An Ode to the humble hose.

Of all the garden tools at my disposal the one that works the hardest is the hose.   It is the font of all hydration that is not heaven sent.   Actually, all the water here is heaven sent, but the hose delivers the water that was captured upon the roof and then saved for…  I was going to say ‘saved for a rainy day’ but while the intent is perfect the actual analogy doesn’t work at all.  But you get my meaning.  When it isn’t raining, the water comes from the tank via the hose.

Gardena Hoses
Call me a garden geek but there is nothing more covetous than a stack of brand new quality hoses!

With a garden as big as mine there is a lot that needs to be watered.  In normal conditions in my garden watering deeply roughly every 5 days or so is enough.  The soil in the beds is highly absorbent swamp soil and the fine sand has surprised me by holding the moisture deep down below the surface of the beds and so the roots have no trouble finding what they need to stay hydrated.  I have found that I only need to water using my irrigation system for a mere 9 minutes per bed.  Any more than causes the water to pool below and the sand becomes a little soft like it does just beyond the waves on the beach.  So, it doesn’t take much to get the garden beds wet and keep them that way.   I had feared the sand would be so free draining I’d be out there for hours with the hose.

Watering garden beds
The unexpected effects of over watering my garden beds for a few minutes too long!

But even with the irrigation system the hose still gets a workout, as it needs to be plugged into the system.  Eventually it will be via a 6-hose water distributor and water computer so I can set and forget six beds at a time, but I have still to connect all the beds in a wonderful underground network that still needs to be dug (watch this space.)   So, for now I am at the mercy of the timer on my phone blaring out across the garden in increments of just under ten minutes, demanding I stop what I am doing immediately and move the hose.  This alone makes the desire to dig trenches strong.

Gardena SuperFLEX Hose
For now, this is how I water my beds, with water I know to be fresh, clean and healthy for my plants and me!  It is good to know all Gardena hoses are toxin free.

So, every day the hose is unreeled and moved from bed to bed, snaking around corners and twisting and turning frequently as I work my way across the garden.  In normal conditions I only focus on 6 beds a day and by the time I get back to the original 6 beds five days later, they are just reaching the point where they could do with a drink again.   To do this job well it means a lot to have a hose that doesn’t kink.  I’ve had them before, and they can make watering a nightmare.  You spend more time untangling things than you do actually watering.  There is value in a good quality hose.

Gardena SuperFLEX Hose
This is one hard working hose.

But then you need to spare a thought for the poor, long suffering hose.  Once unwound from the reel, it can lay about for hours on end.  However, if it doesn’t have water flowing through it, the water can be left lying about within the hose and in the height of summer it can heat up to a remarkable heat.  It is often too hot to touch, so I measured it once and found it was around 70C, which, if I can’t hold my hand under it, would be extremely detrimental to the health and wellbeing of my plants.  It is always best to let it run free for a few moments until the cold water from the tank returns to the flow.

Gardena SuperFLEX Hose
My Gardena SuperFlex Hose puts in a long day in my garden.

And while we are on the subject of health and wellbeing, there is a lot of talk out there about the toxic effects of plastic once heated, with nasty chemicals leaching from it into the very food we eat.  And with some hoses, it doesn’t even need to heat up to provide all sorts of goodies other than water with its daily supply of a thirst-quenching drop.  I wouldn’t mind so much if I was just watering flowers, but I’m watering food.  Food my family will eat and just as important to me as a kink free hose, is one that only delivers water and not heavy metals and other toxic chemicals.

Gardena SuperFLEX Hose
A once shiny new hose snaked across a sometimes soggy, grassy garden.

My poor hose was once shiny and new, with the promise of a long life ahead of it.  It probably wishes it ended up in the hands of someone who only gets it out of the shed every now and again to hose down a path or briefly water a small backyard plot so it could retain its lustre.   But for all that it has worked hard, my hose and I get on just fine and will continue to do so for many years to come.  A hose may be humble, but you know when you have a good one!

Come again soon – I may have started digging a trench or two…. Either me or Hubby the Un-Gardener!

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

4 thoughts on “An Ode to the humble hose.

  1. We have just been put on water restrictions here. No water to be used outside at all, so my poor plants are going to suffer in this heat. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that the weather boffins are right about a shower this afternoon, even if it’s not a lot it will hopefully keep my garden going. We don’t normally have water restrictions here, hopefully it doesn’t last too long or get more severe, but it might be time to think more seriously about putting in a small tank for the garden!

    1. Oh no, poor garden. we got .3mm the other morning and or course it made no difference whatsoever and the boffins aren’t suggesting much for the future… well nothing of significance. I hope your garden copes in the meantime. : o)

  2. Oh, I remember my first hose. It came with the house when it was built in 1957, so was about a quarter of a century old when I acquired it in about 1982, when I was in high school. It was very tough, and in very good condition, even though it was a cheapy hose by standards of 1957. It was long enough to reach the far corners of the urban parcel that the house occupied. It was finally taken by pot growers in the (new) neighborhood a few years ago. Sadly, for the farm, we spend quite a bit on very expensive hoses that should be of good quality. Yet, they last only a few years, and some last only a year. Many of our crops are irrigated by hose (which is a dreadfully tedious job), so MANY hoses are needed.

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