The frost will soon be on the pumpkin, which is a reminder that it’s part of your fall cleanup to get the garden hose disconnected from the spigot where it’s been all summer. “But,” you say, “I have one of those frost-free types so can’t I leave it attached?” The answer is “No!”
The difference between the frost-free and standard spigot is that the frost-free valve stem is longer. The handle is outside, but the actual valve seat that opens and closes, turning the water on and off, is inside the perimeter of the building, a site that presumably will remain above freezing. When the valve is closed the water in the tube drains to the outside so there’s nothing in the valve left to freeze. Voila, frost free.
But, if the hose is still attached, the water in the tube has no place to go. If it gets cold enough the water trapped in the tube will freeze, and when water freezes it expands. Now it’s voila, you’ve got a broken water line inside the house.
So now’s the time to disconnect all water hoses. Drain them. If you had any leakers take time to repair them. Coil ‘em neatly and store them under cover where the sun doesn’t reach. They’ll be ready to go to work in the spring.
Article written by Glenn Palmer, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.