Messages posted to thread:

Dave28-Oct-01 08:31 AM EST
Susan28-Oct-01 09:33 AM EST 6a   
Kay28-Oct-01 11:46 AM EST 2b   
JoanneS29-Oct-01 04:54 PM EST 3a   
Susan01-Nov-01 09:38 AM EST 6b   

Subject: Soaker Hoses
From: Dave
Date: 28-Oct-01 08:31 AM EST

After reading all the positive results gardeners get from soaker hoses, I think I'll try the technique next spring. But I have a few questions/requests for recommendations? What's the best brand of soaker hose? Do I go for expensive/long lasting or cheap? How many years will a soaker hose last if left in the ground and covered with mulch? Any other suggestions/tips/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Subject: RE: Soaker Hoses
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 28-Oct-01 09:33 AM EST

I buy the black ones from Canadian Tire - their store brand ones (Yardworks) and use the Yardworks brass hose connectors. I also have ones from a different brand sold by Cdn Tire - I can't remember the name of it... Last week I removed the hose connectors and the end caps to let everything drain well for the winter. I probably should blow any remaining water out of them but I don't have a compressor to do it and if there was any remaining water last year, it didn't cause any problems.

Some brands of hoses seem to have bigger holes than other. I prefer the larger holes, but both do work OK.

I've found it's best to buy one longer hose than to connect two shorter ones, especially if the two hoses are different brands!

I tend to lay the hoses in a series of 'S' loops in bigger beds; in the narrower raised bed, I ran them straight down one side, about 6" from the edge, turned and came back down the middle, then went down the other side, about six inches from the outside edge. I use the landscape fabric pins to pin them in place. These pins are cheaper than metal tent pegs which I used at first and prefer because they're sturdier and don't rust. The fabric pins are thinner and they rust. I worry that they may eventually become hazards if they rust through and become like nails in the soil... I suppose you could lay the hoses without anything to hold them in place but they're stiff and awkward when they're still in the shape of the coil they come in. I'm thinking of going around next spring and trying to find and remove the pins as the hoses should now lay flat on the ground without them.

I cover all the hoses with mulched leaves in the fall. Covering them seems to make the watering more efficient (I think because the mulch helps retain the moisture better...) but makes the hoses harder to find to plant things near them. However, it's easier to find them under mulch than under soil so I rarely actually cover them with soil.

It can be hard to find the end caps to remove for the winter, so it helps to either mark the ends in some way (a small stake or something like that) or else be sure to end them somewhere obvious or easy to remember!

I've only used them for two years now so I'm not sure how long they'll last - I've heard they should last about 5 years (it probably depends on winter conditions and the amount of sunlight they receive - I'd think covering them with mulch should prolong their life ...I hope...!) Removing them and replacing them would be a pain (!) so I hope they last quite a while! (Actually, I think I wouldn't bother removing them - just take the connectors and end caps off and lay the new hose as if the previous one didn't exist to avoid causing too much damage to plants that have grown over the hoses...)

I was just trying to figure out how many feet of them I've put down. I have at least 600 feet, maybe 700 - I've lost track... About half of that is in the woodland area, including the raised bed on one end; the rest is primarily in beds along the foundation where deep eaves mean they don't get wet when it rains (I can't think of any more efficient and effective way to water these sorts of beds...) There is also 75 feet of them in a spiral around the Blue Spruce - the tree skirt is 20-30 feet wide and the garden area is all under the skirt - nothing will grow there, not even weeds, without the hoses but there's now a thriving bed under there. I also use a soaker hose in the sunny border down the driveway as it is very hot and dry there. The hoses make watering so much easier and more effective I would never build a garden bed without them now!

Subject: RE: Soaker Hoses
From: Kay
Zone: 2b
Date: 28-Oct-01 11:46 AM EST

We use one black soaker hose that we just purchased last year, and move it from place to place as needed. Never thought of covering it with mulch and leaving it. It sure would save time to leave it in place. We wind the soaker hose back and forth in the flower bed so everything gets watered and then leave it on for half a day, then the next day dig down and see if we need to repeat the process. This year we were almost flooded out in July then it was all wind and heat and we needed to water just the one time. We took our soaker hose in for the winter.


Subject: RE: Soaker Hoses
From: JoanneS
Zone: 3a
Date: 29-Oct-01 04:54 PM EST

We use the black ones made out of recycled tires. We leave them out all year and some of them are going on 7 years; however, some almost disintegrated and broke apart after only three. I'm not sure why the difference. I've covered them with a bark mulch, which makes locating them difficult from time to time. I hate digging in a shovel, only to come up with a now-pieced hose. Oh well.

Subject: RE: Soaker Hoses
From: Susan
Zone: 6b
Date: 01-Nov-01 09:38 AM EST

I have buried my Canadian Tire soaker hoses in one of my established perennial gardens where I don't plan to move much any more. The final pass of hose is about 8-12 inches from the front of the border, so I don't cut the hose when planting annuals. I have a fiskars heavy plastic little shovel that is used to plant in this bed...that way the hose is never cut. If you don't bury the hose, it should at least be mulched, or you aren't saving much water from evaporation. Some perennials have really thrived being near the hose (delphiniums, cornflower, balloon flower, veronica, monkshood, lupins), but others that require less watering, I keep well away from the hose (lavander, santolina, poppies etc.) Once the hoses have been pinned down for a year, they lay flat on their own.

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