Soaker Hose or Drip Irrigation

lois(PA Zone 6)July 9, 2011

Some of my tomatoes are living in an 18 inch high raised bed. What is the best way to water them and make sure they are watered evenly? I have a soaker hose underneath the mulch and newspaper, but it leaks badly where it connects to the hose, so the soil at that corner of the bed gets soaked quickly while the rest of the bed still needs watering.

Would a drip tube be a better watering method? Or, are there soaker hoses out there that don't leak at the hose connection?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Do you have a washer at the hose connection? If not, add one. Or is it old? If so, replace it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 3:10PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Or, are there soaker hoses out there that don't leak at the hose connection?

Sure. Never had one leak assuming the connections were in good shape, washer in place, and the hose not kinked anywhere.

There are advantages to drip irrigation but they are also more expensive to set up and less flexible to use. Trying to remove your soaker hose now would likely do some plant damage.

Dave

PS: you can also try reducing the pressure at the faucet. Most soaker hose call for a pressure reduction valve at the faucet if your home water pressure is set abnormally high.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 3:35PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I bought a basic soaker hose and the thing I didn't like about it was that more water came out of the farther section of the hose. In other words, it doesn't soak evenly.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:32PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I would go with drip, but it depends on the size of your garden.

Jay

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 12:34AM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

The garden is 3 ft by 6 ft.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 5:32PM
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homeend

edweather you need to make sure the pressure increaser in the ooze hose is still there.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 7:49PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

What's a pressure increaser? The hose just looks like a spongy hose with a sealed end, if I remember correctly.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:12PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

digdirt, you were right, it was the washer thing. I remember now that I removed the blue plastic thingie that has such a small hole in the middle, thinking "Surely, the water will never get through that tiny hole". Today I canabalized a rubber washer from another soaker hose and now the connection doesn't leak at all. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:21PM
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sprky

I am using drip tape this year to water the garden, and I LOVE it. The tape waters very even, unlike soaker hose. I got it at my local garden center and it was cheap less then $0.10 a foot. I built a header out of 3/4" PVC pipe, and threaded tee's, to attach all the drip tapes, and added a timer. The whole thing cost me around $70.00 including the timer. The tape has emitters every 4". I have been watering every day in the 100+ heat and my water bill has drooped, over prior years. If I took the time and money to mulch I would be watering even less. I lost my free supply of straw this year, so I didn't mulch. So my vote is for drip

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:33PM
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homeend

edweather "lois remember now that I removed the blue plastic thingie that has such a small hole in the middle, thinking "Surely, the water will never get through that tiny hole".

the washer with small hole that lois discarded is the pressure increaser.

I do a lot of cutting to size of ooze hoses in my garden so I need to make lot of these pressure increasers myself, when i put on new hose ends.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 11:23PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Sprky- I live in North Central Kansas and I have been using drip for two years. Buy a big roll of drip tape and you will save alot of money. I by 6,500-7,000 foot rolls. I am on roll two. It costs me about $0.02 a foot. My biggest area on drip is a half acre winter squash patch. I have 8, 200 foot rows and everything to put in the drip was about $75. also, I can reuse all the connectors and header line.

With a 3 foot by 6 foot garden, a weeping soaker hose makes sense, drip doesn't. One hose and you will water it all.

Jay

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 1:03AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

OK. Yes I use the pressure increaser, but I must have a poor quality hose because it still seems like there is more pressure at the far end of the hose.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:57AM
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colokid(5)

Gotta get in my 2 cents...pressure "increaser"?? I think you mean decreaser. I have never had a hose that did not leak more in one spot than another, flooding one place and starving others. I have a couple of those cheap plastic lawn sprinklers set 3 foot apart (I cut and spliced the hose) on my beds, set the pressure very low so that they only squirt about a foot high. Just barely crack the valve to them.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 9:14AM
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homeend

colokid you problem may be that the inside of ooze hose has a lot clogged holes.

it is pressure increaser. you really should learn basic physic when you decrease the size of a pipe you increase the pressure

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:07AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It was said: "In other words, it doesn't soak evenly."

Uneven output is due to excess water pressure at the spigot, even if a pressure reducer is in place. Turn the water down.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:17AM
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colokid(5)

homwend
Quote "colokid you problem may be that the inside of ooze hose has a lot clogged holes.

it is pressure increaser. you really should learn basic physic when you decrease the size of a pipe you increase the pressure "
Brand new hose---this time
My collage degree in physics says that when you restrict the flow into a hose, you reduce the pressure in that hose. With that small hole restricting the flow the pressure in the soaker hose is reduced. no debate what ever here. You mix up velocity and pressure.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:40PM
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homeend

colokid a basic test proves you wrong. if small hole washer decrease pressure it would put out less water from soaker hose, then when you use a large hole standard washer. And water cutter would work better if hole was bigger. both are not true. I suggest you give back your degree.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:09PM
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colokid(5)

Homwend, you are so far out its funny. I have no idea where you are coming from. Go into any garden store and look for a pressure increaser--no such thing, but plenty of pressure reducers. I am done wasting time on this misuse of words.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 2:00AM
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