My former garden hoses became so kinked and folded that not only would water not flow freely, but I wanted to take my hedge trimmer to them. After tripping over a large kink for the last time, I headed out on a dedicated hose hunt to find the perfect hose for my garden. If you are fighting with your own hose by tugging, twisting, and patching, plus spending too much time getting those stubborn kinks out, this just may be your last article to read on hoses. Not only are tangled hoses dangerous if we get caught in one, they seem to prompt us to use words that are not found in the dictionary.
I have owned my 50 foot hose for thirteen years and it is still as good as new. It has never needed a patch or repair. And it has never trapped me in its clutches as I moved around my garden. Unfortunately, most hoses do not come with names stamped on them so I am unsure about the brand I own except that it is a green rubber hose. So I did some sleuthing to try to find the ancestry of the hose I love so much.
Garden hoses are made of vinyl, rubber and a combination of vinyl and rubber. Vinyl hoses are lighter weight and cost less but also are the ones that you love to hate due to the kinking. After tossing my vinyl hose in the trash back in 1999, I set out with a mission to find a hose I would be able to manage. I spent time at three nurseries and three garden areas in big box stores. I found out that hoses come in various diameters and from what the nursery men all told me, a 5/8" diameter for most home gardens would be perfect. The lengths vary too and I settled on a 50 foot for the backyard since my front yard was on a drip line; I only purchased one hose.
I did some informal research with my friends and found no one liked the little coil type hoses even though the idea that they would bounce back into place was nice; most do not bounce back after a little time in the garden. Additionally, there is a hose called a No-Kink that not one of my friends liked because of hose fittings, cracking and the fact it does kink.
The reason that vinyl hoses are not worth purchasing is that they crack, twist, break, kink and, as already mentioned, drive you crazy in the garden.
The bottom line is: BUY A RUBBER HOSE!
Rubber hoses are heavier but when it comes to heavy versus kinks, I will take heavy any day. Honestly, mine has never kinked, but it has gotten tangled when I was moving too fast through the garden and it got wrapped around iron stands or chairs. However, if it does tangle, usually a simple tug straightens it right out.
Mine has held up under 115 degree temperatures and been left outdoors in cold weather with no problems. However, I live in Phoenix and we do not have ice and snow. Additionally, rubber is safer for drinking water from (if you are so inclined) and mine has endured 13 very hot summers in Arizona and many sips of water without any nasty hose taste.
I admit, I do not have the patience for a hose reel and either leave my hose on the patio in a loose coil, or, when I am in a hurry, leave it in the grass as seen in the photos below. My friend has a stake with a hook she uses to coil her hose. That seems to be a great idea for people who don't want to spend time fiddling with the hose. My train of thought is, if I am going to water twice a day, why do I need to coil it up unless friends are coming over?
I love hose-watering. Sprinkling cool water on my feet and legs while I garden is a simple pleasure. Thirteen years have passed since I bought my hose and by now we have a perfect relationship!
After a lot of research all over the web, the Flexogen appears to be the number ONE favorite garden hose. The black collar keeps the hose from getting kinked at the spigot; overall it resists kinking and the polished surface helps to eliminate staining and abrasions. It is super strong and endures all kinds of weather. Perhaps 13 years ago the name was not imprinted like it is today, so I am not 100% sure I have a Flexogen, but it is the same shade of green and looks exactly like a Flexogen. Who would know I would love it and need the brand name after all these years?
There will never be a perfect hose for everyone, but, when a hose gets 4 1/2 to 5 stars out of 5, that is a pretty safe indication the hose will make you happy.
I do want to mention the Sears Craftsman All Rubber Hose. It has a lifetime warranty and if you do not like the hose, you can take it back. Anytime, anywhere. There were mixed reviews in the various research sites but the Sears rubber hose was in second place when my recent results were tabulated.
Finally, up-cycle your old hoses! Don't toss them out . . . make garden wreaths out of them.
I wonder how many wreaths I can make out of this mess?
Chopped up hose, courtesy of Sandy (Wren)
Garden Wreath, courtesy of Sharon Smits.com
Garden Hoses, public domain GNU Free Documentation License
Plastic Hose in grass, D. Sharon Pruitt, used with permission
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