General Discussion:


Messages posted to thread:

Sue25-May-02 10:52 AM EST 6a   
Susan25-May-02 11:59 AM EST 6a   
Alnoro25-May-02 12:50 PM EST 8   
Sue25-May-02 05:44 PM EST 6a   
Dawn25-May-02 07:25 PM EST 3   
Kate25-May-02 07:30 PM EST   
Susan25-May-02 10:30 PM EST 6a   
Dawn25-May-02 10:50 PM EST 3   
Em26-May-02 12:06 AM EST   
Sue26-May-02 08:12 AM EST 6a   
Susan26-May-02 10:09 AM EST 6a   
Lee26-May-02 10:41 AM EST 6a   

Subject: Hoses
From: Sue (
Zone: 6a
Date: 25-May-02 10:52 AM EST

Which kind of hose do you use in your garden? I've got the rubber hose - it's way too heavy and nearly wipes out my plants everytime I use it as it slithers across the landscape. I've seen that new, light , flat, easy to roll, one on TV - think it's around $20- has anyone got one yet? Is it any good? They say it's guaranteed for life! Would love your input because I need a new hose. Thanks..........Sue

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 25-May-02 11:59 AM EST

Everybody's probably sick of reading about them from me but... soaker hoses are a great invention. Put them down in the garden and leave them there. You only need to bring a regular hose to the end of the soaker, connect the two using a snap-together hose connection, turn on the water and let it run for awhile. Very water efficient and easy. This spring I've just created a large new perennial bed which has 250 feet of soaker hoses put down before I started planting and a small herb bed with a 100 foot soaker hose. The only things I water any other way is patio pots. All my garden areas are watered with soaker hoses or not at all (no hoses in my 'wet corner'...)

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Alnoro (
Zone: 8
Date: 25-May-02 12:50 PM EST

I know what you mean about the heavy rubber hoses my hubby swears by them and I swear at them. I just bought a hose at COSCO called a spring coil hose It's 50' but coils to about 3'at purchase.It looks like a big slinky. I'm not overly thrilled with it though. Hubby and I had a friendly!! discussion about it and he predicted it would kink(it does)and that it would not be long before it stopped going back to it's original 3'(5'now) I still tell him I love it(hate admitting I'm wrong). It is nice and light and easy to work with, and since i have to take my hose upstairs to the balcony and most of my garden is in containers I do find it handy but I wouldn't buy it again. I think I might like to try that flat one too. If I could swallow my pride and take it back NOT! good luck on your search for the perfect light hose.

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Sue (
Zone: 6a
Date: 25-May-02 05:44 PM EST

No, Susan, I'm not tired of hearing about the soaker hoses - I actually have two that I got thanks to your suggestions - adding more in the new beds. It's the general hose that I need to hook up to the soaker hoses and the one that I move all over to water the pots - I have tons of pots and the heavy rubber one is a killer - both of me and my plants. Am dying to know if anyone has tried that new flat one they have been advertising on TV. Thanks Alnoro - I somehow thought that particular hose would have some issues. I'd looked at that one at Canada Blooms when they were demonstrating it. Anyone tried that new flat one yet?

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Dawn
Zone: 3
Date: 25-May-02 07:25 PM EST

I'd like to find out from Susan what type of soaker hose (brand name) she has. I managed to find one a couple of years ago that said you shouldn't go anymore than 200 ft in total. Well I bought four 50 foot lengths and it doesn't work well at all. With the first 50 feet the ground gets good and wet. Then it sort of weeps out and by the time you get to the last 50 feet almost nothing comes out.

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Kate
Date: 25-May-02 07:30 PM EST

I have one of those flat hoses.

I would say, up until about a half hour ago, that they were "just ok". I find the water pressure through them not as strong as a regular hose of the same diameter. A half an hour ago I went out to water something and noticed that the hose is leaking about half-way along. So, now I am looking for my receipt to return it.

As far as winding the hose back up, I actually found it kind of annoying. A regular hose on a hose reel, while bulkier, is easier to rewind.

The only really good thing would be that when they do wind up (and store) the whole thing is only about the size of a shoe-box. Not too bad.

Hope this helps.

PS: I've only used it 4 or 5 times.

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 25-May-02 10:30 PM EST

Dawn - I use the soaker hoses that Canadian Tire sells - I'm not sure of the brand name. 250 feet might be a bit of a stretch but I've used 200 feet without any problems elsewhere in the garden, so I'm hoping the extra length doesn't mean I run out of water by the end. I've got it set up on a two-pronged connector with 100 feet on one side and 150' on the other. The connector has a switch so you can direct all the water to one side or the other if you want. So, if 250 feet is too much, I'll just water one side and them switch it to the other... Our watermains were upgraded and replaced here a couple of years ago and our water pressure is pretty good so maybe that helps.

Sue - I don't find dragging the standard hose to the soaker to be too much of a problem (and I'm physically disabled...) Like Kate, I have my hoses on hose reels and that makes an enormous difference in the ease of running them out and reeling them back in!

