Can I leave my garden hoses outside this winter?

two different texture green garden hoses in a coil
Photo credit: Mary Crandall
Q:

If I unhook my garden hoses from the faucet, can I leave them outside? I always turn off the outside water for the winter. But will it damage a hose to leave it outside ?

- Hood River County, Oregon
A:

Hoses can be stored outside as long as you make sure to drain all of the water from the hose. Hoses can be drained easily by running them over a tall place where gravity forces water to exit the hose. This ensures that the hose won't split when any residual water freezes. However, while hoses can be stored outside if necessary, be aware that the temperature swings even if completely drained can and will cause the hose material to age at a faster rate and the hose will not last more than a few seasons.

Chrissy Lucas
Small Farms/Ground Water Quality Outreach Program Coordinator
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