Is One Garden Hose Better than Another?


Every gardener has a favorite way to water the plants.

By FamilyTime

 

No garden can survive without water. If you have a small pot on a windowsill, you can get away with a watering can or large jar that you fill at the kitchen sink, but for anything bigger, how you deliver the water to the plants is important.

Sprinklers
For containers and very small gardens, a hose with a spray wand is all you need. For all other watering, sprinklers or soaker and porous hoses work better.

Oscillating sprinklers are the most effective devices for watering lawns and many gardens. These rotate with rapid and far-reaching sprays and easily cover a large area of lawn. 

Old-fashioned sprinklers that wave back and forth over the area are adequate, too. These rarely clog but you will have to move them around the yard for good coverage.

Hoses
Soaking and porous hoses, which snake through the garden and slowly release water, arguably are the most efficient way to water your plants. Vegetable gardeners in particular prefer them.

Flower gardeners don’t always like the way soaker hoses look. Most gardeners leave them in place for the entire season and this can offend a flower gardener’s sense of aesthetics.

Soaker and porous (or oozing) hoses lie flat and have small holes along their lengths. Tiny drips (for a soaker hose) or oozing tears (from a porous hose) hydrate the soil. This may seem tedious to the unschooled gardener, but the slow, steady trickle gets the job done efficiently and completely.

The slow soak reaches root hairs and surrounding soil and promotes good, steady growth. Wind and sun don’t reach the water as readily and so little moisture is lost. Talk to a knowledgeable person at the garden center when you buy one of these hoses.

Even if you go with a soaker hose, you will still need a regular garden hose for all number of chores, from attaching to the lawn sprinkler to rinsing off garden tools, filling watering cans for hard-to-reach pots, and washing mud off your feet and hands. Buy a sturdy one; you want it to last for years.

Finally, knowing how often to water is a puzzle. Seasoned gardeners can usually tell by looking at their plants. In arid parts of the country, the newspaper and local Internet sites provide the evapotranspiration rate and gardeners can use it to determine how much to water.