Garden hoses are designed to deliver water to your plants and they do just that: A standard hose shoots out some 17 gallons of water per minute. A good garden hose is an essential tool for bringing water to vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees in the home landscape. It's hard to select the best garden hose for your needs without an understanding of how much water each type dispenses to your lawn and garden.
You'll hear gardeners talking for hours about their favorite shrubs, but it's much rarer to hear a discussion about garden hoses. However, a good garden hose is essential for a serious gardener, permitting the attachment of an irrigation system. Using a watering can is simply not a viable option for a large garden.
An ideal garden hose must remain kink-free. It also should have a few other specific qualities that you can look for when you shop for hoses.
The hose should be made of a strong material, such as rubber or vinyl.
Pick a hose with more layers, or plies, rather than less. The more plies, the stronger the hose.
If you want more water to flow per minute, pick a wider diameter of hose, like 3/4 inch. Diameter refers to the hose's actual tubing width. This size directlyaffects the amount of water that travels through the hose. A wider hoseallows for a stronger flow with less pressure loss.
The length of the hose you buy should take into account the area of your garden.
The amount of water that goes through a garden hose per minute depends on the diameter of the hose tubing, water pressure and hose length. The longer the hose, the less water pressure, assuming a constant water pressure of about 40 pounds per square inch. For example, a garden hose that is 1/2 inch in diameter with 40 pounds per square inch in pressure delivers 6 gallons per minute if the length is 100 feet. However, if you keep everything else the same but double the length, the hose only delivers 3 gallons per minute.
Gardeners can rely on estimates even without calculating the hose length. The standard 5/8-inch garden hose delivers 17 gallons per minute. Larger hoses, such as a 3/4-inch hose, use up to 23 gallons per minute. A 1/2-inch garden hose delivers about 9 gallons of water per minute. The length of hose you need depends on the size of your garden.
Reductions in Flow
Less pressure and longer hose length results in reduced water flow; standard rates of flow vary for this reason. Smaller hose tubing produces a lower flow rate. Water traveling a great distance through multiple lengths of hose also suffers from reduced water pressure.
S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with over three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various websites and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.