Product Reviews: Gardening Equipment by Lawrence E. Kepecs



RATING****4 STARS  Suncast Automatic Hose Winder
Suncast RSH125D 125-Foot Water Powered Automatic Rewinding Garden Hose Reel
Price: $86.38

This review is from: Suncast RSH125D 125-Foot Water Powered Automatic Rewinding Garden Hose Reel (Lawn & Patio)
This hose winder is very compact and easy to install. When you switch the lever to wind mode, it does use the water pressure to self-wind the hose. The water that “leaks” out of its discharge hose is actually the water that is needed to wind it. I simply let that small hose drain into the plants, so it’s not an issue.

The problem, is the winding track doesn’t always line up the way it’s supposed to, so you have to guide it along in the “box” as it’s winding. If the winding hose is extremely long, it can get frustrating to someone who has little patience. Also note: From experience, if the hose you are using has a rubbery outside, it can get really stuck, so I do not recommend that type of hose for this product. Other than the track issue which is a learning process to deal with, I have not had any other issues with mine, and it functions well even after 2 years. I do believe that the benefit here outweighs the little snags. Make sure you pull the hose straight out first, then take it where you need to; and on the way back in, it does the work – you just need to guide it a little.
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RATING*****5 STARS  18″ Flexible Orbit Tubing
Orbit Sprinkler System 1/2-Inch x 18-Inch Cobra Flexible Pipe Riser 37321
Price: $2.91

This review is from: Orbit Sprinkler System 1/2-Inch x 18-Inch Cobra Flexible Pipe Riser 37321 (Lawn & Patio)
This is an excellent sprinkler head tubing if you need to connect the underground threaded PVC pipe to your sprinkler head, and the measurements are angled and slightly off, or if the connector is in this spot, but you need to put the head in that spot a few inches out of the way. It’s also useful if the head is very long, and you need to use the head’s side connector. It prevents you from having to dig too much.

This flexible tubing has spinnable ends, making it a cinch to connect while the head is in the ground. One thing to look out for is make sure the tube you get is indeed the 18 inch one, as I found that the smaller ones have a tendency to kink too much, preventing the pop-ups from functioning properly. If you prevent kinking, it works great. I am currently using 4 of them with great results.

I found the short, 6 inch flex tubing to be great as a short flexible riser, preventing breaking of the riser if kicked by accident or on purpose.  The tubing simply moves as it is kicked with no damage.
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RATING***3 STARS  Orbit Sprinkler Rain Sensor – works o.k.
Orbit Sprinkler System Rain And Freeze Sensor 57071
Price: $35.00

This review is from: Orbit Sprinkler System Rain And Freeze Sensor 57071 (Lawn & Patio)
This Orbit Rain Sensor was difficult to set up with the wiring. I needed to call the company for technical support which was very helpful.

It does shut off nicely after a lot of rain, though. For a puny rain, the sprinklers will still go. It has a nice override feature, to turn off sprinklers at the touch of a button.

The problem here is whenever there is a power outage, the unit stops functioning from then on, and you need to manually reset the unit’s program to work. Trouble is, power outages are frequently during rain storms. If you are away on vacation, you are out of luck with resetting the unit after an outage, and the sprinklers will end up going automatically as per your set program.
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RATING*****5 STARS  Orbit 6 Inch Pop Up Head – Excellent
Orbit Sprinkler System 6-Inch Soft Top Pop-Up Head with 10-15-Foot Coverage In Partial To Full Circle 54100
Price: $7.17

This review is from: Orbit Sprinkler System 6-Inch Soft Top Pop-Up Head with 10-15-Foot Coverage In Partial To Full Circle 54100 (Lawn & Patio)
This Orbit sprinkler head is great for lawns with tall grass. It has 2 possible connectors; one on the side, one on the bottom. The head is so user friendly, being adjustable without any tools, just turn the head with your fingers for a partial arc to full arc spray. If you use one of those small blue flexible accordion type hoses to connect the head with the pipe, its very easy to install with its side connector. Highly recommended.
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RATING*1 STAR  Orbit Fire Hose Nozzle
Orbit Heavy Duty Adjustable Fire Hose Nozzle w/ Handle
Price: $18.16

