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Why You Need a Gardening Hat and Other Protective Gear

woman outside wearing a brown gardening hat picking orange carrots.

Many people see a gardening hat as useful only to keep the sun out of their eyes while tending their garden. While it’s helpful for keeping your vision clear when working outdoors, it also performs a much more important function. A gardening hat also protects your head, eyes, ears, and face from radiation damage.

People with outdoor gardens spend lots of time exposed to the sun. That means they also have increased exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Fortunately, protection from these harmful rays is not complicated or expensive. You can do it with something as simple as the shade from a gardening hat.

Related Read: Gardening Accessories For Every Color Thumb

Choosing the right gardening hat is more than a matter of style. You want it to protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays, but you also want one that will be comfortable. After all, if your hat isn’t comfortable, you’re more likely to take it off and expose yourself once again to the beating sun.

Hopefully, we can help you choose a gardening hat that will become second-nature to your gardening habits.

Sloggers Women's Wide Brim Braided Sun Hat with Wind Lanyard - Dark...

Why You Need Protection from the Sun

Ultraviolet rays produced by the sun can cause several serious health problems. Most people understand that over-exposure to the sun can produce a bad sunburn and possible skin cancer. However, some people are oblivious to other issues that can result from lesser levels of sun exposure.

Eventually, even short periods of exposure to sunlight can result in damage to the structure of the skin and your eyes. Over 90 percent of reported skin cancers are directly related to long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. And roughly 33 percent of these skin cancers occur on the face.

Not only can long-term exposure to the sun cause these problems, but other less controllable factors will also increase the likelihood of developing sunburn, skin cancer, or skin damage. For example, individuals with red or blond hair, freckles, light skin, blue or green eyes, or skin moles also face an increased danger.

Increased sensitivity to UV rays can also result from taking certain medications. Blood pressure medication, antibiotics, retinoids (such as acne medication), and antidepressants can all increase your sensitivity to UV rays. Family history can also play a part in your susceptibility to damage. If you have family members who have developed skin cancers, that is an indicator of an increased chance of developing the same.

Sloggers Women's Wide Brim Braided Sun Hat with Wind Lanyard - Dark...

Characteristics of a Sun Protective Gardening Hat

Now that the danger is clear let’s explore what to look for in a protective gardening hat. The gardening hat you select should be comfortable and should fit you well. It won’t do you any good if you don’t want to wear it because it’s heavy, cumbersome, or just plain too hot. With that in mind, make sure you purchase a gardening hat that has three important characteristics.

1. It should be well ventilated. That will help prevent your head from sweating and maintain your comfort level.

2. It should be lightweight. A heavy hat can cause muscle and neck soreness after hours of gardening.

3. It should effectively block the sun’s UV rays to protect you.

Several factors determine the features of your gardening hat. Factors such as the material used, the thickness of that material, and the size of the brim all enter into this equation. A hat with a high UV protection rating will generally be based mostly on the material used. However, there are also other parts to this puzzle that impact your level of protection.

If you have a straw, thatch, or mesh hat, spaces between the materials can allow sunlight to get through. While the increased ventilation may make it more comfortable to wear, it offers less protection.

The width of the hat brim can also greatly affect the amount of protection the hat affords you. A good rule of thumb is that the wider the brim, the greater the protection. Also, a brim that angles down slightly will offer more protection than a flat one. Just don’t have it so droopy that it impairs your vision.

Other Features to Consider When Choosing a Gardening Hat

Although you are choosing a gardening hat for sun protection doesn’t mean that should be your only consideration. Some other features will make your gardening hat more comfortable, easier to maintain, and last longer.

It should offer some water resistance

A gardening hat that repels water is convenient. Not only will it keep your head dry in the rain, but it also stays lighter and cooler when the fabric is not soaked. If you tend to keep right on gardening when the rain starts, this is something you might want to consider.

Related Read: Tired of Rolling Hose? Check Out These Expandable Options!

It shouldn’t obstruct your view

A gardening hat should not block your vision. Some people have vertical gardens or hanging plants. Looking up and down often in a wide-brimmed hat can be an issue. You may not want a hat that hits your neck or back and pushes the front down over your face. A hat with an exceptionally floppy brim may block your side vision. That may mean you’ll have to rotate your torso just to glance to the right or left.

It should stay on your head

A hat with a chin strap or sliding-bead cord will come in handy to keep it on your noggin on windy days. The strap will also keep it from falling off when you bend over to tend your plants. Preferably, it will have a strap or cord that you can retract or remove when necessary. It will keep it out of your way when it is not needed. Sometimes simply putting the strap or cord behind your head when you put it on will do the trick.

It should be washable

We said you should look for a water-resistant hat, but it shouldn’t be waterproof. The ability to wash your gardening hat in the washing machine can be a real convenience and time saver. Even if it’s not machine-washable, you should be able to wash it by hand and set it out to dry. Avoid choosing a hat that will shrink, become deformed, or lose structural integrity if you wash it with detergent and water.

A gardening hat made of quick-drying material also helps to provide some measure of evaporative cooling. On hot days, you can soak your hat with water, wring it out and put it on. The resulting evaporation will help keep you cool on hot days, although this works less well on particularly humid days.

Fabric types

The type of fabric used for your gardening hat impacts comfort, protection level, and ventilation in one way or another. Cotton, hemp, raffia, and straw are all cool to wear on hot days. However, they may not be water-resistant. Nylon and polyester are more water-resistant, but may not offer as much ventilation.

Fabric colors

Along with the fabric used to make your gardening hat, the color of the fabric can also make a bigger difference than just a fashion statement. It can impact the hat’s temperature. Darker colors absorb the heat of sunlight more than lighter colors, which reflect it. That means that a black or dark hat will absorb more heat, and thus be hotter on your head, than a brighter colored or white hat. You may want to choose several gardening hats for different seasons based on materials and color choices.

