Taking Your Gardening Dollar

This is what we learned


Everyone agrees that almost all—if not all—commercially-produced sprayers and wands meant to be used with garden hoses SUCK.

Nat West says a no-name from Fred Meyer (whatever that is) has lasted a long time.

Stuart says his from POPE (an Australian company) is great.

Chris C., Grey, and Annie all use their thumbs.

Dirtchick thinks we should start a movement. I’m fine with that as long as the name of the movement does not contain the words “hose” or “spray.”

SJ says the Wisconsin-based company DRAMM makes a great wand.

My husband came home last night with two new sprayers from Home Depot.

Posted by on April 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.
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17 responses to “This is what we learned”

  1. grouchylisa says:

    I haven’t found any sprayer to be any better or any worse for me. They all have the same fault: half the water coming out of the hose runs down my arm, into my armpit, down my side and into my pants. That applies to thumbs, too. I suspect it has something to do with how I hold the hose and/or the sprayer. So I put on light clothing, and only use a sprayer in summer when the self-dousing is refreshing.

  2. Gen says:

    I have a fantastic and long lasting one that looks like it belongs on the end of a fireman’s hose. Black, made of hard rubber, with a twist motion to turn it on. The twist begins by opening the stream at full on blast (aim at concrete or across the garden) and you keep twisting till you get the spray you like – it is a fluid motion not a snapping motion. You can drop it and the heavy rubber cushions it. $18 at the hardware store.

    One trick is that you need to have a pristine new hose with shiny new threads for any sprayer not to leak there. Don’t ever take the dang sprayer off, because if you drop the hose end on the ground you damage the threads and everything will leak there.

    I kept thinking people had dumb sprayers when really they all had damaged hose threads.

    Dramm stuff is very nice but they will break with impolite use in time, as will most sprayers.

  3. Gen says:

    Unfortunately I just checked and there is no brand name on mine. Sure pricy for a no-name one!

  4. I use plumber’s Teflon tape wrapped around the threads on the hose to keep the sprayer from leaking there. My sprayers leak everywhere else due to being shoddily made, no matter how much I pay for them.

  5. Lisa Albert says:

    Since you wondered…. Fred Meyer, AKA Freddy’s, is a one-stop shop for groceries, clothing, housewares, plants and gardening supplies, electronics and much more (Wiki calls it a supercenter). Started right here in Portland, Oregon in 1922, by a guy named – yep, you guessed it – Fred Meyer. Merged with Kroger 8-9 years ago.

    Their garden department has begun to bring in more organic products. It’s the only place that still carries Perfectly Natural Weed Killer (clove oil is the predominant active ingredient). Unfortunately, the organics are in the same aisle as the usual suspects so I still have to hold my breath when walking down that aisle (phew, chemical stink). Never tried a sprayer from there but next time ours goes kaput, I’ll check it out (thanks, Nat West).

    Want to know how to really damage your hose threads? Leave it where it will be driven over. Accidentally, of course, but it’s still an “uh oh” head smacker.

  6. Bonnie says:

    I’m with Gen. I have the same black, rubber fireman style hose where you twist the head to turn it on. It is awesome and has lasted through lots of drops. It just bounces! I think I might have gotten it at HD. Gasp!

  7. LetsPlant says:

    I have not found a quality sprayer either. They all leak everywhere. I have tried them all. It drives me nuts!

  8. Barbara says:

    OK — went back out to see!

    Vegetable garden – Gardena (at least 8 years in use and lovely, light, intense spray you can control- yes, it is treated as if a Waterford champagne glass!

    Brass nozzle – the workhorse! Hits dirt off rocks w/strong blast, washes cars, and mists me!

    SunMate – grabbed off local nursery peg board – 2 years use, lots of choices and hits nicely 15′ away!

    Had tried the firehose yellow/black small attachment nozzle and it had a mind of its’ own. Too strong; chucked it.

  9. dirtchick says:

    My movement is stalled. BUT I did take action. I love many Good Grips or OXO products for their universal design – works for lefties, folks with handicaps etc. Anyway, buried on their site is a place to suggest products. So I suggested a good hose sprayer. If you’ve got a moment, please do as well. Its under Contact us.


    My husband who is an industrial designer/engineer type, agrees with others who say most of spray problems are hose threads.

  10. Michele Owens says:

    It does sound like a movement: Develop A Decent Nozzle, You Hosers!

    I was just cleaning out my goldfish pond yesterday and longing for a powerful spray that would eliminate the need for scrubbing with a sponge. Why didn’t I have such a spray? Because every nozzle I’ve bought in the last 5 years has broken.

  11. Nat West says:

    Here’s a few pics the water wand I bought from Fred Meyer, still going strong:

  12. Matt says:

    Where can one buy the Fred Meyer?

    Once we find the ultimate sprayer, we need to know where to purchase it!

  13. Nat West says:

    Matt, you have to go to Freddies to buy one, which is primarily a Pacific Northwest store. Admittedly, this was like 5 or 6 years ago that I bought the wand, so who knows if they still carry the same model.

  14. dirtchick says:

    Wow. I got a reply from OXO/Good Grips –

    Dear Dirtchick,

    Thank you very much for your recent letter to OXO International. We appreciate the suggestion that we make a long lasting garden hosesprayer. It is always in our best intentions to make products thatbshould last a lifetime. I have forwarded your letter to Home and Garden team for their review. They are responsible for the creation of all of
    our garden products. They will take you suggestion into consideration. We appreciate consumer feedback and thank you for reaching out to us.

    All the best,

    My email to them:
    The gardeners of the world request that you make us a garden hose sprayer that lasts more than a season. For some reason, no one seems to find a sprayer that lasts. Water shoots out in all directions, big waste.

    For some market research check out the frustrated gardeners at Garden Rant.com. The original post was from a few days ago. We look forward to your good design saving us from frustration and wet

    Keep your eyes on Good Grips!

  15. zephyr says:

    I’ll toss in my 2 bits again:

    The 2 I’ve owned, made by Gilmour, and costs about $14 at one of my local, independent (and I’m afraid, higher priced) nurseries, has lasted me 8 and 10 years respectively…and have a bunch of different spray patterns (I use only 3) and I am afraid I do abuse the things, and since they came free with my Flexogen hoses 10 years ago…I’d say that’s pretty good. (The hoses are still in great shape too) and no, I don’t work for the company!

  16. zephyr says:

    I think the one mentioned by Gen may be the Bon-Aire…? It’s available at Amazon. I’m thinking of replacing the one Gilmour that broke, with this one…just cuz my old hands won’t have to squeeze the handle…yeah…it’s getting like that around here.

  17. nikki says:

    I had to laugh when I read this post as my latest sprayer just bit the dust after three quarters of a year’s service. I purchased another generic set from the local garden aisle of my local Long’s Drugs for 9.99 and have dertermined to at least TRY to take better care of it this year. I’ve had the pricey numbers from S&H and they were crap too. But I’m a new woman, no more hastefully sending it to the ground at high velocity when I see something more interesting. No, this time I will gently place this fragile plastic piece of crap onto the ground with all the kind intention of a Zen monk. This time, it will be different. But just in case, I saved the receipt and taped it to the box which I noted guarantees this fab purchase for one whole year. WTF people?

    Oakland, CA