Tell me about garden hoses

I have to purchase a hose for my front yard. I have a new tree and in order not to void the warrantee I have been instructed to leave a hose at a slow trickle for an hour once weekly to soak the roots. That means the old watering can system is out. I do not want a bulky large hose but I will need at least 25-50 feet. If you look at ratings for hoses, the ones that rate well are the very expensive, heavy duty ones which I do not need. The expandible pocket-type hoses have horrible reviews. I was thinking something fairly sturdy but at the same time reasonably light like this but I worry since most of the positive reviews are from people given free products. It does have decent reviews at Home Depot, though. I don’t need anything fancy but I don’t want it to fall apart the first time I use it. Any thoughts?

My friend tells me she loves her expendable pocket one. She didn’t have anything bad to say in terms of it wearing out or failing and she does a lot of gardening.

Hoses typically come in 25’ increments so it may be best to know which you do in fact need, 25 or 50’. It sounds like you’re not going to be using it a lot so no, there’s no need to buy the most expensive. One trait you might consider though is those that won’t kink, they make that kind now. Nothing more aggravating than trying to use a hose and to have it not work because there’s a chronic kink somewhere in the line.

The people I know that bought the expandable hoses typically said they quickly wore out, either from cheap plastic fittings breaking or that they only retracted when fairly new and stopped doing that after just a little use. Perhaps some makes are of better quality, per gig’s friend.

Go to the nearest True Value and buy the Green Thumb brand. Depending on the hose, they come with an iron-clad warranty from 5-7 years: replacement with no questions asked. I just returned one of mine that had split after five years.

The one you linked to looks decent enough, although you’ll pay a couple of extra bucks for the Miracle Gro name. If you go to H.D. in person you can compare the feel of it to others and perhaps get the input of a Lawn & garden clerk on whether any of their hoses tend to generate a lot of returns.

The one you linked to looks like a very reasonable lightweight garden hose.

I’ve used the pocket hoses and they worked just fine for my purpose (watering at a school garden) I would not choose them for my home, they feel overly lightweight for regular use. They also change size when filling up with water, which makes them a bit of a pain to manage if you don’t need to unfurl it all the way.

You can also get a trickle watering hose to attach to the end of the regular hose you buy.

I would generally recommend getting the longest hose you can, you don’t know what you’ll need it for next, but you can always attach hoses together to get more length if needed someday. Make sure you have some channel lock pliers available for tightening hose connections.

I have to super cheap 25’ green hoses that are so thin they give themselves kinks when they are wound and look like they should be riddled with holes. But they’re not, they have been just fine every time I fish them out for some project.

Just make sure you store your hoses in the winter (if you’re in a place that freezes) and you will be ok.

My theory of hoses is like the Vimes theory of boots. If you buy the $10 one, you’ll replace it every year. If you buy the $50 one, you’ll replace it once a decade.

On the other hand, if you truly don’t need a hose except for the short-term, maybe you can go cheap and toss it. Personally, I couldn’t imagine using a watering can on any yard big enough to put a tree in, but whatever works for you.

If you were going to be roaming the yard and watering different areas daily, I’d suggest getting a better quality hose, but for your “unroll it and leave the end at a tree trunk once a week” use, a cheap hose should be fine. Looking at Home Depot, you should be able to find a 50’ “medium duty” hose for under $20.

The self-coiling hoses (like a telephone cord) are annoying. They may say “25 feet” or whatever, but you have to pull hard to uncoil it to that length and it will rapidly return to its foot-long coiled form unless you stake it down.

My experience with the expanding “pocket” hoses is that they are junk. We tried two different brands. One burst after two weeks’ use and the other had an end pop off.

They’re these long flexible tube like structures meant to convey water from a spigot to another location.

Yes, but I wanted to know where she bought the tree that had a warrantee.

From a couple of guys in the forest who traded it for a shrubbery.

But that’s not important right now.

I strongly recommend using one of these for watering your tree, rather than leaving your hose on trickle. The vertical zipper allows you to place it around the tree.

There are other brands, and they might be less expensive.

The problem with leaving a hose on trickle is that you have to remember to turn it off, and some of the water may just run off instead of soaking in. This bag releases its 15 gallons or so over the course of several hours, and it gives the tree a good healthy drink without either drowning it or letting the water run off.

If it is a young tree and you have support stakes, I recommend putting the bag on one of the stakes (the uphill one, if there is a hill) rather than on the tree. If the bag is on the tree, you should remove it the next day, until the next time you water.

I hate using cheap hoses because they are a hassle every time I have to use them. If you own a house, I would think you would need a hose on an occasional basis anyway. I have a black rubber hose from Sears that works great.

There are kink-proof hoses, but I find them heavy and hard to work with. The black rubber hose doesn’t kink very often and is easy to unkink by doing a quick twist or flip to unkink it. Cheap hoses kink all the time and you’ll have to keep walking back to the kink to fix it.

If you have to do a trickle for your tree, get a short soaker hose. A soaker hose is permeable and water will trickle out along the whole length. Circle your tree with the soaker hose and attach it to a regular hose.

To make soaking the tree easy, get a water timer that attaches to your hose. That’s a device which you can set to run for an amount of time and then it automatically shuts off. Attach it between the soaker hose and regular hose. If you don’t get the hose timer, set a timer on your phone to remind you to turn off the hose. If you don’t, the hose will run all day and you’ll wake up in the middle of the night remembering that you didn’t turn it off. (Don’t ask how I know that :slight_smile:

There is no such thing as a “no kink” hose. Trust me.

When it comes to garden hose I’m a believer in getting a really good one. The longer you go, the harder to deal with. Getting it wound up neatly is an acquired skill, easier if you do it with water pressure in it (faucet on) and a round nozzle that lets it spin (no protruding handle) as you are coiling it.
Also, once you have a decent hose and spray nozzle you will probably find other uses for it.

I agree with those who say “just buy a good one and be done with it” - Sears Craftsman rubber hoses aren’t terribly expensive when on sale (50’ for $25), are much better built and nicer to use than the cheap ones, and have a lifetime warrantee.

True; but Freud has assured us that sometimes, a hose is just a hose.