Ask a Question forum: Soaker hose for vegetable garden

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Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Oct 11, 2015 1:04 PM CST
I've been looking at watering options for my vegtable garden. Maybe I should give a little info first, I live in southwest Colorado ( high desert ) have Hardpan clay soil that I have been working on for the last 4 years. I now have 11 raised beds with 5 more to go. Each are 4' wide and range between 16 to 18 ' long.
I'm not wanting to waste water through wind or evaporation so I'm looking at direct saturation, and for tech reasons a drip Sys is NOT a viable option. So my question is has anyone used mr.drip 820 soakerhose or netafim? I would like to make an honest comparison on both so I can have something up and running for next season. Any info OR sugesstions would be helpful and appreciated.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 11, 2015 10:22 PM CST
Hi Jose. Sorry, I have used soaker hoses in my garden beds, but know nothing of the manufacturer's you are asking for info on.
I will say here in Louisiana, keeping planting beds well watered in our heat can be a task. I have use a number of irrigation methods over the years, but I find that even the inexpensive hoses made from recycled tires work much better, in my opinion, than most of the methods I have tried in the past.

Coupled with a good 2 to 4 inch layer of mulch for moisture retention, the soaker hoses can be laid out to provide fairly even coverage and little water waste/loss. Perhaps another user may have experience with the brands you referred to.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 12, 2015 5:03 PM CST
If the problem is hard water, some soaker hoses clog up very quickly with minerals. Maybe even faster than drippers!

If clogging is the problem, the more expensive "pressure-compensating" drippers are also more resistant to clogging than non-PC drippers.

Some people have made "mega drippers" out of old garden hoses, by drilling 1/8" or 1/4" holes, and then only running water into it briefly. But that would distribute water less evenly than a drip or soaker system.

Really, I don;t have any good idea, or knowledge of specific soaker hoses or netafim. What is netafim? If that's dripline or drip tape, yes, GREAT, that is what pros use if their rows are long enough.

Personally, I would always choose a dripper product over soaker hoses, just because I believe that a dripper CAN be designed to resist mineral clogging, and to be cleaned, but soaker hoses are totally vulnerable. Plus, the only soaker I ever bought always stunk of rubber, and I didn't like thinking that I was feeding those stinky chemicals to my plants.

BTW, I like your choice of raised bed geometry. Four feet wide is as wide as I would go, myself, but I have fairly short arms.

>> I'm not wanting to waste water through wind or evaporation

Usually that causes people to use drippers or soakers. (I guess people who can laser-level their entire field can use one-time flood-irrigation, but not with raised beds.)

Sprayers are hugely wasteful because of the small drop size. The drops and mist blow all over Creation, and also evaporate rapidly. You would waste somewhat less water with larger drops, such as thrown by mini-spinners instead of sprayers. But you would still waste water on over-spray, and some to wind and evaporation.

All I can think of is a clumsy variation on flooding a field once in the spring. If you have lots of time and water is very expensive, you COULD hand-water each bed, but not using a "shower" or 'spray" hose nozzle. Water infrequently with a hose with NO sprayer, so the water just pools on top of the soil and perks in after you've walked away. I think that has other drawbacks, like uneven watering, but it might be possible to do it without much water evaporating.

Your clay hardpan should keep the water from disapearing straight down as it would in snady soil.





Are you interested in games with half-buried soda bottles or unglazed clay pots buried in the root zone?

Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Oct 12, 2015 6:20 PM CST
When you consider 268 linear feet that's 4' wide OR 1072 square feet total coverage, I really think wicking is about as labor intensive as a drip emitter system.( Though I live in what is considered desert we do freeze in wintertime) and the plan is to remove the ( above ground ? ) portion of the Sys in the late fall and reconnect in the spring while the poly feed line will stay buried.
As to the materials I asked about, the Soakerhose is the largest o.d. ( outside diameter ) I could find available on the market, And the Netafim is kinda like a polypipe hose with outlets ( read; holes ) evenly spaced along its length. Both have an available filtration package so hard water will not be a problem.
Also, because of the width of these beds, I must run a minnimum of 2 lateral lines to ensure targeted saturation per bed.