This review is from: Orbit Heavy Duty Adjustable Fire Hose Nozzle w/ Handle
This Orbit Fireman’s nozzle is pathetic. While I like the cool ergonomically shaped pistol style, the performance on the other hand was far inferior to your regular cheapest garden hose nozzle. Stay away from this one, as you’ll end up returning it. There is very little power behind the stream. The water fanning is a little better. If you like the design, check out Gilmour’s stepped up model that I’ve also reviewed.
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RATING**2 STARS  Rain Bird Mini Paw – not great
Rain Bird Mini-Paw 3-Inch 25 to 36-Foot Coverage Radius Pop-Up Impact Rotor Sprinkler LG3MINIPAW
Price: $15.00

This review is from: Rain Bird Mini-Paw 3-Inch 25 to 36-Foot Coverage Radius Pop-Up Impact Rotor Sprinkler LG3MINIPAW (Lawn & Patio)
They do shoot very far and have 2 ways of connecting it to the water pipe (side and bottom connectors). You can also get various size colored plastic nozzles (red, black, yellow, blue) that screw onto the opening to release less/more water. Changing a malfunctioning pop-up head is extremely easy and quick with a special wrench. I have 10 of these installed around the house. I find that it uses a huge amount of water (even with the red nozzle) and doesn’t soak the lawn. Somehow this seems like an impossibility, but they managed to do it. 25 minutes each zone should be enough water, no? In addition there is runoff water wasted into the street from the heads.

Lack of water pressure is a concern here, which is why I have installed the red small nozzle. Sprinkler heads stop functioning, so you have to clean inside the canister upon occasion. Keep the grass away from the heads by zapping. After a few years, the entire head stops moving completely requiring you to unscrew the head from the installed canister with the special wrench, and replace it with a new one. Also only use a maximum of 3 or 4 of these on one zone or you won’t have enough pressure for all of them to move, especially if other people are watering at the same time as you.

If you were installing from scratch, I would recommend other more modern spray types that don’t break on you, and maybe a soaker hose connected to the line as a supplement during droughts. The soaker hose must be brought in for the below freezing winter months.
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RATING****4 STARS  Spinning Rainbird Nozzle
Rain Bird 6-Inch 17 to 24-Foot Coverage Radius Pop-Up Rotor Sprinkler Head – 1/2 Pattern 22SA-H
Price: $7.16

This review is from: Rain Bird 6-Inch 17 to 24-Foot Coverage Radius Pop-Up Rotor Sprinkler Head – 1/2 Pattern 22SA-H (Lawn & Patio)
It is such a cool nozzle. I love this Rainbird spinning nozzle for certain parts of the garden that have 6″+ risers. 8 minutes seems to give plenty of water for both the garden as well as the surrounding grass that it sprays. Kids love to run through this sprinkler. It does conserve on water also.

The problem with this particular nozzle is, you do not want to sink it into the ground under the grass as the pop-up will not clear the grass. If it is sprayed from a riser, though, it covers a nice size area. Overlap a few in strategic spots in your garden for maximum benefit.
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RATING****4 STARS  Rainbird rotary nozzles
RAINBIRD 13-18′ Radius Full Circle Nozzle

This review is from: RAINBIRD 13-18′ Radius Full Circle Nozzle
It is such a cool nozzle. I love this Rainbird spinning nozzle for certain parts of the garden that have 6″+ risers. 8 minutes seems to give plenty of water for both the garden as well as the surrounding grass that it sprays. Kids love to run through this sprinkler. It does conserve on water also.

If you choose to sink it into the ground under the grass use a 6″ pop-up canister or the pop-up will never clear the grass. If it is sprayed from a riser, it covers a nice size area. Overlap a few in strategic spots in your garden for maximum benefit.
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RATING*****5 STARS  Nelson 50503 Nozzle- An Excellent Product
Nelson 50503 High-Pressure Rated Fireman’s Style Industrial Spray Nozzle with Large On/Off Lever
Price: $16.74

