Now that summer is almost upon us, many keen gardeners will be eyeing up seed catalogues, checking equipment and paying close attention to the weather forecast. This is because preparations for the summer gardening season are now well underway in many homes across the country. A key aspect of keeping a stunning summer garden is getting the watering just right. So, knowing how to avoid hosepipe kinks is a key piece of information.
Look After Your Hose!
Ask any gardener and they will tell you that a particular annoyance at this time of year, when watering becomes more important in the garden, is a hosepipe with a bend in it that stops water from flowing correctly. This can seriously impede a gardener’s progress as they seek to keep all parts of the garden watered and in good condition for growing. The good news is that there are several ways of avoiding kinks in hosepipes.
1. Store your hosepipe correctly – kinks often appear when a hosepipe has been rolled or looped up too tightly. Spend time carefully rolling the hosepipe, making sure that it sits straight and there are no bends or kinks in it. You can also store hosepipes in long, looped lines along a garden path, for example, if you have a room. Never hang a hose from just one hook, as the pressure caused by the single point of contact and weight hanging from it will cause the hose to become damaged at that spot and more prone to kinking.
2. Lay the hosepipe in the sun for a bit before winding them onto the reel to help expand them and keep them straight. Avoid keeping it in direct sunlight for prolonged periods, however, as this can damage the outer walls.
3. Use a retractable reel to help keep the hosepipe out of prolonged sunlight and away from damper conditions – both key aspects of knowing how to avoid hosepipe kinks. It can also be installed on a garage or shed wall to keep the hosepipe out of the way.
4. Get as much water out of the hosepipe as possible before putting it away to prevent the rubber from rotting from staying damp for too long. To get rid of lingering water inside the tube, lay the hosepipe on a downhill slope to allow water to drain out of it and into the ground more easily.
5. Never leave the hosepipe attached to a garden tap, as any drips from the tap will remain inside the tubing and not evaporate.
6. Replace your hosepipe when it gets too old. Older hosepipes can crack and kink far more easily than newer alternatives, partly because they have been used much more and have been exposed to more water and dampness over time. Think of it as an investment in making gardening easier and therefore more enjoyable for yourself.
7. Choose the right equipment. Pick a hosepipe that has a thicker outer wall to reduce the risk of it kinking or bending in storage. Add an accessory such as Kink Out to prevent kinks and bends from occurring. Again, the initial outlay will more than pay off if the hosepipe can remain in a good working condition for longer and work well without leaking or cracking.
8. Water carefully. When you move about the garden with your hosepipe, try to avoid twisting it behind you as you go. Keep it as straight as possible and unhook it from any obstacles straight away. This will stop the rubber from stretching and becoming more prone to kinking.
9. Repair any kinks by leaving them outside in full sunlight with the water turned on for a while. The heat of the sun and the pressure of the water will help expand the walls outwards again to lose the signs of the kink. Remember – applying a proprietary hosepipe anti-kinking accessory such as Kink Out can go a long way to preventing bends and cracks from appearing in the first place.
Other Summer Irritants
Kinking hosepipes could be considered a leading irritant for summer gardeners, but it is certainly not the only one. Many horticultural fans wage an annual battle with slugs and snails, keen on eating their precious plants. Summer brings ideal conditions for slugs with warmer temperatures and sometimes seasonal bursts of rain.
Surrounding plants with wood chips or pine bark is a natural way to deter slugs without risking the health of any pets or welcome garden creatures by using toxic slug pellets. You can still use your hosepipe on plants surrounded by wood chips and bark, as the water will infiltrate the soil and roots underneath very easily.
Other issues include mildew and blackspot on plants such as roses that come under stress in hotter, dryer conditions. Ensuring they are properly fed and watered to reduce stress as much as possible can really help with this particular irritant. Mulching with manure or compost can also help keep moisture in and prevent water from evaporating after you have been handy with your hosepipe.