Are you shopping for a good garden hose? It seems like a simplistic object; it couldn’t be all that difficult to choose one, right? Surprisingly, hoses come in an endless number of shapes and sizes and serve a variety of purposes. Choosing the right one for you depends on your needs, the size of your lawn, and your budget. To get you started on your quest of the perfect garden hose, we’ve put together a list of factors to consider:
Three Important Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Garden Hose
- Length — less is more.
When you are shopping for garden hoses, you’ll find them in lengths of 25 feet, 50 feet, 75 feet, and 100 feet. You might think that the longer your hose is the greater utility it provides; you’ll be able to water any part of your lawn from a single faucet. However, the longer the hose is, the less efficient it is. Not only do longer hoses cost more, they are heavier and cumbersome to move around to the part of the garden that needs watering. The longer the hose, the more likely it will twist and tangle and you’ll develop inconvenient kinks in it while you try to use it. The more distance the water has to travel to get to the intended target, the less pressure it has when it arrives. If you live in a cold area, you might find it difficult to completely drain a longer hose to put it away for the winter (and if your hose endures a freeze with water in it, it won’t last long).
To choose the ideal length, measure the distance from your spigot to the furthest point on your lawn, and then purchase a hose that is just longer than that length.
Pro tip: If you have a lot of lawn and need more than 50 feet to reach it all, purchase two hoses that can be connected. That way you don’t have all the disadvantages of having a hose that is too long when you don’t need it.
- Material — Go for rubber.
When you are shopping at your local hardware store, you’ll find hoses made of vinyl, rubber, or a hybrid of both.
If you want the cheapest option available, you’ll probably be drawn to the vinyl option, as it is usually less expensive. However, like everything, what you pay is what you get. Vinyl hoses tend to easily kink and are more vulnerable to degrading in extreme weather conditions. You might save a few bucks with vinyl but have to pay more in the long-run when you find yourself needing to make another investment in a new one quickly.
On the other hand, rubber components tend to last far longer and are better equipped for meeting your gardening needs. Rubber is resistant to cracking and splitting in the heat like vinyl does, and is unphased by hot water on a sunny day. Rubber cost more than vinyl, but investing in a good quality rubber option will last you several years.
Pro tip: If you want the quality of rubber but the price tag of vinyl, you might find the perfect balance with a rubber/vinyl hybrid. If you use a hybrid, look for one that is reinforced with a mesh lining, to prevent kinking and breakage.
- Diameter — Water flow
You’ll find hoses with internal diameter of 3/4 of an inch, 5/8 of an inch, and half inch. The larger the diameter of the hose, the more water it can carry at a time, but they also are heavier to carry and use. If you decide that you want a narrower diameter, you should not select a hose longer than 50 feet. The longer the hose, the less water pressure it has; if you use a narrow hose that can’t build much pressure to begin with, on top of losing pressure over a long distance, it really won’t serve much of a purpose for you.
We hope our article makes you feel empowered to select the best hose for your home and gardening needs. If you have any more questions on this subject, shout them out in the comment section below!