Sloggers Women's Wide Brim Braided Sun Hat with Wind Lanyard - Dark...

What UPF Ratings Mean

UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) is a rating given to clothing that is similar to the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating for sunscreen and sunglasses. However, SPF applies only to effectiveness against the more dangerous and damaging UVB rays. In contrast, UPF indicates a fabric’s ability to protect you from UV-A and UV-B light. Therefore, the higher the UPF rating, the more protection the material affords you from ultraviolet rays.

For example, a 25 UPF rating means that the fabric will only allow about 4 percent of ambient UV radiation to pass. A 50 UPF rating permits about 2 percent of ambient UV radiation. Manufacturers label all materials that permit less than 2 percent UV transmission as UPF 50+. Note that materials that offer less than a 15 UPF rating are considered insufficient for UV protection.

It doesn’t matter what material types, color, treatments, or thickness used to construct your gardening hat. The manufacturer will have already considered these before awarding the UPF rating. If there is no UPF rating indicated, a good rule of thumb is to hold various hats up to the light. The more light comes through the fabric, the more UV light will get through.

Additional Sun Protection

We have given you a lot of things to think about when choosing a gardening hat to protect yourself. Still, there are a few more smart habits that can save your skin when you garden. The following are some of the most effective methods of combating UV radiation and protecting yourself against skin cancer and sun damage.

Sunblock

Naturally, you should always apply sunscreen to unprotected areas of your skin. However, even with a quality gardening hat, it is still a good idea to have at least a light application of sunblock on your face. UV rays can reflect off of standing water, pots, table surfaces, sand, and even snow.

It doesn’t matter what direction they come from, UV rays still pose a threat. Also, remember that even small doses can cause serious problems over time. Health experts recommended that you apply a UV protective lip balm as well.

Sunglasses

You may think that a gardening hat will be enough to protect your eyes from danger and damage. Besides, when the sun shines in your eyes, you immediately close them. But, remember, UV radiation can be responsible for more than just a sunburned face.

The lenses in your eyes do exactly the same thing inside your eyeball as a magnifying glass does to paper on a sunny day — intensifying the light and causing damage.

Excessive sun radiation damages your eyes, and the UV radiation that causes problems is cumulative. It can build up over a lifetime and have a devastating and permanent effect on your eyes and your eyesight. Wearing sunglasses with a good UV protection rating can help protect them from damage.

Short term issues such as Photokeratitis (inflammation of the cornea) occurs when conjunctiva (mucous membranes on the front of the eyeball and inside of the lids) are inflamed by UV radiation. That can happen when you look directly at the sun.

The UV reflecting from snow, sand, or an intense light source such as a welder’s arc can cause this as well. It is the same phenomena that cause “snow blindness.” While this can be debilitating, and even painful, it usually clears up in no more than a day or two.

Longer exposure to UV rays can cause cumulative issues. That is why farmers develop cataracts at a higher rate than people who work indoors. Overexposure to UV rays can also be responsible for retina and cornea damage. Cataracts (clouding of the eye lens), Pterygium (also known as “surfer’s eye”), and macular degeneration (loss of central vision) can happen from long-term exposure to UV radiation.

A Time to Plant, a Time to Reap

To reduce your exposure to damaging ultraviolet rays, try to time your gardening around the cooler times of the day. Early morning and late afternoon are ideal for avoiding the most excessive UV rays (if not the mosquitoes).

Either way, it is best to avoid gardening between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This lets you avoid the times of the most intense and dangerous UV radiation.

Another good rule of thumb is: If your shadow is shorter than you are, you are out at a time of maximum radiation. If you can’t avoid gardening during these hours, minimize the sun’s impact by doing as much as possible in a shaded area.

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Tips for Reducing Sun Damage When Gardening

Here are a few tips that will not only shorten your time in the sun but also make gardening easier and more enjoyable.

  • Plan ahead. Weeding is one of the worst jobs in the garden. Mulching and laying down barrier cloth will help you avoid having to weed any more than necessary.
  • Don’t over-extend yourself. Work short periods of time and remember to take lots of breaks out of the sun.
  • Let the water do the work. Try using a soaker hose or sprinkler where possible to avoid having to water your plants extended times in the sun.
  • Take it inside. On bright sunny days, stay inside. Do all those little jobs that don’t require direct interaction with your outdoor garden, such as starting seeds or cleaning tools.
  • And finally, don’t forget to water yourself when you’re watering your plants! Drink plenty of water. Not coffee, not cola, not tea, and certainly not energy drinks. Hydrate yourself before you begin and after you’re finished gardening for the day. Always keep a supply of cool (not cold) water available while you are doing your gardening.

What Kind of Gardening Hat Will You Choose?

As you now know, protection from the sun is not just protection from a minor inconvenience. That big, bright ball of churning nuclear explosions has the power to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Protect yourself from it constantly and in every way you possibly can. UV rays can come at you from every angle.

Protect your skin, protect your face, and protect your eyes. A good UPF-rated gardening hat will go a long way towards getting that done. Years from now, when you can still read this article, you’ll be glad you did.

Does Grass Seed Expire? How to Store and Care for Grass Seed

does grass seed expire

It’s spring and you’re looking out on your lawn thinking that it’s time to lay down some seed. You meant to do it last year and you even bought a bag or two, but you never got around to actually doing the deed. Now you’re wondering, “Does grass seed expire?” If you don’t have to buy more grass seed, you don’t want to, right? So, knowing this answer can not only save you some money but lessen your waste.