This review is from: Nelson 50503 High-Pressure Rated Fireman’s Style Industrial Spray Nozzle with Large On/Off Lever (Lawn & Patio)
I loved this so much, I bought two of these. This fireman’s nozzle is by far the best one I have seen on the market. They do not leak unless the rubber washer is missing. While I like the Gilmour pistol design better, (it’s comfortable and looks like a Star Trek phaser,) this Nelson 50503 Fireman’s hose nozzle’s all metal construction performs far superior. It would do even better with higher municipal water pressure than I currently have (50psi), and a pistol design for easy handling, but that is unnecessary. I find this Nelson nozzle easiest to use by draping the hose over my shoulder. Highly recommended. Put out your fires with this nozzle and high pressure, or just use it to reach far away plants, or get back at your friends.
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RATING*****5 STARS  Gilmour Brass Hose Quick Connector – Excellent
Gilmour Brass Male-Female Hose End Connector Set 9QC
Price: $7.90

This review is from: Gilmour Brass Male-Female Hose End Connector 9QC (Lawn & Patio)
I have one of these on each spray nozzle that I own so it is easy to change nozzles in a few seconds by popping one off and another on. If a rubber washer is used, there is no leaking from this connector. It is extremely easy to use. I also recommend a piece of teflon tape around the threaded areas to prevent a corrosion/ chemical reaction and fusion when the different metals touch water and each other.

There are two kinds of these connectors by Gilmour. The real brass connectors are excellent and get a 5 star. The “metal” connectors are horrible and get a 1 star. I did get some from Lowes, and there seems to be a problem with corrosion since they are “metal” (aluminum) and not brass. The problem here is over a small amount of time (months), water hardness deposits and corrosion prevent the connector from locking into place with the female. The smoothness of operation that it started out with, becomes rough, and a struggle over time. STAY AWAY FROM THE “METAL” ONES AND ONLY GO WITH THE TRUE BRASS ONES!!!

I found an interchangeable solid brass connector like this at Ace Hardware ACE BRASS QUICK CONNECTOR SET, also made by Gilmour that even has an automatic shutoff built in! I also give that one a 5 star rating because you do not even have to shut off the hose to change between nozzles. You can use regular Gilmour males with Ace Hardware females interchangeably. If you are going to fill buckets, I recommend this regular Gilmour brass connector, as opposed to that one, since that has the automatic shutoff feature which won’t let you fill the bucket without a spray nozzle.
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RATING *****5 STARS Ace Hardware -Gilmour Brass Hose Quick Connector Set, with automatic shutoff – EXCELLENT!!

This review is from: ACE BRASS QUICK CONNECTOR With automatic shut-off

Ace Hardware Brass Hose Quick Connector Set, with automatic shutoff

This is an interchangeable solid brass connector from Ace Hardware, made by Gilmour that even has an automatic shutoff built in! I give this one a 5 star rating because you do not even have to shut off the hose to change between nozzles. You can use regular Gilmour males with the Ace Hardware females interchangeably since they are all made by Gilmour. If you are going to fill buckets, I recommend the regular Gilmour brass connector Gilmour 9QC Brass Hose Quick Connector Set, as opposed to this one, since this has the automatic shutoff feature which won’t let you fill the bucket without a spray nozzle.

I have one of these on each soaker hose that I own so it is easy to remove the hose in a second by popping one off or another on. There is no leaking from this connector due to an “O” ring. It is extremely easy to use. I also recommend a piece of teflon tape around the threaded areas to prevent a corrosion chemical reaction and fusion of different metals when water is introduced.

STAY AWAY FROM THE “METAL” GILMOUR TYPES AND ONLY GO WITH THE TRUE BRASS ONES!!! These Ace Hardware ones are fantastic.
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RATING*****5 STARS  Gilmour Weeper Hose – Excellent
Gilmour Weeper/Soaker Hose 75-Foot 27075G
Price: $18.93

This review is from: Gilmour Weeper/Soaker Hose 75-Foot 27075G (Lawn & Patio)
I am unbelievably surprised. I screwed two Gilmour 75 foot weeper hoses together to cover the front lawn. I then hooked it up to my sprinkler system, attaching it with a brass connector and teflon to one of the sprayer risers. Without decreasing too much pressure from the rest of the zone, in 15 minutes, the weeper hose saturated the lawn areas where it was lying. I imagine it has to be moved around and left on for probably an hour to saturate the entire lawn. I wanted to install it permanently under the grass, but Gilmour does not recommend leaving it out in freezing winter months.
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RATING****4 STARS  Gilmour Fireman’s Nozzle FD1

