One way to make gardening easier is by having good equipment. Garden hose fittings are a critical gardening accessory that either purchased separately or included with the hose pipe. They are those supplemental parts at the end of the hose or within the entire length needed for proper function and attachment to sprinklers, heads, or faucets.

Brass hose fittings are by far the most widely used and popular fittings for garden hose because of their ease of use and durability. Although plastic or rubber fittings are available in the market, they aren’t as versatile as brass fittings.

Use brass garden hose fittings to simplify gardening. Brass fittings have excellent corrosion resistance and are softer than other metal fittings, so they’re easier to thread together.

Join us in this complete guide to garden hose fittings. We will also describe how to connect brass fittings to a garden water supply or indoor water supply system.

Why is brass still commonly used for garden hose fittings?

Brass is commonly used for hose fittings because of its dynamic properties. Brass fittings are not only durable and flexible. They are more resistant to corrosion than other metal options, a perfect choice for garden hose fittings. Brass is ideal for carrying water.

Brass is an ancient material; it is known to exist since about 500 BC.

What materials is a brass garden host fitting made of?

Brass is an alloy of copper, zinc, and other corrosion-resistant elements.

Why is brass used for hose fittings?

Brass is a corrosion-resistant durable metal. The machinability and workability of brass lend it to use in the manufacture of garden hose fittings.

Here are the top reasons brass is used for garden hose fittings:

  • Brass has antimicrobial properties.
  • Brass is corrosion resistant – Brass fits a wide variety of demanding environments corrosion is a concern. Brass has a negligible amount of iron, and no rust or iron oxide can form. Even though brass doesn’t rust, it can corrode over time. Brass has its own form of corrosion, sometimes called tarnish.
  • Brass is durable – Brass is known for its superior strength and resilience. It is a widely used material in both residential and industrial gardening. Brass maintains its condition for years. If you want a lengthy lifespan for your garden hose fittings, use brass.
  • Brass is malleable – Brass has higher malleability than other metals such as copper or zinc.
  • Brass is versatile – Brass can be stamped, machined, cast, forged, or die-cut. Brass operates effectively at higher temperatures, has excellent wear resistance and durability. Brass is also a spark resistant metal. No other material brings together this versatile combination of properties.

What makes brass so versatile?

The properties of brass can be modified when altering the makeup of the alloy. The desired properties are achieved by changing the brass alloy. In addition to copper and zinc, additional metals can be added to the alloy, such as tin, iron, lead, silicon, aluminum, and manganese. These added metals produce versatile characteristics.

Do brass hose fittings perform better than plastic hose fittings?

Brass garden hose fittings are much more durable than plastic hose fittings. Unlike plastic hose fittings, brass fittings won’t blow off. Brass hose fittings are more robust, can handle higher temperatures, and last longer, but they are more expensive than plastic fittings. Even though plastic hose fittings have improved recently and are relatively strong, they can crack under pressure.  It is unlikely that a brass fitting would crack or otherwise get damaged. Clearly, brass garden hose fittings perform better than plastic hose fittings.

Are aluminum hose fittings better than brass hose fittings?

Although aluminum garden hose fittings are more durable than plastic ones, brass fittings outperform both. Aluminum fittings corrode and are prone to galling. An aluminum garden host fitting is a poor choice.

What’s the size of a garden hose connector?

Before we look into the connector needs you require, let’s look at garden hose connector sizes. A larger size garden hose can deliver a greater volume of water but at reduced pressure. Garden hose sizes are mostly between 3/8 to 3/4 inch in diameter.

Larger size hoses are generally used in commercial environments. The U.S., the most popular size in the U.S. used to deliver water from your spigot to the garden, is 5/8 inch in diameter. Garden hose connectors are critical accessories required to attach the hose to the tap/spigot/faucet. They are also required to attach other accessories like a wand or spray nozzle.

You can use a tape to measure the inside of your connector from one side within the wall of the hose to the other end of the wall. It is a common mistake to measure the outside wall. That diameter is too large.

What is a standard garden hose fitting?

Most standard residential brass garden hose fittings have a 5/8″ internal diameter with 11.5 or 11.5NH threads per inch.

How do you connect two hoses together?

You can join two hoses together with a coupler. A coupler consists of a pair or rings for crimping each hose onto the rod and a barbed rod that fits inside each hose. You install it the same way you would install a connector. If the two hoses have the same diameter, you can use a coupler to join them.

