A soaker hose is an easy way to water the garden with little effort. Set the hose on the ground around plants and turn on the faucet. The hose delivers a slow trickle of water directly to the roots over a period of time. Using a soaker hose saves your time, saves water, and helps maintain healthy plants.
What Is A Soaker Hose?
A soaker hose is made of porous material so water can slowly seep out of the hose the entire length of the hose. This slow watering process allows the ground to absorb water deep into the soil, not pool on top of it. Water is delivered directly where the hose is placed, at the base of the plant.
Are Soaker Hoses Efficient?
A soaker hose is an efficient way to water because it doesn’t waste water – moisture is delivered directly to the plant base where it’s most needed. Sprinkling water over the top of plants can result in evaporation or run-off before the moisture gets absorbed by the ground and utilized by the roots.
The slow delivery of water by a soaker hose allows the ground to absorb the moisture at the base of the plant. Since water is delivered directly at the soil level, the leaves of your plants won’t get wet. This can prevent mildew and disease issues like root and stem rot.
I recall watering the zucchini with a sprinkler, and after a half hour the leaves were soaked but the ground remained dry around the roots. Had I used a soaker hose, the roots would have gotten the much needed water instead of the leaves.
Soaker hoses are efficient because they save your time. Once the hose is placed where needed, it doesn’t need to be monitored. Just turn the faucet on to begin watering, and turn off when complete. Convenience and efficiency all in one!
|Gilmour 27058050 Soaker Hose Model 827501, Black ~ 5/8″ x 50 Ft – $17.91
GILMOUR SOAKER HOSE
Find more soaker hose options here
Tips For Installing A Soaker Hose
If your soaker hose is new, uncoil it and lay it in the sun for about an hour to loosen the wind so it’s easier to form around plants.
Attach the hose to the faucet and remove the cap from the end. Turn the hose on and run water through it for a few minutes. It’s best to flush new hoses before using them and again one or two times each year to remove debris. Replace the cap when done.
If the garden where the soaker hose is to be used is not near the water faucet, a standard hose can be attached to the faucet first, and the soaker hose attached to that. I found 75 feet to 150 feet overall hose length to be most efficient for even distribution of the water along the length of the hose. Your individual water pressure will determine the best efficiency for your application.
The faucet may not need to be on full for the soaker hose to work properly – start with 1/2 turn of the faucet and look for even flow along the length of the hose. Adjust slightly to produce even flow.
A faucet water timer assures your plants are consistently watered when they need it most. With a timed rain delay feature, plants won’t be over-watered.
|NDS/Raindrip R675CT Raindrip Electronic Water Timer ~ Single Station – $48.28
RAINDRIP’S ELECTRONIC WATER TIMER
Find more faucet water timer options here
Where To Place A Soaker Hose
Flowers, vegetables and shrubs all benefit from using a soaker hose. If plants are arranged in line, then the hose can be placed along the row. For plants that are not arranged in rows, snake the hose in and out around the plants.
Keep the hose as level as possible to assure even water flow throughout the length of the hose. Elevation changes could affect the even distribution of water. Pooling of water can occur where the hose dips.
How To Place a Soaker Hose
For established plants, lay the hose about 2” from plant stems. If plants are not in rows, just wind the hose around each plant, keeping it positioned about 2” from the stem.
Place the hose closer than 2” from the plant stem for annuals or new plantings, since their root systems are shallower.
For sandy soil, place the hose about 1’ apart from itself when laying on ground.
For loamy or clay soils, place the hose about 2’ apart from itself when laying on ground.
For annuals or new plantings, consider laying the hose closer to itself to assure sufficient water is distributed to shallow roots.
Keep the hose as level as possible to assure even water flow throughout the length of the hose. Elevation changes could affect the even distribution of water. Dig out areas or build areas up to maintain level lay of the hose over soil.
A soaker hose can be covered with 2”-3” of mulch to reduce moisture loss and protect the hose from sun exposure. Do not cover a soaker hose with soil.
Adjust the position of the hose if necessary as plants and/or structures change. Occasionally check for low areas that have developed where water pools.
Hard rains can cause soil to be splashed onto the hose. The hose should be cleaned off and ran to clear pores as necessary.
You can enjoy a beautiful lush yard without back breaking hours or huge investments. A soaker hose is an economical, efficient tool to save time, save water and make your landscape dream a reality.
All content provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. Use of any product should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.