A hand uses a garden hose
(Image credit: Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images)

Our yard isn't large by any stretch of the imagination but within its tiny framework, I'd like to think that I've created our own private Garden of Eden. I'm the self-proclaimed gardener of the family, with a little help from the kids, but the lawn is my husband's Shangri-La - or to put it into scale, his own putt-putt golf course. I use drip lines in my garden to water everything but because the yard is so small, it didn't make sense to install an expensive sprinkler system. Anyway, my husband loves to hand water the lawn. I used to suspect the length of time this took was just an excuse not to fold laundry or do dishes or change the baby's diaper, but now I recognize it for what it is"¦exactly that. In an effort to shorten and make more efficient his Zen watering time, I purchased a Crenova 50-foot expandable hose through Amazon. It has a thicker wall design to keep it from breaking under pressure and it won't kink or twist, one of my pet peeves. It extends up to three times the original length while in use, but almost immediately contracts when the water is shut off. The connections are ¾ inch solid brass to prevent leaking and it works with most any spray nozzle. Best of all, the company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a 12-month warranty. Although sprinklers may seem more efficient when watering large areas, like the lawn, most of this water can be lost to evaporation. Hand watering can actually be more efficient. You can easily control the flow of water and can gauge the amount more easily. In general, about an inch or so of water each week is enough to thoroughly saturate the soil. It is also better to perform your watering tasks in the morning. And, if you're hand watering other parts of the landscape, such as your veggie garden or flower beds, remember to water the plants at the base rather than from above. This way you can ensure your plants are receiving adequate amounts of water where it is needed most - the roots. Wetting the foliage can lead to fungal issues too. We're also conscious about our water usage, so we installed a shut off valve at the faucet so it doesn't leak and an easy slide hose connector so we can quickly and simply unhook and change out a hose, drip line or water nozzle. We've gotten it set up so efficiently, I think I'm going to take over the hand-watering duties. I may even dispense with the drip line on occasion and just water at the base of my plants while I get a well-deserved hours reprieve from the phone, the kids, the dog, the TV set AND my husband.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.