Water Hose Buying Guide
Washing the dog, watering shrubs—no one hose can handle every task. Shown, the three types every homeowner should have
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For general use
Vinyl hoses are affordable—good thing, as they’re prone to kinking and splitting. A durable rubber garden hose with brass fittings won’t do either of those, and can last for 5 to 10 years. Hexagonal profile tubing is easier to grip, too.
For irrigating beds
A flat soaker hose is easiest to contour around plants; one made from polyester-covered PVC, lead-free and labeled for use around edibles, works well in vegetable gardens. Just introduced: the first food-grade polyurethane soaker hose, made from FDA-approved resin, from
A round soaker hose, made from recycled vinyl, can withstand the elements without drying and cracking like recycled rubber often does—meaning you can leave it buried below mulch to irrigate ornamental plants year-round.
For watering containers
On patios and decks, where space is tight, a self-coiling hose stores easily. Choose one made from food-grade polyurethane, and your edibles—and you!—can safely drink from it.
Shown: 50-foot garden hose, about $100; . 50-foot flat soaker hose, about $13; . 50-foot soaker hose, about $30; . Coil hose, about $80;