TikTok's Watering Hack Could Save You Money But Is It Practical For The Garden?

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Between thirsty plants and thirsty pets, water can be one of the biggest ongoing expenses in a home garden. So, it's no surprise that there always seems to be a hack going viral on TikTok to save time and water. One of the latest TikTok watering hacks to make the rounds involves buying an automatic fuel nozzle — the same one you use to pump gas at the gas station — to fill water bowls and buckets.

Since it's designed to automatically shut off once liquid reaches the tip of the nozzle, you can set it and forget it without worrying about wasting water by overfilling. Just attach the nozzle to your garden hose, click the lever into place, start the water flow, and leave it. With automatic fuel nozzles available for about $30 on Amazon, it's one of those cheap and easy hacks that looks pretty ingenious. But, while it can definitely be helpful, it's more of a timesaver than a money-saver and one that's only really practical in gardens with large watering needs, at that.

TikTok's watering hack works but it's not for everyone

While this could potentially shave a few dollars off of your water bill by reducing the risk of wasting water, this fuel nozzle watering hack is more of a convenient timesaving method than anything. You can avoid wasting water without having to babysit your garden hose while refilling large containers. That frees you up to go about your other garden chores.

The woman in the TikTok video uses this hack to fill up buckets for her horses, but it can also be a convenient trick for some suburban gardens or yards. For example, pool owners typically need to add about 2 to 4 inches of fresh water to their pools each week during the summer. Depending on the size of your pool and flow rate of your hose, this can take a pretty long time. With the automatic fuel nozzle, you could just set up your hose and walk away without the risk of overfilling the pool. For the same reason, it can also be useful for gardeners who use a gravity fed irrigation system hooked up to one of those big 100+ gallon tanks.

As convenient as it is for homes with pools or other large water containers that need refilling, it's not that practical otherwise. If your water filling needs are limited to bird baths and pet bowls, there's no real need for a "set it and forget it" method like the automatic fuel nozzle hack.

Other watering hacks that will save more money

If you're looking for ways to save money by using water more efficiently in the garden, the fuel nozzle trick from TikTok might not be it. But, there are plenty of other tips for watering your plants that will make a major dent in your water bill.

One of the most cost-effective things you can do is get a rain barrel. About 30% of the 320 gallons of water consumed by the average American household daily goes toward outdoor uses like watering the lawn and garden. That's roughly 96 gallons of water per day used to water the yard. A couple of 50-gallon rain barrels can cut a big chunk of that out by giving you access to free water falling from the sky. For gardeners in humid climates, you can also get free water and prevent mold in your home by pouring dehumidifier water on your plants.

Aside from collecting free water, gardeners can also save money by improving the efficiency of their watering systems. As much as 50% of that water is lost to evaporation, wind, or runoff. In general, evaporation and wind speeds are both highest during the hottest part of the day, between about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. So, the best time of day to water your lawn is outside of those peak hours. Watering early in the morning or later in the evening can help you reduce the amount lost to wind and evaporation.