The 11 Best Watering Tools for Greener Gardens

Our top picks from Ryobi, The Sill, Yard Butler, and more

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Commerce Photo Composite

The Spruce / Michela Buttignol

Whether you are tending a vegetable garden, nurturing your flower beds, or seeding your lawn, a top-quality watering tool can help get the job done with less effort. We spent hours researching the best gadgets and devices for watering, evaluating ease of use, versatility, quality, and value.   

Our top picks include the Haws Brass Watering Wand, the Ryobi ONE+ Portable Bucket Top Misting Fan Kit, and the Yard Butler WST-1 Deep Root Drip Irrigation System.

Here are the best watering tools for the yard and garden.

Our Top Picks

Teknor Apex NeverKink Heavy Duty Garden Hose

4
Teknor Apex Neverkink Heavy Duty Garden Hose

Courtesy of Walmart

Does this hose look familiar? You've probably seen hundreds of them at your friends' and neighbors' homes over the years. The point is, Teknor Apex is a household name, and the brand's NeverKink is a tried-and-true model for yard care and gardening.

This heavy-duty hose boasts long-lasting performance and an ergonomic grip that effortlessly attaches to any outdoor faucet. And as the name suggests, it never kinks. Thanks to crush-resistant couplings, it offers a steady stream of water through twists, turns, and heavy use.

Melnor 5-Pattern Watering Nozzle

Melnor 5-Pattern Watering Nozzle

Courtesy of Amazon

Melnor's 5-Pattern Nozzle is the perfect companion for your garden hose. Featuring a rear-trigger design, rubberized grip, and an adjustable spray head, it fits comfortably in your hand as you effortlessly toggle between the five settings to water your plants.

Gilmour 8-Pattern Stationary Sprinkler

Gilmour 1,225 sq. ft. 8-Pattern Stationary Sprinkler

Home Depot

You really can't go wrong with the Gilmour Stationary Sprinkler. With eight preset watering patterns and a 35-foot reach in all directions, watering your garden or sod is a breeze. The sturdy metal base keeps it in place, and the user-friendly dial is as easy to use as a kitchen timer.

Best Choice Products 1 Gal. Watering Can

1 Gal. Watering Can

Courtesy of Amazon

Watering cans don't vary much in terms of their basic design and functionality, but they're not all created equal. We're big fans of this 1-gallon beauty from Best Choice Products, a go-to tool for tending to your potted plants or garden beds.

Made of galvanized steel, it's weatherproof and rust-resistant through every season, and you can count on it to last for a year—or maybe even decades. Not only that, but the ergonomic design makes it easy to tote around your property while giving you precise control over how much pours out.

Haws Brass Watering Wand

8-Pattern Stationary Sprinkler

Courtesy of Home Depot

The Haws Watering Lance is a vintage-inspired gardening tool with a modern flair. It's 24 inches long and weighs 10.5 pounds with an oval-shaped nozzle. A valve at the end of the shaft allows you to turn it on and off and control the water pressure—almost like a handheld shower, but for your flowers, veggies, and shrubs.

Ryobi ONE+ Portable Bucket Top Misting Fan Kit

ONE+ Misting Fan Kit

Courtesy of The Home Depot

Plants love mist—it's just a fact of nature—and the Ryobi ONE+ makes it easy to give them what they want. This portable misting fan can be hooked up to your garden hose or placed on top of a water bucket. Best of all, the rechargeable lithium battery and cordless design mean you can place it anywhere around your property, even further than your hose reaches.

Dig Raised Bed Garden Drip Irrigation Kit

Raised Bed Garden Drip Irrigation Kit

Courtesy of The Home Depot

If you have raised beds, consider getting the Dig Drip Irrigation Kit. The set comes with a 50-foot drip line with built-in drippers every 9 inches, a pressure regulator, a swivel adapter, and a backflow preventer. It's long enough to water 10 vegetable rows and is super easy to set up.

Yard Butler WST-1 Deep Root Drip Irrigation System

Deep Root Irrigator Tree Feeder And Soaker Watering Irrigation Tool

Courtesy of Amazon

For something a little more robust, the Yard Butler is at your service. Made of powder-coated steel with a self-drilling tip, this 36.2-inch irrigation tool makes it easy to deliver water to the roots of your plants.

What's more, since you'll minimize runoff and evaporation from surface watering, it can help you cut down on your water use. You can also use it as a root feeder to distribute fertilizer deep down into the soil.

The Sill 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter

3-in-1 Soil Moisture Meter

Courtesy of Amazon

This moisture meter from The Sill is a simple yet crucial tool for ensuring your plants are thriving. Just stick the prongs two to four inches into the soil and let it sit for 10 minutes, then read the moisture reading. You can switch it to the light or pH mode to get those metrics as well.

