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my 2 ever-reliable garden-watering ‘musts’

61qfyrlzmnl-_sl1056_-1MY FAVORITE watering wand and hose-end sprayer have been discontinued; ditto the sprinkler model I have long relied on. And the ones I have been nursing along in recent years are now officially kaput. Drat. But my go-to hose and rain gauge carry on, undaunted, and good thing, because breezy, bright spring days and newly sown seeds and transplanted divisions are a bad combination, so I am already watering here and there.

LIGHTWEIGHT WATER RIGHT HOSES: If you are still lugging around traditional garden hoses (or if anyone on your gift list is), then Water Right Inc.’s lightweight, drinking-water-safe hoses can fix that beautifully. I love the olive green color (above), but there is purple, wine and other choices. Three diameters of hose comprise the line, each in 25- to 100-foot lengths: The 400 Series (7/16-inch diameter), 500 Series (½-inch diameter, delivering about 25 percent more water than the 400) and 600 Series (5/8-inch, delivering another 25 percent more water than the 500). There is also a coiled version, if you have a smaller space than I do. Browse the Water Right hoses. (Amazon affiliate link.)

09215_01_shkcprfraingaugeLOW-TECH RAIN GAUGE: This last suggestion is something I have bought again and again to give as a stocking-stuffer (and to use) from the Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalog. Talk about low-tech: It’s a plastic rain gauge you simply stick in the ground. I have three here, spread around the garden, and even though I also have an electronic weather station that theoretically is precise down to the hundredth of an inch, I cannot wait after a good rain to go out and check my plastic models. Watch out, this one will set you back $6.95 (find it at Johnny’s).

I’m ordering and testing various nozzles and wands, meanwhile, but so far? Not so good. Wish me luck (or send me a recommendation if you have one). Happy watering!

  1. Lori H says:

    My husband gave me a Dramm 16″ “rain wand” , which I love. The on/off switch is easy to do with just my thumb. I asked for one after observing someone watering at our local garden center.

  2. Ann hamilton says:

    The dram fogg-it nozzles are indispensable for new seedlings and delicate plants. They are a must for the cold frame. We have the three smallest sizes. A.M.Leonard sells them. Ann

  3. Donna Grunwald says:

    My husband bought the Gardena brand auto roll up hose reel with several sprayers and a sprinkler with quick connectors for everything. The hose is light weight and the battery is rechargeable. I have used it for three years now, it is all fabulous! Worth the cost. It is so fun to press the button and watch the hose zip into its reel. I have a short sprayer and a long sprayer, they have multi settings for spraying and the control is an easy push forward or back with using the thumb. It saved my shoulder from all the winding and I never leave the hose laying out now.

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Donna. I always used Gardena wands and nozzles but the ones I loved for many, many years were discontinued, and the new ones are not as nice. The other stuff works great, and I have always liked that company, too. I will investigate the winder thing.

  4. I have Water Right hoses and everything else Gardena, some of which I’ve had for 30 years and the click-ons still work without dripping. Why Gardena stopped importing to the USA I don’t know but I am really, really sorry about it. The old 18″ wide sprinkler (covers 45 feet in any direction) still works but I wish I could buy a new one. Every piece of watering made in China, no matter who sells it in the USA, drips. Every soaker hose purchased at Home Depot or Lowes 8 years ago is now defunct and being replaced by Water Right soaker hoses as I can afford them – one a year, I hope.

  5. Steve says:

    I use a long Dram model, but once the plastic head gets damaged (it’s inevitable) I buy a metal head. It’s much better. Get the model with the thumb operated shut off valve in the handle. Very convenient.

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Julia. I like the brass quality but I don’t like a “fire nozzle” style of sprayer…which is great for pavement, the car, etc…but I know Dramm makes “breaker” nozzles and wands that are more the shape of water-dispersal I am thinking, so I am investigating those, too. What a hunt!

  6. Renee B says:

    I’ve used Dramm wands for years. Spring for the solid brass on/off thumb valve and the solid aluminum nozzle. Pricey, but they may last forever. The plastic versions of both are useless and have a very short life expectancy, at least in my garden. I’m definitely trying your recommendation for new hoses. The older I get, the less I enjoy lugging heavy hoses.

  7. Lauren says:

    I agree with the Dramm recommendations AND nothing beats their 7 litre heavy duty plastic watering cans if you are interested. They last for years.

  8. Margaret says:

    I use the Dramm solid aluminum model, and have for many years. It has been dropped on cement and rocks and does not dent at all. I will say that eventually the plastic finger trigger does indeed wear out after a few years, so ditto on the solid brass thumb valve trigger. The Garden Tool Company is a good source for this and seductive Dutch garden tools…

  9. Janet Nock says:

    Dear Margaret,

    After reading about the Water Right hoses, I am lusting after one. Can’t handle those heavy hoses anymore, and the pocket hoses are junk, so this seems to be a good choice for me. I am elderly but happily tending a fairly large garden and yard that requires a lot of watering on dry days.
    However, I could use some guidance on the series size. Do you use the 400 series 7/16″, the 500 series 1/2″, or the 600 series 5/8″?

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