* Prices may differ from that shown
Gardening season is over, sort of, what with the cold weather coming in, and how do we know the cold weather is coming in? it's not about listening to the weather people, nor is it the fact that the berries are many and are turning the wrong shade of red. We know the cold weather is approaching is that the power companies are beginning to announce of massive price hikes once more.
So, we begin to put our gardening tools away, keeping a few out so that we can keep on top of the garden so that it doesn't get out of control, ready for the start of spring next year.
One gardening tool that I keep out, although is it really a gardening tool? Is the good old hose pipe, which sits happily waiting, eager to please and always ready to hose down what ever needs hosing down, be that the dogs area or the waste bins.
But it's not the hose pipe I am going to mention today, it is the thing that sits on the end of the pipe. The things that dictates the flow of the water so that I can do water things around the garden without causing damage to delicate things whilst also having enough pressure to get rid of those stubborn sticky doggy delights that seem to have a better gripping power than a tube of super glue.
The thing that I am talking about is in fact something called a garden hose spray, with the one I used during the summer time being the Draper 6 pattern hose spray gun which, you can guess from the name, has 6 different spray settings all in one place.
* So what does this spray gun look like..?
It's a standard size hose pipe head, shaped like a gun, sort of, with a trigger on a handle which leads onto a muzzle, although the trigger is behind the handle and not in front, which is nothing like a gun then is it?
The entire thing is made of a green plastic material with a few black plastic sections and a semi-soft rubber type grip on the handle.
The handle has a fine feel to it and a lovely soft grip which makes it easy to hold and to use.
The trigger is behind the handle, which you may think would be tricky to use but it's easier than you think. You just hold the spray gun as you would any other gun type device, with the trigger resting around the fleshly part between you thumb and finger. Then just squeeze your hand together, pulling the trigger into the handle and away you go.
The head itself is where the work happens, in other words it's where the water comes out in 6 different fashions. Those fashions being...
* Flat... which means that a flat triangular spray of water comes out. Best for spraying over lawns and such like.
* Jet... which means that a jet of water comes out at quite a powerful rate. Best for cleaning down areas in the garden
* Shower... a soft shower of water comes out from many holes and covers more of an area. Best for lawns and larger areas
* Mist... sprays out a gentle spray, a mist as it is, covering a smaller area than the shower. Best for dampening down fragile flowers and the like
* Soaker... this just sort of half spray water out, not to far and seems to cover you feet more than the area you want to spray down
* Cone... this covers a wide area using the out holes of the head. It offers very little power and is quite good for watering grassed area and bushes
* How does one use this then..?
It's a simple matter of slotting the connector onto your hose pipe connector, making sure the seal is locked in place, and away you go. The bonus is that it connects to your standard hose pipe fitting, using its lovely ½ inch brass adaptor.
So, once connected you simply take hold of the gun in your hand, with the trigger being in the fleshy part where you thumb meets your fingers, and aim the gun at what ever needs the water, be that the plants, lawn or the dog. Then you sort of pull your hand closed, which in turn pulls the water trigger into the gun itself, opening the holes inside the unit so that the water can flow through.
You then have to select which 'nozzle' you want to use. This is done by turning the dial head, clicking along as you go, until you're happy with your choice.
As you turn the nozzle, as long as you're holding the trigger in, then the water will come out of the holes as you turn, which does cause the flow to change and will wet your hand and probably the area around you.
You can even set how far you have to pull the trigger in by turning the little brass screw that is above the trigger. If you screw it inwards then the spray will come out with less trigger force, which will give you more water pressure when you have the trigger pulled right in, sort of. Unscrew it and you need to pull the trigger in a bit more before the water starts to flow, offering less pressure, in a way.
Although there's not a lot of difference in the pressure so don't be worrying about the brass screw and whether you are using it properly.
* Is it any good..?
