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Monday, July 4, 2011

What is a Garden Soaker Hose?: Drip versus Spray

A soaker hose is a drip or spray hose. There are hoses that look like drip hoses but they actually spray water. I don't recommend the spray hoses because they can spray a stream 12 inches high or more which will soak the bottoms and middles of your plants. You are just making a better environment for disease to grow versus the drip hose.

You can use a spray hose on parts of your garden where disease is less of a worry like on lettuces, radishes, carrots, beans, etc. For tomatoes, peppers, vine crops, and the like, I recommend a drip hose.

So what does a drip hose look like?

A Garden Drip Hose: Gary Pilarchik
You can see how the water is delivered in the above picture. It slowly seeps out of the hose. You will have to experiment with the length of time you leave it on. I would imagine 1-3 hours a day works based on the demand of your plants.

In the picture below you can see the dark soil. That is the delivery area of the hose. Some people recommend keeping the hose close to the base of your plants. I don't fully agree. It needs to be close the base but you want to encourage root growth. Stronger roots often means stronger plants. Keep in mind a transplant or new plant needs water where it is. You can move the hose as they grow larger.

A Garden Drip Hose and Soaked Area: Gary Pilarchik
Weaving A Garden Drip Hose Through the Garden: Gary Pilarchik
These plants are established and have good root systems. The hose can be tricky to work with because it is coiled.  I placed the hose so it would lay flat and cross the root path of the plants. 

You can see the hoses aren't expensive and when you consider the time they will save you, they are a steal. You can find these hoses at all your local stores. Price shop... you can find good deals at the stores.

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