Picking the Best Garden Hose

Although soakers, sprinkler systems, and drip irrigation have all but replaced hoses in many of the traditional watering chores around the garden, every household without a sprinkler system still needs a sturdy hose. And even if you have an automatic system, you still need a hose to wash the car and soak newly transplanted trees, shrubs, and flowers. Here’s what to look for.

  • PSI (Pounds per square inch) ratings range from 50 to 600; the higher the PSI, the stronger the hose. For a typical home that has water pressure of 50-60 PSI, a hose with 150 PSI should be adequate.
  • Good construction Three- or four-ply nylon, vinyl, or rubber, reinforced with mesh, makes the strongest hose. Be sure the fittings are heavy-duty cast brass.
  • A generous length allows you to reach all the relevant areas of the yard and garden without strain.
  • Size A 1/2-inch hose is light and works well for watering small beds and containers. A 3/4-inch hose is bulky and awkward to move around, but delivers water faster to a portable sprinkler. A 5/8-inch hose is a good compromise, if you only have one hose.

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