Spreading the garden hose to water the lawn, your flowers and your landscape is a bit of a spring ritual. Do you know which type of tube is best for you? Yes, even the most seemingly simple gardening tools have a variety of options for homeowners to choose from. In terms of garden hoses, there are things like thickness, length and material that should be considered. The latter factor is one of the most important to consider and generally boils down to the fact that a rubber or vinyl / plastic garden hose is the best for your situation.
So what will it be for you – plastic or rubber? Here is a look at the pros and cons of each.
Plastic / Vinyl
Generally speaking, plastic or vinyl garden hoses are the cheapest of the two aforementioned hose options. They are also better for more basic gardening needs, as these hoses tend to be lighter and easier to handle, but less resistant than their rubber counterparts. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of plastic or vinyl pipes:
PRO: Good for mild climates. Plastic tends to deform when exposed to prolonged hot temperatures. Typically, milder climates are ideal for this type of pipe. While it can still be used in more extreme conditions, homeowners are often advised to store it when not in use to avoid deformation and premature wear in such conditions.
WITH: Kinks. Plastic or vinyl pipes bend much more easily than rubber pipes.
WITH: Easier damage. Plastic / vinyl pipes do not roll as easily as rubber pipes and are more likely to break and develop leaks during the cold season.
Rubber hoses are a more expensive option than plastic / vinyl hoses and therefore have a higher initial cost. But they are also more resistant and ideal for more intense gardening operations. Here is a closer look at some pros and cons of rubber hoses:
PRO: Long-lasting. Rubber hoses are of better quality than plastic/vinyl, which means that they last longer, are easier to store and more resistant to creases. They are also able to withstand more extreme weather conditions than plastic or vinyl pipes. They can also be purchased with a reinforced lining which makes them more resistant to creases and chaps.
WITH: Heavy. Rubber hoses are more resistant than vinyl hoses – that’s fine. But they are also heavier and more laborious to manoeuvre, which can be daunting for many. If you are not yet sold on any of the above options, why not consider a tube that is the best of both worlds? That’s right, combinations of rubber/vinyl hoses are available that combine the lightness of plastic hoses with the durability of rubber hoses. However, a disadvantage of this type of hybrid hose is that they often come at a higher price than standard rubber hoses, which are the most expensive option in the arena of rubber versus plastic garden hoses. So a rubber/vinyl pipe will probably be the most expensive option you can buy.
So what will it be for you and your gardening needs – plastic, rubber or hybrid?