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Thread: Using soaker hoses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    366

    Using soaker hoses

    I am being lazy and not searching but I finally got my act together, bought the Orbitz 4 outlet nozzle timers and hooked them up, programmed them and have them working. My problem is that in my raised bed gardens the water seems to immediately run right out between the boards and the paths are soaked!! I have cut and joined the soaker hoses so there is no way they could leak from one raised bed to the next. My tomatoes have never done better, with the even watering they don't split or scar, but my paths are flooded. What a waste of the water. I am only watering 30" at a time every other day for a 150' of hose, but perhaps I need to cut it down to shorter lengths of time with more cycles during the day??

    Any suggestions?? soaker hoses are supposed to allow the water to soak in, but it just seems to be running right out somehow. maybe i need to disturb the dirt under them, maybe little riverbeds have developed that carry the water away. My raised beds are loaded with mulch and wonderful to dig in...I would think they would eagerly absorb the moisture!!
    Linda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    I'm sure you have considered this, but the soaker hose comes with a flow-restricting washer in the attachment end, this limits the amount of water so that it has time to 'soak in'. Without it, the water is delivered too fast.

    The length of each soaker hose is the limited. If you add additional sections, water will not reach the end section, nor be delivered evenly.

    As the soaker hose grows older, after being exposed to sun and weather, it starts to break down, and will leak faster than it should for a good 'soaking'. They need to be replaced about every other year.

    If your raised beds are built on top of clay, once the fast draining media lets the water thru, it will start to build up on top of the clay, and out onto the paths.

    Correct any problems you have with water flow in the soakers, and then maybe you can reduce the amount of time they are on. By the way, that water on the paths will eventually soak in, and assist in keeping the rest of the soil, and your raised beds moist, so, all is not lost.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Thanks, TOM!

    I ditto what Tom says. The soaker hoses will start to degrade in the hot sun after a year or two, and they have to be replaced.

    So, I gave up on those, but if you don't mind replacing them, they do work great!

    I am thankful for another rain today, so I don't have to haul hoses, but I do need to hire someone to put underground PVC lines and sprinklers in parts of the yard that are difficult to reach via 'lugging' hoses. Since getting city water, I can no longer use the numerous outlets from the house without paying a fortune in city water charges.

    So, I can no longer use the soaker hoses connected to the house outlets. I have to lug hoses around. I have one well outlet on the house, one at the greenhouse and one on the well house, and considering that they are a hundred feet or more apart, that means lugging hoses.

    It seems that I am going through a transition, from well water to city water and from being the second rainiest city in the US to drought conditions.

    That's okay.. We deal with this one day at a time! Sooner or later, I will get this right!

    Trust me! I am trying...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    northern virginia
    Posts
    366
    I may have taken the water restricting washer out when I added the additional hoses but I don't have the pressure turned on full either. I do have a nice mosquito breeding area in that the paths are heavily mulched to look nice and keep down the weeds. I think I will reduce the watering time as well and do more cycles - the timer allows for 3 cycles daily, so perhaps I will give that a try too......Thanks for the advice, I didn't realize the hoses wouldn't last very long, that is disappointing
    Linda
    Linda

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