Soaker Hose.......News, FAQ, Color Codes, Types, Tips and Installation Information.

 

                                

                                   INSTALLATION

Soaker hose installation in your garden is simple enough for just about anyone to do. An above ground soaker hose system is the most recommended and much easier to install for an existing garden, and the soaker hose can easily be moved whenever necessary. This type of soaker hose system is extremely efficient and effective. You simply place the hose along the ground around the base of your plants, and cover with garden mulch. If the hose crosses an area of the garden which doesnít require watering, you simply connect a section of poly tubing.

An underground soaker hose system is effective, and you can soak the roots of plants at a deeper level. Installing your soaker hose underground 3"- 4". You can incorporate the soaker hose into the garden design, and bury them as you plant your garden. Make sure to monitor your soaker hose to make sure you don't have any roots growing into the soaker hose.

A filter is highly recommended for your soaker hose (Use a 200 mesh filter). A calcium inhibitor filter (same type of filter that is used on a misting system) is also recommended for areas with hard water. For use on a well system, a filter is a MUST so that particles that might clog the pores of the soaker hose will be filtered out. Well water typically has particles of sediment in suspension. Installing a back flow preventer is highly recommended to stop water from backing up through the hose. This is simply a matter of installing a one way valve between the water source or spigot and the first length of soaker hose.

Pressure Regulator is a MUST since soaker hose is designed to work at low pressure (we recommend the fiskars brand regulator).

 

Seattle Public Utilities: Use a soaker hose correctly 8/21/2013 3:57

Use a soaker hose to water your plant roots instead of leaves or the air. Learn how to avoid common mistakes with this video:

http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=6437&file=1

 


How to install a system.

Step by step instructions on how to put a typical system together.

High resolution. Longer download, but worth it. Medium resolution. Little faster download, but smaller screen size.

 


Soaker hose in action.

See how it weeps water.

High resolution. Longer download, but worth it.

Medium resolution. Little faster download, but smaller screen size.

One of the nice things about the .580 fittings, is the fact that you can use them as a compression fitting, and they have male hose threads on the outside. So if you want to be able to easily take your system apart, you can use the female hose end #109 to thread onto a tee, coupling, elbow or valve and be able to easily take it apart by unscrewing it, instead of trying to pull the tubing out of the fitting. This also allows you to put a flow disc in each row. Picture is a thumbnail.


Here are some samples of different ways to layout your system.

   

Diagram A

Diagram B Diagram C

 

Soaker Hose

Diagram D

                  Diagram E

Diagram F

 

click photos to enlarge

 

Diagram G - Shown with .580 fittings. How to do a system around trees or bushes. Below diagram is another way of doing it. Set up will work with any size hose, just get the proper parts

 

Diagram GG - Another way to go around trees & shrubs.

 

 

click photos to enlarge

 

Diagram H - shown with .580 fittings. For other size fittings, use Male End Caps on the ends instead of coupling and cap. Also for other sizes, an elbow is used on corners.

 

Diagram I - Shown with 1/4" tubing & soaker. May use the same layout with larger soaker hose.

 

 

 

Diagram J

 

 

 

click photo to enlarge

Diagram K

Diagram L - Great layout for raised beds.

 

click photo to enlarge

Lay your soaker hose across the hill. Not up and down the hill.

 

click photo to enlarge

This creates a constant flow of water, helping to provide a more even distribution of water.

Use Tees on the corners, in place of the elbows, and put a cap on one end of the Tee, so you can remove the cap to blow your system out.

Diagram M - Installing on a hill.

Diagram N - A closed system.

 

click photo to enlarge

Bringing the water in to the center will help with a more even water distribution. This design works well if your rows are rather long.

  click photo to enlarge

This system uses Female ends on both ends, screwed onto the tees for easy removal of the soaker hose, for tilling and winter storage. It is also a closed system.

Diagram O - Closed system, feeding from the center.

