About soaker/drip hoses

gmom74March 21, 2009

Since they seem to be the only way we will be able to water things outdoors- except, of course, by saved rain water, etc- I was wondering about them. Would the water from these hoses spread laterally or does it just soak straight down into the soil? How efficient are they for watering azaleas, for instance. I am so hoping our weather pattern will change and bring more rain to the area north of Atlanta and to all other areas that needs it.

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Generally, once the soil underneath the hose is saturated, the moisture will migrate outward. Recommended spacing between parallel hoses is 2ft. for a normal watering cycle.
Of course, several factors must be taken into account, dryness of the soil, absence or presence of mulch on top of the hose and surrounding soil, thickness of the mulch, air & soil temperature, that affects the evaporation rate, frequency of application and so on.
For shrubs, I make one or two loops around them (about a foot apart), near the drip line and cover with 3-4 in. of mulch, keeping mulch 3-4 in. away from the shrub's stem(s).

If you plan to use soaker hoses, it would be a good idea to check with your water provider to determine if a back-flow preventer has been installed at your meter. Many locations require those for soaker hoses and other types of irrigation systems and if not provided already by the water co., it will be necessary for you to install one.

I have about 1000ft. of soaker hoses imbedded in my garden and use a water manifold on each faucet to charge the 100ft. sections, which is the maximum length for reliable irrigation at such reduced pressure/volume.
Since their use haven't been permitted for more than a year and a half, I need to check them for deterioration and leaks. They aren't the highest quality product you will find and frequent maintenance is necessary!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 9:53PM
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Thanks,Razorback. My plan is to get a number of soaker hoses, place them strategically around certain shrubs and just attach them, one at a time to a length of hose from our house spigots. That way I can turn the water on and off easily. I also let the AC condensation run into a container and use that water in the yard. There will be a lot of plants that will just have to survive on their own. We have already lost some hydrangeas and other things that need lots of water.

Our spring flowers were sparse this year. The daffodils bloomed sporadically, the King Alfreds didn't bloom at all. They are not crowded so I guess the bulbs are being affected by the lack of water and maybe by that very cold weather this winter. Another flower, which I can never remember the name of- small bulbs that have a blue flower- didn't do well, either. And the Hellebore was also a wash-out. Sure hope next spring will be better.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:45AM
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I tried drip irrigation last year and loved it. It's very easy to set up with minimal tools and very easy to automate. I spent about 3 days setting it up in my two vegetable gardens last year and once it was set up I never had to touch it again. The garden did great.

At the end of the year I pulled up all the hose and stored it under my house. I just pulled it out today and it all seems to be in good shape. I'll probably put it back in place over the weekend if it doesn't rain.

I ordered all my supplies from dripdepot.com and dripirrigation.com and they both provided good products and quick deliveries. Here's a link to the Drip Irrigation site:

Here is a link that might be useful: The Drip Store

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 11:56PM
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