Watering tools & equipment buying guide
Keep your garden well-watered with watering tools and irrigation systems
Are your plants in need of a good watering? Keeping your flowers and lawn well-watered is the key to a healthy and flourishing garden. With so many watering and irrigation options out there it can be hard to choose which is best. Or maybe you need a tool to supply or collect water for cleaning your car or filling your paddling pool? From watering cans to hoses, sprayers to sprinklers, we’re here to help you find your ideal watering tool.
Before you begin
When choosing tools and equipment for watering in your garden, first consider the following things, to help you decide on the most appropriate for your needs.
What are you using the watering tool for?
Looking for a tool to water your plants? Different plants thrive under different conditions so the best way to water a plant will vary depending on how and where it is planted. You won't want to turn a full-powered hose onto young seedlings, but a small watering can isn't going to be a lot of use if you have a lawn or several large flowerbeds that need watering.
If you are looking to use the watering tool for filling a paddling pool or entertaining the kids in the garden on a hot day, consider a hose pipe and maybe even a sprinkler attachment.
For cleaning the patio or car you could use a hose, but for more power opt for a pressure washer. Find out more about pressure washers in our buying guide.
How big is the task?
You may need different watering tools depending on the size of the watering task. For example, if it’s just a few houseplants or pots that need watering you’ll only need a small capacity watering can or sprayer. But, if you have a lot of plants, or a large area of lawn to water, investigate more specialist watering tools that deliver a high volume of water in a way that suits the task.
How big is the space?
Consider the size of your garden or outdoor space and how you will transport your watering tool around it to reach all the plants or objects that need water. For example, for a small garden or balcony you might only need a small watering can or short hose. For a larger space you’ll need to look at longer hoses and sprinklers.
For carrying water and for easy watering of plants
The simplest and most common method of watering gardens is the watering can.
Our watering cans:
- Are available in plastic or steel. Plastic is most common, being lightweight and rust-resistant. Steel watering cans are more rustic-looking so fit well in a rural-style garden.
- Come in a variety of sizes, from 1.5 litres (L) to 13L. The best size for you will depend on the number of plants or size of the area you’re watering. Opt for 1.5 to 5L for small tasks like watering balcony or indoor plants. 5 to 9L is suitable for a medium-sized garden, whilst 10 to 13L suits a large garden.
- Are available with a rose – a wide head that attaches to the spout that sprinkles the water as opposed to pouring it. This gentler watering method is better for delicate plants. Roses can also be bought separately.
- Have either one or two handles. For larger watering cans, you’ll need to hold the watering can from the top to stabilise it when carrying it with water in, or on the side when tipping it for watering. Our watering cans have one wider handle to suit both scenarios or two separate handles.
For watering seedlings or spraying plants with weed killer, fungicide, pesticide or liquid fertiliser
There are four types of sprayer available – trigger, handheld, hand pump and backpack.
Ideal for watering small gardens and houseplants. These sprayers are operated by pulling back the trigger to produce the spray. Choose from 0.5L, 1L or 1.5L.
These sprayers are operated by a trigger and fit the hand like trigger sprayers, but are pressurised in the same way as hand pump sprayers. They’re suitable for simple spraying tasks across a small area. Our handheld sprayers have a capacity up to 1.5L.
Hand pump sprayers
Also known as a pressure sprayer. These sprayers are larger in capacity than handheld sprayers and are suitable for small to medium size gardens. The hand pump pressurises the tank so that the water is pushed through the hose sprayed from the lance with force. After filling up the tank, pull and push the handle up and down until you can’t pump it anymore. Once it has been fully pumped it is pressurised and ready to use.
Our hand pump sprayers:
- Are 5 or 6L in capacity
- Can have extendable lances for hard to reach places
- Have a wide opening for easy filling and emptying
- Are available with a strap to carry the tank on the shoulder or back
- Can have chemical-resistant seals, prolonging the life of the sprayer
- Can feature an indicator to show which chemical was used last, to avoid cross-contamination
- Are available with extra nozzles for the lance, including a flat fan nozzle and a cone to target specific areas with weed killer
- Can come with a dosing cap for measuring liquid chemicals.
