Planting a garden requires a lot of work and a lot of patience. Finding the ideal location on your property and deciding what kind of garden to plant is only the beginning of the laborious journey to what can be a beautiful and bountiful outcome. It isn’t necessarily a difficult journey. However, a garden is only as good as the work that you put into it.
An experienced gardener will tell you that in order to yield the best results, maintenance is just as important as the initial planting. In order for your garden to thrive, it must have access to plenty of natural sunlight and water. We can’t always rely on Mother Nature to provide these two elements all season long so it is equally important that we have the right tools on hand. Along with possessing the right tools, knowing how to maintain your tools can prove to be a great time saver and a preventative measure in the long run.
One of the most important tools in your gardening artillery is your garden hose. Now you might be thinking that this is a no-brainer but keep in mind that having a well-maintained garden hose will save you time and money as the season progresses. A majority of the time, problems with garden hoses can be pinpointed to the fittings becoming worn and needing to be replaced. The good news is that replacing a garden hose fitting is not difficult.
Before you can begin.
Before you can begin the task of attaching a new fitting to a classic or one the many metal garden hoses, you will need to remove the old fitting. Making sure that either the water is turned off at the spigot or that the hose is detached, lay the hose on a solid surface and cut away at the hose about two inches from the fitting with a utility knife. When you cut the fitting off, be sure that the cut is squared off. If the cut is made at an angle, you will not be able to attach the new fitting. Make sure that the blade in your utility knife is new. You don’t want ragged edges on the end of the hose. If you are unsure of how to go about purchasing a new fitting, you can take the old fitting with you to your local hardware or home and garden store and ask an employee to help match the new fitting with the one you are needing to replace. With the old fitting in hand along with the couple of inches of hose that you leave attached to the fitting, a store associate will be able to quickly assist you with the proper hose fitting for your needs. If the new fitting does not come with a hose clamp, be sure to pick one up. Be sure the clamp is the right size. If your old fitting is plastic, consider upgrading to a brass fitting. While brass is more expensive, you will find that it will last much longer which you will come to appreciate down the road.
Before attempting to attach the new fitting, you will want to prep the garden hose. Start by removing any kinks. The hose, whether vinyl or rubber, will not be very pliable. To make attaching the hose fitting a little easier, you can dip the end of the hose in hot water for a few seconds to soften it. Keep in mind that this step needs to take place right before you are ready to get to work on the new hose fitting. You will also need to have a flat head screwdriver handy for tightening the hose clamp.
Once you have heated up the end of the hose, place the hose clamp loosely over the hose. Next, take the fitted end of the hose fitting and push it into the hose as far it will go. Now you want to tighten the hose clamp around the hose where the fitting is at. Use the screwdriver to tighten the hose clamp around the hose and fitting. Once you have the fitting in place within the hose and the clamp secure, you are ready to screw the hose with its new fitting into the spigot. Next turn the water on and if the new fitting leaks, tighten the screws on the hose clamp until the leaks stop. Your garden hose should be working good as new.
This little bit of knowledge can save you time and money. Unfortunately, tools wear out and break. However, knowing when those tools can be fixed and when all hope is gone and it is simply time to replace can make all of the difference in the world. The art of gardening can be healing both mentally and physically. It is not meant to be stressful and difficult. Being prepared in all aspects, including tool maintenance, will help alleviate much-unneeded stress. If you consider gardening a hobby and look forward to the outcome of a beautiful, dense garden full of flowers, fruits and/or vegetables, then become familiar with the maintenance of the tools of your trade. The sense of independence that comes along with knowing how to maintain your garden and your tools will prove to be satisfying. It will also help you become even more proud of your beautiful garden knowing that you took charge of the whole project with little help.
Perfecting the art of gardening comes with plenty of practice. It goes without saying that there will be a lot of trial and error. With time and patience, you will become familiar with what works for you when planning your garden. Before long, gardening will become an enjoyable hobby for you to cherish for years to come. Not only will you be able to enjoy the fruits of your craft, but you will be able to share with others your bounty. Whether its a bright and colorful landscape full of foliage and flowers or fresh fruits and vegetables to share with your friends and loved ones, you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
The secret to having a beautiful garden is keeping it maintained on a regular basis. Having the right tools and keeping those tools in good working order will keep you ahead of the game and keep your garden in top shape for the entire season. The outcome of your garden’s bounty begins and ends with the you-the gardener.