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Rain barrels and soaker hoses

Posted by jimtnc 7b-8 NC TTTF (My Page) on
Fri, May 2, 08 at 7:44

Here I am a aqain and gonna pester y'all one more time. Does anyone have this setup, and how is it doing. I haven't set out any soaker hoses yet and wanted to know if the rain water comes out of the drip hose easily, or do you have to modify a regular hose in order to get it to work?? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

Jim, in my experience, soaker hoses work well but only if you stay on top of it and keep the soil reasonably moist. I tend to procrastinate, thinking the next big storm's gonna do the trick and then when it's really getting dry, try them. What happens then is the water can't soak in effectively except for a small band right beside the soakers and runs off. They seem to work better under mulch- which of course keep s the soil more moist, too. You want to run them at very low pressure for an hour or more to get the best results. So it depends on your personality and watering schedule if they'll work well for you. I've found i actually prefer to hand water the things that need it, since most of my stuff is fairly drought tolerant and can dry out quite a lot before needing water. I hate sprinklers and their waste. I tried a leaky hose w/holes poked one time, but that didn't work at all.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by jimtnc 7b-8 NC TTTF (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 08 at 9:43

Yeah, I have a soaker hose now and thought about getting another, but I want to run these off of my rain barrels instead of the faucet if I can. Don't know if the gravity flow from the barrels will be enough to make it through the soaker holes. I know what you mean about the water running off. Most of my planters have cedar mulch now, so maybe that will aid in eliminating the runoff.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

I think the pressure would probably be ok from the barrel if it's high enough- you want really low pressure for soakers anyhow. One thing i forgot to mention is that I garden in clay. If you're on sand, I can't imagine you'd have some of those issues. Of course, on sand i doubt the water would ever seep very far out from the hose- it'd just go straight down. I wonder if the type of hose you punch emitters in like the nurseries use is a better way to target specific plants. I've not used one of those.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by jimtnc 7b-8 NC TTTF (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 08 at 11:21

No, I have clay as well. Some bare spots look like the Mojave Desert in the monthe of August around my house. Think I may try the soaker and see what happens from the barrel. I'm getting tired of pailin' it around.


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also...

  • Posted by jimtnc 7b-8 NC TTTF (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 08 at 11:24

Also, when is a good time to put out the Hummingbird feeders. I just got one and itching to load it up.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

Hummingbirds are arriving now, so go ahead and put up that feeder! Just saw one fly through the yard yesterday (Rockingham County).


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

Grow some coral and native columbine (aquilegia canadensis) and you'll know when to put up your feeders. The first male birds come in when they start blooming. It's much earlier than you'd think- like mid to late march here.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by zigzag 7b - Triangle, NC (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 08 at 20:01

Not to disagree w/Tammy, but I'd be very surprised if my rain barrels would provide enough 'thrust' to make soaker hoses work. A drip system ..... maybe, a big maybe. My barrels are not elevated, but the increased psi I've read about for elevating them just doesn't justify the work involved. That said, if the old fashioned canvas soaker hoses I remember from way, way back when were available, rain barrel gravity flow might just work. Haven't seen those canvas hoses for decades.

As said above, the hummers are 'home' so get those nectar feeders out! :o)


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

I have my rain barrels lift about 14" above the ground, and then I ran my soak hose off it. Unless the rain barrel is completely full, I rarely got enough pressure to make the soaker hoses work. This year I might try running a hose with drilled 1/8 or 1/4 holes in it and see if that is a good alternative, but after multiple tries I have given up on getting my soaker hose to work.

Good Luck...


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by jimtnc 7b-8 NC TTTF (My Page) on
    Sat, May 3, 08 at 21:24

Thanks folks. I've got 'em, so I'm gonna have to find a way to use them. Already had a little pump....


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by jimtnc 7b-8 NC TTTF (My Page) on
    Mon, May 5, 08 at 5:47

Well, I got an email from a guy that has his barrel up about 12" and he says the head pressure from his barrel is good enough to run a soaker hose through his garden and working just fine.

Thought I'd pass that on.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by mrsig SC Zone 8 (My Page) on
    Mon, May 5, 08 at 13:17

I don't use soaker hoses...as we talked about in the other thread, I use the black irrigation hose and just punch holes in them for each planting location. Works superbly so far.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by jimtnc 7b-8 NC TTTF (My Page) on
    Tue, May 6, 08 at 6:16

Well,I've got a black hose that I thought was a soaker hose. It's kinda made out of old tires, I think. Is that what you're talking about...might be the same that I have, but mine already had holes punched in it.


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RE: Rain barrels and soaker hoses

  • Posted by mrsig SC Zone 8 (My Page) on
    Tue, May 6, 08 at 7:42

No, I'm talking about the irrigation hose that landscapers use for drip systems. It's typically black (or brown) and it's easy to poke holes in.

A soaker hose is perforated all the way through but I would imagine it would work well too...I'd at least try it, especially since that's what you already have...you could always add some holes to aid the water flow...


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