And once you know how to care for grass seed, it becomes much easier to know if it’s expired or not.

Does Grass Seed Expire?

Yes, grass seed does expire. However, there’s a big difference between “expired” and “dead” for grass seeds.

When items that we eat — such as prepared goods or fruits — expire, that item can no longer be used for its original purpose. With grass, it isn’t quite the same. Expired grass seeds are less likely to germinate when planted, meaning they may not sprout.

Because of this, expired seeds still can be planted. But there’s no guarantee whether they will or will not sprout.

When you find a bag that’s expired, don’t throw it out! There’s a chance they’ll sprout if you plant them, so while they aren’t something you can depend on, there’s no reason to toss them all.

Check expirations

When does grass seed expire? The bag that the seeds were sold in likely has an expiration date on it, but those dates are often estimated. The seeds are not all exactly the same age, so they won’t expire on one set date.

In fact, they won’t be expiring anywhere near the same time as each other.

That’s because each individual seed has its own lifespan. “Expired” may mean that half of the grass is dead while the other half is perfectly fine and waiting to sprout. Each seed lives its own life.

That means you don’t have to worry about the entire bag of rice rotting away simultaneously.

Careful storage

You can also improve and extend the shelf life with proper care and storage. The shelf life of grass — the amount of time it can be stored before it expires — is around 2 to 3 years. That’s assuming you store it properly.

Proper storage, according to the Oregon State University Seed Laboratory, is temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and at low humidity. The cooler you can have it the better, but never let it freeze.

Freezing will immediately kill the grass seed. You’ll also want to have proper airflow and ventilation in the area to help with keeping moisture and heat down.

That means that a hot, humid summer is one of the worst things possible for your grass seed. Leaving it in an uncontrolled atmosphere like an outdoor shed will lower its shelf life drastically, so care for it.

When storing the grass seed, check often for moisture or rot. Moisture seeping into the storage container will hasten the growth and spread of mold and rot, destroying it swiftly.

You’ll also want to keep it in a rodent and pest-proof container to stop anything from eating the seeds before you plant them.

Test for life

When worrying about an expiration date, plant a few seeds and wait a week or so to see if they sprout. Place them in a small container with a wet paper towel and leave them in direct sunlight.

If most of them sprout, then your seeds are likely good to go. If few or none of them sprout, it’s a safe bet that most of the bag will also fail to germinate.

Just make sure your sample size is big enough — a teaspoon or so should do.

It’s a good idea to do some research into the brand and type of grass seed you’re using. Higher quality brands will provide more pure seed, whereas some lower quality products may fluff out their bags with chaff and other non-seed foliage.

Obviously, you want as much of your bag of grass seeds to be grass seeds, so aim for higher purity.

Type and freshness

As far as the type of grass, you’ll find some that last longer than others.

For example, ryegrass has the longest shelf life at five years. Again, that’s assuming it’s kept in ideal storage conditions — below 60 degrees F, low humidity, ventilation, no moisture, no pests.

With all that said, it’s best to keep your products fresh either way. Buying grass seed in bulk makes sense for landscapers and those with massive lawns, but you should only ever buy what you know you’ll use.

The sooner you get it in the ground, the sooner it’ll sprout, so leaving it in storage for a while will always make it a bit inferior to fresh seeds.

Any storage time is time where the seeds can be dying. Getting them in the ground as fast as possible means you won’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll expire.

Does grass seed expire? Yes, but that won’t be an issue if you use them while they’re still fresh!

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Out to the Field

With all of that said, we have our answer. Does grass seed expire? It certainly can, but it won’t expire all at once, and expired doesn’t mean unusable. Do your best to store your grass seeds properly to ensure that that their expiration doesn’t come soon.

Making sure that storage is kept up to snuff is the most important part. After that, just make sure that you’re planting the grass within a reasonable amount of time. Your grass will be looking healthy and full in no time.

Have you tried planting expired grass seed? Tell us about how it turned out in the comments!

The zero-G Hose Reviewed: Is This Your Best Hope for a Beautiful Garden

garden hose sprayer

Lugging around a heavy tangled hose is one of the worst parts of gardening, so if you know about the zero-G hose, you might consider buying it. But before you lay out that kind of cash on anything, you need to know if it works. you also want to know if it’s the best choice to add to your gardening arsenal.

While irrigation systems are a gardener’s best friend, they can usually be pretty pricey. And the DIY kits you can purchase often disappoint. Most of us don’t want to lug around a watering can, either, especially if we have large gardens. So, every gardener and landscape hobbyist needs a good hose.

What Is the zero-G Hose

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The zero-G hose promises to be half the weight of a standard garden hose. This makes it much easier to work with when you’re watering. Best of all, it makes it much easier to deal with when it’s time to put it away. After all, you don’t want someone running over it with the lawnmower.

The zero-G hose features standard-sized couplings to fit any outdoor hose bibb, as well as all of your spray nozzles.

zero-G Hose Features

A lighter hose can only be a great thing, but the zero-G hose has other attributes that set it apart from other brands.

Construction

The outer hose features a high-density woven jacket, which protects the inner tube from puncturing or wear.

The manufacturer also claims that it helps the hose glide more smoothly over the lawn so that it won’t tangle or tear.

The “Tru-Flex” inner core is where you’ll find all the action. This inner hose is pliable but sturdy, which makes it easy to coil as well as durable.

