Before storing watering gear for winter, take time to repair hoses. If you have a crushed coupling or leaky hose end, repair the hose instead of buying a new one. To fix, simply cut off the bad end, slip on a new coupling and screw it in place.
Check washers--in hoses and attachments--at the start of each season, especially if your area has hard water or if you store hoses in an unheated shed in winter. Washers harden and crack over time, creating easy-to-repair leaks that take a matter of seconds to fix.
Getting water to plants is one of the top tasks you’ll tackle. If you grow any container gardens, watering is a daily event in the heat of summer. Invest in a quality hose that’s guaranteed for life, along with some kind of easy-to-use hose storage. Include a hose end watering wand, nozzle with multiple patterns and watering can with a detachable rose (the nozzle part that turns a water stream into a shower). For planting beds and large gardens, choose a sprinkler, or invest in drip irrigation. Last but not least, when buying a hose, pick up a pack of flat washers that fit your hose. Replace washers inside hose ends annually, at the start of every gardening season, to reduce drips and wasted water.
Reel in an unruly garden hose in this Patina Copper Hose Pot from Frontgate.com. The hand-applied patina finish gives this copper pot an aged look. Its weather worn appearance blends with any outdoor decor.
To prep garden hoses for winter, remove watering wands and drain before storing in a non-freezing location. Drain hoses by unwinding and placing the end down-slope from the reel. The hose will empty itself as you wind it. Store in a shed or garage for winter.
If your hose is forever strewn in a messy jumble across your garden bed, try a pot near the spigot. This one from Signature Hardware is specially designed for the purpose, with a back hole to feed the hose through. After you're done watering for the day, simply corral the tube inside — out of sight, out of mind.
Tame loose hoses without spending a penny on fancy hose reels.
Easy Solution: Wrap garden hoses around an inverted flower pot. A heavier pottery or stone pot works perfectly, and if you have one that’s cracked and otherwise not useful, that’s even better.
Conserving water in the landscape starts with re-thinking the ways you use and apply water to plantings. Trade in a non-adjustable oscillating sprinkler for one that offers multiple watering patterns. By sliding levers or pushing buttons, adjustable sprinklers let you direct water to where it’s needed—and avoid wasteful runoff.