Lawn & Yard Care
By Marty Ross
A good garden hose is a long-term investment, used day after day all over your yard. From gardening to lawn care, it is the key piece of equipment for all your outdoor tasks. With that in mind, make sure you’re shopping for value, not bargains. A bargain hose will save you money at the checkout counter, but cheap hoses take some of the fun out of gardening: they are flimsy, hard to connect, leak at the faucet and steadfastly refuse to coil neatly.
When you spend a little more on a hose, you’re investing in better materials and technology and getting a hose that is durable and easy to handle. High quality hoses also resist kinks, which are a nuisance every gardener can do without. Keep the following tips in mind if you’re ready to invest in a more durable hose.
A shorter hose may be cheaper, but think twice before you grab it off the shelf. Hoses are usually available in 25-, 50- and 100-foot lengths. Pace off the distance between the spigot and your flowerbeds before you buy. You’ll never be happy with a hose that is too short, and tugging will not make it longer.
One of the most attractive features of a well-made hose? Kink-resistance. Gilmour’s Flexogen hoses are made with eight layers of material, including two layers of foam to help prevent kinking. Two layers of nylon add strength and provide more kink resistance. The outer layer—the part you can see—is UV resistant, so the hose lasts a long time. A cheaper hose will likely not have multiple layers, which results in less durability over time.
Every part of your hose should be built to withstand frequent use. The metal couplings at either end of a hose connect to the spigot and to nozzles and sprinklers. They also have to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Strength is what counts: sooner or later, you’ll drive over the couplings on the driveway. The sturdy brass couplings on Flexogen hoses resist dings and driveway damage, so they will always screw smoothly onto a spigot or nozzle. They come with an O-ring washer inside the female coupling (which connects to the spigot), so you get a tight fit that will not leak.
Spending a little more on accessories for your hose can help you save precious time later. Screwing nozzles on and off a hose is a hassle if you change out your gardening and lawn care accessories frequently. You can make the change quickly and easily by investing in Quick Connectors. They’re especially handy if you find yourself using a watering wand for seedlings, then switching to a nozzle for hosing off the deck or watering flowerpots and then setting a sprinkler on the lawn. Start with a sturdy brass connector set, which includes a female connector for the end of the hose and a male connector for the nozzle you use most often. Buy extra male connectors for all your nozzles and sprinklers, and screw them on tight. Whenever you need them, they will connect to the hose with a snap.
Hoses are one of the greatest of gardening inventions. Choose a high-quality option and you’ll enjoy Betterdays season after season.
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