Photo of garden using soaker hose

How to Use a Soaker Hose in Your Vegetable Garden

A garden soaker hose is a hose that allows you to water your garden more efficiently. Consider it part of your well-oiled garden machine that you can be proud of.

A garden soaker hose is an essential tool for gardeners who want to make gardening easier, faster, and more efficient. But how to use a soaker hose in your vegetable garden?

The water drips slowly in soaker hoses, so you need to run them between (parallel to) your garden’s plants. Be sure to cover them with water-absorbent mulch to ensure you retain moisture.

It would help if you only run your soaker hose for about 1/2 an hour.

This article will continue to discuss some of the more complicated aspects of soaker hoses.

We will also go through soil conditions and ways to help your garden utilize this soaker hose system. 

What is a Soaker Hose?

A soaker hose is known to have a large number of small holes running along the side to water your garden. If you have water flow in the hose, this hose-based irrigation system will slowly drip from a size. Y

ou can even drape your hose over a raised bed garden. They act as an alternative to drip irrigation systems. 

Using a soaker hose isn’t as simple as turning the water on; you need to utilize a complete soaker hose system. Here’s what that looks like:

  • A pressure regulator in a soaker hose
  • A timer in a soaker hose 
  • One hundred feet of hose (or less)

A Soaker Hose Pressure Regulator

Typical soaker hoses require water pressure at a minimum of 10 psi. Unless you have some weak outward-facing outlets, your house should easily support this water hose. As a result, you can install your soaker hose on most standard outlets. 

For some soaker hoses, you might need a water pressure regulation system. This allows you to adjust the water pressure going through your hose to go through at a faster (or slower rate).

If you are seeking to mimic a drip system, this tool may be helpful for you. 

A Timer Attachment – To Save Time with Your Soaker Hose

If you don’t want to remember to turn off your soaker hose, a timer might be helpful for you. This ensures that you won’t ever overwater your crop. Place this device between the faucet and where you install your soaker hose to utilize it. 

You can use these timers in combination with pressure regulators. Just be sure that your timer can handle the water pressure you set things to.

For example, the Restmo sprinkler timer goes up to 120 psi.

The Effective Rate of Soaker Hoses – 100 ft or Less

If someone tries to sell you a 200 ft soaker hose, run for the hills. The effective length of all soaker hoses is (at most) 100 ft. You can also buy models at 50 or 75 ft; make sure it has enough pressure and length to handle your entire vegetable garden

You can use longer soaker hoses depending on the pressure behind the water source. If you happen to have a larger home, check with a plumber to see how long your hose can be.

Testing a higher pressure water source over a period of time will depend heavily on your home.

Other Facts to Keep in Mind with Soaker Hoses

a soaker hoses in the bed of flowers

If you plan on buying a soaker hose, make sure you take full advantage of its features. Be aware of the following areas:

How Absorbant is Your Soil?

The soil type in your garden is an important factor in dictating the amount of water found there. You’ll want to be sure your garden receives enough water to thrive, but not too much.

Having water-absorbant mulch is one way you can ensure this is better handled. 

For a general rule, try to stick to about one inch of water per week during the standard growing season (spring/fall).

During summer, increase that to about two inches of water.

How Deep Does Your Water Go?

Soaker hoses work to get moisture as deep as one foot into the ground.

This is more efficient than a standard hand water technique but depends on water’s tendency to evaporate from the garden. 

To ensure you are getting to the bottom-most root zone of your plants, dig a spade on the outskirts of your garden to see how deep the water has gotten.

If it isn’t that deep, you may increase the timer on your soaker hose. 

Final Thoughts

A soaker hose has several perforated points along the hose to allow for slow watering. This form of drip irrigation provides for the potential of deep, effortless gardening.

Having a good garden system feels good! If you want to take your system to the next level, consider some smart home water sprinklers. Thanks for reading!

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