Save Water with Soaker Hoses

Karen Guz

Soaker hoses are a great way to irrigate perennial beds, and newly-planted shrubs and trees. They are so inexpensive that you can buy several and leave them snaked around throughout your landscape. Connecting more than two soaker hoses is not recommended. The loss of pressure as the hose extends will make it ineffective.

Never connect a soaker hose directly to the hose bib. If you do, you’ll waste a lot of water near the connection where the pressure is highest. Instead, run a regular garden hose from the faucet and connect your soaker hose to the end of it. Be sure to use a washer to make a good, leak-free connection between hoses.

It isn’t necessary to cover every few feet of your bedding areas with soaker hoses. If the hose is within a few feet of established plants, their root systems will find the water to nourish the plants.

The most common mistake in using soaker hoses is turning the water on too high. We often hear from homeowners surprised by a large water bill because they left a soaker hose on for several hours at full water pressure. It is more effective to turn the hose bib a quarter turn or less. This allows enough water to flow through the hose and slowly seep out into the soil.

Test how long to run the soaker hose by digging down after about 45 minutes to see if the water penetrated at least several inches down. Adjust your run-time to let water seep past mulch and deeply into the soil.

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Fig Tree