How Long To Run Soaker Hose – Using A Soaker Hose

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Are you tired of spending countless hours watering your landscaping plants?

I understand. Taking precious time to keep your plants healthy with proper watering can become exhausting. With summer heat approaching, finding a better solution is even more critical.

So what’s the answer?

A soaker hose that automatically waters the plants for you. Inside this guide, I talk about the effectiveness of soaker hoses, how long they need to run, water usage, and steps to use one efficiently.

In this guide, you’ll learn what you need to know about soaker hoses and how they can benefit you and your plants!

How Long Should You Run A Soaker Hose For?

Most homeowners like the convenience of setting a soaker hose on a timer that runs for thirty to forty-five minutes, several times a week.

When you first set up a soaker hose, you should start by letting the water run for around thirty minutes and shut off the water before checking soil moisture conditions. You can do this with a moisture meter or by digging down several inches. 

If the dirt is dry at three inches, you need to run the soaker hose for longer. If it is very wet, you need to set the timer for a shorter span. Adjust the timer five minutes in the necessary direction, and keep checking until you achieve the right water balance.

In scorching and dry climates, you may need to run your soaker hose every day, while other places that receive regular rainfall may only need it once per week.

How Much Water Does A Soaker Hose Use Per Hour?

The average 5/8-inch soaker hose will disperse around one inch of water to plants over around three-and-a-half hours.

The water pressure coming from the spigot and the length of the hose will affect the water output as well.

One or two inches of water weekly is usually acceptable to keep landscaping plants happy. Since water pressure and hose length will vary, it may take some time to understand how much water flow you are consuming. 

An excellent way to verify water usage is to install a flow-rate meter on your water line between the spigot and the soaker hose.

Are Soaker Hoses Effective?

Soaker hoses can be just as effective as other watering options and can save hours of personal time each week along with the bonus of delivering water exactly where your plants need it; at the roots.

Other systems like drip irrigation or sprinkler systems may overwater or overspray areas, which wastes water. Properly set up soaker hoses can hide under mulch or foliage and bring much-needed water to your plants without water waste or looking unsightly.

Many homeowners wonder if they should choose to install a drip irrigation system or go instead to use a soaker hose to water their plants automatically.

The materials and installation cost of drip irrigation systems can come with a hefty price tag. Soaker hoses achieve the same result, with a much more user and budget-friendly bottom line.

Using A Soaker Hose

Using a soaker hose is easier for more consistent use, as opposed to bringing it in and out when it’s time to water.

I like to follow these steps for the months where constant watering is necessary:

Step 1 – Measure

Measure out the distance you need from the spigot to the areas you need to water. Remember that it is smarter and more efficient to use separate taps and lengths of hose if possible if your landscaping is extensive. 

Longer lengths of soaker hose, especially those over 100-feet long, may have trouble keeping up enough pressure to force water out near the end of the hose. I can attest from personal experience, and the experts agree that trying to go further than 100 feet is counterproductive.

Step 2 – Adjust

Starting at the spigot, lay your soaker hose through the planter beds you wish to water. Keep the soaker hose at least two inches away from the stems or trunks of plants and weave in and out of broad areas to cover more soil.

Step 3 – Attach The Hose

Hook up to the nearest spigot. Attach the leading end of the soaker hose to a water source. 

At this location, you may also wish to attach an in-line water filter, a pressure regulator, or any of the reliable soaker hose timers. A back-flow preventer may also be necessary, depending on your water system.

Make sure the end cap to your soaker hose is in place securely, so water cannot flow out the end.

Step 4 – Turn On

Turn on the faucet to about 2/3 of the fully on position. Don’t quickly turn to the fully open position. Gently increase water pressure so you don’t blow out the hose.

Many people assume that you want the water to trickle into your soaker hose, but that will not create enough pressure to deliver water to the end of the soaker hose. There needs to be enough pressure to force water from the pores in the hose, so low pressure will mean that many of your plants may go thirsty.

Step 5 – Check Moisture Level

Allow the water to soak into the soil around the base of your plants. Establish proper watering by checking soil moisture at the root level of the plants. 

If your shrubs have deeper roots, measure down six to twelve inches. For flowers and other annual plants, you may only need to check two or three inches.

Soaker Hose Using Rain Barrels

For odd areas in the yard not near a water spigot, the easy way to ensure plants get the water they need is to hook up a soaker hose to a rain barrel.

I use this method in three places in my yard, and it works wonderfully. I take my hose and manually fill the barrels if rains have been scarce.

The only difference is that once the barrel becomes about half-full, the water pressure lessens, which means I have had to go with shorter lengths of hose. In other areas, I have made larger holes in the tubing to let more water escape.

It’s much cheaper to use a barrel for watering, and many rain barrels are very decorative and add a nice touch to your garden aesthetic.

In Summary

Soaker hoses are the way to go for gardeners who want to make sure their plants look their best but prefer not to invest in a more complicated sprinkler or drip irrigation system.

Conserving water by running a soaker hose for several hours every few days can help to lower your monthly water bill and lets you spend all those hours you spent watering with a hose doing the things you genuinely love!