Although having an automated, in-ground irrigation system is an "ideal" garden situation, you still find a need for some basic supplies to help you water a variety of plants and in different situations. These tools allow you work at a distance from the water supply such as a spigot or well and help you control water flow. Some supplies are better suited to use when watering containers or delicate plants, too.
Sold in various sizes, such as 25-, 50- or 100-foot lengths, garden hoses allow portability and flexibility in providing water to flower and vegetable beds as well as the lawn. The hoses are often made of vinyl or other crack-resistant materials and they can be attached end-to-end as needed. Some are naturally coiled and most are pliable to allow for looping them for tidy storage. Soaker hoses have porous walls that allow water to bubble or trickle out at a slow rate. They are attached to regular garden hoses and then place directly atop the soil at the base of the plants needing water. The "soaking" water is less likely to evaporate from exposure to the air or sunlight and it is absorbed into the topsoil with less chance of run-off.
A bucket or sprinkling can comes in handy in a garden. If you're short on time or don't want to go to the bother of attaching the hose and dragging it over to the one plant or area needing water, a watering can is convenient. Choose sprinkling cans with long pour necks to help you direct the water into smaller or specific areas, and consider a can that has a neck attachment that allows you to create a shower-like flow of water, rather than a gush of water. Consider the size of the can, as larger cans are much heavier to move, lift and pour with control once filled.
Controlling the flow of water from garden hoses is important, especially if you want to conserve water or direct it in a certain manner. Spray nozzles allow you keep the water pressure in a hose without losing water. Choose a nozzle that provides you options of water flow, to include at least a shower-like setting, and a more direct, powerful jet-stream setting. Watering wands are nozzles attached to a long-necked tool that all for you to reach hanging baskets or the base of plants with the water without a ladder or bending and stooping. Rotating lawn sprinklers are more complex nozzles that when attached to the garden hose end radiate streams of water across an entire area, such as a vegetable patch or area of the lawn.