How Long to Run Soaker Hose?

An elegant, well-maintained garden takes more than watering; however, the watering technique you use has the most significance in how your garden turns out. If you are looking to improve your garden without the hassle of sprinklers, a soaker hose is the best option.

A soaker hose lets water seep and penetrate the ground, ensuring your plant roots are adequately watered. But, you need to understand how long to use one to ensure the plants get just enough of what they need.

In this article, you will learn how long you can run the soaker hose, how the different timings affect your plants’ growth, and tips for using one.

Key Takeaways

  • A soaker hose is a convenient watering option for gardeners, ensuring uniform and economical watering of plants.
  • Factors such as water pressure, water quality, type of soil, and type of plants determine the efficiency of a soaker hose.
  • The optimal time to run a soaker hose is 30 minutes, but it could be more or less depending on the needs of the plants.

Understanding How a Soaker Hose Works

A soaker hose is made from a porous material that allows water to seep through to the ground. The tiny perforations run along the length of the hose, acting as a drip irrigation system. This design makes it easy to water the roots of plants instead of spraying them over.

Setting up a soaker hose system involves laying the hoses parallel to your plants. The good thing with soaker hoses is that they are versatile, and you can cut them to suit your garnered needs. Once set up and secured, you can cover them with mulch if need be [1].

How Long to Run a Soaker Hose

There is no definite time set to run a soaker hose as this depends on various factors. But, an average for most situations is 30 minutes. This is not cast on stone, and you can adjust the time by increasing or decreasing to suit your needs.

Factors That Affect The Functionality of a Soaker Hose

Before setting out to install a soaker hose in your garden, it is crucial to keep these factors in mind. You may need to compromise on one or two, but it should work as long as the soaker hose is well installed.

Water Pressure

Water pressure is an essential factor to consider when setting up a soaker hose system. This is because the hose will depend on the water pressure to reach each part of your garden. Generally, moderate to high water pressure works fine with soaker hoses.

If your garden is hilly, a soaker hose may not be the best option. However, this could work if your water supply is on a higher level than the garden, in which case, you would need to monitor the water flow.

Water Quality

As mentioned, a soaker hose has porous material that allows water to seep through. If the water supply in your home has a high concentration of calcium, then the hose is bound to collect some deposits.

This can cause blockage in the pores affecting how well the water seeps through. Eventually, this affects the amount of water that reaches your plants, and in most cases, your plants will be underwatered.

Soil Type

This is the first thing you should consider before you set up a soaker hose. Some soils absorb water quicker than others; therefore would need less time with the hose running. Others take time to absorb water, requiring a little more time to get it to the plants’ roots [2].

Types of Plants

Generally, some plants require more water than others. If you have a garden with different plants, you may need to set up several soaker hose systems for each type of plant. This is to ensure each plant gets just the right amount of water.

Plants with shallow roots such as shrubs, herbs, and vegetables require more water than established trees. Fruits need plenty of water to develop and produce. Other plants like succulents need very little water and may not maximize the use of a soaker hose.

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How Long to Run a Soaker Hose for Different Plants

Like other nutrients, water requirements vary from one plant to the other. Below is a basic guideline for how long to run a soaker hose for various plants.

Trees and Shrubs

The roots of trees and shrubs extend as deep as 40 inches under the ground and a few inches outside the base of the plant. This means they may need a longer time to water to ensure the water reaches the deepest part of the root.

It is advisable to run the hose for about an hour in different positions around the tree’s trunk. For shrubs, you can start with 10 to 20 minutes and monitor progress.

Grass and Lawns

It is advisable to water lawns in the morning to allow time for excess water to evaporate. Soaker hoses are not ideal for grass and lawn due to the challenging installation and maintenance process. On that note, a sprinkler system would work best.

Vegetables and Flowers

Like other plants, vegetables and flowers take in water better in the morning than later on in the day. That gives them enough time to take in what they want while the excess evaporates. You may need to calculate the output rating to determine the time to run the hose [3].

The roots of most vegetables and flowers are above 18 inches from the ground surface. Running the soaker hose for 30 minutes is enough to reach the water down to the roots. If you water the plants regularly, reduce the time every other day to avoid overwatering.

The Bottom Line

Soaker hoses are not only convenient for any garden but also easy to use for any gardening level. With the oper installation, you can save a lot of time watering your plants while ensuring they get adequate water to grow and develop.

The best and optimal time to run a soaker hose is 30 minutes, but it can increase to an hour depending on the plants’ water needs.

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