Simplify Garden Watering With Some Hose Splitters

Have you ever tried to navigate a long hose through a large garden? It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. That's when hose splitters come to the rescue.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

Have you ever tried to navigate a long hose through a large garden? It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.

Let’s set the scene. You’ve planted an exciting garden stuffed full of flowers and vegetables, and you’re eagerly waiting for the seeds to sprout. Every day you diligently use a garden hose and watering wand to dispense water around your garden, quenching the thirst of underground seeds and encouraging them to grow.

Because the plants haven’t sprouted yet, you’re free to pull the hose this way and that, letting it trail wherever it wants across the ground.

But once the seedlings sprout, everything changes. Now the garden hose is an awkward menace, threatening to knock over and uproot delicate plants. You carefully thread it among the beds to reach the back of the garden … then in a moment of lapsed concentration, you give it a tug and snap a handful of young corn stalks as the hose crosses their path.

What to Do About Watering?

Growing plants in raised garden beds can reduce this issue, since the walls of the beds will (mostly) prevent the hose from crossing into beds and damaging plants. But maneuvering a long hose up and down every pathway between beds can be slow and cumbersome, and occasionally the hose still jumps the track and curls unwanted into a bed.

So what’s the answer? You can opt to run soaker hoses through each bed so you don’t have to move them around. But this can be a large investment, and it doesn’t provide water for the various potted plants, hanging flower baskets, etc. that you might have scattered around your garden.

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A regular garden hose with a watering wand is a perfect solution in many cases, if only the problem of navigating the hose among plants and beds can be suitably addressed.

More Hoses & Some Splitters, Too

After trying several approaches through the years, I recommend addressing the issue with a combination of more hoses and several two-way and four-way hose splitters.

This solution requires some planning and spending. But the end result is satisfying if you’re dealing with a large garden. A two- or four-way hose splitter screws onto the end of a standard hose and allows the water flow to be split in multiple directions.

The controls on hose splitters allow each pathway to be turned on or off as needed.

My suggestion? Install a four-way splitter wherever the hose enters you garden, or right near the water source if the source is within your garden. Connect four hoses and send each one off in a different direction through the garden, weaving among beds as needed. If necessary, you can attach two-way splitters at the ends of these hoses to further expand the directions and possibilities.

The idea is simple: instead of having one long hose that’s difficult to maneuver through a large garden, you can use lots of short hoses instead, laying them out so that each one covers a small section of the garden. And if you end each one with a watering wand, you won’t have to bother with the flow controls on the splitter. You can simply turn each valve “on” so that every hose down the line is ready to deliver water as soon as you ask for it at the watering wand.

If your water pressure is high enough, you can even have multiple people watering at once, each using a different hose and watering wand.

So why not add a couple of hose splitters (or three) to you garden hose toolset? You’ll have an easier time getting water to every corner of your garden, and delicate young plants will thank you.

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