AcuRite 5 in. Easy-Read Magnifying Rain Gauge

Easy-Read Rain Gauge

Courtesy of Amazon

The AcuRite Easy-Read allows you to measure day-to-day precipitation to see if your plants are getting enough water (or potentially too much water in the case of a flood). This rain gauge can measure up to 5 inches of rainfall, which you'll be able to see clearly, thanks to the magnifying design. You can mount it to a fence or post or just stick it in the ground.

Remiawy Terracotta Plant Watering Stakes

Terracotta Watering Stakes

Courtesy of Amazon

These terracotta stakes are 6.3 inches long and hold about 3.5 ounces of water each. When you stick them into the ground and fill them up, water will slowly release into the soil over the course of a few days.

This ensures your veggies and flora aren't neglected while also helping you prevent overwatering. They're also a great solution for going on vacation or any time you're planning on being away from home for more than a couple of days.

What to Look for in Watering Tools

Usage

The main thing to think about when buying a watering tool is the intended usage. All products in this category are designed to either deliver water or measure the amount of water available for your plants. Many can be put together and used as part of a comprehensive watering system. However, they're not necessarily interchangeable.

A hose is an essential tool that you'll need in order to use most other watering tools. Hose nozzles and watering wands allow you to direct water in one direction and saturate specific areas of soil, whereas sprinklers and mister fans disperse water more evenly. Irrigation tools and watering stakes are more hands-off once you set them up, as they deliver a slow release of water into the soil. Add-ons like sensors, moisture meters, and rain gauges are separate tools to help you determine when and how much water to deliver.

Features

When it comes to sprinklers, watering wands, and hose nozzles, you'll want to look for options with adjustable settings. Many sprinklers and nozzles have multiple settings, allowing you to change the pressure, pattern, and flow of water. Similarly, watering wands often have control valves on the handle for adjusting the pressure.

Irrigation systems might include timers or sensors that indicate the amount of moisture in the soil. Features like automatic drains can reduce the time and effort required to winterize the system.

You'll also want to think about portability, especially if you have a sizable lawn. You can find cordless misting fans with rechargeable batteries that can draw water from a bucket. This means you can place them anywhere you want, no matter where the nearest hose or outlet is.

Volume

Lastly, you'll want to consider the volume of a watering tool. Hoses (and anything that hooks up to a hose) have the most volume, as the water comes from an outdoor faucet, which can theoretically keep running for days.

With products like watering cans, stakes, and misters, be sure to check the capacity and learn how much water they will actually hold before purchasing. These types of tools can look a lot bigger online than they are in person, so you'll want to ensure they can hold as much water as you need them to.

FAQ
  • How do you water plants?

    The best way to water most plants is to deliver the water at soil level, slowly and thoroughly. A watering can with a sprinkler spout or a hose nozzle set to the spray action both work well for potted plants. Using a jet setting or dumping a bucket of water into a pot can throw soil out of the pot and even damage roots of shallow-rooted vegetables and flowers. Trees and shrubs benefit from a low-pressure hose or water reservoir placed several inches from the trunk and set for a slow, steady delivery. Garden vegetables grow well with drip hoses, which save you time and trouble. Once they are in place, simply turn on the faucet and adjust pressure for a steady drip. Flower beds are more tolerant of overhead watering, but setting up drip hoses can save you time here, as well. You can also set up a sprinkler or irrigation system to operate with timers. A moisture meter is handy for letting you know when your thirsty plants are quenched.

  • Why do plants need water?

    Water is one of the three elements essential to the process of photosynthesis, which enables all plants to feed themselves and survive. The other two elements are carbon dioxide and light. Water is taken up from the soil through the roots of all plants. If any of the three elements needed is missing, photosynthesis stops and the plant will die.

  • When is the best time to water plants?

    It may be easier to determine the worst time to water plants. That answer would be to avoid watering during the hottest part of the day. During the cooler hours of morning and evening, plant energy is more concentrated in the roots, where water is actually taken up for photosynthesis. Cooler temperatures also allow water to penetrate deeper into soil that isn't hardened or compacted by heat. When the sun is hot and strong, a plant will work harder to access water at the root level while using more energy to convert the water and minerals into sugars and food. So the best time to water outdoor plants is in the morning or evening. Time of day is less significant for most houseplants.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland has been creating content for The Spruce since 2019. As an experienced commerce writer specializing in home improvement, she's seasoned in topics surrounding gardening, landscaping, and outdoor living. You can find more of her stories on MyDomaine and Byrdie. Additional research comes from Barbara Gillette, a Master Gardener, herbalist, and beekeeper. An adequate set of tools along with an efficient watering system is crucial for maintaining her several dozen flower beds, formal herb garden, greenhouse, and large organic vegetable garden.

Updated by
Barbara Gillette
Barbara Gillette
Barbara Gillette is a master gardener, herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist. She has 30 years of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals.
Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. "Photosynthesis." Resource Library | Encyclopedic Entry, National Geographic.

Continue to 9 of 11 below.