Choosing a garden hose reel holder

Wrangling a garden hose is one aspect of gardening, lawn care and landscape maintenance. How you choose to store the garden hose outdoors during the growing season may depend on what type of device you don't mind setting in your yard.

As you investigate your options, keep in mind that no matter which device you choose, you will need to ensure the pulled-out portion of hose, which most likely will have a nozzle or sprinkler attached to it, does not get anchored to a fence, shrub, tree, landscape lighting or any other upright object in its path to home base. Following are three common models of garden hose holders and garden reels.

Standalone Hose Holder

Standalone or free standing garden hose holders may be capable of holding 50 to 225 feet of hose. The box-shaped heavy-duty plastic models may be manually cranked to retract the hose or may rely on water pressure to retract the hose. The box will be close to cube shaped, about 2 feet high, wide, and deep. A short hose will connect the box to the spigot. The hose is hidden inside the box, which is an advantage. A large plastic box, on the other hand, cannot be easily hidden.

Cart Hose Holder

A crank hose reel on a two or four wheel cart makes relocating the hose easier, which could be advantageous if you have you prefer to not leave the hose in the yard or garden. Moving the cart will require reconnecting the hose to a spigot, so it might not be a good choice if the hose is frequently used. Like the standalone version, cart hose reels can hold a long length of hose. The more hose the cart holds, the heavier and more difficult it will be to relocate. If a cart is the preferred hose reel device, look for a cart with large wheels to make moving it easier.

Wall Mount Hose Holder

The cheapest option for a garden hose holder is the wall-mounted half crescent. The hose is manually looped over the holder. The holder may be sturdy plastic or decorative metal. Crank models are also available for wall mounting. For particularly long and heavy lengths of hose, multiple hose reels can be mounted on the wall a foot or more apart to carry the weight and distribute the length.

Author's Choice: Over the years, I've used all three types of garden hose holders. The cart was awkward to navigate and the standalone developed mold, a leak and eventually a broken crank handle. If I had to use a hose holder, I would go with a model that has no moving parts.