I have used draper tools before, mostly having happy times with them, not taking them out for dinner and a dance sort of good times. More a DIY easy life sort of good time. And this one started off as good as any other Draper tool that I have had the pleasure of using.
Sadly though this one is one time that did not make me happy at all due to the fact that it did not last as long as I'd have hoped it would do. What I mean by that is that it says the spray gun is made of a zinc die cast material which is supposed to make it stronger, but after a few drops on the floor, which happen regardless of how careful you are, this one fell apart in my hands, splitting around the washer area of the connector which made the water just spray out of the connector, causing a massive loss of pressure meaning that it simply dribbled out of the head itself.
As I said, dropping something like this is inevitable, wet slippery hands tend to lose grip on things, and even with the rubber type handle on this one I still ended up having to pick it up from the ground on more than one occasion. The trigger even gave up the ghost, splitting almost right through, which then decided to try and eat the skin on my fingers every time I tried to use it.
* What about the price..?
It sells on the open market these days for about a tenner. Yes £10.00, which seems to be a nice price for a tool that is really six spray heads in one.
Alas. Things aren't always quite what they seem.
* Would I recommend this..?
I've had other heads of this type which have lasted longer than this one, even having a pound land special, which managed to last a lot longer than this one and only fell apart after I'd left it in the garden for a few night during a very very very cold spell a couple of winters ago. This made the unit crack as the water inside expanded to ice and then contracted back to water, causing more damage than I could deal with.
So, for recommending this spray head I would have to say... no, not if you want it to last longer than a pork chop in a hungry dogs food bowl.
The only recommendation I'd say for this is to steer clear of it and get yourself off the pound shop as the one from there will no doubt last you longer.
I find having a hose pipe much easier than using a watering can as I have plants all over the garden. It would take me a good few runs up and down the path to the tap in order to fill the watering can up and water all the plants. A hose pipe is far easier!
I own a 30M garden hose made by draper and it came with a six pattern spray gun. Not the one described here but a much cheaper alternative made of plastic throughout. Overtime the gun broke so we replaced it with this 6 pattern spray gun. It is also made by draper but it is much better made than its predecessor and should last a lot longer.
==Price and availability==
The spray gun cost £12.00 from my local garden centre. If you want to get hold of one, draper is a well stocked brand so it will not be hard to find it in shops or online.
The spray gun is really well made and has a plastic head but has a zince die cast body making it stronger. This is covered in a soft rubber covering and connected to an easy to hold rubberised handle. The trigger is really easy to hold and fits comfortably in your hand. At the bottom of the gun is a brass connector that will fasten into a .5 inch water stop connector and then into the hose. The gun can be turned so that the water flow is altered and there are 6 settings. These are: flat, jet, shower, mist, soaker and cone.
The gun is easy to connect and it is compatible with most hose pipe connectors that use the .5 inch water stop. I like how the gun feels in my hand, it is powerful and easy to control. I most often use the shower setting as this brings the water down like rain drops, giving a natural feel and not blasting away at the soil or damaging new buds. If you use a setting that is too powerful the water pressure can wash away soil, expose roots and damage the plants. The mist setting is softer still and good for seedlings in the greenhouse or freshly potted plants. If you need to give something a good watering then the jet will be the best, although just be careful as it soon starts to come out and things get saturated very quickly.
I like the brass fittings on the gun as it is something the old one didn't have. The area around the connector is the most vulnerable as the water pressure exerts the most force here. A plastic one will never do so at least with brass you get the extra security that it will not split.
I leave the gun stored with the hose for the next time. I need it and in terms of cleaning, there is not much to do. Sometimes water can cause a bit of a build up in the head so a wipe with a cloth will soon keep it looking and running smoothly.
Six pattern spray gun with a zinc diecast body, black powder coated with soft grip. Pistol-grip trigger has autolock with quick-release feature. Brass adaptor with nozzle can be adjusted to give six spray patterns: flat, jet, shower, mist, soaker, cone.