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Garden Hose Showdown: Rubber vs. Vinyl

Are you thinking about buying a new garden hose? One hundred percent rubber hoses are considered to be the best quality and they are the way to go. The one downside is that they are also more expensive than vinyl hoses.

A rubber garden hose is the most durable and can better withstand sun and impact damage. A vinyl garden hose, although slightly cheaper, may be lighter, more supple and easier to handle.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a vinyl hose as long as it is stored and maintained correctly.

You can also get hoses that are a combination, the durability of rubber and  the light weight of vinyl. These hoses are simply called rubber/vinyl.

Whether you go rubber or vinyl, ensure the garden hose is reinforced with tire cord fiber. The reinforcement prevents the hose from bursting or cracking from excessive kinks and will extend the life of the hose.

In addition to the standard garden hose, there are some great variations available for specific tasks:

  • Soaker hoses: porous tubing that snakes through garden beds or vegetable gardens and allows water to ooze out at a slow rate. These are also great for watering trees. I ran a few through my hedging and they were great because you couldn't see them and they delivered the water right to the roots.

  • Coil hoses: a light hose ideal for patios and decks. The many small coils make this hose virtually kink free and "self retracting". It can extend a great length but it also retracts to a reasonable size for storage when not in use. These are ideal for watering hanging baskets on your deck if you don't have a drip irrigation system installed.

  • Faucet extensions: if the water supply is hard to reach, use a faucet extension to bring the water turn on/off to an easier location to access. This is great if your faucet is hidden behind a bush or hedge that keeps growing and growing/

More Resources

Guide to Hoses and Hose Reels

Watering Information and Tips


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