I have (and need) a lot of garden hoses. So first thing in the spring, I pull the hoses out from underneath the porch and lay them out in the backyard to begin the sorting.
The big black ones are the main hoses to take water the first 150 feet or so on their journey. They’re 1-inch hoses I kept when I shut down the nursery. When I join them, they carry water out to the numerous trees on our property. (Our soil is very shallow so during droughts of the last few years, getting water to wilting trees was a high priority for us.)
The other garden hoses were to take water to various sprinkler systems in the gardens.
Note this was all controlled by a series of hose Y-shut-off valves (plastic ones normally used for laundry hoses) at the outdoor tap and along the different hoses
But I’ve Begun A Massive Change In Irrigation Systems
I’m moving away from garden hoses to drip irrigation for two reasons. The first is the garden design is now set and mostly constructed so setting up a semi-permanent irrigation system makes sense.
I also know that drip irrigation gets the water to the plants with a minimum of fuss and water loss through evaporation. (Yeah, we live on Lake Ontario and there isn’t a shortage of water to our shore-well but still, there’s a certain satisfaction in doing things in an environmentally sound way.)
Also, the stone walls I’m building have been designed to hold plants and this means I need to get water to them directly. The easiest way to do this is to run a drip irrigation system right on top of the wall.
Lastly, it’s really easy to pick up these hoses, drain them as I coil them to store for the winter and lug them to our garden shed. Compare this to inflexible plastic pipe with lots of fittings and valves, and coiling them up …. (frankly, it just never went well.)
I’m using Gilmour flat soaker hoses for this project for several reasons. The first is because I bought one a few years ago to water one section of the wall just after I built it and it’s lasted nicely for several years now. I’d discovered the overhead sprinklers just didn’t get enough water to the wall without turning the rest of the garden into a swamp.
The second is they’re readily available through big box stores (or online). (Note Gilmour did not pay for this endorsement or provide me with any product. Their hoses simply work really well for me.) And they’ve lasted really well without degrading or ripping.
I Need A Lot Of Garden Hoses
And given I have several hundred petunias in the growing area in our basement (mid-April) I’m going to need a lot of water to keep them growing in this wall. An extra three-hundred feet of drip hoses will be a good start this summer.
These hoses come with regular hose end fittings so they can be joined together which makes things really easy to set up.
The only difficulty I had last year was making them turn 90-degrees on the wall without kinking. I had to use cut up clothes hanger wire to pin them into a gradual turn to prevent kinking. This year I intend to experiment with cutting them and using elbow joints and clamps to get them to turn and hold their shape. I’ll have to get back to you about this.
Bottom Line On Garden Hoses
The regular hoses will still keep our trees healthy and growing so I’ll have to continue the tradition of laying out the hoses for many more years to come (at least I hope I have many more years.) 🙂
But drip irrigation is now my preferred choice for in-garden watering.