Little by little, our gardens are waking up from their winter rest. It won’t be long before we’re out there playing in the dirt and getting the garden ready for spring growth. Now’s the time to check on your essential tools – hand trowels, rakes, pruning shears, and of course all those garden hoses. Here are five quick tips to good garden hose care.
Replace Hose Washers
If you haven’t replaced your hose washers in the last two years, do it this spring. You can buy a dozen for a dollar or two at the local hardware store. Replacing the washers prevents leaks that rob your plants of water and cost you money.
If you left your hoses outside through the winter you may discover they are leaking. Tiny hose leaks can be repaired using electrician’s tape or duct tape. While the water is off, start winding the tape a couple of inches to one side of the leak. Cover the hose in an overlapping spiral to an inch or so past the leak. For larger leaks or tears, you can get a hose repair kit for much less than the cost of a new hose. Just be sure to get the correct diameter repair kit for your hose.
Don’t Store a Kinked Hose
Unkink your hose after every use. Store it in a loose spiral. If a hose gets unmanageably twisted, stretch it out in the sun to soften the plastic. Then grasp one end and turn it in the opposite direction of the kinks. Snap the end up and down like a whip periodically to smooth out the entire length of the hose.
Get the Right Length
If you found yourself tugging at the end of a too-short hose too often last year, consider buying a second hose to extend it or a longer hose to replace it. Yanking and pulling on hoses promotes cracks in the hose – and tears in your state of mind.
Don’t Forget Your Hand Sprayers
The hose may bring the water to where you want but then you have to apply it to the garden. Be kind to yourself this year and buy a quality hose-end sprayer with a rotating head for different spray patterns.