Thumb of 2015-10-13/josebaca/39d825

Nonetheless I'm grateful and appreciate your time and suggestions.
Thank you
J.R.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 14, 2015 7:23 PM CST
>> Netafim is kinda like a polypipe hose with outlets ( read; holes ) evenly spaced along its length.

Without direct experience, that sounds better than a soaker hose to me. Over 80% of what I read about soaker hoses online is how much the person who tried them, hated them.

But maybe the happy people are all quiet.

Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Oct 14, 2015 8:34 PM CST
Hey;
Thanx for the get back. And I'm beginning to think you're right at least about the happy ones. I've been using soakers for the past 10+ years, and after putting aside my MANLY WAYS and actually brokedown and read the instructions on the package, I've had no problems with them. But since we moved about 4 years ago, I had to start @ square 1 all over again. And even that statement is misleading since I didn't start planting things until the spring of '13.

Still, the longest life I got out of my soakers was well into its 4th year until I decided to clear a big patch of purple love grass with a match. Shrug!

Hey Moonhowl; what kind of life do you get out of your soakers? And how often do have to replace them? Do you clear them every year or soak them for a time in anything like vinegar or lime away?

I just dont want to spend my hard earned money on the wrong horse, er hose!
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Oct 14, 2015 10:51 PM CST
Hi Jose.

I got mine at Sears in 2010 and they are still functioning. I think I paid a bit less than the price in this link. That being said, $13 per hose with a 7 year warranty isn't too shabby. Looking at your drawing, each bed could have 3 runs from 1 hose. At the current price, your 16 beds would require an investment of a little over $200 for the hoses.

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-50-ft-x-1-2-in-soaker/p-07163...

I bought a couple rolls of inexpensive weed block ($5 for a roll of 3ft x 50ft) and cut them into roughly 8in widths. I placed the strips under and folded over the hoses as I laid it on the soil and placed the mulch on top of the covered hose. That worked very well for keeping the dirt away from the hoses. So far that is all the maintenance they have gotten. I add mulch each year as it does break down. When I add mulch I do turn the water on so I can make sure the water is still flowing.

I hope that helps you. I am quite happy with this set up. and it seems that from the reviews in the link, the majority of the reviewers were also pleased with the product.

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 15, 2015 11:56 AM CST
I see that Internet gossip IS misleading about soaker hoses! Imagine not being able to trust what we read on the Internet.

>> after putting aside my MANLY WAYS and actually broke down and read the instructions on the package, I've had no problems with them.

Shocking! Shocking! Next thing you know, you'll be asking for DIRECTIONS in strange towns, and who knows what comes after THAT?

However ... what WERE the most important directions that increased their lifespan?

Umm ... ummm ... ummm ... it's not for ME, you understand!
I wouldn't EVER follow directions!!
It's, umm, ahh ... for my DW, that's it!

Moonhowl, thanks for suggesting weed block.

Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Oct 15, 2015 3:50 PM CST
Must be nice! My DW has no intrest in anything outside,...........unless I burnt more than 300 calories planting it, then it's 'why there?, I think it would look better where you said that hardpan stuff is.' !!!

As to soakers; keep out of direct sunlight by burying in a few inches of mulch, use a pressure regulator ( 15 psi or less ) and remember
that the longer your line, the less likely full saturation will occur.

In all seriousness, that mr.drip.com site has material that can run a few HUNDRED feet on a single line, so I'm more inclined to try that 820 size on at least 1/2 of my total beds and just for SAG the Netafim. By the way Moonhowl, thanx for the link and the info. Hurray!
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Moonhowl
Oct 15, 2015 3:58 PM CST
I tip my hat to you. you are both welcome.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 16, 2015 8:17 PM CST
Hmm, I never thought of a pressure regulator for soaker hose. Cool!

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