The Q&A Archives: Soaker Hose Depth Placement

Question: I have soaker hoses weaving throughout my perennial garden on top of the mulch. Can soaker hoses be buried, and if so, should they be placed under the mulch or buried into the dirt? If buried, can they be left in place over the winter?

Answer: You should place the soaker hoses under the mulch, this helps protect them from the sun and can help them last longer. Soaker hoses should be covered with mulch to work most efficiently, too. Some gardeners will bury the soaker hose a few inches under the ground, but in my experience this makes it difficult to check for holes or damage to the soaker hose and can increase clogging problems. In a perennial garden where you will be digging to lift, divide and replant quite often burying increases the chance of accidently cutting into the hose, too. Follow the manufacturer's directions for winter care and storage of the hose itself as well as fittings. At the least, any valves, backflow preventer and sharp angled joints will need to be emptied to prevent freeze damage.

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