The Hose Feature That Is Not Meant For Watering Plants, And What It's Good For

The nozzle you put on your garden hose plays a significant role when it comes to watering your plants — and the setting you choose should depend on what you plan on using it for. The jet setting is a practical option that's great for washing decks, driveways, and sidewalks. However, it's a terrible option to choose if you're watering plants. The pressure is so strong that it will damage foliage and sprays dirt all over your garden.

Aside from the jet setting, most nozzles have at least three other spray options to choose from. The shower setting is excellent for watering plants since it delivers a gentle and even flow. Meanwhile, the soaker option is better for pouring water in a precise area, and mist works best on seedlings that need a lot of added humidity. There are also nozzles that only control the water flow in a singular way – if you have a jet-only nozzle, make sure to find an alternative way to water your garden so you can use that strong stream of water for cleaning your outdoor spaces.

Never use the jet setting to water your plants

The jet setting differs from others because it confines all the water into a single stream with intense pressure. By opting for this setting on the hose, you can negatively impact your plant's health in multiple ways. The most obvious one is that you'll injure the foliage when you blast it with the water. Not only can this leave the leaves torn to shreds, but it will rip off any young blooms. Then when it's time to harvest fruits from your garden, you'll be left with a very small yield. The jet setting also affects the health of your garden when it's pointed into the ground. Since the water is so strong, loose soil will go flying everywhere. If it lands on any foliage, it can cause blight or other soil-borne diseases. 

An easy way to prevent all of these issues is to change the spray setting on your garden hose. If possible, choose a slow and gentle stream of water, like the shower setting. Then make sure to aim the flow into the soil at the base of your plant so it goes right to the roots when it can be absorbed. If your options are limited or you can't remove the jet nozzle, use it to fill up a watering can or other container to use in your garden.

Save the jet setting for cleaning your deck, driveway, or sidewalk

Even though the jet setting will wreak havoc in your garden, it still has a purpose. The same characteristics that make it so harmful to plants are what make it worthwhile when cleaning outdoor areas. Since the water is focused on one stream, the high pressure makes it perfect for blasting dirt and debris off of places like your deck. It's also good at cleaning driveways, sidewalks, or even porches. Essentially, it will work like a pressure washer without the added danger if you accidentally point the nozzle in the wrong direction. This is because the jet setting can't reach 3000 psi which would remove algae and tough dirt.

Using a jet nozzle or spray setting with your garden hose to pressure wash areas is relatively simple. All you have to be able to do is control where you point the nozzle and how much you press down on the trigger. Aim your hose where you want to clean, keeping in mind that the dirty water will run downhill. Then move the trigger lever to your desired pressure. Once all the dirt and debris are washed away, simply leave the area to air dry.