How to Care for Garden Hoses, Sprinklers & Watering Accessories
If you must enjoy your garden equipment, the importance of proper maintenance can’t be overlooked. To extend the shelf life of your equipment and increase their efficiency, put in the effort and time required to keep them clean, sharp and strong. The mobile parts of water sprinklers, for example, needs to be taken care off to ensure the right amount of water gets to where it is needed.
Read on to discover how to take care of your garden sprinklers, watering accessories and garden hoses.
Maintenance Checklist for Sprinklers
To keep sprinklers and watering accessories in prime condition ensure that you practice proper winterization before winter sets in. Doing this will help them survive the cold months and set them up for spring and summer. To care for your sprinklers, follow these routine checks:
- See if your sprinkler heads are functioning properly. Check in from time to time to see if sprinkler heads are blocked. Clean any blockage and ensure they point to the plants where you want to be watered.
- Damp areas are pointers to leakages. Check around your garden or lawn to see if there are damp areas. Damp areas can give you clues to where there might be leakages in lines or pipe channels.
- If you operate an automatic sprinkler system, don’t forget to check the backflow. You are required by law to check the backflow of your automatic sprinkler system.
- Before winter season sets in, don’t forget to empty the sprinkler system of any water. Turn it off for the season.
- If possible, insulate outdoor pipes and disconnect them from outdoor faucets.
Check Sprinkler Controllers
- The first thing to do with sprinkler controllers is to make a list of all the stations where your sprinkler water. List out the type of head and plant they water. You will need this list for future references.
- The right timing is of utmost Make sure to check that the clock is set for the proper time of the day with automatic sprinklers.
- Check automatic sprinkler controller battery backup to see If it’s functioning properly. Replace them if need be.
Inspect Sprinkler System
- Check for broken heads: Inspect your irrigation system once in a while and replace all broken heads, drip emitters and spray jets.
- Look for blockages: Increase water pressure in hose pipes and check if all heads pop-up and retract all the way when not in use.
- Pressure: You may need to install a pressure adjusting valve to regulate water pressure within the irrigation system. Water streams out from sprinklers rather than form a jet when the pressure within is too low.
- Cleaning: Clean out clogged nozzles on regular bases. More often than not nozzle heads are clogged with grass.
Inspect your sensors
Sensors are delicate parts of an automatic irrigation system. They require the utmost care from gardeners. Make sure that they are sheltered by walls, plants or surrounding grass.
New and Old Garden Hose Maintenance
If maximizing the performance of your garden hose is a top priority, you must follow certain proven rules that will keep them in prime condition. We have listed some steps that will help you prep a brand new hose and tips to help bring out the most from an old hose. We have also listed out some tips that will help you store your hose between seasons to ensure they live out their lifespan.
Ensure you properly install the washer to a new hose
If you just bought a brand new hose, locate the washer if it’s not already inserted in the packaging. After you have found it, secure it tightly to the couplings making sure that there are no deformations, gaps or nicks. You need to do this properly to avoid leakages at the spigot.
For older hoses already using a washer make it a habit to check the attached washer regularly. Make sure they aren’t dislodged or compressed. If they are, the seals within can get damage which will, in turn, lead to leakages. Urgently replace worn out washers as soon as you can.
Acclimatize your new hose
Acclimatization is a critical step in maintaining a new hose that most new gardens fail to practice. This practice alone can prevent kinks and increase the likelihood that the hose survives many seasons. For a new hose, uncoil and attach all the necessary accessories. Lay the hose out in a straight line under the sun for a couple of hours. This will help condition and acclimatize the hose to its new environment. Acclimatization is a step that also increases the flexibility of the hose.
Avoid Over-tightening the ends
A critical step to ensure that you have a long lasting hose free of leakages is to ensure that whenever you want to use it, attach it securely but don’t over-tighten it. Leakages can occur if you over-tighten the hose washer at the spigot head. Avoid at all instances, tightening the hose to a spigot with a wench.
Practice Proper Storage
The proper way to store a hose is to coil and place it on a hose reel. Leaving it out in the sun will negatively impact its performance and durability. Ensure you winterize your hose properly by draining off water from within and detaching all accessories from the hose ends. During winter, if possible make sure your hose reel is in a place that stays above freezing temperatures. To avoid the development of kinks after winter, it is better that you keep the hose in a reel located indoors.
You can actually tell the character of a gardener by looking at the condition of the hose they use. Every skilled gardener knows that a good hose is an essential and integral part of the garden. If you want your garden watering routine to be stress-free, pay close attention to the condition of your hose. Replace washers or couplings at the slightest of leaks, as a precaution, replace the washers immediately after winter.