What are the best garden hose fittings?

The best garden hose fittings are the quick connect type. The best ones have a robust and durable design, and they are made of brass.

How do you attach a hose to a brass fitting?

If you need to replace a garden hose with a new one, you will need to attach it to the brass fitting. After you made sure that you have the right type and size brass fitting, you need to take the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Read the manufacturer’s information about the garden fitting.
  • Step 2 – Remove the old fitting. Cut the hose a couple of inches from the brass fitting. It is safer to cut on the ground; use a utility knife with a sharp blade.
  • Step 3 – Loosely place the clamp on the hose. Then, push the fitting end into the tube.
  • Step 4 – Tighten the clamp with a screwdriver. Attach the hose to the faucet and turn on the water. In case the fitting leaks, you might need to further tighten the screws.

What is the difference between brass and brass plating?

A solid brass garden hose fitting is made purely of brass. From its exterior to its core, it is made of pure brass. Brass plated garden hose fittings usually have a core made of zinc or steel with a thin layer of brass electroplated to it. Lacquer is applied to protect the brass plate. The lacquer will help the fitting maintain its color. The biggest drawback of brass plating is the significantly shorter lifespan. The think layer of brass plating will deteriorate, and the hose fitting needs to be replaced.

Why is a brass garden hose fitting more expensive than others?

Brass is a copper alloy, and it makes it more expensive than plastic and aluminum garden fittings.

What is the lifespan of a brass hose fitting?

Brass garden hose fittings can last for decades. Brass doesn’t rust, and it is very durable. If you are looking for a long lifespan hose fitting, brass is it.

How to use compression fittings with copper pipe?

We install compression fittings to create removable plumbing connections on flexible and standard rigid copper pipe and tubing. They are widely used on water stop valves or shutoff valves, the type used on toilet and faucet water supply pipes.

If you want to join two pipes in a straight line, you can use compression union fittings. Compression fittings are an easy-to-install alternative to traditional soldered plumbing connections. The secret to a leak-free installation is to ensure the pipe end is cut square and is clean and smooth. Use a tubing cutter to make a square cut.

The Best Ways to Water Your Garden

Despite childhood memories of running through sprinklers on lush turf, the days of indiscriminate water use are over. Conservation is the gardener’s watchword, and by following a few easy guidelines, you can maximize the value of the water you do use.

The best time to quench your plants’ thirst is early in the morning when plants are turgid and best able to take in more water; in fact, the morning dew that moistens the top few millimeters of soil makes it easier for water to penetrate deeply. Irrigating at midday is wasteful, as much of the moisture is lost to evaporation while watering in the evening isn’t ideal because leaves stay wet all night long, leading to disease.

Traditional wisdom dictates that the average garden needs about one inch (2.5 centimeters) of water per week. Variables such as soil type (for example, sandy soils dry out faster than clay), weather, and individual plant species’ moisture requirements mean gardeners must tailor their watering to specific conditions. Specimens that look wilted or limp in the early morning or evening should be watered immediately-these are signs of stress and cellular collapse, a stage at which rehydration is difficult. Plants consistently deprived of moisture for too long will become more vulnerable to attack by disease and insect pests.

It’s best to water less frequently as a general rule but deeply; a light sprinkling will evaporate quickly and therefore fail to reach plant roots. (Test moisture depth by digging out a divot-six-inches (15 centimeters) or more is ideal.) A thorough watering also encourages plants to send their roots down into the soil where moisture is stored, rather than relying on surface water, which can be irregular.

The most efficient way to deliver moisture is by applying it at ground level. A porous soaker hose laid around the base of plants allows water to seep slowly down to the root zones without moisture loss due to evaporation or runoff. Once the hose is positioned, mulch can be added overtop to hide it and keep moisture from the sun’s evaporating rays. Drip irrigation systems are another option, but they are more costly to install, and the tubes sometimes tend to clog. It may be more practical for large gardens to use overhead watering systems, with either in-ground or hose-end sprinklers.

Do all plants need the same amount of water?

Most plants need more hydration at critical times in their life cycles, such as when they are young and growing quickly, after transplanting, while setting buds and when fruit or seeds are developing. Note that shallow-rooted plants need closer monitoring for dehydration signs than deep-rooted specimens, which are better able to tap into groundwater.

Can watering cause scorching of your plants?

