Dramm Water Wand Colors

All Water Wands are Not Created Equally

Choosing the right water wand to stock in your store can be challenging. Many factors make good watering tools. The quality of construction, the performance of the spray patterns, the valve configuration, and consumer appeal are all critical points to consider. The tools you use in your store and greenhouse might be the quality your customer would appreciate.

Quality of construction matters. Consumers drop, drag, and pull hose end items frequently. They tend to pull the wand with the hose attached, causing too much force to the hose and wand connection. Weak materials will leak and break from the repeated pulling. Look for metal threads and strong hose and wand connections.

The nozzle is another high-impact tool that must withstand dropping and dragging. Look for a nozzle made with durable plastic or metal, especially metal on the head, end, and handle where the natural wear points are. Consider the water quality of your area. Some materials will have issues with hard water. Ball type valves tend to last longer than plunger (lever) type valves.  A high-quality water wand will give customers years of service even under the harshest conditions.

The performance of the spray pattern is an essential feature that is often overlooked. Most consumers purchase a watering product without seeing how the water comes out of the nozzle. For watering plants, the volume of water is important. The soil should be thoroughly soaked when watering plant material. The plant roots follow the water down into the soil. The deeper the roots, the healthier and more drought-resistant the plants become. The force of the water coming out of the nozzle is equally valuable. The water should come out in a gentle stream, simulating rain, not damaging plants, or washing away the soil. Multi-pattern heads can also provide other useful patterns for misting seedlings and young plants.

There are three types of valve configurations: thumb control, lever, and quarter turn. Thumb control is currently the most popular due to its ease of use. By simply moving a control with your thumb you can have precise control of the water flowing out of the nozzle. It can be a game changer for a customer with hand issues or who waters frequently. The lever valve is spring-loaded to the off position. It can be a water-saving feature for customers watering many containers and going from pot to pot, turning the water on for each pot, and turning it off between pots. Some water districts require this feature to prevent a nozzle from spraying water when dropped or left unattended. The quarter turn valve is the most straightforward. The valve handle is turned with one hand while holding the wand with the other.

Choose products for each type of customer you will have in your store. A good, better, best strategy lets customers quickly and effectively compare value and price. As an independent retailer, your customers’ value and price expectations differ from shopping at a box store. They will seek better-quality tools that give them exceptional value and top performance. Do not be afraid to stock the best quality. Your customers are looking for it. Stocking high-quality products will translate to successful sales with your hose accessory offerings.

Garden Center Magazine ran the above article in January’s 2024 issue.