Soaker hoses are a type of rubber hoses, with tiny holes along it’s entire length. With these holes facing downwards, water seeps out gradually and slowly at an even rate, watering plants straight to their roots. The most popular soaker hoses are made from recycled rubber, and are more flexible so they can be laid out easily between plants.
There are many benefits of using soaker hoses – they preserve consistent moisture of the soil, and reduce plant diseases that originate from overly damp stems, leaves and fruits. Also, they tend to be more efficient than a landscape sprinkler method, given that there’s no water loss due to evaporation.
Soaker hose is suitable for watering shrubs, trees, perennial beds as well as vegetable gardens. But they’re not suitable for lawns since the roots can easily clog up the small holes of the hose. They’re ideal for watering odd-shaped garden beds that sprinklers do not fit.
Flow rate (GPM, Gallon Per Minute) for soaker hoses may vary, based on the design and type of the hose. Some soaker hoses discharge as low as 1/2 gallon water per 100 ft of hose-pipe per minute. Some other hoses release 1 gallon of water per 100 ft of hose-pipe per minute whereas larger sized hoses can release around 2 gallons. If you’re watering different garden beds, use different rated hoses to provide suitable watering and ensure minimal waste.
Vinyl or Plastic Soaker Hoses
Vinyl or plastic soaker hoses provide the home-owners an easily cost-effective option for a garden hose. The lowest priced soaker hoses are made from vinyl or plastic. This kind of soaker hose comes with hundreds of small holes perforating the entire length of the hose-pipe. Hoses are available in common sizes from 25 – 100 ft and different diameters starting from 1/2 – 3/4 inch. Vinyl or plastic does not endure heat exposure or cold, so these soaker hoses types are likely to break up easily when placed directly under a thick mulch.
Porous rubberized material produces a strong, durable soaker hose that could withstand being buried under thick mulch. These types of hoses are made from fibrous rubber material bonded with each other to create a hard material for watering plants. These hoses have thousands of small holes placed through the entire hose pipe to allow gradual leaking of water in to the soil. Fibrous hoses are more costly than plastic-type or vinyl, but can last considerably longer. Buy a pressure-valve to connect to the water faucet to help regulate flow of water.
Soak and Spray
Wind a soak and spray hose between your plants, and turn on. The hose both drips water slowly in to the soil and also sprays water upwards on to nearby vegetation. Also, the spray height can be adjusted by governing the water-pressure through the hose.
Don’t forget to flush the soaker hose at the start and end of each season to get rid of any deposit that might have accumulated. Used properly, soaker hoses can definitely promote healthy and deep root systems.