Soaker hoses are porous garden hoses. The water flows through the hose and seeps slowly through the walls. Placing a soaker hose between plants gives you the ability to water an entire row simultaneously.
Drip irrigation is a long tube that is attached to smaller emitter tubes. The tubes drip the water at the base of the plant. When thinking about installing a soaker hose or drip irrigation, consider each systems’ different uses and advantages.
The drip irrigation method consists of large tubes with emitters. Here the secondary tubes branch off the main water line. That can be considered a tap fitted with a pressure regulator, backflow valve, and filter. The drip system is usually polyethylene plastic, and they are often widely available in hardware stores.
Types of Drip Irrigation
1. Drip Tape
The drip tape has flat-style tubing and requires a pressure reducer in the waterline. It works excellent for subsurface installations, but unfortunately, its manufacturing doesn’t tend to last more than a few seasons.
The dripline is around the tubing, and it is with heavy-duty plastic, which will serve you well for many seasons. You also have an option to purchase a drip line with pre-installed emitters or separate emitters that you install yourself.
- Drip irrigation delivers water to the base of your plants. Since they generally water slowly, the water spreads over a broad radius and deep into the root zone over a long period.
- This system consists of several components, which are easy to install. Also, it gives you the ability to configure your system to target specific areas of the garden. That means you can water different zones all at the same time. That makes drip irrigation a good choice for large garden areas.
- What’s fantastic about drip irrigation is that you can install pressure-compensating emitters to cover all areas and receive an equal amount of moisture. It also gives you the ability to choose customized emitters to work with the soil type.
- Sometimes accidents can happen, so if you accidentally stab the drip system with a digging fork, you will be able to reconfigure it by purchasing replacement parts quickly.
- The drip system can work will on a timer, and you can even schedule it to operate in the middle of the night.
- The drip system’s emitters can be clogged over time, requiring periodic inspection and maintenance.
- The wind can also misdirect the moisture, wasting water and missing the desired ground area. You can avoid it if you don’t use the drip system in solid winds.
- The drip method usually involves a healthy up-front investment, but they take time and planning for the setup.
The soaker hose is a tube that looks like the garden hose, but it weeps water along its entire length. You can place it on a soil’s surface, which gives them the ability to deliver water steadily to the plants. Various hoses use a combination of rubber and polyethylene plastic. However, nowadays, there are some BPA-free polyurethane models available.
- This hose provides reliable water delivery at ground level, which helps the plants’ foliage remain dry and free from fungal growth.
- The installing is very easy: you need to hook up the nearest faucet and snake around the plants you want to water.
- The pressure regulators are unnecessary here, so you adjust the water pressure by opening or closing the tab’s flow.
- They usually have low up-front investment for the average garden.
- You won’t have a problem with clogging.
- With the soaker hose is not possible to close off sections of the soaker hose. They are not versatile in their configuration possibilities.
- Since they don’t allow pressure adjustment at different points, soaker hoses work best on leveled ground.
- Soaker hoses have a small radius of coverage as it is with the drip system.
- You can’t install the soaker hose underground, and they are less precise than the drip system.
- Sometimes they can develop kinks.
- The soaker hose is more challenging to repair.
Which One Is Better
Soaker hoses are the best choice for smaller gardens on leveled ground. In the best cases, they come with an inexpensive star-up coast, and they are also easy to install. They also work perfectly in raised beds.
Systems work best in more extensive gardens configurator in straight rows or logs. For gardeners dealing with sloped terrain, the versatility makes it the best choice. The higher start-up cost means a more significant investment, but most drip systems will perform well for years to come.
Getting the Most From Your Irrigation System
- You can cover the irrigation lines with 2-3 inches of mulch to protect them from the sunlight. It will help if you don’t bury the soaker hose unless designed for this purpose; otherwise, you’ll clog the pores. If you plan to bury the drip irrigation, ensure that you have the type meant for subsurface installation.
- Stake down drip lines on every tree feet using landscaping staples or section of wire hangers bent into a “U” shape.
- A sealed container can be a perfect opportunity to ensure your plants get enough water each week. Time how long will it take to fill the container one inch, and give your plants double the amount each week. Most plants need 2 inches of water every week. You can use a water meter for more precise readings.
- It will be helpful if you install a tree ring soaker hose for watering tree roots directly.
- When installing drip irrigation on a slope, install it with an air vent at the highest point on each circuit. The air vents also prevent debris from entering your lines via suction. They can also prevent trapped air from accumulating. It can cause inaccurate meter readings and eventually damage the hose.
- Clean the in-line water filter once or twice per season to remove any rust or debris.
- To remove kinks, moisture delivery, and plugs, you will need to inspect your system periodically.