The zero-G hose coupling boasts lead-free materials, so your kids can drink safely from the hose. It’s also designed to be easy to grip when you’re attaching or detaching it from your spigot.

zero-G hose specifications

The zero-G hose comes in several standard lengths, including 25-, 50-, 75-, and 100-foot lengths. It also features the following:

  • Standard 5/8-inch inner diameter
  • Over 600 PSI burst rating
  • Flexible down to 35 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Resists crushing up to 3,000 pounds
  • Maximum feed water temperature up to 80 degrees

RELATED READS: Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces with Vertical Gardening

How We Reviewed

Our review process was initially simple: I bought one. Yes, I was tired of lugging around ridiculously heavy garden hose that frequently seemed possessed by devils. So, I decided to give the zero-G hose a try a few months ago. Besides my own experience, I looked at other customer feedback to see what they thought of the zero-G as well.

So, What Else Is Out There?

With that said, you’re probably wondering if I ever found the hose of my dreams. It seems pretty trivial, but for dedicated gardeners, our hose is our most critical tool.

But, you’re in luck, because I have two comparable products that may prove the hose of your dreams, as well.

YardSmarter Premium 100 ft Expandable Garden Hose

This extra sturdy hose features a 3750D woven textile cover for durability. Like the zero-G hose, the cover protects it from being damaged when you’re dragging it around the yard.

It features a no-kink design that ensures the water keeps flowing even if it gets tangled.

Best of all, it retracts to a much more manageable length of only 33 feet. When you’re finished watering, turn off the water at the spigot, and empty the hose of any remaining water. It will begin to shrink until it’s much shorter and easy-peasy to stow.

It also comes with a hose sprayer, which is a nice bonus. The hose sprayer is constructed with durable zinc alloy, so it doesn’t crack when you drop it on the ground.

And the icing on the cake is the valve at the end of the hose so you can change out sprayer heads without going back to the spigot to turn off the water.

I’m usually pretty cautious about spending more than a few dollars on unknown brands on Amazon. And I’m not even sure what made me pull the trigger on this one.

While not quite as lightweight as the zero-Go hose, the YardSmarter is easy to use. I love mine.

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Forever Steel Hose

If robots gardened, they’d want one of these shiny steel hoses. This is my second favorite hose.

The Forever Steel Hose is encased in 16mm 304 stainless steel for durability. And it’s still ultralight and easy to use.

It’s pretty flexible, too. The ridged design makes it easy to move around obstacles without kinking or snagging. It also won’t kink or tangle. It’s puncture-proof and UV resistant, which means that it won’t deteriorate if you leave it outside.

A few less-than-glowing reviews point out that it supplies low water pressure. And I can’t argue with that assessment. While the manufacturer claims it’s a 5/8-inch hose, that’s just the connectors. The inner tube is closer to 1/2-inch, which means it can take a long time to finish your watering chores.

Another problem is that the connectors are a bit flimsy and hard to connect to your outdoor spigot. You really have to make sure you line the threads up perfectly to get a leak-free seal.

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The Verdict

Having used all three of these hoses, I feel obligated to warn any buyer against the zero-G hose. While I may have received a subpar model, it seems that so did many other buyers. And considering how expensive these hoses can be, I would recommend against taking the chance.

The Forever Steel hose is excellent for small gardens. With its light weight, even the youngest or oldest gardener in the family can pitch in and help.

For larger jobs, I have to recommend YardSmarter. I get an excellent flow rate from it. And the fact that it’s light, exceedingly flexible, and practically puts itself away when I’m done makes gardening a much greater pleasure than ever before.

Let us know down in the comments which hose you chose or your experience with any of these hoses.

The Best Lawn Fertilizer for Your Outdoor Space

best lawn fertilizer

A perfectly manicured lawn, it’s a homeowner’s dream, but it’s not as easy to achieve as you might thing. That green carpet doesn’t come without effort, so you need the best lawn fertilizer to feed your lawn and give it what it needs. In return, it will keep the weeds away while giving you a healthy and thriving green grass paradise.

Keeping up with your lawn can bring in that luscious green color you crave while also helping out the ecosystem. Lawns are green, so they undergo photosynthesis, the process of taking in carbon dioxide and putting out oxygen. The roots of the grass also keep the soil structured and able to absorb more water, which cuts down on flooding during a nasty storm.

Why You Need the Best Lawn Fertilizer

Having the best lawn fertilizer will, by extension, give you a great-looking lawn. And a healthy lawn will improve many aspects of your outdoor space. Along with helping to prevent erosion, it’s also a boon to wildlife. A healthy lawn means it’s easier for little critters like earthworms to live in, which increases nutrients in the soil. And healthy soil means a better, brighter garden and a lawn that’s resistant to pests and disease.

What lawn fertilizer does

Lawn fertilizer is something that you apply on your lawn. Most comprise of nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen that promote the growth of grass. Each chemical has its own purpose, but overall, they all work together to help your lawn grow and thrive.

When you buy a bag of lawn fertilizer, you should take into account when you’re going to be using it. There are some lawn fertilizers meant for fall, while others are better when you spread them in spring.

When you want to use it

Though opinions vary on the best times to spread lawn fertilizer, they typically find common ground in that the fall and early sprint is the best time to feed your lawn. During the fall, you’ll want to spread lawn fertilizer to give the soil some strength as it begins to get colder and the ground hardens. Once the snow melts and the ground thaws, spreading lawn fertilizer in the early spring will give you the best chance of having a flourishing lawn in the later spring and summer months.

Some fertilizers are specifically designated for these seasons. The ones marketed toward the fall usually contain a greater amount of phosphorus, to give the lawn stronger roots, while the ones for spring contain more nitrogen to promote green growth. When you’re picking out a bag of fertilizer, it will usually have a ratio of the chemicals listed on the bag.

How to apply lawn fertilizer

Lawn fertilizer comes in a liquid and a solid form. These naturally have different application processes and various benefits.