As the name suggests, these are sprayers that can be worn on the back like a backpack. They work in the same way as a hand pump sprayer by being pumped to pressurise the tank. However, with these sprayers there is a lever on the side that the wearer can pull up and push down to pump as they use it.
Our backpack sprayers:
- Come in 12L or 16L
- Feature a telescopic lance and nozzle
- Have a content indicator so you can record which chemical was last used, preventing cross-contamination.
For a variety of watering tasks, with a range of accessories for specific jobs
A hose pipe is an easy way to water your garden and provides the basis for a variety of watering accessories.
Firstly, consider the length of hose you need. Choose a length that will ensure that the hose will stretch to the corners of your garden, but without having too much excess to get in the way. We offer hoses in lengths from 10 metres (m) to 50m.
Once you know the length you need, there are three several types of hose to consider:
- Traditional pipe – a 12.5millimetres (mm) diameter hosepipe. The only type of hose compatible with hose reels and carts.
- Flat hose pipe – for use with flood and drainage pumps to remove water
- Soaker hose pipe – water seeps from holes along the length of the hose. It is designed to water beds and borders and is ideal for establishing young plants and hedges.
- Suction pipes – for use with garden pumps such as water butt pumps, to use stored water for watering instead of tap water
- Spiral hose – with a pipe that works like a spring, pull it out and it will coil back for storage. Suitable for balconies, terraces and small gardens.
- Sprinkler hose pipe – a hose with small sprinkler holes along its length, producing a fine spray to water lawns or plants in beds or borders. Ideal for watering a long, narrow area.
- Expandable hose – made from webbed material that expands when filled with water. Once the water is turned off and the hose emptied, it shrinks back for storage.
Look out for additional features such as:
- anti-kink - the hose will spring back into shape if kinked
- anti-twist - also known as no twist technology. Stops the hose from twisting, blocking water flow.
- crush-proof - a reinforced hose with multiple layers to avoid the pipe being crushed. Ideal if you're using the hose around heavy objects such as car tyres.
- weatherproof - ensures the hose stands up to all weather conditions. UV protection stops it from getting too hot, frost protection ensures it doesn't block up in cold weather.
For tangle-free storage of hoses
A hose reel is suitable for storing traditional hoses. It ensures that your hosepipe is stored away tidily without getting knotted up or kinked.
We offer four types:
- Wall-mounted manual reel – a reel that is attached to the external wall. Pull the length of hose needed out from the reel and wind it back in afterwards using the rotating handle.
- Wall-mounted automatic reel – pull out the hose in the same way as the manual reel. When you’ve finished, walk back towards the reel and it will automatically retract the hose into the reel. It layers the hose within the reel to avoid kinks and tangles.
- Empty hose reel cart – a freestanding hose reel. Some carts are on wheels, ideal for transporting the hose wherever you need it. Look out for carts with a tall handle, making it easy to move the cart around.
- Hose reel cart with pipe – a hose reel cart with included hosepipe.
Some freestanding carts may also be wall-mounted if supplied with wall screws. Also look out for features such as storage for accessories and a clip to hold the end of the hose when it is fully-reeled in.
If you're short on space, we offer small and compact hose reels for easy storage in a cupboard or shed.
Hose spray guns
For attaching to the hose to enable controlled spraying
These guns attach to the end of the hose using a connector and provide a variety of watering patterns. There are two different types:
- Spray gun - gives one consistent jet of water
- Multi-spray gun - gives the option of different spraying patterns like high-pressure jet spray, to clean a hard surface, or a soft shower pattern, to water the plants.
Hose wands & lances
For watering plants at height or in hard to reach places
A hose wand or lance is a long pole with a spray head at the end, which is attached to the hose. This makes it easy to water hard to reach places, such as hanging baskets.
