August 13 2011 Timely Tips




August 13, 2011

Garden hoses are a staple item for all home gardeners. The gallons of water a hose will carry are determined by three factors: size, length, and available water pressure.

The inside diameter of a hose determines its efficiency. Low-priced, promotional hoses, usually 1/2″ diameter, deliver 9 gallons per minute (gpm), and higher quality hoses with 5/8″ diameter deliver 17 gpm. A 3/4″ hose delivers 23 gpm, almost three times what a 1/2″ hose delivers.

The larger the inside diameter of the hose is, the less pressure loss over any distance. If the pressure is low (less than 40 psi), the hose is running uphill, or is extra-long. The largest size hose available should be used to minimize pressure loss in the hose line.

To prevent premature cracking, hoses should never be kinked or bent sharply, either in use or in storage. Hoses should be stored in season by coiling it on a wide bracket, hose hanger or reel, never by hanging it on a sharp nail or hook.

Never tug on a hose when trying to eliminate a kink. This can cause the kink to permanently set in. Kinks should always be worked out by hand. Inexpensive hoses have a greater tendency to kink due to their thin walls, and frequently sprout leaks at those kink points.

David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at

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