Soaker Hoses Installation In Your Vegetable Garden

​Among the basic needs of plants to grow are water, sunlight and fertilized soil. This goes for all kinds of plants, may it be a fruit, root crop, vegetable or flowers. All plants need water for them to grow, flower and bear fruit.

A plant’s need for water is unique for each of the species. Soaker hoses are like instant and targetted irrigation for plants that deliver water directly to your plant bed without wasting or losing water from evaporation and you are about to find out more about this simple yet effective garden equipment.

Whether you are a gardener with a green thumb or you are just starting, garden soaker hoses might be one of the great choices you can add on your garden.

​Garden soaker hoses are a particular type of garden hoses that are made to improve the watering of your plants. You might think that the only options out there are the ordinary garden hoses or watering buckets which you have to carry around, or garden sprinklers which spray water all over your garden. You will surely find soaker hoses revolutionizing. Soaker hoses are usually made from recycled materials such as rubber and plastic. Soaker hoses look like a regular watering hose, but it has holes on the tube that deliver water without the foreign elements getting into the holes.

Why ​Should I ​Use ​Soaker ​Hoses for ​My garden?

​There are a lot of reasons why you should consider switching from your regular watering aid to soaker hoses. Here are some of them:

1. More efficient in soaking up your garden.
Now, this is the reason why these are called soaker hoses. Soaker hoses, which are considered to be a kind of drip irrigation, are rated with 90% efficiency compared to sprinklers which are only estimated to be about 70% efficient. This means that with garden hoses, your plants will be soaked with water about 90% of the time which is a far cry from the efficiency performance of sprinklers.

The reason behind this is because water from sprinklers does not go directly to the plant. Water from it may be lost through heat by evaporation or wind since water only penetrates the surfaces of the plants where it is most at risk of evaporating. Garden soaker hoses, on the other hand, is directly right below or beside your plant so when water comes out, it is automatically aimed at its roots for more efficient absorption.

2. It can prevent weed from growing in your garden.
Weed, just like plants, live because they are receiving an adequate supply of water. However, weed can destroy your plants by competing with them for the nutrients on the soil and absorbing more water. This means that you cannot grow both at the same time. Weed can have enough and constant supply of water when your garden has sprinklers.

Sprinklers spray water at different directions, depending on what it is programmed to do. You can try to remove the weed out every now and then, but that will take too much of your time and effort. This problem can be fixed easily with soaker hoses. The hoses are designed to be targeted only to where your plants are. This is actually a genius way to get rid of weeds!

3. It saves you time.
Garden hoses are very much easy to turn off and on. You just have to go to the main control, choose which areas need watering and set the timer on. You won't need to go out in your backyard and move your sprinklers around or actually watering them with a pail of water. So, choosing a garden soaker hose can save you energy.

You can also opt to buy for a timer which you can program to turn on at a certain hour for a certain amount of time or interval. This could be useful if there are times during the day when you are not at home, or you will be away for quite some time.

4. It makes your plants healthy.
Plants rely on sunlight and water for the production of their food. Whenever plants receive the proper amount of sunlight and water they need in order to survive, these plants can be considered as healthy. This will not only mean that you are a great gardener, but if you have fruit-bearing plants, vegetables or root crops, then you can harvest this healthy food so you can add it to your kitchen's pantry.

This can all be possible, thanks to the soaker hose irrigation system. This system keeps the soil of your garden moist but not to the point that it is waterlogged and the foliage is kept dry. Garden soaker hoses actually keep your plants healthy by feeding it constantly with water and preventing root rots and other related diseases.

5. It can be used for anything else other than plants.
Did you know that you can also use soaker hoses to prevent clay hardening on the foundation of your house? During the hot and dry season, clay soil can pull away from the perimeter of your house. This can leave a gap behind that can cause trouble to your home. These gaps located beside your house can affect your house's foundation causing it to shift, or worse, crack. The use of soaker hoses can save you from this trouble.

Place your soaker hoses strategically deep in the ground to keep clay from drying and hardening. Sometimes, hoses are placed a few inches away from the base of the slab. By turning on your soaker hose every now and then, especially during summer can keep your ground moist and your foundation in good shape.

6. It is very much recommended for people who are just starting out their garden.
It is a known fact that to keep plants alive, they have to be taken care of properly. In this case, if you are having doubts if you have a green thumb or not, then it will be probably best to gear up with equipment which can help your job a lot easier. You can start by choosing a soaker hose as your primary means of watering your plants so you won't have to worry about them not getting too little or too much of an amount of water.

What ​Will I ​Need to ​Build a ​Soaker ​Hose?

You can buy ready-made soaker hoses but nothing beats building your very own soaker hose system that can fit your needs, the size of your garden and the number of plant beds you have,

Now that the basics are covered, you have to know what will you need to build a garden soaker hose. Read more on how to make a soaker hose garden here.

  • ​Porous or semi-porous soaker tubing
  • ​Barbed Tees
  • ​Barbed Elbows
  • ​Double-Sided Hole Plugs
  • ​3/4-inch hose thread swivet by 1/4 inch compression adapter
  • ​Pressure regulator (10 psi, at the least)

​Here are just some of the basic materials for you to build your soaker hose. However, if you are not much of a do-it-yourself person, then there are always a lot of soaker hose kits available in the market.

How ​Do I ​Plan ​Out My ​Garden?

As mentioned earlier, the key to achieving a healthy garden with a soaker hose system is the layout. During the layout process, you have to consider what kinds of plants do you have at the moment or what kind of plants are you looking forward to adding? You would have to categorize these plants into flower-bed plants and trees or vines, as these would need an entirely different configuration of soaker hoses.

These two types are heavily different when it comes to orientation. As you know, trees go way much farther from the ground than those plants in the flowering beds. So, the orientation of the garden hose should be vertical or on its way up. Soaker hoses for trees are wrapped around the tree's base.

For flower-bed plants, you would consider a different configuration rather than just a loop. This will be the case unless you are looking for a circular arrangement of plants. However, if you want your plants to be lined up neatly into ordered rows, then you can make either an "L" or "E"-shaped hose, depending on your chosen layout. This is done to optimize the area of your garden area.

Ultimately, the main goal is to layout your garden correctly if you want to have a soaker hose system that will work well.

Most gardens work with 1" of water per week so that should be enough. However, during summer time or hot days, your garden hose should be able to provide at least 2" of water per week as plants would need more water due to the heat due to the faster rate of evaporation.

For you to know how much water does your soaker hose use per hour, you can compute it or base it on the diameter of your hose. Assuming that you will get a fixed length of your hose may it have a small or large diameter, it is important to remember that narrower hoses use less water per hour. On the other hand, larger diameter hoses can take more water to be filled up, therefore making its volume higher than a smaller diameter hose in a per hour basis.

Final thoughts :

Your plant and garden supplier can brief you with the rate of water each of your plant needs. This will be your guide in manually activating or programming the automation of your soaker hoses to save time, energy and costs on water and electricity. With the use of soaker hoses, you can ensure that your plants remain healthy and your soil is moist not just for gardening purposes but to prevent cracking and erosion too.

With all these basic information you need to know about soaker hoses, you can surely make a great start on your switch with these multi-function soaker hoses.

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