Nozzles and Sprinklers: What to Look for in Garden Hose Features

Shopping for a hose? We're here to help. Learn what garden hose features to seek out

Sprinkler System Watering Grass

Learn what garden hose features and accessories to look for

Having a variety of product choices is great, but sometimes being faced with too many options can feel too overwhelming. When shopping for garden hoses and new nozzles and sprinklers to use in your lawn care routine, it can seem difficult to determine which varieties will work best for your lawn’s needs. Luckily, there are some factors you can consider before shopping to narrow down your choices.

What Kind of Nozzle Is Best for My Needs?

Garden hose nozzles are made in lots of styles, sizes, and materials. Depending on how you plan to use your garden hose, you can choose a nozzle that will best fit your needs.

Nozzles are generally available in two types of materials: Plastic or metal. While plastic nozzles are cheaper, it’s best to ignore the temptation of a lower price tag—plastic nozzles are prone to break easily. Metal nozzles are more expensive, but they tend to last much longer than plastic. Some nozzles are made with a combination of metal and plastic parts, but opting for full-metal varieties are better long-term purchases.

Point-and-shoot nozzles are simple and perform one basic function: They will shoot a constant stream of water from the hose. Some of these nozzles have the option to twist them to stop and start the flow of water, and some others feature a grip that allows water to flow when squeezed. These nozzle types are usually the more budget-friendly choice, and are good for basic, small garden watering or washing equipment such as mowers or cars.

Extended reach nozzles are great for reaching areas that are difficult to reach with the garden hose alone. For example, hanging flower baskets, gutters, and the tops of taller vehicles can be hard to properly water or clean with a standard nozzle on a garden hose. Extended reach nozzles allow water to shoot directly on the desired surface with better control and less effort from the operator. Extended reach nozzles are also ideal for people who may have difficulty reaching outward or around certain obstacles to use a garden hose.

Multi-option nozzles offer more features built into one nozzle piece. Unlike other single-purpose nozzles, these can be easily moved between different spray types most appropriate for the job at hand. For example, the nozzle can be twisted to create a fan spray, which is optimal for wide-reaching jobs such as watering new grass seed or rinsing suds off a car. The nozzle can also be switched to a shower spray, which is gentler and appropriate for watering a flower garden. Multi-option nozzles tend to be pricier, but they feature many different functions in a singular product, and might aid you in watering your garden more successfully.

What Kind of Sprinkler is Best for My Needs?

Different sprinkler systems operate best under certain types of water pressure conditions. For example, if you choose a sprinkler system that requires a high PSI level to fully operate and your water pressure is much lower, or your hose isn't durable to handle that sort of pressure, you won’t be getting your money’s worth out of that system. Before looking at other sprinkler system features, it is best to determine your water pressure levels before shopping.

Lawn sprinkler heads often come either in a rotating or fixed variety. Rotating sprinkler heads rotate to spray water around them or in a fan-shaped motion while fixed sprinkler heads spray water from all sides without moving. While both sprinkler head types are able to perform the same jobs, there are a few factors to consider when deciding which type will be best for your lawn.

Another factor to consider when looking for a new sprinkler system is your lawn’s size and shape. For example, smaller lawns tend to do better with rotary sprinkler systems because they can be strategically placed to reach far corners of a smaller area that may be overwatered on a fixed system. Also, in a smaller lawn, there may be areas that are obscured by flower beds or other objects that don’t require regular watering. The rotary system allows water to be sprayed into those obscured areas without constantly drenching it and everything else around them. Fixed sprinkler systems are ideal for larger lawns because they can be spaced evenly enough to cover and properly water large, uninterrupted areas of grass.

Choosing the right garden hose features and accessories, such as sprinklers and nozzles, is sure to make your yardwork easier and your plants and grass happier and healthier.

Resources — Landscaping Network, Irrigation Tutorials, Morning Chores