Diagram P - Take apart/closed system.

 

click photo to enlarge

Coming into the center of your design will help achieve a more even distribution of water. You can use the female fittings or install the soakerhose directly into the tees.

 

Install an in-line valve to each section, turning one on at a time.

Diagram Q   Diagram R - Design for a larger scale set up. This could be a 2400' design.
   

Steps to installing a soaker hose system

Tools & Materials

  • Plastic or metal stakes

  • MrSoakerhose (pre-measure the path of the hose where you are going to lay it) soaker hose is sold only in bulk, no fittings are attached/included.

  • Polytubing

  • Pressure Regulator is a MUST since soaker hose is designed to work at low pressure.

  • Filter to keep particles from clogging your soaker hose (minimum of 150 mesh).

  • Water timer (can be installed later)

  • Y connector with shutoff, splitters, fittings.

    Lay Out the Hose in Your Garden Beds Position soaker hoses throughout the garden near each plant within 6 to 12 inches of the base. On slopes, run across the slope, not up and down. In perennial beds, keep hoses about 18 inches (sandy soils) to 24 inches (clay soil) apart. For annual plants space the runs closer, 12-18 inches apart, to make sure water reaches their shallow roots. Stake the hose into place with stakes wherever it needs it to secure the hose's position.

    Hide the Hose After testing the soaker hose to see that it waters the area well, you can cover it with 2 inches (or more) of mulch, such as wood chips, bark, leaves, or compost, or even decorative rocks. The mulch keeps water from evaporating and helps spread the water flow. It also helps protect the hose from the sun. Have you ever felt the temperature of water that was just sitting in a hose out in the sun? It's hot! Can be used above or below ground. Soaker hose IS NOT for lawn areas.

    Stakes Use to secure soaker hose

    Watering times Start out by running your soaker hose for about 40 minutes once a week, or 20 minutes twice a week for sandy soils and annual plants and gardens that have shallower roots. The goal is to wet the soil in the plantís root zone. You can tell if the plant is getting enough water by digging a hole with a trowel to see if the root zone is wet (wait a while after watering before you check, so the water has time to soak in). Leaves may droop a little on hot days but if they stay droopy after the hottest part of the day, theyíre probably too dry. Drooping can also be a sign of over watering but again, check the soil first! Once youíve got the timing figured out, attach and set a timer to the system. This will make it possible for the watering system to work even when you are on vacation.

    Trees: Using a soaker hose encircle the tree with the hose beginning at the drip line. Add a circle of soaker hose every 2' inward from the drip line throughout the root zone. Try to water the soil areas directly beneath the foliage and shaded by the tree. Do not water beyond the drip-line and do not water closer than 3 feet to the trunk base on established trees.

    Hanging planters, pots and window boxes: Large, hard to move barrels, pots and window boxes will do better with a slow running soaker hose. Water regularly as the dry season goes on. Hanging plants may require watering more frequently as the wind and sun dry them out. During exceptionally hot weather (80's or 90's) hanging baskets may need watering daily, or even twice daily if the basket has limited soil area. Small 1/4" soaker hose in a loop works great for these small areas. By using a 1/4" in-line valve you can regulate the flow to your planter for maximum effectiveness. Like the 1/2" soaker, ALWAYS use a regulator.

    Maintaining Your Soaker Hose System Once or twice a year, unscrew the end caps and flush out any accumulated sediment. Flushing it at the start of the year will help you check for leaks, and ensure that itís not plugged. Make sure everyone working in the garden knows the soaker is there under the mulch, so they donít accidentally damage it. Most cuts or nicks can be repaired with couplings. Soaker Hose is UV stabilized - won't freeze in the cold or crack in the sun.

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    Seattle Public Utilities: Use a soaker hose correctly 8/21/2013 3:57
    Use a soaker hose to water your plant roots instead of leaves or the air. Learn how to avoid common mistakes with this video.