Traditional watering cans are easy to use and decorative, but there are several other ways to water your garden. Water hoses, nozzles and sprinklers are also easy to use, as well as efficient. Use a combination of these watering tools to create a watering regimen based on the types of plants you are growing, and the size and location of your garden. A watering can or a water hose with a nozzle is good for smaller areas, while a water hose with a sprinkler is better for watering larger areas.
The best way to water seedlings and potted plants is with a watering can. Watering cans are made of aluminum, stainless steel, copper, plastic or porcelain. Some come with two or more interchangeable sprinkling heads that provide a variety of flow patterns. Other features to look for include an extra long, narrow spout for watering small plants, a swivel spout for hard-to-reach plants, and padded handles for comfortable carrying.
Water hoses are available in lengths from 10 feet to more than 100 feet with diameters from ½ to 1 inch. The length of the hose, the inside diameter and available water pressure all affect the amount of water flow. Vinyl hoses are the least expensive, but the quality varies with the type of reinforcement and covering, wall thickness, and burst pressure rating. Rubber hoses are available with nylon or polyester reinforcement, foamed covers and non-foamed covers.
A water nozzle is attached to the end of a water hose and used to manually direct water where it is needed. A tube water nozzle is shaped like a cylinder with an outer section that turns to open the nozzle and adjust the water flow. A pistol grip water nozzle has a handle that you press and release to open and close the nozzle. A ring on the end of the nozzle turns to adjust the water flow. Some water nozzles have spray heads that can be adjusted to different spray patterns. Water nozzles are made of plastic, zinc or brass.
Large lawn or garden areas are best watered with a sprinkler. The type of sprinkler, the size of the water hose and available water pressure all affect the amount of water distributed by the sprinkler. An oscillating sprinkler throws out streams of water in a rectangular pattern from a bar that moves back and forth. A rotary sprinkler has two or three arms that spin around and throws out streams of water in a circular pattern. An impulse or pulsating sprinkler covers more area than other types of sprinklers and can be adjusted to water a complete or partial circle. A stationary sprinkler has a pattern of holes on the top that discharge water in a circle, half-circle, square or rectangle.