There are many things you must consider when growing plants. How good is your soil? What fertilizers will work best with your seeds? How should you plant your seeds to ensure the best health? One consideration you might overlook, however, is your watering method and how it affects your garden. Read on to learn how your hose nozzle settings can either help or hinder your plants.
Why Hoses Are Better Than Sprinklers
Wait, can’t we skip the whole problem of using a hose and just install a sprinkler system? That way, you could simply set your desired watering settings and let the sprinklers handle the rest!
Well, it’s not that simple. Automated irrigation systems can ensure consistent and healthy plant growth in certain applications. However, a hose is always better than a sprinkler when it comes to small-scale agriculture like gardening. Sprinklers, especially low-quality residential ones, often lack the ability to properly water each plant. Plus, sprinklers lose a significant amount of water through evaporation and the wind, making them inefficient for small areas.
A hose ensures that every plant in the garden receives the proper attention and care. Additionally, you can target thirsty roots more effectively with a hose and spray nozzle. And finally, it’s worth considering how sprinkler systems are less cost-effective compared to hoses since you have less control when you automate usage.
Now that we know why a hose is superior for small-scale agriculture, let’s explore how nozzle settings impact your plant growth.
Knowing Your Plants and Their Limits
An overly aggressive nozzle setting can potentially damage delicate plants, especially young sprouts. As such, you must understand the specific needs of your plants, from seedlings to full-grown, harvest-ready produce and flowers. For example, most flowers don’t require a strong stream of water when watering. In fact, too much pressure often stunts the growth of these plants.
Additionally, high-powered settings (like jet water streams) can displace mulch, beds, and other important materials that help support and feed your plants. Ultimately, it’s best that you know how durable each plant is before determining which nozzle setting to use.
Most people associate nozzle settings with spray patterns—that is an aspect of gardening, and we’ll cover that later. There is another aspect to consider, however: water temperature. Most people familiar with agriculture know that freezing water is not ideal for plant growth. Rather, warm or room-temperature water is the most suitable option.
Warmer water acts as a natural pesticide. Since the beginning of human agriculture, farmers have given their plants heat treatments to ward off mealybugs, mites, and aphids. Furthermore, these hot baths kill off harmful pathogens and bacteria. Water that’s around 120–122 degrees Fahrenheit is best for naturally disinfecting plants.
That said, it’s important not to overheat your garden, as this is a fast way to kill your seeds before they even have a chance to grow. Save boiling water for weed control, especially pesky weeds that grow in pavement cracks or hard-to-reach places.
The Different Nozzle Settings
Now that we know a little bit more about the impact of hose nozzle settings on plant growth, it’s time to determine which spray modes are best for you and your garden. First and foremost, it’s vital to consider the wide variety of agricultural spray nozzles you can choose from when shopping. These attachments come in assorted sizes with varying amounts of spray settings and arrangements. The most common spray patterns are as follows:
Shower spray patterns are actually extremely useful in small-scale applications like gardens. A shower pattern is almost like the universal hose setting, as it’s suitable for most plants and beds. Seeing as shower patterns replicate natural rainfall, you should consider using this pattern often, especially when watering flowers.
Full is very similar to the shower pattern—it replicates natural rainfall and works for many different beds and plants. However, full typically is more powerful than the shower setting and can reach greater distances. This spray setting is more appropriate for hardier produce like vegetables, especially ones that are hard to reach.
Flat spray patterns are, as the name suggests, flat! More specifically, this horizontal stream of water is most suitable for edging plants. It’s also helpful for more narrow areas on your property. If you’re cleaning an area with your hose, the flat nozzle can also cleanly blast away dirt.
To some, a mist spray pattern is a perfect way to stay cool on a sweltering summer day! For plants, it’s a gentle, non-destructive method for watering. Misting is mostly useful for very delicate plants, such as orchids. Additionally, using hot mist is important for seeds that thrive in humid environments. Keep in mind that only misting your plants can lead to shallow roots, as the water won’t seep deep enough to encourage the roots to stretch.
A soaker stream isn’t always necessary as most other spray patterns are suitable for proper watering; however, if you need to deliver a large quantity of water to the surrounding soil of a plant, the soaker setting is perfect. It also is helpful following hot and dry conditions when plants are just begging for more hydration. The soaker setting can also quickly add water to your home composting system.
The cone setting isn’t the most practical spray setting, but it is useful in very specific situations. Mainly, a cone is great when watering a ring of plants. This spray pattern is relatively gentle, so you can use it for younger plants at a distance.
Introducing every child’s favorite spray setting for playing in the backyard with friends—the jet! A jet pattern is the most powerful spray nozzle setting, and it turns your hose into a watering menace. Unfortunately, jet streams are often too powerful for most plants, especially flowers and gentle produce. Save that jet setting for cleaning your driveway, sidewalls, patio, and fence.
Understanding the proper watering methods for each of your plants is essential if you want to ensure great growth and health. However, it’s also important you have the right equipment to accomplish this goal. If you need agricultural tools and supplies for your plants, check out our selection at Rural Water Direct!