Soaker hoses, where and how much time left on?
I switched to soaker hoses around the foundation several years ago after the foundation company told us they were better than sprinkler system.
At the time, I read on the soaker hose label to leave them on 4 hours on low but I never could find out how long to leave them on. Later I read something about an inch a week, so put them on a rotation where each stayed on about 6 hours on low, once a week.
I found this information from another foundation company. In it they say to hook hoses up to timers and set them for 15 minutes twice a day, or up to 4 times a day during the heat of summer. They also say to bury the hose a couple of inches.
So while I can see the value of maintaining an even degree of moisture around the foundation for it, I do have some questions on soaker hoses.
1) If you set the hose for only 15 minutes (I assume on low), is that enough for the roots of any plants, especially shrubs? I always heard to water deeply and less often to encourage deep roots.
2) Why bury the hoses? I have had ants eat through soaker hoses before. If they are buried, how would you know unless you had one really green area and past that is dead?
3) How many soaker hoses can you hook together and maintain an even pressure? I've tried two 75' hoses and it didn't work well, but maybe I was doing something wrong. I only have 2 faucets near my house and 6 hoses. It would be hard to hook all those up to timers, I think.
4) How often do you run your hoses, and how long at a time?
5) Do you run them longer on the west side of the house, or where there are shrubs that are going to take in a lot of of the water? Otherwise, the moisture won't be even around the foundation, would it?