Soaker Hoses

Karen Guz

Deliver more water to the roots where it’s needed.

Wildscape Watering Technique:
Avoid watering flowers from the top because the water washes off nectar that is important to wildlife. Instead water from below with a watering wand, drip system or soaker hose. Water deeply, but infrequently for best impact. Make sure that water soaks down several inches into the soil when you do apply it.

Soaker hoses are a great way to water perennial beds and newly-planted shrubs and trees. They are so inexpensive that you can buy many of them and leave them snaked around throughout your landscape. Do not connect many of them together. The loss in pressure as the hose extends will make it ineffective. It is not 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 one quarter turn or less. This allows enough water to flow through the hose so that it will 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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