Failed watering cans

Back in 2015 I wrote about my two perfect watering cans and one that I deemed “flawed,” according to the caption (above).

I declared cans to be perfect thanks to two features I always look for – balance, so that you can carry them without spilling (which the flawed one couldn’t do), and a large enough opening for a nozzle. (Namely, the Dramm One-Touch I love because it stays on, instead of requiring constant hand pressure to keep it on.)

Turns out, neither of my perfect cans made it through the winter, thanks to my negligence in emptying them and storing them correctly. Both the metal and the blue plastic one came apart at the seams a bit, making them unusable.

So after some research I bought a Bloem 2.5 gallon one (right) online at Home Depot for $21.47. The details shown on the site include this important info: “They feature a wide mouth for easy filling.”

But also there’s this boast: “Easy to handle and grip” and which is SO not true, and the first commenter online nailed it: “Handle has sharp edges underneath, difficult to carry when full.”

Making me wonder if the design team ever thought to ask a human being to fill the can with water and then pick it up because they would surely have heard the human say something like “Ouch, this thing hurts my hand!” I plan to unceremoniously wrap the damn handle with duct tape to protect my hands.

Other than that near-miss, I love this can!

Watering Can Recommendations Online

In my research I found that at Houzz, their “Most Popular Contemporary Watering Cans” are a surprisingly pitiful bunch! And they’re selling the can I just bought for $22 as a set of 6 for $125. Now who needs a set of 6 of them?

Next, I found the “Best Watering Cans of 2019: on The Spruce, apparently a content mill, so let’s look at what they produce for Google to find and give them links.

Their top choice is this pink thing. How to fill and pour it? And their “Best Galvanized”
has a handle that looks even less comfortable as my near-miss. And my question about their “Best Multipurpose in lime green is wtf?

(A note to manufacturers of garden products – some of us prefer that our plants catch the eye, not your hot-pink watering can or bright green garden hose. Water Right hoses come in subtle colors like olive.)

But back to watering cans, does the New York Times’ publication Wirecutter do any better at choosing them?

Their favorite is another Bloem can (right), and I can’t tell from the photos whether a nozzle would fit in the fill hole or not but the reviewer writes that “The twin handles—a fixed one on the side and a hinged one on top—make filling, carrying, and pouring exceptionally easy,” so I’m curious to try sometime. Just $17 at Amazon.

And my perennial question about balance was answered by the reviewer: “I experienced absolutely no leaking, spilling, or sloshing while filling, carrying, or using the can.”

Their somewhat pricier “upgrade pick” ($40 at Walmart) doesn’t look like something I’d ever want to use, despite the reviewer calling it “a standard among professional gardeners for years.” He writes that “Water sprays upward and then arcs downward, falling as gently as rain.” But why?

Still, I appreciate the Wirecutter reviewer telling us that among the features he looked for are balance, a large fill hole, a comfortable grip, and “high-grade molded plastic for longevity.” Good stuff.

But how about the product specs provided by manufacturers? They typically do NOT answer my top questions about watering cans – about balance and the size of the fill hole, neither of which can be discerned by the images they provide.

That’s my watering can rant, for 2019 at least.