Garden Hoses, Water, And You -- Yard Maintenance 101
- by Sam Qian
Gardening can be a wonderful experience. It offers you the pleasure of growing your own foods and plants, as well as the joy of engaging in a petite agricultural activity right in your own.
Besides, a well tended garden adds to the beauty of a property. Watering is an essential garden maintenance activity. This is because the lives of the plants in your garden depend so much on water – and garden hoses are essential tools for watering your garden.
If you have enough space at your backyard, you can start a large garden there. If your space is small, a small garden will be more suitable. Even if you don’t have space for large or small garden, you can use containers to plant a garden.
How Do You Choose the Right Hose for Your Garden?
It doesn’t matter if you have a simple patio garden or a lawn that extends across several acres, you need a garden hose for your garden maintenance. While the major purpose is to water your plants and grass, hoses will offer additional benefit in terms of washing your car and doing other major outdoor cleaning.
You can buy garden hoses from most home improvement stores and hardware stores. They usually dedicate entire aisles for gardening hoses – so you would definitely find a suitable hose for your garden.
It is important to supply quality water to garden plants via easy to install water purifiers and water softeners. Now, when it comes to matching hose types to the requirements or needs of your garden, here are important tips to guide you;
- If you your target is easy handling – then you should go for vinyl hose. This type of hose will suit a garden or lawn in a mild climate. It is suitable for basic watering needs and usually less pricy than the reinforced or rubber hose.
- Go for a soaker hose or sprinkler if your need is just regular lawn watering. The evenly spaced holes on these hoses will sprinkle sufficient water to your garden and its surroundings.
- Buy an industrial hole if hot water is involved – these hoses are designed with rubber and they feature coverings that resist abrasion. Even when you use them with very hot water, their high burst strength will resist the pressure.
- Go for a rubber hose if you are concerned about durability – while they are more expensive than the vinyl hoses, rubber hoses are more durable. However, consider using them mostly in extreme weather conditions.
- Purchase an expandable hose if your garden requires light or minimal watering – when water is running through them, these hoses would usually stretch out or expand and will shrink back to a normal size when water is not running through them. Go for expandable hoses if you have small space and only require light watering.
- Consider a hose with antimicrobial protection – go for this type of hose if the kids and others will drink from it, or if you also want to use it in filling your pool.
Here are quick and proven tips to care for your garden hose;
- To prolong the life of your hose, ensure you store it on a reel after usage.
- For areas that experience freezing weather, make sure your hose is drained prior to the first frost. Gravity will do the draining work for you when you place one end of the hose on bare ground and the other end on a raised surface.
- Don’t leave your hose out in the winter, so that the hose material won’t shrink and cause cracks.
How to Water Your Garden Effectively
It’s not enough choosing the right hose for your garden, you also need to know how to water your garden effectively. The first step in watering plants effectively is to determine the soil type. Basically, there is the dry soil and the clay soil. The dry soil is usually sandy, with cracks. On the other hand, the clay soil is usually muddy and sticky.
The next step is to determine the type of plant (s) in your garden. This is usually in terms of age or state – is it an older, newly grown, or younger plant? Consequently, you should research the amount of water suitable for each category of plant – check online or look up in gardening books.
Here are some helpful strategies and tips for watering your garden;
- Check for soil wetness - Obviously, plants grown in dry soil will require more water than those grown in clay soil.
- The timing should be right – Usually, it is best to water your garden in the morning. It’s a right timing that enables the plants to soak in water, so that they can handle any weather condition – cold or heat.
- It also helps your garden plants to acquire the needed energy for chlorophyll production. Early morning watering also aids proper circulation of nutrients in plants, hence healthy growth.
- Supply the right amount of water – typically, small amount of water is required for new plants while older ones need more, and younger ones need slightly less than what you would give the older plants.
- Focus on the root – In fact, roots are the only parts of the plant that need water. The leaves can be diseased by getting wet.
- Do not water fast – Take a slower approach when watering your plants. This is a great way to ensure the plant gets more water. When you water fast, it is as good as giving the plant only 20 percent of the water and wasting away the remaining 80 percent!
Learning to Conserve Water in Your Garden
Gardening consumes a lot of water. Therefore, you need to learn ways to conserve water in your garden, bearing in mind that strains on access to water and water supplies are increasing by the day.
One of the great ways to conserve water while gardening is to keep an eye on weather forecast. If it is going to rain sooner, then you should delay watering and wait for the rain to water your garden.
Also, you should water the garden in the morning to cut back evaporation. Use smart irrigation controllers on your garden. Finally, you should design your garden with water efficiency in mind.