Ask a Question forum: Raised bed: how much soaker hose do I need?

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Long Island, NY (Zone 7b)
Scott_R
Apr 12, 2017 6:33 AM CST
I'm setting up two 5x10 beds with mixed vegetables. I don't have them all chosen yet but there's going to be a big mix of tomatoes (started from seed 5-6 weeks ago), along with arugula, radishes, plus the rest to be chosen.

I plan on running two lengths of soaker hoses, one for each bed. Would 50' (zigzagging back and forth) each be sufficient for each? I'm thinking about a drinking water safe version,
https://www.waterrightinc.com/...
but it ain't cheap.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 12, 2017 9:03 AM CST
Perrrfectally ! Thumbs up
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Apr 12, 2017 9:14 AM CST
Do you have a 50' hose, rope or extension cord handy? Use something else to do a test layout.

And while we're on the subject of soaker hoses. . .Does anyone know if they can be cut and made into shorter pieces? Will regular hose menders work on soaker hose?

I have a 75 or maybe its even 100' long. Its too long, way too long. I have several gardens and raised beds that would love a soaker hose!
Meri
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 12, 2017 9:33 AM CST
@mnmat. Shure you can use hose mender. But, I take mine, cut them 6 inches longer, fold the 6 inches back, and tie it. You are talking the round black soaker hoses, right !
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 12, 2017 1:48 PM CST
Scott, to answer your question properly we really need to know where you are, and what your soil is like.

Sandy, fast draining soil needs the soaker hose to be closer together in order for the water to reach the whole area evenly. More water retentive soil like clay, or really high organic content humus will need less.

Similarly, in a dry climate you will need more water getting to your plants, so if you're in Arizona, you'll need more soaker hose than if you're in the Pac. Northwest.

May I suggest you look at micro-irrigation system instead of the traditional soaker hoses? It's a much more flexible system with little emitters that each can be turned on and off. So for example, big plants like tomatoes need a lot more water than lettuce or cabbage but if you have the whole thing getting watered by one soaker, everybody gets the same amount. If there's an area of your bed where you've harvested and nothing is growing for a while, you can shut off the water so weeds won't grow as much. Same in the late summer if you're trying to get your tomatoes to ripen up before frost, you can turn off the water just to that one section of the bed.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Long Island, NY (Zone 7b)
Scott_R
Apr 13, 2017 4:49 AM CST
Thanks for the replies.
I'm constructing the raised beds from scratch, and I'm having 6 yards of mixed topsoil/compost delivered. I'll be supplementing the compost, and adding humus.

I'm located on Long Island (NY); weather is midrange between AZ and the Pac NW, closer to the latter.

By micro irrigation systems, do you mean something like this?
http://pdf.lowes.com/howtoguid...
or more like this:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Miste...
[Last edited by Scott_R - Apr 13, 2017 4:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Apr 13, 2017 7:08 AM CST
Yes, Scott. The Mister Landscaper drip kit is similar but not exactly what I use. They are not "drippers" but actual tiny sprinklers that can cover varying widths of beds. In a bed as big as yours, for example, I'd use maybe 4 sprinkler emitters.

A teacher and I set up a whole micro-irrigation system 5 years ago at the local elementary school in one Saturday morning. Here's what the school garden setup we did looked like: (we did 8 beds this way)
Thumb of 2017-04-13/dyzzypyxxy/eee854

Same basic system as the one in your link with the poly tubing supplying the water to the beds from the hose bib, then micro-tubing attaching the little sprinklers.

As I said above, the beauty of the system is its infinite flexibility. The components are very inexpensive and putting the whole thing together is like playing with Lego. You can customize for what you need, and change it at will.

Btw, if you think you will try this, I like the Lowe's brand of components much better than the one HD sells. The Mister Landscaper stuff is good quality and made in the USA, too.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Apr 13, 2017 7:11 AM (+)]
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Long Island, NY (Zone 7b)
Scott_R
Apr 13, 2017 10:29 AM CST
I was chatting with the Mister Landscaper people via their website. I'm still hashing out what I'm planting (starting with tomatoes and other things I began indoors weeks ago), but their initial recommendation is to start with this:
http://misterlandscaper.com/50...
which is basically a mini sprinkler kit like you mentioned. That would be for the tomatoes and other thirsty plants. Then I could add on this:
http://misterlandscaper.com/10...
drip irrigation for lighter-watered things like radishes.
[Last edited by Scott_R - Apr 13, 2017 5:41 PM (+)]
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