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Dawn
Zone: 3
Date: 25-May-02 10:50 PM EST

Thanks Susan. I thought the water pressure may make a difference. I prefer soaker hoses as they are supposed to be more efficient but I don't get the same result. I'll check Canadian Tire to see what they have as I bought mine from Walmart.

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Em
Date: 26-May-02 12:06 AM EST

Susan, You've convinced me to put in soaker hoses. I used one last year along hot & dry east side of my house and it seemed to work well. This year I've bought 2 more and intend to put them in a long narrow border which ends under a cursed maple tree. Hope it works!

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Sue (
Zone: 6a
Date: 26-May-02 08:12 AM EST

Thanks Kate for your info on the flat hose - guess I'll stay away from it - it did look too good to be true. Thanks Susan - I'm off to buy a rollout device for my hose today - maybe that's the issue with the difficulty of getting all over the yard. Never thought of redirecting the water with devices on the soaker hose. Will persue that one too - so I don't have to keep reconnecting the hose. Thanks. Just bought another hose yesterday at Whiterose - they are very resonable and I like the idea they are made from used car tires. Recycle, recycle, recycle! Thanks for all your help...Sue

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 26-May-02 10:09 AM EST

For anyones thinking of adding soaker hoses, here's a few things I've learned that you might find useful:

- The easiest time to install them is early in the spring in an existing bed or at the time of creating a new bed. Adding soaker hoses after the plants are more than a few inches tall is difficult without damaging the plants.

- Before trying to install the hoses, unwind them from the coil - twist them so they are stretched out flat and not still in the coil shape. Lay them out on the driveway in the sun for a few hours so they relax and get easier to work with.

- When you put them in a bed, they can either be snaked back and forth in 'S' loops or in straight lines 'down and back'. Pin them in place as you go using landscpe fabric pins (about $2.50 for 10 pins at Home Depot - I've not found the pins at Cdn Tire but Home Depot always has the pins...) The pins rust badly and I worry about them becoming a hazard, so I remove them the next year once the hoses have settled into the bed.

- The hose will need to be at least 2x the length of the bed and frequently more, depending on the width of the bed. In my new little herb bed which is about 12'x 6', I have 100' of hose! In that bed, which is rectangular, the hose is laid in straight lines about 8 inches apart. The bed is in a very hot, dry spot.

- Wherever possible use one long hose rather than connecting two shorter hoses together. If you need to join hoses, it's best if they're the same brand name - the hoses tend to leak badly at the join and it's worse when they're not the same brand - different leak rates seem to make a difference.

- As Dawn noted, too long a length of hose might lose water pressure by the end of the hose. You can get hose connectors that can take 2 or 4 hoses. As I noted above, I have several of the two hose connectors that I use for 200' runs of hose. If you find water pressure a problem, the connector allows you to switch all the water to one hose, water that side, then switch the water to the second hose. I've avoided the 4 hose connector as I was concerned that the water flow might not distribute well in that configuration. When you water, turn the tap on full to maximize the pressure in the hose.

- Before you buy the hose, check that the end cap is there - it's often missing!

- Put snap-on hose connectors on the open end of the hose. I prefer the brass Yardworks ones from Canadian Tire to the plastic ones. Put the female end on the soaker hose and the male end on the garden hose. That way, the garden hose will still work for filling watering cans etc. without removing the connector. (If you don't know what I mean by male and female, just look at the two pieces for a few seconds and it'll come to you...:) I have female connections on all my watering tools (watering wand, spray nozzles etc.) which makes switching tools easy - much better than having to screw things together each time!

- Mark where the ends of the hoses are if you are adding mulch on top or if they will be buried by fallen leaves in the fall. In the fall, remove the end caps and the connectors from the hoses. If you have a compressor, blow any remaining water from the lines (I don't have a compressor and I've not had any problem with winter damage to the hoses...)

- Plant new plants near the hose - drought tolerant plants can be planted further from the hose. Plants with bulbs or rhizomes should be a bit further away as well as the bulbs and rhizomes might be damaged by the water.

I find the soaker hoses an invaluable addition to the garden and it's well worth the relatively minor effort to set them up!

Subject: RE: Hoses
From: Lee
Zone: 6a
Date: 26-May-02 10:41 AM EST

Just a note to what Susan was saying, when buying a soaker hose, make sure the female end is a metal connector. Canadian Tire's 100 ft hoses here may have either, and I've had lots of trouble with the plastic connector disconnecting. All my other soaker hoses have metal connectors and they work just fine.

And for fabric clips, I just make cut 3 out of a metal coat hanger and bent them to make a hook.

I use the quick connect systems too, but I do the opposite to you, Susan. Female end (more costly part) on garden hose because when its not connected to a watering tool I'm not wasting water, and I don't have to keep running back to the tap to shut it off. This way I only need one of the more costly attachments, and several of the cheaper male attachments. I also get sprayed less when I'm hooking up my attachments (I've got plenty of water pressure!). I keep a watering wand close to my watering cans for quick fill-ups.

That's good to know that you don't blow out your hoses for winter. I was wondering how I was going to approach that situation.

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