Liquid fertilizer must be diluted with water and spread with a special applicator made for liquid fertilizers. Though the results are quicker than a solid fertilizer, you’ll need to reapply them more often. Also, you could end up killing your lawn if you don’t dilute it correctly or apply too much.

Solid fertilizers are for most typical lawn lovers. They’re more expensive, but they don’t come with the high risk of burning your lawn because of the way they release the chemicals. Additionally, you do not need to reapply it as much as you do with liquid fertilizer. The best lawn fertilizer will do the work for you and keep your grass green and happy.

Be Aware of the Environment

Though lawn fertilizers can make your lawn look great and be great for the ecosystem, larger doses can do more harm than good.

Most lawn fertilizers contain large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus. Though these chemicals are great for lawn growth and hardiness, they’re also one of the leading sources for algal blooms. These blooms are not the kind of growth you want to see.

When it rains after you’ve fertilized your lawn, parts of the fertilizer are washed away into sewers or anti-flooding systems. The systems usually lead to a body of water, often a lake or a river. The fertilizers release their chemicals just as they would on your lawn.

The chemicals build up, causing a bloom of algae that often covers the surface of the water, preventing fish from getting the oxygen they need and killing off entire water ecosystems.

Be conscious of the environment, and if you can, try to avoid spreading fertilizer when it’s going to rain. Check your weather reports and make sure your dosages are correct, so you don’t kill the grass before it grows.

RELATED READS: Scotts Green Max Lawn Food: Is It Worth the Money?

What We Considered

First, we looked at the reviews. The best lawn fertilizer is not going to have one star on Amazon, and it’s not going to come with a plethora of bad pictures from customers. We only chose to include fertilizers that had 4.0 out of 5.0 stars or better.

We also looked at the size. Lawn fertilizers can get pricey. Buying a product that’s only available in teeny tiny sizes is not efficient. In fact, it may make you decide you don’t want to keep up with your lawn anymore.

Another thing we took into account was the kind of fertilizers. Solid fertilizers are more practical for the typical homeowner, so those options were preferable over liquid fertilizers. However, we did include some liquid options.

The Best Lawn Fertilizer

After carefully looking over our criteria and choosing all of our options, these were the top contenders for the best lawn fertilizer.

Scotts Green Max Lawn Food

Scotts Green Max Lawn Food - Lawn Fertilizer Plus Iron Supplement...
  • Feeds for deep greening in just 3 days for greener grass
  • Dual-action, 2-in-1 formula feeds and supplements with iron
  • Fertilizer not to stain when used as directed

Scotts Green Max Lawn Food is a great option when it comes to lawn fertilizers. It’s an easy-to-use solid formula that you spread on your lawn in either spring or fall; it doesn’t have a specific application time. The fertilizer also prides itself on working fast; the packaging boasts a turn-around time of three days.

The product is said to cover 10,000 square feet of yard, making it ideal for reapplication later on.

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer

Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer, Safer and Slow Release,...
  • ✅ If you look for fertilizer for promoting the growth of lush, thick, and highly green grass, Milorganite 0636 organic...
  • ✅ Its NPK is 5-2-0, which means that this Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer doesn’t contain potassium. Therefore, avoid...
  • ✅ This fertilizer meets all EPA’s quality standards and comes in plastic bags of 32 pounds. Don’t be upset with...

The Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer comes with 32 pounds of product. The fertilizer is organic, so it’s even better for the environment than a synthetic fertilizer and means the product is less likely to burn your lawn than a synthetic product.

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer claims that the fertilizer has been trusted for several decades, and customers agree.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food, 5 lb.
  • Instantly feeds all grass types
  • Encourages a soft green carpet of grass that will be the pride of the neighborhood
  • Feeds up to 7,200 sq. ft.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food is a popular option for your lawn care needs. Not only is Miracle-Gro an established brand, but this product does well among customers.

This product prides itself on being a fast way to a better lawn. The container comes with enough product inside to fertilize up to 4,000 square feet of grass, which makes it ideal for reapplication. The container also appears to be reusable, so you could find another use for it instead of just discarding it like you would a bag.

Ringer Lawn Restore

Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer – 25 lb
  • Revitalizes lawn to a thick turf by strengthening root systems
  • Lawns will green up within 3 to 5 days
  • Promotes a robust root system for a healthier lawn

Ringer Lawn Restore is a strong contender for best lawn fertilizer. Not only does it come with 5,000 feet’s worth of product, but it comes complete with plant-based nutrients.

Unfortunately, the product contains no phosphate. While that may be better for the environment, it means that your lawn won’t be as healthy as it would be with other options. Ringer’s lawn fertilizer is pricier than its competitors, but that fact is made up for by the feel-good ingredients you put into your lawn when you use it.

Espoma Organic Fall Fertilizer

Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer, 30-Pound
  • Made from feather meal poultry manure and sulfate of potash
  • Extra potash for next year's spring greening
  • 8-0-6 formulation30 lbs

Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer is for use in the fall. The product comes with enough to cover 5,000 square feet.

Since this is a fall fertilizer, it’s going to be more substantial than a typical spring fertilizer. If you spread this in the spring, your lawn may not be ready to go by the time summer hits. Fall fertilizers are like a deep conditioner, while spring fertilizers are more for growth and good looks.

Purely Organic Lawn Food

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Purely Organic Lawn Food
  • Promotes Lush Green Turf Grass. Will Not Burn Your Lawn.
  • Plant Based Formula with Distillers Grains & Soy. No Harsh Chemicals, No Manure & No Smelly Biosolids.
  • Covers Up to 5,000 Square Feet. Feeds All Season Long.

Purely Organic Lawn Food is just what it says: organic. That’s a fantastic attribute for one of the contenders for best lawn fertilizer to have. It feels good for the environment as well as your lawn.

