The Q&A Archives: Using Soaker Hose

Question: I am trying to plan a watering system for my garden using soaker hose. My concern is that I will need about 250 to 300 feet of hose. Will I get enough water pressure throughout? Can I cut in a regular hose every now and then because I have to go through my shed and under my deck,and they don't have to be watered. How long do I water with a soaker hose? Is half in the morning and half at night good?

Answer: Yes, you should be able to incorporate non-soaker hoses among the soaker hoses, so you place water exactly where it's needed. However, the maximum recommended length for most soaker hoses is about 100'. So if you need more that that length in actual soaker hose (not including the plain hose) then you might be better off using a "Y" fitting and creating zones in your garden. (Follow the manufacturer's recommendations.) Since soaker hoses use low pressure, you'll probably have plenty of pressure in your water lines. In fact, you'll probably want to get some sort of pressure regulator to make sure the water pressure is at the right level.

You'll have to experiment to determine how long to run the water. Begin by running the hose for an hour. Then carefully dig a hole, and see how deep the water has gone. It's likely you will need to run the hose for a few hours to get enough saturation--you want the plants' entire root zone moist. Run the hose for a few hours as necessary in the morning, and forego the evening watering. Generally, it's a good idea to water thoroughly less often, than water a little continuously. Light waterings won't penetrate the soil,so roots will tend to stay too shallow.

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