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No matter how meticulous you are about planting a vegetable garden, nurturing your flower beds, or seeding your lawn, all your efforts will be in vain without sufficient water. Whether rainfall has subsided for the warm season or you live in a hot, dry climate, you'll be glad to have the right watering gadgets on hand.
So, what should you keep in your tool shed? It really depends on the size of your garden, how green you want your lawn to be, and how much effort you want to put in. However, at minimum, you'll want to have a hose, a watering nozzle, a watering can, and likely a sprinkler. Beyond that, you might consider getting a watering wand, a mister, a rain gauge, some watering stakes, and potentially an irrigation kit. Not sure where to start? We rounded up our top picks for each of these products so you can pick and choose based on your needs.
Check out the best watering tools below.
Teknor Apex NeverKink Heavy Duty Garden Hose
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'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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The main thing to think about when buying a watering tool is the intended usage. While all products in this category serve a similar purpose of keeping your plants hydrated, 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.
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.
You'll also want to think about portability, especially if you have a sizable lawn large property. 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.
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.
But with things like watering cans, stakes, and moisture meters, be sure to check the capacity before purchasing a product. These types of tools can look a lot bigger online than they are in person, so you'll want to ensure they can as much water as you need them to.
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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.