Purely Organic Lawn Food is free of phosphorus and manure, meaning there will be no nasty smell when you apply. Also, the bag comes with enough product for 5,000 square feet of yard.

American Hydro Systems GrassSoGreen Fertilizer

GrassSoGreen Maintenance Formula 19-0-0 – All-Natural Blend –...
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: GrassSoGreen Maintenance Formula is a nitrogen-rich naturally based fertilizer This...
  • EFFECTIVE: Gentle, yet effective, GrassSoGreen is versatile enough to apply to cool- and warm-season grasses You’ll...
  • NITROGEN TECHNOLOGY: GrassSoGreen Maintenance Formula gives a boost of nutrients to your lawn every time you run your...

American Hydro Systems GrassSoGreen Fertilizer is a liquid lawn fertilizer. The product is designed to spread as you water your lawn and claims to replenish lost nitrogen.

Unfortunately, this product does not claim to be organic, and you have to spread it with a special device. If you do spread it as you water your lawn, it increases the potential for runoff and water pollution. It can also be bad for your yard if not diluted correctly.

Simple Solutions Ultimate

Ultimate 3-18-18 NPK- Lawn Food Quality Liquid Fertilizer-...
  • High Phosphorus, High Potassium Lawn Food: If your lawn is showing symptoms of a Phosphorus and Potassium deficiency or...
  • Made With High Quality Feed Grade Ingredients: Nourish your lawn to health with pure liquid Nutrients.
  • Easy To Use: Designed to be easily applied. This high Phosphorus & Potassium Lawn Food gives your lawn the nutrients it...

Simple Solutions Ultimate 3-18-18 NPK lawn fertilizer is another good option in liquid form. The product contains more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen. That is better for the environment overall; it decreases the chances of an unwanted algae issue.

However, it is still a liquid fertilizer. If you don’t have the proper tools and measurements, it could end up hurting your lawn. In high concentration, it will do more harm than good if you don’t know how to handle it.

Let It Grow

Of course, you don’t have to have a lawn fertilizer at all. Many people feel the best approach is to reduce the use of lawn chemicals and use the space for flowering plants or even fruit trees.

But if you’re looking to bolster the health of your lawn, these are all solid choices. 

The Best Expandable Hose for Your Garden

expandable garden hose

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who almost have a heart attack by mistaking a water hose for a snake, and those who feel frustrated when using a short hose to water their plants. Many of us are the latter; and the solution, of course, is to invest in the best expandable hose.

Not only can you reach the nooks and crooks of every potted plant and raised bed without the threat of losing an arm. You might be happier, like all those people in the movies who water their lawns from 20 feet away with a smile on their faces.

Step One: Study the Nitty-Gritty

No one likes to be tangled in too much extra hose laying around. We’re here to help you understand the mechanism behind the best expandable hose. So, let’s start by answering the most frequently asked questions.

How does an expandable hose work?

Many people often wonder how a watering system can expand three times its length when in use, and revert quickly once the faucet is turned off. It’s a simple mechanism. An expandable hose uses an inner tube designed from latex or TCP to transport water to your plants.

When you turn on the water from one end, the shut-off valve activates, and pressure starts to build within the tube. This causes it to expand, reaching its full length.

How will it impact my gardening sessions?

Expandable hoses weigh five times less than a traditional hose and expand up to three times in length when in use. Additionally, they never tangle, twist, or kink.

Just think about how incredible your gardening sessions would turn out if you don’t have to worry about your garden hose.

Another advantage is that you no longer have to worry about the proximity of the water outlet to the garden. You now have to freedom to plant anywhere you want since the hose expands efficiently.

How long do expandable hoses last?

They are astonishingly durable than a traditional garden hose. Most manufacturers use premium fabrics and materials to craft the garden helper. You can count on the brass connectors to prevent leaks, supple 3750D polyester fabric cover to ensure longevity, and double or triple core materials to amp up the elasticity.

Brands typically offer a few years to a lifetime warranty. However, your maintenance practices will have a significant impact on its lifespan.

What are some common problems users experience?

The quality of the materials and production process have a massive impact on the final product. If the manufacturer uses a low-quality TPC or latex for the inner tube, then you can be assured that the hose wouldn’t expand well.

Cheap supplies can also cause it to leak or burst-out randomly, rust, and even explode under high water pressure. Other problems associated with the best expandable hose are a result of users not following instructions.

You have to store to it well, keep away from direct sunlight, and check the user guide to see if it’s self-draining or manual.

Now, let’s see how we created this review.

How We Tackled This Review

To create an unbiased review, we had to first analyze the materials that are typically used to create expandable hoses. We quickly discovered that most brands use TPC, latex core, and 3750D polyester fabric to ensure tensile strength. They also use brass fittings for reinforcement against leaks and plastic finish to combat rust.

Additionally, we looked at their elasticity range and only picked products that can triple their original size when in use and revert quickly once the pressure shuts off. For accessibility sake, we selected garden hoses with a start out between 15 to 17 feet and maximum expansion of 100 feet.

And of course, our review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that we considered the opinions of consumers and experts.

Now, let’s present our picks.

The Best Expandable Hose for Your Garden

A lot of effort goes into maintaining a home garden; however, the best expandable hose exists to make your gardening sessions more relaxed and enjoyable.

1. Gardguard 50ft Expandable Garden Hose

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Gardguard 100ft Expandable Garden Hose: Water Hose with 9 Function...
  • 【9 FUNCTIONAL SAFETY NOZZLE】: Compared to most 8 pattern hose nozzle, our water nozzle with 9 pattern for more...
  • 【GOOD MATERIALS GARDEN HOSE】: The expanding water hose uses a high-density double-layer latex core and a powerful...
  • 【SOLID 3/4IN CONNECTORS】: The 100ft hose comes with solid 3/4 inches connectors, they will not rust, leak or crack,...

