professional soaker hose

An efficient way of watering your garden has been invented and it is better than your ordinary sprinkler system. Soaker Hose is actually the grandfather of the drip irrigation system. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about keeping your gardens irrigated properly with a soaker hose, the preferred tool for root level irrigation. When used correctly soaker hoses are a much more efficient way of maintaining your garden than using a conventional garden hose for both watering plants and keeping the soil moist in areas that need it.

There are a few reasons for this. First, they are normally buried in the ground which greatly reduces evaporation. For the same reason, they normally output water at a very low rate.  There is much less water runoff if you’re using them on uneven terrain. It is also much easier to place them precisely where water is required.

We have included a few reviews and tips and even the best way to use a soaker hose foundation of your house if you live in a dry area or have built on clay, to avoid damage to your foundation and walls over time.

Here’s the 5 Best Soaker Hose Reviews for Your Garden

Soaker Hose Installation: Basics and placement

  • This guide covers all aspects of soaker hose irrigation: where and how to place them, optimal length and flow rate for a hose, correct spacing between hoses, how often you should apply water to your property with them.
  • Usually, your soaker hose will be attached to the end of a standard garden hose to apply water where it is needed precisely. Remember that these specialized hoses are not made for watering lawns; rather they are the perfect solution for watering root systems of plants in garden beds.
  • Generally speaking, these root-level irrigation systems are comprised of either 1/2-inch or 5/8-inch hoses. If you are trying to irrigate an area that is a fair distance away from the water source you might need a 5/8″ diameter hose together with a 1/2″ size that can be joined using a compression fitting. Using the larger diameter hose closer to the faucet means that the water will have an easier time traveling all the way to the smaller diameter hose.
  • If you attempt to use a large diameter hose over bigger areas, the pressure from the faucet may be insufficient to effectively deliver water all the way to the end of the hose. On the other hand, if your yard is rather small and your garden is near the faucet, i.e. within 50 feet or so, you might be fine using only a half-inch diameter hose, though again you will need a standard hose leading from the faucet itself. For very small areas there are also hoses that come in 1/4″ diameter.
  • To more quickly irrigate larger areas you can lay hose lines 12 to 18 inches apart from each other if you have sandy soil and up to 2 feet apart if your soil has a high clay content or is loam.
  • How often you run your hose will depend on exactly what you are growing of course, but a general rule of thumb is to turn it on for about 30 minutes two times each week. Check to see that the soil is moist, and naturally be aware that over-watering also will severely damage or kill plants.
  • As the seasons change, you will vary the amount of water being put out to your plants by way of your soaker. The basic idea here is that watering your garden is entirely different from watering your lawn in practice, and so you need a different approach that is much more precise and better-suited to irrigating root systems. The best solution is a soaker hose, not only for your plants but your budget as well as the environment.

Soaker Hose Flow Rate

Most professional gardeners and irritation specialists recommend a maximum of 1 gallon of water per minute for each 100 feet of soaker hose you are using. Because of the specifications of these low-flow-rate hoses, you will achieve the best results if you limit the soaker portion of the line at the end of the garden hose to be 100 feet.
This applies whether you are using a 1/2 inch diameter hose or a 5/8 inch diameter. The pressure regulator which you should have installed on your line between the hose and the faucet should be set to approximately 10 or 12 psi.

For 1/4 inch diameter hoses, you should not exceed 2 gallons of water per hour for every 10 feet of hose.

Where To Place Your Soaker Hose

One thing you should never do with a soaker hose is to place it running uphill or downhill. This will severely reduce the effectiveness of the water delivery because it will be impossible for the hose, through which water is running at a very low flow rate, to apply water uniformly. The best way to place your hose is on level ground, and if this is not possible then you should at least try and place it across sloping property so that it is as level as possible. This way, at least when the water flows downhill it should do so at a fairly even distribution across the area you are watering. For a very steep slope, a surface drip irrigation system would be the preferred solution.

As previously mentioned, bury the hose beneath the surface of the ground no more than 6 inches deep. There are many reasons why you want to do this. First, the whole idea with root level irrigation is to get water to part of the plant that needs it, i.e. its root system. A slow flow of water to the roots of the plant is probably the most efficient way to properly water most plants in your garden. Naturally having the hose system buried is a more attractive way of presenting your garden bed as well.

Another enormous benefit, especially in these times of increased awareness about water conservation, is that because soaker hose systems are buried beneath the surface of the soil, they prevent huge amounts of evaporation that would otherwise occur with a standard hose configuration. Not only does this save water, it saves homeowners a lot of money each year, especially those of us who live in very warm climates.

Don’t Forget: Backflow Preventer and Pressure Regulator

It is absolutely critical that you use a couple of soaker hose fittings that will turn your hoses into a ‘smart’ irrigation system: start with a backflow preventer between the faucet and the garden hose. This small device prevents water from reversing direction back into your drinking water. Since the hose flows at such a low rate and because it is normally buried just beneath the surface of the ground, it is fairly common for the holes in it to get clogged. A backflow preventer will at least make certain that the flow of the water does not reverse entirely.

You’re probably wondering how to prevent damage to your hose in the event that the holes in it are plugged, and the backflow preventer is working properly. The answer is to install a pressure regulator that will be activated when the flow into the hose stops. In this case, the pressure is handled and halted by the regulator just as a faucet normally would. Many homeowners also like to install a timer on the backflow preventer/pressure regulator assembly so that the entire system can be easily set and subsequently monitored and re-checked.

This applies whether you are using a 1/2 inch diameter hose or a 5/8 inch diameter. The pressure regulator which you should have installed on your line between the hose and the faucet should be set to approximately 10 or 12 psi.

How to clean soaker hoses

Well, here are some quick and easy steps to clean up your soaker hose and all you need is a scrub brush, a large tub, some dishwashing liquid, and finally some hose valves and end caps.

Cleaning Steps:

  1. After each growing season, remove the hose from the ground and brush off all the dirt you can see. At the same time, inspect the hose for any tears or breaks.
  2. Once the dirt has been brushed off, coil the hose in a large tub of water. You will need to weigh down the hose with something heavy such as bricks to keep the hose immersed.
  3. When the hose has been submerged, add three to four tablespoons of dishwashing detergent. Make sure to avoid cleansers with ammonia or those that have been chlorinated since these can deteriorate the rubber.
  4. Let the hose soak for two to three hours.
  5. Afterwards, remove the hose from the tub and connect the hose to a water source and flush the inside for two to three minutes to remove and leftover debris from the hose.
  6. Remove the hose from the water source and lay it out and inspect it for any pores that are clogged. Each spot should then be marked with painter’s tape.
  7. The clogged holes should then be pierced with a pin to push the dirt into the hose. Reconnect it once more to a water source and flush once more for five minutes.
  8. Air dry the hose and store it away from sunlight if it is not going to be used as ultraviolet radiation can deteriorate the rubber.
A Better Garden With A Soaker Hose

If you own your own home and have enough space in your front and back yards, chances are you have at least thought about planting a garden to produce vegetables and other interesting plants for consumption by you and your family. More and more, people are attempting to reduce food costs by growing their own food, and in addition to being a practical, money-saving step that you can take to reduce your food budget, gardening is also a terrific hobby, especially for senior citizens and for children.

I’d like to suggest that before you go ahead and create this garden of yours that you think carefully about irrigating your garden as it is an entirely different process from how you already go about watering your lawn. If you bury a soaker hose a few inches below the surface of the ground you will have not only taken a huge step toward giving your plants the moisture they need; you also will be spending a lot less money on the water you’re using to help your plants thrive.