Drip Irrigation & Soaker Hoses

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Gardening Video

Video - Use a soaker hose correctly
Use a soaker hose to water your plant roots instead of leaves or the air. Avoid common mistakes with this video.

Save water, time and money while growing a healthier garden, by using the right watering system for the right plants in the right place. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses:

  • Deliver water slowly, close to plant roots where they need it.
  • Reduce water losses from evaporation and overspray.
  • Are healthy for plants because they keep foliage dry, which reduces fungal disease.

What is the difference between drip and soaker hoses?

  • Drip irrigation uses flexible plastic tubing with tiny holes or “emitters” that slowly drip water into the soil. Learn more in Tips for Installing Drip Irrigation at Home (pdf).
  • Soaker hoses are made of porous material that “leak” or seep water all along their length. Learn more in the Soaker Hose fact sheet (pdf).

How do I choose? Soaker hoses are cheaper and easier to use but:

  • They are not “pressure-compensating”, so do not work well on slopes.
  • They only work in lengths of up to 200 feet – because the flow of water decreases beyond this length.
  • Some are made of recycled rubber so may not be a great choice for food crops.

More Information Soaker Hose fact sheet (pdf)

Tips for Installing Drip Irrigation at Home – technical fact sheet (pdf)

Smart Watering Guide (pdf)

How to Water New Plants (pdf)

Savvy Gardener Classes.

Questions? Call the Garden Hotline at (206) 633-0224 or email help@gardenhotline.org for answers to all of your watering and other lawn and garden questions.