Let’s start our best expandable hose list by analyzing this beauty. Gardguard 50ft Expandable Garden Hose has a nine-function spray nozzle to give users more choices. So, whether it’s watering your garden or washing your dog, know that you’re covered.

It also features a flexible expansion design that can move from 17 feet to 50 feet within minutes. We love the ¾ inches brass connectors that ensure durability and ease of use.

2. Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose

Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose - New Expandable Water Hose with Double...
  • YOUR WATERING SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT with the Nifty Grower water hose: we designed and manufactured the hose used only...
  • INCREDIBLE DURABILITY - no more leaks, tear or cracks: solid 3/4 Inches brass connectors, rubber washer, double latex...
  • FLEXIBLE DESIGN - this expandable hose starts out from 34 Feet; when the water is turned on the hose quickly expands up...

Nifty Grower delivers every single quality that the best expandable hose should have. It consists of an incredibly flexible design that starts at 34 feet; but once water passes through, it expands up to 3 times in length. Overall, the product is highly functional, lightweight, and long enough to make your chores easier.

Nifty Grower 100ft Garden Hose comes with double latex pipe, ¾ inches brass connectors, supple 3750D polyester fabric cover, rubber washer, and a powerful on/off valve.

3. POYINRO Expandable Garden Hose

POYINRO Expandable Garden Hose, 50ft Strongest Expanding Garden Hose...
  • ☆ Space-Efficient! Get The Full Length! The POYINRO New Designed Expandable Garden Hose Is The ONLY Expanding Hose...
  • ☆ Just to Make Lift Much Easier! This newly designed expandable water hose will Never tangle, twist, or kink, flexible...
  • ☆ Extra-Long and Portable ---- A Perfect Length to Do Outdoor Work: Very light weight, flexible and long enough to...

Here are a few reasons why POYINRO created the best expandable hose in the market.

Outside of its triple layer of 100 percent natural latex core, it also has a tough outer fabric finish to ensure durability. The black fabric provides extra strength and protection; and ensures that the hose never leaks tangles, and kinks. We love that the manufacturers designed this hose to be space-efficient and lightweight.

It expands up to three times of its original length when in use, and shrinks the moment the faucet is turned off.

4. TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose

TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose - Triple Latex Core...
  • 3 Times extension in length, easy to operate and store: Only 1.8 LBS, it’s incredibly lightweight, flexible,...
  • A retractable hose suitable for multiple purposes: Expanding quickly, while a brass valve at the end allows better...
  • Premium quality makes useful life much longer: Triple layer latex inner wrapped by interwoven elasticated fabric, with...

We can’t discuss the best expandable hose without mentioning this helpful home tool. Let’s start by saying that every aspect of the design is for your convenience. The package includes a spray nozzle with eight patterns to support your watering needs — whether it’s the garden, car, or four-legged friend.

TheFitLife Flexible and Expandable Garden Hose makes use of a triple layer latex interwoven with elasticated fabric and held together by ¾ inches USA standard solid brass fittings. TheFitLife pushes the longevity envelope by running their hoses through 1800 to 2000 tests to guarantee long-term warranty.

5. monyar Garden Hose Expandable Water Hose

monyar Garden Hose Expandable Water Hose 75 Feet,Extra...
  • 【INCREDIBLE DURABILITY and HEAVY DUTY】- The pipe, brass connectors, valve, nozzle and spray are made with durable...
  • 【9 PATTERN WATER HOSE NOZZLE】- Compared to most 8 pattern hose nozzle. Our Water nozzle with 9 pattern (FULL, FLAT,...
  • 【FLEXIBLE DESIGN】- When the water is turned on the hose quickly expands up to 75 feet with the water pressure (3-12...

Monyar joins our best expandable hose list with an incredible home product. It comes in at 75 feet and has a highly functional spray nozzle with 10 spray settings. The manufacturers used premium materials to construct durable brass connectors, spray nozzle, pipe, and valve.

As a heavy-duty system, monyar Garden Hose Expandable Water Hose withstands high water pressure of 3-12 bar and retracts to its original shape once the water is shut off. This elasticity is made possible by its double latex core with high density and 3750D polyester outer fabric.

Unfortunately, at the time of the last update, this product was no longer available, please check out this nearly identical option from Amoin.

Amoin Garden Hose Expandable Water Hose,Extra Strenght/No-Kink...
  • Anti-slip and ergonomic design.There are a variety of lengths of hoses to choose from to meet your actual needs. The...
  • Brass interface, high strength, not easy to break,Adjustable water flow for better control.
  • Ideal for cleaning, car washing, plant and soil watering Soaking.

6. TBI Pro Garden Hose Expandable

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Expandable Garden Hose Kit 50-100 ft - Superior Strength 3750D -...
  • The Strong 3750D Fabric and 4-Layer Latex. We have developed this hose using the high-quality materials to avoid most...
  • Anti-Leak System with Protectors. The innovative design of this water hose comes with advanced connector protectors,...
  • All You Need For Quality Watering in 1 Set. We have included in our set: Garden Hose 50 ft, Zinc Alloy Sprayer and...

As a refinement over a previous version, TBI Pro Garden Hose Expandable uses four layers of latex and robust 3750D fabrics to avoid unwanted leaks and bursts. As the best expandable hose in the market, it features an anti-leak system with advanced connectors shields to prevent constant upkeep. This saves consumers from wasting money on repairs and extensive maintenance projects.

