Henry R. asks: What experience have you had when choosing a garden hose? Mine are always kinking and never seem to last very long.
Answer: I have discovered over many years that purchasing a flimsy and inexpensive garden hose is frustrating and a waste of money. The old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly pertains to inexpensive garden hoses.
Several years ago I purchased a 75-foot commercial grade hose that was three-fourths inch thick. It too, was a mistake since it was extremely heavy and difficult to pull and move around in addition to being more hose than I needed for my garden.
On the positive side, the hose did not kink and lasted for years; I finally became so disgusted by its weight that I discarded the monster hose.
Following are tips for purchasing a garden hose:
Decide on the hose length required to easily reach all areas within your garden including your container plants.
It is easier to buy two shorter hoses and attach them together when needed. There are quick connectors for hoses that allow this task to be simple and easy.
Store the shorter hoses in attractive hose pots designed for that purpose.
Look for substantial appearing hoses that are described as “kink resistant” and “flexible”.
Unfortunately, all hoses will kink somewhat. Don’t believe any claims that a hose is absolutely non-kinking.
One of my recent purchases is also my favorite — a lime green hose that is lightweight, rolls up easily and is five-eights inch in diameter. It is called ID Premium Garden Hose 1113 Flexzilla by Legacy. Yes, it will kink somewhat but it is not an irritant and it’s easy to handle. Another good brand is Gilmour Flexogen. Our local Friedman’s Home Improvement stores have a good selection.
Julie R. asks: Will piñon pines grow in our area? We are recent transplants from the high desert of New Mexico and loved our piñon pines.
Answer: Piñon pine (also spelled Pinyon), designated as the state tree of New Mexico, is known botanically as Pinon edulis. It is native to the mountains of California deserts and southwest states such as New Mexico. It is best adapted to Sunset garden zones 1-11 and 14-21.
Will it thrive here? That will depend on its location. It needs to be in an area with full to part sun and in rocky soil that has good drainage. It needs an occasional deep watering to emulate what it receives in the high desert piñon forest in New Mexico. Pinon edulis can grow 10 to 20 feet in height and 16 to 18 feet in width and is considered slow growing.
As you know, the pine cones produce edible nuts that are sold in markets. The nuts were a major food source for the native Americans in that area. I don’t know if it is available in our local nurseries, but with a little research it can be special ordered.
If you are up to the challenge, try giving the tree the environment it requires and you will probably be successful. Using it in rock gardens and in large containers are design possibilities for the urban garden.