By David Abrego. There are many options available but doing some research before you buy will help you choose the right one for your landscape needs.

Because there are endless options on the market, choosing the appropriate water hose for your garden can be a daunting task. Your personal landscape needs can help narrow down the choice.

Before you buy, consider how much distance you need to cover, how often you’ll use it, if it will be exposed to the elements, and how much water capacity you desire. A little research will help you choose the right one.

Length

Know the size of the area you want to cover to determine the length. Generally, hoses come in 25, 50, 75 and 100-foot lengths, as well as rolls that you can cut to a custom length. Also, be mindful that the length of the hose affects water pressure — the longer the hose, the lower the pressure at the end.

Material

Vinyl hoses are usually the cheapest, lightest and most practical. But they’re generally light duty, cannot be left too long in the sun and kink very easily. On the other hand, rubber hoses are stronger, heavier and usually cost more, and they’re more durable and don’t kink easily. There are also some made from a combination of vinyl and rubber.

Size

Diameters of hoses for home use are typically ¾ inch and 5/8 inches (this is the internal diameter of the hose). We recommend a 5/8-inch diameter hose to balance the concerns of strength, pressure and portability. If you plan to use the hose under high pressure (e.g., extensive number of sprinklers or length), choose one with a label that indicates a tolerance of 300 psi and above.

Maintenance

How you care for this essential tool will determine how long it lasts.

Don’t leave the hose exposed to the sun unnecessarily. Use a reel if you have it to stow it when not in use.

Use a cut-off valve — don’t kink the hose to stop the flow.

Replace the metal or plastic washer on the nozzle regularly.

If your hose doesn’t come with a coil spring protector, consider buying one.

By David Abrego,  a conservation consultant for SAWS. David, a native of Panama, likes to spend his time surrounded by plants and fruit trees. So if you can’t find him at home, he’s probably working in a greenhouse. David is also an arborist and an irrigation technician.

Written by GardenStyleSanAntonio