6 Reasons You Need To Use a Soaker Hose (Author: Jeffrey Douglas)
Soaker Hose offers the perfect delivery of water to plants: slowly, steady release at the soil line. This ensures that water is not wasted. The slow release allows the soil around plant roots to gradually absorb the water. And the proximity of the hose to soil means that very little if any is lost to evaporation.
Soaker hose is actually the grandfather of the drip irrigation system. When you attach a soaker to a regular hose and turn on the water supply, water seeps in sweat-like beads from the hose along its entire length. Soaker hose if used properly can help us conserve water and at the same time enjoy beautiful flower gardens, trees as well as great tasting home-grown fruits and vegetables. Also use in raised planters, median strips, foundation stabilization, hanging planters and more.
Installing the hose system in your garden is simple enough for just about anyone to do. An underground "just under the mulch" soaker system is the most effective, because you don’t lose any water to evaporation, and you can soak the roots of plants at a deeper level. Incorporate a soaker hose system into your garden design before planting.
An aboveground soaker system is much easier to install for an existing garden, and the hoses can easily be moved whenever necessary. This type of soaker system is still extremely efficient and effective. You simply place the hose along the ground around the base of your plants. If the hose crosses an area of the garden which doesn’t require watering, you simply connect a section of regular garden hose or the appropriate size drip irrigation tubing.
Things you will need to know to set up a soaker hose system. All the following items are available with male x female garden hose thread and will all screw together without a problem:
A 200 mesh filter to keep particles from clogging your hose. Their are 2 style of filters, a "T" Filter and a "Y" filter. T filters are smaller and feed water in a 90 degree turn with an end cap top flush and clean the filter. Used in most small systems. The "Y" filter is larger and the water travels straight through the filter also giving you more surface, in turn cleaning less often. Well water typically has more particles of sediment in suspension, and not normally recommended for soaker hose.
Installing a back flow preventer is highly recommended to stop dirty water from backing up through the hose into your household drinking water supply. This is simply a matter of installing a one way valve (a backflow preventer) between the water source or spigot and the first length of hose.
A calcium filter can be used for soaker hose, drip irrigation and mist systems to help reduce clogging by capturing iron and calcium particles that build up in soaker hoses and in drip emitters.
Probably the most important item is a soaker hose pressure regulator. Soaker hose is designed to work at approx. 20-30 psi. Using a regulator with standard hose water pressure of 45psi will keep the hose working properly. Sometimes when homes have a high water pressure in excess of 60-100 psi or more, you may need a heavy duty pressure regulator. If you don't know your pressure, buy yourself a pressure gauge for around $10 to determine your pressure and get the proper regulator the first time. High pressure will cause your hose to spray and or split.
Items required for installation.Soaker Hose Pressure
Regulator is a MUST, since soaker hose
is designed to work at low pressure.
200 Mesh Filter is a MUST so that particles that might
clog the pores of the tubing will be filtered out.
Calcium Filter is also recommended for areas with hard water. Most
water supplies typically have particles of sediment in
Backflow Preventer is highly
recommended as well, to stop dirty water from backing up
through the hose, and possible contaminating your household drinking water supply.
This is simply a matter of installing a one way valve
between the water source or spigot and the first length of
hose. Mainline Poly Tubing/Fittings, be sure to get the same size as the soaker hose you buying.
Other Items Filters, Pressure Regulators, Stakes, Hose Accessories, Timers
*Manufacturers of products using soaker hose, give us a call, we can manufacture different sizes and flow rates.