Gilmour Turbo Nozzle FD1 Black
Price: $28.85

This review is from: Gilmour Turbo Nozzle FD1 Black (Lawn & Patio)
This Gilmour fire hose nozzle FD1 is ergonomically shaped for your hand, and its pistol shape is comfortable to hold. It has a nice low-high pressure feature that turns around it’s collar, but the high pressure is not quite high enough. It does put out a lot of water, and has a nice setting to “fan” the water, or stream it, but it helps if your neighborhood has a higher water pressure in the pipes already (higher than 50 psi). The fanning water power is far superior to the streaming water power which is somewhat puny. Great for washing cars, gardening, or shooting each other (when your phasers are on stun). One idea I have to make the stream stronger is to use a thinner hose. I give this a 4 star rating overall.
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RATING*****5 STARS  Gilmour Brass connector- Best model on the market
Gilmour 13 Brass 2-Way Connector
Price: $6.75

This review is from: Gilmour 13 Brass 2-Way Connector (Lawn & Patio)
I have bought many similar style adapters over the years, but this brass adapter is by far the best one on the market. Some of these have dials that are easier to turn than others, so I recommend testing them out in the store first, to see if you can move the dials easily. They do not leak; they last practically forever; and I have one on each of my outdoor water faucets. A top item, highly recommended. Got mine from Home Depot and Lowes.

I recommend using this with a small piece of teflon to prevent corrosion at the connectors. If corrosion does take place, it can become very difficult to unscrew it.
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RATING*****5 STARS  Gilmour Brass Hose Connector – Excellent
Gilmour Brass Garden Hose Connector With Shut-Off Valve 03V
Price: $3.00

This review is from: Gilmour Brass Garden Hose Connector With Shut-Off Valve 03V (Lawn & Patio)
I have these Gilmour connectors all around the house, and I love them. They are practically indestructable, and exceeds my expectations. I have them hooked up to hoses, bypassing our water softener. I also use the double connectors Gilmour 13 Brass 2-Way Connector as well, which are equally as good. A must have for every home.

I recommend using this with a small piece of teflon to prevent corrosion at the connectors. If corrosion does take place, it can become very difficult to unscrew it.
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RATING**2 STARS  Dig 50′ 1/4″ Dripline
DIG ML50 Vegetable Garden Drip Irrigation Kit

Price: $29.65

This review is from: DIG ML50 Vegetable Garden Drip Irrigation Kit

Let me preface this by saying, I only purchased the Dig drip line itself without the whole kit, and connected it with a drip connector to a riser in my sprinkler system. I am using it to water low bushes that were dying. This drip watering system is easy to weave under your bushes, vines, weeds etc… You tie off the end by folding the tip on itself and tie it with a zip tie. The line itself doesn’t have nearly enough drippers, so I had to modify it. After I weaved it in the plants, I took a very thin pin, and poked numerous holes throughout the line to squirt it a bit in the missing places under the bush (vines). Now it works great. I cannot give this Dig drip line a high rating since I had to modify it to release much more water. Before modification it’s a 2 star rating. After modification, I give it a 5 star rating, with NO decreased pressure in the line.
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RATING*1 STAR  PRO SERIES Equivalent DELL Laptop Battery
PRO SERIES Equivalent DELL Laptop Battery for Select Inspiron & Vostro Models
Price: $14.99

This review is from: PRO SERIES Equivalent DELL Laptop Battery for Select Inspiron & Vostro Models (Electronics)
This battery is junk. Battery began fine, then stopped working a month later. I had to return it to exchange for another one. The new one worked fine for about another month, then stopped working. Three weeks later it started working again, then stopped again. So on and so forth. Right now it says “charging (100%)” It should say “fully charged (100%).” If I unplug the laptop, the computer turns off and the battery is useless. Stay away from this one – nothing but problems!!  If I could rate it negative stars, I would give it a negative 5 star rating.

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Mulching and Composting

If you like this article, check out my money making techniques too on my home page– stuff they probably never taught you in school.

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