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Save Water with Soaker Hoses

Soaker hoses are a great way to irrigate perennial beds, and newly-planted shrubs and trees. They are so inexpensive that you can buy several and leave them snaked around throughout your landscape. Connecting more than two soaker hoses is not recommended. The loss of pressure as the hose extends will make it ineffective.

Never connect a soaker hose directly to the hose bib. If you do, you’ll waste a lot of water near the connection where the pressure is highest. Instead, run a regular garden hose from the faucet and connect your soaker hose to the end of it. Be sure to use a washer to make a good, leak-free connection between hoses.

It isn’t necessary to cover every few feet of your bedding areas with soaker hoses. If the hose is within a few feet of established plants, their root systems will find the water to nourish the plants.

The most common mistake in using soaker hoses is turning the water on too high. We often hear from homeowners surprised by a large water bill because they left a soaker hose on for several hours at full water pressure. It is more effective to turn the hose bib a quarter turn or less. This allows enough water to flow through the hose and slowly seep out into the soil.

Test how long to run the soaker hose by digging down after about 45 minutes to see if the water penetrated at least several inches down. Adjust your run-time to let water seep past mulch and deeply into the soil.

Karen Guz
Karen Guz
Karen grew up taking family vacations to national parks and scenic rivers. A one-time kayak river guide in her home state of Pennsylvania, she got herself to Texas as fast as she could. Now as the vice president of Conservation for SAWS, she is responsible for meeting San Antonio’s long-term water conservation goals by leading a high energy, creative team of conservation planners. She first worked for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service providing a variety of horticulture and 4-H educational programs to the community before joining SAWS in 2000. When she’s not helping San Antonio live up to its reputation as a national leader in water conservation, she enjoys the outdoors as an avid hiker…continuing the tradition of luring the rest of her family to national parks and ranger talks.
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