Choose from a fixed length or a telescopic pole. On both types, the head can rotate up to 180 degrees for full flexibility, making it easier to water in awkward places.
For connecting a hose to an outdoor tap
An adapter to connect your hose to an outdoor tap. For a very large area you may have multiple hosepipes to operate different watering tools – if this is the case we offer multi-way tap connectors.
For automated watering of large areas of lawn or plants
A sprinkler is the ideal hose attachment to water the lawn and keep it looking lush and green. It’s also suitable for watering plants and seedlings that require a lot of moisture. What’s more, it provides entertainment for the kids on a hot day!
We offer three types of sprinkler – rectangular, multi-pattern and round.
- Rectangular – a long and thin sprinkler that waters in a rectangular shape
- Multi-pattern – with different spraying patterns. Choose the best pattern to suit the size and shape of the area you need watering.
- Round – rotates up to 360 degrees, to water the lawn or plants in a circular shape.
We offer sprinklers that sit on the grass as well as spike sprinklers that go into the ground. Our spike sprinklers are either round or multi-pattern sprinklers.
For watering plants, particularly young plants and seedlings
We offer two irrigation systems - all-in-one kits or individual items.
An irrigation kit is an all-in-one watering system to cover a large area of plants at once. It consists of drip lines and droppers that will each gradually saturate the soil around an individual plant or small group of plants. This makes it ideal for watering seedlings and young plants, or pot plants. And it comes with connectors so you can build a system that’s tailored to your needs. You control where the hoses are directed and where the watering components are placed.
The kit will save you time and ensure that your plants are always well-watered, particularly in hot weather. It’s also perfect for when you go on holiday, just hook up the kit to a timer (see ‘You might need’) and it will water the plants at the times that you set.
Alternatively, we offer individual irrigation items such as drippers and flow control valves.
Drippers are attached to the relevant size hose and drop water onto small plants and seedlings. They're ideal for hanging baskets, troughs, grow bags, greenhouses and vegetable gardens.
Flow control valves regulate the flow of water from a hose and control the direction of water if you have multiple hoses in your watering system.
For a guide on how an irrigation system works, head over to our helpful article.
For setting the watering tool to operate for a specific period of time
A timer is a device that allows you to automate the times that your garden is watered. It is attached to an outdoor tap and then the hose is attached to the timer. There are two types available – a mechanical timer and an electronic timer. The mechanical timer is set by rotating the dial to select the watering duration. The electronic timer has a screen and buttons to set the timings. You can choose from several pre-set watering frequencies, and it also has a clear indicator to show the battery status.
An electronic timer is a useful piece of equipment if you are going on holiday, to keep your plants thriving whilst you are away. You can set your watering tools, including sprinklers and irrigation kits, to water your plants at set times.
In addition to your watering tools there is some other equipment and accessories that you may need. We’ll go through these.
For storing rainwater
The key component to watering is obviously water, and you need to get this from somewhere. Save money on your water bills by installing a water butt in your garden. This large bin is connected to your guttering to collect rainwater. They’re ideally placed next to garden structures like a shed or summerhouse. What’s more, plants are usually healthier when watered with rainwater as opposed to tap water. This is because rainwater is free from hard water elements and is the correct pH for most plants. The water from the butt can be used to fill a watering can or a sprayer.
Make full use of your water butt by adding a pump. This adds the pressure needed to pump the water from the water butt to a sprinkler or irrigation system. This will ensure your garden is as water-efficient as it can be, with no need for tap water.
To supply tap water to your outdoor space
Get easy access to water in your garden with an outdoor tap. This provides tap water whenever you need it. Our taps are made from brass, making them rust-resistant and long-lasting. Choose from a traditional garden tap with a screw handle or a ¼ turn tap, which has a simple lever that you rotate 90 degrees to operate the tap.
When using chemicals in a sprayer we advise wearing protective clothing, gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes. We offer a range of safety wear that will keep you covered.