Picking the Best Garden Hose

A guide to selecting the best garden hose for your needs.

Although soakers, sprinkler systems, and drip irrigation have all but replaced hoses in many of the traditional watering chores around the garden, every household without a sprinkler system still needs a sturdy hose. And even if you have an automatic system, you still need a hose to wash the car and soak newly transplanted trees, shrubs, and flowers. Here’s what to look for.

  • PSI (Pounds per square inch) ratings range from 50 to 600; the higher the PSI, the stronger the hose. For a typical home that has water pressure of 50-60 PSI, a hose with 150 PSI should be adequate.
  • Good construction Three- or four-ply nylon, vinyl, or rubber, reinforced with mesh, makes the strongest hose. Be sure the fittings are heavy-duty cast brass.
  • A generous length allows you to reach all the relevant areas of the yard and garden without strain.
  • Size A 1/2-inch hose is light and works well for watering small beds and containers. A 3/4-inch hose is bulky and awkward to move around, but delivers water faster to a portable sprinkler. A 5/8-inch hose is a good compromise, if you only have one hose.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest