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Gardening: Is your garden hose water safe?

You’ve been picking peas, harvesting herbs and watering watermelons all day.

Really? It took you all day to do three simple tasks?

It probably was the 100-degree heat — slows me down too.

Clarence Schmidt

Anyway, you’re dehydrated and need a drink of water. The house is 219 steps away. The garden hose is in your hands. Easy decision?

It could depend on the quality of your hose.

Gardeners want to grow crops as close to toxic-free as possible. Organic seeds, healthy soil, organic fertilizers and avoiding harmful herbicides and pesticides are all essential. However, one important item deserves more attention. Garden hoses.

Better known as agricultural streaming devices (actually, nobody ever called them that), garden hoses were not designed to supply drinking quality water.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ecology Center (ecocenter.org) tested over 200 garden hoses for water leaching and hazardous metals. “Municipal drinking water held in

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The Expandable Garden Hose: Veteran Gardener Secret Weapon

So you’ve been trying to find a decent garden hose for a while now. You see others sprinkling their lawn or washing the car with a cool multi-setting spray gun on the end. And it seems like everyone makes it look so easy. But for some reason, success keeps eluding you. Every time you get close to finding the perfect one something happens and you end up back where you started – lugging that heavy old piece of muddy rubber.

Not this time.

Because this time you’re going to be armed with the same tips, tricks and secrets that the gardening veterans keep to themselves.

Gardeners need to look beyond the appearance of the growing media surface to assess the need for water. Feel the weight of the pot and push your finger in below the surface of the media, both will give you a better idea of the existing … Read More

Rubber Vs Vinyl: What’s the Better Type of Garden Hose?

Rolling out the garden hose to water the lawn, your flowers and landscaping is somewhat of a rite of spring. But do you know what type of hose 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 typically boils down to whether a rubber or vinyl/plastic garden hose is best for your situation.

So what will it be for you – plastic or rubber? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each.

Plastic/Vinyl

Generally speaking, plastic or vinyl garden hoses are the cheaper of the two aforementioned hose options. They’re also better for more basic gardening needs, as these hoses tend to be lighter in weight … Read More