The high-quality watering set comes with a few accessories. They include a 50 feet garden hose, ¾  brass connectors, and a two-way splitter. You’ll be happy to know that the brass connectors are rust-free and integrate well with the shut-off valve.

7. Acepstar 100ft Expandable Garden Hose

Acepstar 100ft Expandable Garden Hose, Strongest Expandable Water Hose...
  • DURABLE WATER HOSE: This garden hose will never let you down!!! Latest double latex core and 3750 denier high-density...
  • FLEXIBLE DESIGN: This expandable water hose starts our from 33 Feet, when the water is turned on the hose quickly...
  • FREE 9 PATTERN SPRAY NOZZLE: Lightweight, highly portable, flexible hose comes with a free storage bag - simple way to...

You’re bound to get the best experience when you invest in the best expandable hose that has a flexible construction and a nine-pattern spray nozzle. Irrespective of its massive size, Acepstar 100ft Expandable Garden Hose is lightweight and easy to stash in the storage bag.

It can withstand high water pressure, up to 3-12 bar without burst or leaks. To make sure the product is long-lasting, the manufacturers used a 3750-denier high-density woven casing and double latex core to cover the entire watering system. We appreciate that it features a reinforced polyester casing with knitted sleeves for extra protection.

Unfortunately, this offering was also no longer available when we went to check on the listing. Please consider this lifetime warranty 100-foot expanding garden hose from J&B instead.

J&B XpandaHose 100ft Expandable Garden Hose with Holder - Heavy Duty...
  • 🏡 no more leaks - Say goodbye to your frustrating, leaking hose! XpandaHose's solid 3/4 brass connectors and 4...
  • 🏡 strongest hose available – High pressured, triple layered latex core is the strongest most durable hose on the...
  • 🏡 lifetime warranty - Keeping you satisfied and providing you with the friendliest customer service is our number one...

8. Higen 100ft Upgraded Expandable Garden

Higen 100ft Garden Hose Set, Extra Strength Fabric Triple Layer Latex...
  • Incredible Strong Hose - Super durable triple layer latex with high toughness, high elasticity and it can bear water...
  • Flexible Design and Easy to Store - The water hose pipe is lightweight and flexible, will never tangles, twists or kinks...
  • 9 Function Spray Nozzle - Ergonomic handle is comfy with comfortable grip; Rotating bezel for choosing 9 spray patterns:...

We couldn’t get over Higen’s triple-layer latex construction and jet-black rubber washer design. So of course, we had to add it to our best expandable hose list. The watering system uses on/off valves, robust 3750D polyester fabrics, and ¾ inches brass connectors to ensure that you never experience leaks or bursts.

It also features a nine-function spray nozzle that has a slip-resistant and comfortable grip. Furthermore, it has a rotating bezel for effortless accessibility. Depending on your watering needs, you can choose between the flat, shower, cone, mist, full, center, jet, angle, and soaker settings.

9. GrowGreen Garden Hose

GrowGreen Garden Hose, Flexible Water Hose with High Pressure Hose...
  • Space Efficient Garden Hose: This water hose starts out very short and expands up to 3 times its size when under...
  • A Garden Hose Designed To Improve Your Gardening Experience: The GrowGreen expandable garden hose will never tangle,...
  • Hose Spray Nozzle Included: The GrowGreen Garden Hose includes our 8 pattern, high pressure hose spray nozzle. Made with...

As an advocate for sustainability and organic farming, GrowGreen is passionate about making expandable hoses that integrate easily into various gardening systems. The all-improved hose starts at 17 inches when in use and increases up to 50 feet once the water pressure increases. It uses brass connectors to resist corrosion and ensure that you’ll never have to experience leaks or bursts.

GrowGreen Garden Hose has a smart coiling system and functions well under high water pressure — up to 145PSI/10 bar. It’s also space-efficient, high-temperature resistant, and features a spray nozzle with eight adjustable patterns.

10. Pure Expandable Garden Hose

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Pure Expandable Garden Hose 50 FT with Spray Nozzle Best Expanding...
  • ★STRONGEST EXPANDABLE HOSE ON THE MARKET TODAY. You will not find a higher quality expandable garden hose anywhere. We...
  • ★LIGHTWEIGHT WILL NOT TWIST TANGLE OR KINK. This hose does everything the other hoses claim only better. Don't waste...
  • ★SOLID ENDS. No more leaks around the plastic fittings. We designed the mold to give you the best fittings available...

Pure uses a strong multi-layer latex core to craft this masterpiece.

The heavy-duty hose features a brass spray nozzle with multiple spray patterns to meet your watering needs. You’ll be happy to know that the spray nozzle is removable to curb restriction. So, go ahead and use your spray head or remove it altogether to have a high-pressure watering experience.

We love that the connectors, valves, and other large fittings have a plastic finish to prevent rust, leaks, and bursts. It should be no surprise that we added Pure Expandable Garden Hose to our list.

Choosing the Right Expandable Hose

Before you hit the checkout button, there are few things to keep in mind. The first factor that must influence your decision is your garden. You should consider the size and the type of plants you grow.

The former will help you to find the appropriate length, and the latter will guide you to select the best spray nozzle. Sprayer heads come with multiple functions to assist you in deciding how you want the water to flow. You can choose different settings; a few include showering mode or high-pressure mode.

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the materials. As already discussed, they determine the longevity of the expandable hose. So, for the primary elements, you’re most likely to see latex core or TPC (a thermoplastic mostly used to make flexible hoses.)

Additionally, double-check to see it the hose fittings are made out of brass. They’re rust-resistant and provide powerful reinforcement against leaks. If you have any concerns, read the product description and browse through customer reviews to see how others feel about the product.

Have you ever used an expandable hose? What was your experience? Sound off below.

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