It’s a myth that water droplets act as lenses on plant tissue, causing scorching; if it were true, plants would be reduced to smoldering heaps when the sun comes out after a rain shower!

Garden Watering Tips

  • Recycle water from household greywater, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners.
  • Invest in rain sensors and moisture meters for watering systems.
  • Install a rain barrel to collect water from the roof and store it for later use on your gardens, indoor plants, and lawns.
  • Repair any leaks in couplings, hoses, and sprinklers.
  • Weeds are super competitive for water, nutrients and sunlight. Don’t allow weeds to seed in your yard.
  • Mulch to slow evaporation from the soil, cool the surface, and discourage weeds.
  • Grow drought-tolerant plants native to your region and group those with similar watering requirements.
  • Position sprinkler heads to reach target plants and avoid paved areas.
  • Stop watering when runoff occurs.
  • Add organic matter such as compost and shredded leaves to improve texture and the water-holding capacity of all soils.

Dealing with Drainage

Water, water, everywhere, can be a problem, whether caused by compacted soil, a high water table, or a lot of runoff. Gardening expert Leilani Fleur offers some plant-saving solutions.

Plants need water, but too much can be fatal, so good drainage is crucial. Puddling and permanently soggy soil are obvious indicators, but drainage problems can often lurk unseen beneath the surface.

How to test drainage in your garden?

  • Dig a hole 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 centimeters) deep and six inches (15 centimeters) across.
  • Fill it with water and let drain.
  • Refill it and measure the depth of the water.
  • Wait an hour then measure how much the water level has dropped. A drop of fewer than a half-inch means your drainage is poor; half to one inch means moderate drainage; over one inch means good drainage.

If your site is more swamp than garden, you may need the land regraded and/or a professionally installed drainage system of trenches or weeping tiles. But for most gardens, there are simpler solutions like the three techniques shown here.

Dig in Organic Matter (easy)

For clay or compacted soil that doesn’t drain well, you should dig in lashings of humusy material, such as shredded leaves, compost, well-rotted manure, or composted bark. Fill in any low spots where water accumulates, and make sure the ground slopes away from house foundations. If you have trouble digging at least two spade depths down, you may be hitting hardpan, i.e., very hard subsoil. It takes a strong back, but break this up with a pick to improve drainage and allow better root penetration. If the hardpan is too resistant, add 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of soil and amendments on top of the existing soil to increase planting depth.

Build a Raised Bed (intermediate)

A high water table may make digging down unworkable, so go up instead. Raised beds aren’t limited to rectangular boxes for growing vegetables – they are hugely flexible as to size, shape, and height, can be made of wood, brick, metal, concrete, or stone, and be as decorative as they are functional. Put a raised bed around a patio and voila, instant “sunken garden.” Create tiers to increase planting space and architectural interest, or build a circular garden centerpiece. The possibilities are endless.

Raised beds improve drainage and heat up faster in spring, allow custom soil mixes, and make for back-saving gardening access. Site them well away from trees and large hedges or sink vertical barriers in the ground around the raised beds to discourage invasion by greedy roots. Minimum height is 30 centimeters (60 to 80 centimeters for shrubs and trees) and, for easy tending, no more than five feet from front to back. Loosen the soil beneath the raised bed and then fill using a light potting mix with lots of humusy organic matter (see easy section). Don’t use ordinary garden soil – it’ll compact and hold too much moisture.

Install a Rain Garden (advanced)

Rain gardens are meant to corral storm-water runoff and disperse it. Planted with native perennials and sometimes shrubs or trees that tolerate occasional inundation, the garden fills with water after heavy rain. Then, filtered and cleansed by the plants, the water gradually infiltrates the ground instead of flooding other areas, eroding the soil or carrying pollution into storm drains. A rain garden is usually sited on a slope to catch natural runoff, and runoff is often directed into it from paved areas or buildings.

Here, it’s important to have soil that drains well, so do the drainage test mentioned. Some gardens may need underground piping or a dry well to deal with excess water. Consult the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. fact sheet to help you determine the garden’s size and depth – add 15 centimeters or more to the proposed planting depth since the surface of the rain garden needs to be below grade to allow for temporary ponding. Dig out the garden, making sure the bottom is level; on slopes, the lower side will have to be bermed up. Fill with a porous soil mix containing plenty of organic matter. Plant up and apply a layer of mulch five to eight centimeters deep, using a shredded hardwood mulch rather than light-weight pine bark or wood chips that may float away.