If you struggle lugging a heavy water hose around the garden and find it mangles plants, these ideas will help. Find out what you can do to make watering easier on the arms plus ways to keep your plants protected from a plant-crushing hose.
Also see 7 Smart Tips for Watering Your Garden to make the most of your efforts.
Protect Your Plants From Water Hose Mishaps
Have you ever lugged a water hose through the garden to water your plants only to discover the hose snuck across a flower bed, crushing or damaging plants?
Been there, done that—way too many times.
After accidentally destroying some favorite flowers (my primroses), I finally took action to fix the problem.
Here are some suggestions to prevent your garden hose from causing plant damage.
1Use Lightweight Hose
Before we get into hose holders and guides, having the right garden hose really makes a big difference.
If it’s lightweight, the right length, and easier to lift, we’re less likely to wreck stuff with it.
Water hoses have changed a lot in recent years and there are plenty of products available that are lighter weight than traditional hoses and much easier to move around the garden.
Collapsible hoses have been popular in recent years but I am not a fan. I see too many reviews saying they only last a season or two at most. They seem to break down and leak after limited use. And that’s not only a waste of money but a lot of plastic waste off to landfill.
If you’re shopping for new hose look for something lightweight, deemed safe for food gardens, and guaranteed to last. Often the compromise is a smaller hose diameter, perhaps 5/8″ or 1/2″, but I find it’s worth it.
It’s also important to have enough hose length. Plant damage often occurs when we’re struggling to lift and pull the dang hose!
Fifty feet sounds like a good length until you factor in all the twists and turns we have to work around while watering.
Better to go for 75 or 100-feet (or two 50-foot lengths) if needed so we have enough slack to get move around comfortably.
And, if you really want to make life easier, get some quick connectors for the faucet to instantly add and remove your hose as needed. These make changing out hose so fast and easy.
- Gilmour AquaArmor Lightweight Hose 1/2″ x 100 | Amazon
- Gilmour Premium Complete Garden Hose Quick-Connect Set | Amazon
- Gilmour Heavy Duty Swivel Connect Extended Watering Wand (34-inch) | Amazon
2Use Hose Holders
I photographed this homemade garden hose guide on a tour years ago and thought it was such a good idea.
This one is made from wood with a hole to thread the hose through. The whole thing is mounted on a T-bar which is secured in the ground. They had several of them throughout the garden.
If I were making them, I would keep the top open (U-shaped) to make it easier to get the hose in and out.
But, either way, when placed strategically on your watering route, you can see how they will hold the hose safely above the plants to avoid mishaps.
You might want to make your own or hire a local woodworker to make some for you. Alternately, there are some versions of this available at garden supply shops. I am surprised they are not more common though—they do a good job.
- Rolling Hose Guides, Set of 6 | Amazon
3Use Hose Guides or Guards
Hose guides or guards are another option. Short posts or pipes are placed at the edges of garden beds in key positions to prevent water hose from getting to the plants. I painted old drawer pulls to make mine look like flowers.
This short video shows how they work.
This tutorial on How to Make Garden Art Hose Guards has instructions for making your own.
- Leaf Hose Guide, Set of 4 | Amazon
- Decorative Metal Dragonfly Hose guide | Plow & Hearth
- 4 Wrought Iron Hose Guards | Etsy
4Use an Automated Hose Reel
I don’t own one of these but I often wish I did.
An automated hose reel, if it works as it should, will allow you to easily pull out the length of hose needed, and, just as easily retract it back into the holder.
As far as garden tools go, it’s a bit of an investment, but it could be worth it particularly for someone with limited ability to lift and pull the hose.
Decisions include whether you want something wall-mounted, stationary on the ground, or somewhat portable with wheels.
Wall-Mounted Automatic Hose Reel | Gardener’s Supply Company
Classic Hose Trolley | Gardener’s Supply Company
And there you go. No more crushing plants with hose. Or fewer mishaps!
If you enjoy tips like this and have garden fever, be sure to sign up for the free newsletter here.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