About this Recipe
A hose by any other name ...
It's year 2 in the adventures of land development and learning how to homestead and we have already invested in quite a few hoses, and are learning with each leak what to look for when you are buying a garden hose.
We are not quite ready for underground irrigation, even though in the long term this likely would have been the most money saving option, but it also require some big digging projects (in our rocky soil), and all the decisions made on our overall and design which we seem to be making step by step.
General Tip #1: When building a homestead or building a garden, spend as much time in the planning and dreaming phase as you possibily can. This will help you to see the bigger picture of where gardens, greenhouses and new trees will go and can help you long term with your irrigation needs.
General Tip #2: When you start dreaming of new planting do not forget to put a decent budget for your irrigation needs, I'd guess about the same as all the plant costs.
Okay, now on to the hose shopping and tips we have learned about how to choose a good garden hose. The reason for this will be very clear if you have ever bought hoses. They leak, they bend, they break in usually the joint areas, so getting to know the connection points is step one.
#1 Tip For Buying a Garden Hose: Look for BRASS..and watch out for sneaky metal.
Choose brass over metal. There are some sneaky metals that LOOK like brass and are the color of brass, but they are most certainly NOT BRASS. So they bend, which means you will have leaks at your connection points and cause big muddle puddles in places you don't want them.
NOTE: If you already have mud puddles and can't afford new hoses just right now, try laying down some mulch in the leaky spots to help absorb the water, placing a ceramic dish to catch the drips (AND bonus, give water to bees, birds and small animals), or consider a small planter with a plant that can handle lots of water to catch much of the dripping.
#2 Tip for Buying a Garden Hose: Some plastics are VERY good quality.
Good heavy duty plastics are also seem to work VERY very good for fittings at the ends of hoses, especially the ones with the thick ends you can get a good grip on to screw in (see picture of what I am talking about). There is nothing more frustrating than have a mis-threaded hose, and having to use hand strength (which is often tired at the ends of days) to wrench them loose or tight....which leads us to point #3....
#3 Tip for Buying a Garden Hose: Buy a wrench.
Buy a good adjustable wrench for your loosening and tightening needs. There is really nothing more useful, and skin on hands just sometimes doesn't do it, particularly when the weather is colder. The wrench will help you get it just tight enough so it doesn't leak and will make life so much easier when it's time to unscrew it.
Note: Not all hose tightening will require a wrench at all if they are made well at the connection points, but if you end up with a hose that's poorly made, a wrench can do wonders.
#4 Tip for Buying a Garden Hose: Invest in watering timers.
If you have a large property or more than even just 1 or 2 areas, buying a timer is HIGHLY recommended. It will take a little patience to set it up to spray exactly where you want it to, and also may mean walking by it daily or to make sure it hasn't come out of the earth or fallen over (this can happen with certain sprinklers if they leak at all and make the ground softer).
Timers are a TRUE blessing. They will give you time to do the dozens of other garden and homestead projects that are needed, and also do a much better job at watering consistently. I would absolutely not garden without a timer. The great thing is there are many good brands of varying prices that will do the trick without costing you too much, and the time saved not having to hand water is worth every penny.
Bookmark this page if you like as we will continue to add new hose buying tips as we discover them.
Love, Grandmother's Kitchen
More about this story can be found at: Grandmother's Kitchen