to carry water around in a pail, when watering your flowers. What I am talking about, is garden hose fittings. Little objects made mostly of either plastic or brass and made only for the one purpose of interconnecting garden hoses, sprayers, and sprinklers. A garden hose adapter, so to speak. The inside diameter of most garden hoses is a half-inch, so most garden hose fittings are made to interconnect half-inch hoses.
However – the whole point of having fittings is adaptability. So, of course, you can also hook up your 1/2-inch hose to the larger 3/4-inch hose. Wouldn’t make sense otherwise. Usually, this is done with what is called a hose repair connector.
This device is a short length of tube, where both ends are made to slip into a hose easily. There is also a thread and nut assembly which can be tightened around the end of the hose, making the connection very secure. When in use, this solution is a completely watertight way to connect two lengths of hose.
Then there is the quick connect fitting. This is attached to the hose in much the same way the hose repair connector is, which is to say semi-permanently. The other part of the connector is a springloaded mechanism that allows for the fast of its female connector – to a male counterpart. The male counterparts are often found on the water intakes of garden sprinklers or spray guns, or screwed onto faucets.
This system is very fast to use and just works every time. No more fumbling with strange contraptions (that are meant for permanent connections) every time you want to connect or disconnect your garden hose. Garden hose fittings can do it all – and much easier.
Should You Buy A Hozelock Hose Reel?
Garden hose specialists Hozelock have a large program of all things garden hose-related. This includes several models of hose reels. But with so many other brands on the market, why would you want to buy a Hozelock hose reel?
Most people probably know this company for their garden hose fittings – high-quality plastic fittings which are a lot tougher than you might think from looking at them. Granted, Hozelock is not the only company making these, but they are good at it – no doubt about that. Since they also make garden hose, it is no surprise that they make garden hose reels too.
From the most simple manual rewind reels, over the Fast Reel series with automatic hose layering, to the ultimate Hozelock hose reel in my eyes – the Hozelock Auto Reel. All of these products share the same degree of build quality and strong materials, but the feature level varies, with the Auto Reel being the most advanced. Here, you never even have to touch a crank! Hose rewind is semi-automatic – just tug the hose lightly, and a spring-loaded mechanism activates to rewind the hose. All you do is “walk” the hose back on the reel.
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For me, this is the most clever of all the Hozelock designs. Although the Auto Reel is stationary (wall mounted only), the ease of use invites you to invest in more than one, and mount them on opposite sides of the house. Then you can reach every part of your garden, while rewinding is kept easy. You could, of course, use a hose reel cart instead, but unless your garden is so large that you need that kind of portability, why bother? Especially now, that 30 and 40-meter Auto Reels are on their way for the Spring of 2011. My pick of the litter – no doubt about that!
Garden Hose Storage
Your garden hose needs to be stored safely, just like any of your other gardening tools. Getting it coiled up and put away somewhere greatly reduces the risk of damage to it, and also keeps your garden looking neat. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the look of a garden hose snaking its way through the grass on the front lawn.
The classic way of doing it is to put the hose on a hose reel after using it. This is often a wall-mounted reel, but can also be a portable model if you need that. A more sophisticated way of storing your garden hose also does a better job of concealing it, which is important to many people. A garden hose storage pot as it is called is simply a floor-standing pot large enough that you can coil your hose inside it.
They can be quite decorative, which is exactly the point of them anyway. Now you can have the garden hose in a place where you often need to use it, while not having to look at it. I agree that most garden hoses are less than pretty to look at, no matter how green as grass they are.
One thing about using a pot for storage is that it will gather rainwater if placed outdoors. Your garden hose could get a little samey if left immersed in water for a length of time, so I suggest either using a pot with a hole in the bottom or drilling one yourself. That way, the water will drain away, and your hose will be dry when you need to use it.
It has to be said though, that while these storage pots look good, they usually don’t provide the fastest or easiest way of getting that hose rolled up. Some might, therefore, prefer to use what is called a retractable garden hose reel, which not only rolls the hose up automatically but also can be found in models that do a good job of concealing the hose. This is probably the ultimate way to store a garden hose, although it may not look quite as good as a storage spot.
Heavy Duty Garden Hose – Why You Need It
Just like gardens differ in size, gardeners differ in their needs and ambitions. This reflects on the tools and equipment we invest in, simply because we have different jobs to do in our gardens, with varying workloads to boot. Most things are easy in small gardens and watering is no exception. When you buy a garden hose for a small to medium garden, you can get away with a rather cheap one of the non-reinforced sort.
These are soft and not very strong, but then they may not take much abuse in a small garden. Larger gardens – or even parks – are a different matter. Here there may be a need for quite long hoses, running all over the place and sometimes in a semi-permanent manner. Of course, anything exposed to the outdoors all year round needs to be a bit more durable than the cheap stuff. The hose may be stepped on, run over with heavy carts, lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, etc.
Someone may accidentally drop a boulder on it! Thin-walled, single-ply hoses may get kinks from this sort of treatment, which can end up causing a leak in the hose. Another reason for you to want to avoid kinks is that they tend to fold over, to choke the water flow through the hose. This can be very annoying.
If you have more than a couple of dozen meters of hose, you may want to look into a heavy-duty garden hose. Traditionally, this meant a rubber hose. Heavier material than vinyl hoses, but also very durable and tough. This sort of garden hosepipe may also require you to use a heavy-duty hose reel, depending on the weight of the hose and how long it is. If you have a lot of hosen coiled on one reel, it may be easier to move around, if it is not too small and feeble in its construction.
There are alternatives to rubber – polyurethane hoses are relatively new on the market, and they can be just as strong as rubber, but much lighter in weight. Another good sign of a strong hose is that it is reinforced – usually with a mesh of nylon fibers.
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