Common sense will tell you that the single-most valuable way to manage low-moisture stress is to add water. Watering via the irrigation system is typically the best way to handle larger areas in a shorter time.
Often, efficiency is key to the operation but there may be areas missed or others that require more intense attention.
Inevitably, there will be a need for supplemental hydration in the form of hand watering. Particularly on golf courses where managing wilt and localized dry spots is much better addressed with hand watering, it also leads to less disruption to golfers and other playing surfaces.
Syringing or cooling the canopy is also more efficiently done by hand. Be it on the golf course, in the nursery/greenhouse, at the athletic field, on a customer’s property, or at home, having a hose for targeted watering is critical.
This does not mean that a trip to the local big box store will have all of the watering products you need. Selecting the right tool for the job is extremely important. As in most cases, having the correct hose will make life easier and more efficient. Bursting is one of the most common and frustrating issues with improperly chosen or worn hoses. Although, who wouldn’t want a spray of water on a hot day, unless it’s stinky pond or well water.
There are several factors to take into consideration when selecting a hose:
- Size and length tend to be some of the initial deciding factors. Each property manager should have an idea of the longest stretches they need to cover, so length is important.
- The second most important item is pressure. Hoses are rated at different pressures for continuous work, and one should consider what the operating and max pressure of the water source is before deciding on a specific model of hose.
- Flow rates are another specification and as mentioned above, the buyer should know what they are for for their facility before choosing. Certain series tend to weigh more, so one should examine its uses so as to not fatigue those pulling hoses all day long.
- Transportation of said hoses and selecting those that fit your criteria also are of great importance. For instance, on many golf courses a hose is loosely attached to a maintenance vehicle and dragged from one area to the next. In these cases, there are specific series that are much more tolerant of dragging and reduced scuffing. Others will wear thin and burst prematurely.
- Finally, several products will resist kinking, which we all know is a major headache and shortens the life of the hose.
The problem is that many hoses look alike and even if they are different colors, it may be tough to determine which is best for your particular application. Some may be heavy-duty options and one may consider them more of a long-term answer to bursts, but they are heavier and harder to drag around.
Sometimes, lightweight may sound advantageous for worker fatigue, but in the end, those hoses don’t hold up long being dragged from place to place. Just to reiterate, selecting the correct hose for your operation is a good start.
Once the selection is made, there are some tips and tricks to keep hoses from failing prematurely.
The most prevalent tip that comes to mind is to avoid dragging them as much as possible. Whether you coil them up in the maintenance vehicle or use a reel or caddy-type device, the reduction in friction will be huge. If you do intend to drag them, reducing friction by emptying the hose and reducing weight will help.
Rubber is more rugged and will generally hold up better than PVC materials, but rubber hoses are heavier.
Leaving the hose out in temperature extremes can also shorten its potential working life. Extreme cold as well as full sun and heat can damage the outer covering, leading to breakage and bursting. If these scenarios are unavoidable then again, draining the hose will help some.
Another idea for protection, especially for those left out at the pitcher’s mound, is to fold the tarp back over the hose to provide some protection.
Allowing a hose to kink will lead to the creation of weak spots, again likely resulting in bursting. Most newer professional hoses are designed to reduce kinking but by using a swivel, the problem will happen far less often.
Professional hoses come with a much larger price tag and delaying the replacement cycle can take some of that load off the budget. Just remember to select the proper item for your needs and follow some of the listed practices to help them reach a longer usable life.