Soaker hoses are perfectly safe for your vegetable and flower gardens and they can be the awesome gardening partner you’ve been looking for!
They are made from recycled tires but this doesn’t mean your garden will suffer from those chemicals. But I advise you not to drink from your garden hose as it might not be safe.
Soaker hoses are a great time-saver as you don’t have to carry your water can around the garden. An added benefit is that your plants get water where it’s really needed, bases!
Watering with a can might lead to leaf diseases which can be avoided if you install soaker hoses properly. Always place soaker hoses on level surfaces and try to place it within 100 feet of the water source.
If you want to use it across multiple flowerbeds or vegetable beds, then bridge the gap between the beds with a regular garden hose to save water.
What is the best watering system for a vegetable garden?
Let’s see what sprinklers offer.
Pros of Sprinklers
- Sprinklers can be set to water in a specified range or direction and the pressure can also be easily adjusted.
- Sprinkler systems become more efficient when used along with timers and zone systems.
If you are a detail-oriented person, you’ll love a sprinkler system!
Cons of Sprinklers
- Water is sprinkled in trivial areas of your garden, thus wasting a lot of water.
- It can also contribute to leaf blight as I mentioned before.
- The dead leaves can in turn damage the entire vegetable bed.
- You need to constantly monitor your garden as sprinklers encourage weed growth.
- The water must be clean and free of any debris, sand, salts, etc. for a sprinkler to work properly.
- They also do not work well in windy areas.
Let’s talk about the Soaker hoses now.
Pros of Soaker hose
- Your wallet will thank you if you choose Soaker hose over sprinklers.
- The soaker hose system is also quite easy to install in your garden.
- With Soaker hoses you do not need to worry about blockages, which is usually the case with sprinklers.
- Soaker hoses deliver water gently and uniformly throughout your veggie garden. Water is not wasted at all.
- Helps to prevent fungal disease of leaves and stem.
- You do not need to maintain it at all once you set it up properly. (It can even work at night reducing evaporation!)
Cons of Soaker hose
- Water delivery can not be varied according to individual plant needs.
- Soaker hoses are short-lived as they are exposed to external elements directly.
- Soaker hose kits often have missing parts and it can become a costly affair.
In addition to this, you need to know that Soaker hoses are cheaper than a sprinkler system but it becomes costly too once you choose to add some extra fittings.
Do you need to water a vegetable garden every day?
It all depends on the type of soil the plants are in, the temperature, weather, and the type of plants you are growing.
If your soil is sandy, then you need to water your garden more often(compared to clayish soil). You can check the moisture in the soil with a moisture checker or by taking a quick look at soil that is below 2 inches of the surface.
You may need to water more if the temperature is higher than normal and vice versa.
You need to look at the weather too, if it is rainy then you might not need to water at all. In summers, you need to water ’em poor plants more often than usual.
Tip: If you are using a sprinkler system, water your plants earlier in a day, so that the water on leaves has an entire day to dry off.
To wrap it up, I’d say water your plants sufficiently and do not overdo it. Check the moisture of the soil and if it looks like the moisture is below 40% then it’s time to water the plants.
Sprouting plants require a good amount of water as their root system is scarcely developed, so water them adequately every day (even twice depending on the type of plant). Other plants may be watered every other day.
The best way to know is to keep tracking your garden’s health and learning from it.
How long should I water my garden with a soaker hose?
It depends on how you are using your soaker hose system. We can calculate it using the “Inches” method. In spring your garden needs no more than 1 inch of water per week.
In summer your garden needs up to 1.5 to 2 inches of water per week.
You can measure water delivery by placing a tuna can below the hose and calculating the time required for it to reach an inch.
After doing this, you will be able to plan your garden’s water needs accordingly.
How do you place a soaker hose in a vegetable garden?
You can arrange the hose in your garden in various ways; circular, wavy, or linear just beside the plants. Circular is used to water bigger plants and linear for veggie beds.
You attach the hose to a water tap that is considerably high from the ground so that the pressure is sufficient for the entire garden.
If the surface is even throughout your garden, then you can place the soaker hose system directly on the surface. If it’s uneven it can be placed 2 to 4 inches below the surface in uniform burrows that cater to the entire garden.
You can cut the hose wherever you need and fit it with a stopper/end cap that comes with the kit, leaving no open ends.
Make sure to cover the hose in mulch to prevent water evaporation. Here’s an unusual way to cover the hose while still preventing soil clogging.
soaker hoses work best on top of the soil. they also work ok semi buried but they can clog. in my strawberry patch they are semi buried under no-grow fabric.
— Ms. Fabienne “fbz” Haas 🗝️ (@fbz) May 21, 2018
Do soaker hoses get clogged?
Yes, soaker hoses do get clogged if the water has calcium, dust, soil, etc.
Hard water/Mineral water often causes this problem as it clogs the tiny pores of the hose with calcium and other salts.
You can prevent this by fitting a calcium filter along with the regular filter to your soaker hose.
How do you clean a clogged soaker hose?
It is quite easy to clean a clogged soaker hose. Soaker hoses can be clogged either by soil or by calcium.
If it is due to Calcium, then you can clear the pores by using white vinegar and brick cleaner. Pass this mixture through the hose several times and your hose will be as good as new again!
Beating the hose against a wall till the calcified sediments fall off is a neat trick too.
What should you do if your hose is clogged with soil?
You pressure wash it!
Keep the soaker hose on a wooden board and pressure-wash it well so that all the dirt is removed from the pores.
That’s all you need to know about soaker hoses. As you can clearly see they are safe to use and distribute water efficiently. They work super well for veggie and flower gardens.
Now go work on your beautiful garden :)))