soaker hose frugality?

oleladyintheshoe(8/9)May 30, 2009

So, I just got my water bill and it went up 100.00!!! Holy Cow! Seeing as I'm not doing well at all with my garden, the one tomato I've produced is hardly worthy of that amount on my bill.

So, I was thinking and it seems to me that soaker hoses would be the way to go. I relaise there is an initial cost involved but I think it would pay off. Thoughts?

FYI- I am a complete beginner to the entire planting of anything and love it trememndously so any tips would be great.

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If you dont have much to water, you might want to water each plant indivualy, it would difinitely be cheaper.

Again, it depends on how much you have to water. but if you have quite a bit, the soaker hose would be the way to go.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 9:49PM
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For me soaker hoses are the only way to go. Saves so much water because the water goes right to the roots - no evaporation as when you use a sprinkler. Also is better for many plants because some of them don't do well with wet leaves. Just make sure you get good soaker hoses (I don't mean expensive - just good). I tried the rubber soaker hoses and after one season found that they crack and get holes, etc. I tried to do the patch-it-up routine and have a small fortune invested in the repair parts. Last year I got a vinyl flat soaker hose (Gilmore brand) for $14.00 at Wal-Mart. LOVE IT! They are guaranteed for life. I am-re-using them in my second year and there are no problems - plus they roll up flat so take up much less room than the rubber ones. Just my opinion!! The other thing that I do to keep the water bill down is to install a timer on the faucet so that I can turn on the soaker hoses for an hour or two and not have to remember to shut it off.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 11:05AM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

I don't know how big your garden is and also its a lot hotter in your area but I have found that physically moving the water myself instead of using a hose has really kept my useage down (this wasn't a deliberate decision, we just haven't worked out how to switch the outside taps on, since moving as they are hooked up to a irrigation system)before watering I look at the weather forecast and it takes 3 days without rain before I even think of going out and if it is forecast that day I don't water, but will on the 4th day even with forecast of rain (unless it is aready!) then I only water those that are suffering, I check the garden daily and obviously if something is wilting then I use a cup of water for that plant only.
I also hate waiting for the tap to fill my containers so I have taken 1/2 dozen 3 gallon apple juice containers to the bath room and fill them whilst showering or from my childrens bath...that one probably contains some urine as well!!!
I am planning on getting the irrigation turned on next month and I will be asking lots of questions, but having had to, I will use the same system on the grass, and the grass can die if a very dry year (not the veggies!) I am from the UK and I haven't been allowed to use a hose for years due to bans on them due to water shortages, so I suppose I have just got used to it.
OH and save your rain water, I know some States this isn't allowed but in these times I think they really have to examine their ungreen ways and also what a cheek! how can some company/government OWN rain? they will be taxing Oxygen next!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 9:55PM
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I used soaker hoses years ago but obviously bot the wrong kind cause they only lasted a couple of years. Now I do a lot of hand watering and practice "tough-watering-love" with plants. Only water when my sensitive ones are wilting.

One way to save on water is to bury large cola bottles beside a plant. Put a few small holes in the bottom first. When you fill with water it will slowly leach out near the roots. Can also be used for plants in large pots. You know how much water you are providing with this system and there is little waste.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 9:49PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

I agree that a drip system is the way to go I hate soaker hoses I made a drip with 1/2 inch poly pipe some fitting and a drill bit to cover 100 tomatoes and peppers for $25
and of course a thick mulch to keep the water in

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 2:20PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

Some suggestions for saving water (though not exactly on topic, but close).

Save water by flushing less; no need to flush after every liquid visit. Let it build up a bit....

Pee in a bucket, add water, feed it to lawn, or around green plants that aren't for the kitchen. Don't let the liquid sit around, though, dispose of it quickly.

Also, check your toilet's flushing mechanism; many waste tons of water. Some keep filling bowl long after bowl's water level has been reached. Water flowing into bowl after water level was reached goes down the drain.

In Europe, many toilets have dual flush, one knob for light, another for heavy flush = saves water.

Collect rain water in barrels for watering your veggies: Let roof-gutter downspouts feed rain into barrels.

When rinsing veggies/salad, save rinsing water in large container/bucket placed conveniently on floor close to kitchen sink and use in garden.

Save all water after being used in kitchen, and add to bucket: old coffee, boiled potato water, ditto for broccoli rabe, rinsing sprouts water, all water used for preparing foods, water used for rinsing pots and pans (no soap!).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 12:06AM
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- boiled potato water.
I salt my potatoes when boiling. Can I use salted water??

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 3:26PM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

ppod good advice, I had completely forgot about the duel flush system in Europe! I remember when I moved here a year ago moaning about the lack of it, but I have become used to the norm? here, to quote Meet the Fukers, "If its yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down" which is what I do and I didn't even have to teach this to the male members of my house! it comes natural to them! :)
I rerely have veg water to put on plants as I use it to make gravy, stews and soup! why waste the vitimins and taste that may have leached into it?
and for nat4b I never salt veg, to cook, nor did my mum or grans, people (such as my DH), take time to get used to it, a few weeks, maybe? but then don't miss it! I always put salt on the table for people to season for themselves, but I don't add salt to anything but fries, chips, peanut butter and boiled egg! which I don't consume in vast quantities, but salt is important to us humans, but not in the quantities we consume it.
Wow! how more off topic could I be?
I have a soaker hose but only set it up today, before realising that the lawn irrigation system, that was set up last Thursday had come on! we are switching it to manual! it only rain all night on Sunday!!!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 10:12PM
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WhtRos(USDA z5a IL)

Ditto, trh701, for the timer on your soaker hoses. And don't forget to take them inside in the fall B4 they freeze. I looked into installing an irrigation system awhile back and found out my city requires the system 2B inspected yearly by a licensed contractor. Decided it wasn't worth it. But my city will sell you a rainbarrel at their cost completely outfitted for your gutter to drain into it. Not a bad deal. But what I found out 2B the best is to install an "irrigation meter" alongside my regular water meter. This "irrigation meter" is for all water you use to water outside. This way you don't have to pay the sewer charge on the water you use outside. My DH installed it himself and cost slightly over $100. Has been well worth it. My last summer water bill B4 unstalling it was $350!! Hasn't been over $150 since. BTW, my water is billed quarterly. Best Wishes, Barbara

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:37PM
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