How to Use a Soaker Hose in a Vegetable Garden & Other Areas of Your Yard
Watering your vegetables, flowers or shrubs by hand can be extremely time consuming. When watering with a hose and nozzle, your plants aren’t always getting the same amount of water and can be easily overwatered. Plus, the water often evaporates or runs off before it even reaches a plant’s roots.
A soaker hose is porous with holes along the entire length of the hose. This allows water to slowly escape and soak into the ground at the base of the plant where it is needed most. Soaker hoses keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and foliage remains dry. Plants are healthier and root rot and other water-related diseases are minimized!
If used properly, a soaker hose can give you great results while saving you time, money and lots of water in your garden.
How to Install Your Soaker Hose
- Unwind it and leave it in the warm sun for at least an hour. This will help a brand new hose loosen up, which will make its placement much easier.
- Remove the end cap, if installed, and hook it to your outdoor spigot using our Eaton hose couplings.
- Run water for several minutes to flush the hose. It is recommended that it be flushed one or two times a year to remove any built up debris.
- Lay out a fitting configuration and cut your hose to install fittings only after you’ve measured twice!
- Install fittings, stretch the hose out and turn the water on. Check your fittings, and be sure to adjust the pressure for a slow but steady drip.
Where to Place Your Soaker Hose
A strategically placed soaker hose can efficiently deliver water to a plant’s root base.
- For established plants, hoses should lay roughly two inches from the stem.
- For new plants or annuals, closer spacing is suggested because the roots are shallower.
- For flowers or vegetables planted in a row, you can simply lay the hose straight along those rows.
- For flowers or vegetables not planted in a row, you can snake the hose in and out around each plant.
- For bushes and shrubs, wrap your soaker hose around the base, about 12 inches away from the trunk.
- For sandy soil, space rows of hose 12 to 18 inches apart.
- For clay or loamy soil, space rows of hose roughly 24 inches apart.
You can secure hoses in place with lawn staples or garden pins to prevent shifting. Check our resource center for ideas on configurations that suit your needs!
How to Perfect Your Timing
You can start by running your soaker hose about 30 minutes twice a week. (NOTE: Annuals and vegetables may need to be watered every other day.) After a watering, check the soil to see if the moisture has penetrated several inches, then adjust accordingly. Check out our selection of Melnor timers to automate your watering!
When you find the magic number for your specific plants and conditions, you can use a timer to water the same number of minutes every time. Remember – too much water can cause just as many plant health problems as too little water. Info and signs of whether you’re watering too little or too much can be found in our resource center.
Soaker hoses are often overlooked by the home gardener, but they are a simple tool that can help you maintain a healthy and productive garden and yard. Eaton Brothers offers a variety of bulk soaker hoses from 50 to 500 feet.