The 9 Best Soaker Hoses
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in April of 2018. With water rates rising and summers marked by a higher frequency of heat waves, it makes sense to invest in efficient ways of keeping a garden irrigated. Whether you've planted an extensive vegetable plot or just want to keep the lawn lush all season long, one of these soaker hoses can save you time, reduce your water bill, and deliver hydration directly to where it's needed the most. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best soaker hose on Amazon.
July 05, 2019:
In many cases, these soaker hoses are used for two major purposes: to provide a more direct delivery of water to plants and root systems for large landscaping projects, and to prevent excess run-off and water leakage. Made from a combination of recycled materials, many of the options on the list are well-adept at being bent, flexed, and used for deep-reaching irrigation.
The extra-thick walls on the Dramm ColorStorm can help prevent leaks and significantly reduce water wastage. Furthermore, its nickel-plated connectors are also crush-proof. I added the Green Mount GM-04060 for its steady flow rate, pressure levels, and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Also included the Taisia 1/2-Inch for its integrated UV inhibitors and ease of setup. The extendable design of the Melnor Flat makes it easy to maneuver around obstacles in your garden, while its compact size allows for easy storage. The Gilmour Weeper is extremely durable and can be placed both above and below ground, depending on your preferences. Its outer fabric also resists clogs. I think that the One Stop Gardens Seeper is still a worthy contender for its use of pressure regulator discs and woven nylon sleeve. Although the Swan Miracle-Gro does take a while to set up (and can be a bit annoying when having to cut it to an exacting length), its patented EZ-Connect fittings are pretty reliable nevertheless. Finally, the Flexon FS50 can double as both a soaker hose and conventional sprinkler.
Saving Green In More Ways Than One
Using a soaker hose will save a lot of time, since you don't need to walk around your garden with a water can.
Horticulture on any scale serves a variety of environmental and social benefits. When it comes to renewable resources and maximizing the usefulness of a plot of land, having a green thumb is an extremely valuable asset. However, landscaping and garden cultivation also has the potential to become quite costly over time, specifically as it pertains to water usage. Regardless of whether you tend the land as a pastime, grow vegetables to support a family, or you just want to maintain the lushness of an outdoor living space, a reliable soaker hose can be used as an alternative to conventional hoses, so that you can concentrate smaller amounts of water where it's needed most, saving you precious money on that rising water bill.
Constructed from either rubber or polyethylene plastic, and similar in appearance to an ordinary garden hose, the soaker hose is a porous tube that allows water to slowly seep out along its entire length and at very low pressure levels. When the hose is placed along a ground surface (or buried within mulch), oozing water is slowly absorbed into the soil where it flows directly to a plant's root system. This type of operation is somewhat different from a traditional sprinkler irrigation system, which delivers water to plants in a fashion similar to that of natural rainfall.
A typical soaker hose setup includes several components, beginning at the faucet. The faucet controls the flow of water coming directly from a pipe source. The faucet is also equipped with a backflow connector, a device that prevents contamination from dirt and sediment coming from an undesirable reverse flow of water. While not always necessary, the system can be equipped with both a filter and a mechanical timer, as well. The timer gives a gardener the option to set and split watering intervals between different sections of a plot. A filter is particularly useful for preventing mineral deposits from entering the hose system in areas known for having hard water. A dedicated pressure regulator usually attaches to the timer near the faucet to maintain a stable pressure of between 10 and 12 pounds per square inch. This ensures consistent water flow through the system, while preventing a garden hose from spraying or breaking. Finally, one end of the garden hose (closest to the faucet) connects directly to the pressure regulator, while the opposite end connects to the soaker hose.
When it comes to sustaining plant life, soaker hoses provide many benefits. By delivering water at ground level, foliage remains relatively dry and free from potential fungal growth. Because these types of hoses facilitate slow water absorption at low pressures, their lack of spraying helps to prevent both water overuse and soil erosion over time. Due to this localized concentration of water, these hoses can also help to prevent the overgrowth of undesirable weeds surrounding those plants you wish to see thrive. Using a soaker hose will save a lot of time, since you don't need to walk around your garden with a water can. Soaker hoses share some of the same benefits as a drip irrigation system, as well. They help maintain consistent soil moisture while working to prevent excess evaporation.
Leveling The Watering Field
There are several practical considerations to keep in mind when investing in the appropriate soaker hose for your property. To operate efficiently, the hose shouldn't exceed a maximum length of 100 feet and should be used on level surfaces, not on slopes or steep hilly areas. Soaker hoses are usually available in 25, 50, 75, and 100-foot options, so it's important to determine which one works best for your garden setup. Are you planning to use the hose to irrigate a raised garden bed, or a flower bed along the ground? If you have raised vegetation, you'll benefit from the extra length.
There are several practical considerations to keep in mind when investing in the appropriate soaker hose for your property.
Next, think about whether you'd like an installation kit or whether you prefer to purchase the soaker hose by itself. If you're new to gardening, an installation kit will come in handy, as it will include the necessary connectors for attaching the soaker hose to a traditional garden hose. This type of kit is also helpful when thread sizes between the soaker and garden hose differ, simplifying your overall assembly time with the appropriate attachments.
Depending on the type of soil and plants you may be growing, hose spacing is an important factor when your garden has rows of plants that require attention. On sandy soil, for example, your hose lines should ideally be around 12-18 inches apart, as opposed to 18-24 inches apart when they're used on loam or clay soils.
A Brief History Of Soaker Hoses
The first hoses appeared in ancient Greece as early as 400 BCE and were fashioned from large ox intestines with water bags attached to them. Although these intestines were flexible, they didn't last very long in those days.
The first hoses appeared in ancient Greece as early as 400 BCE and were fashioned from large ox intestines with water bags attached to them.
It wasn't until 1672 that Dutch inventor Jan van der Heyden would improve upon this design by stitching leather together, creating the first practical flexible hose design used to assist early fire brigades.
Material advances in hose design occurred over the next two centuries, including fashioning hoses from leather, canvas, sailcloth, cotton, and linen, all of which were heavy and prone to leakage. By 1870, rubber became the most popular choice for hose construction due to its flexibility, lightweight design, and resistance to potential leaks.
Prior to the first soaker hose patents in the 1970s, overhead sprinklers were the most common type of irrigation system, but they created puddles and erosion problems that weren't conducive to certain garden environments that required more direct watering of the soil. With its slow-dripping water beads and ground-based operation, the modern soaker hose fills a unique niche in terms of effective garden cultivation on a small scale.
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