Soaker Hose Irrigation

Lucerne Valley, CA(Zone 8a)

Hi!! I live in the High Desert of So. Cal and use a soaker hose system for my vegetable garden. I see a lot of reference to drip lines, but I use the porous hose that sort of just seeps. All of my raised beds are double dug and heavily amended with home made organic compost. I bury my soaker hose about 4-6" deep in a long slow loop around the bed and I LOVE it! Does anyone else do this? I still need to do a little top watering during high summer (which I do in the early am or evening). I tried the drip type hoses, but found they didn't work well buried (they get clogged- d'oh!). I do use various drippers (I prefer the flag type) for my big garden (Mostly squash and melons) and for much of my landscaping; trees, etc. I couldn't grow anything here if I didn't have drip irrigation. I'd be hand watering from dawn 'til dusk!

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Hi desert witch,

I'm planning to use a similar like your's & will start installing it this weekend. I just can't seem to get my act together to do a full-fledged irrigation system, so this is my compromise.

I've got several 50' lengths of soaker hose. I figured I'd run an extension hose out to the area where the bed is, then attach a connector to divide the water supply evenly among the drip hoses - hopefully, I'll get more even flow that way. Don't know if I'm making any sense.

Do you need to use a backflow device on your soaker hoses?


Lucerne Valley, CA(Zone 8a)

I don't use backflow, but I do have the filter and regulator at the start of the lines, (despite the fact that it is suggested to be used at the head of each section of soaker hose). It seems to work fine for me. Good luck!

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

So, I finally installed my soaker hoses and have run into a few problems. I used Gilmore 5/8" soaker hoses, which are flat, rather than round - they seemed to get overwhelmingly great reviews:

1) there are areas of the hose that don't seem to seep water - ie. they're totally dry?
2) we repaired two leaks (yes, I got too enthusiastic while trimming), with hose repair splicers & they water flows through the hose, but definitely spews out the area where we performed the repair, so we end up with a puddle under the repaired spot. Is there something we can do to minimize the amount of water coming from the repaired areas?
3) one of the hoses runs UP to a planter box - no water seems to come out of this hose. Do soaker hoses only work in areas where they're draining down - ie. is gravity a requirement?

I am not using a flow regulator or backflow device, but have installed the washers with screens at the head of the hose runs & only turn the water on about a quarter of a turn. Sorry, I'm not very technical about all of this...

I'd appreciate suggestions that anyone might have.

Many thanks,


Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

3) Yeah, the water is probably not going to flow up the hose into a planter. Soaker hoses work better with shorter lengths on a level run or going downhill. All those little holes allow for loss of water pressure.

1) Are the dry areas at the end of a hose? Maybe you're trying to go too far or up an incline.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

If we are to continue to have triple digit summers here, I'm going to have to install soaker hoses.

My problem is when to install them. I have something growing year round as it rarely freezes here in the winter.

Suggestions would be very much appreciated.


Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)


Thanks for your reply Eleven. I've solved the pressure & incline issues by installing a resistor (raindrip 3/4 in. Preset Pipe Pressure Regulator) at the head of the hose. This allows me to turn the hose faucet on more fully, so I get the pressure needed. I received this suggestion from a kind soul on the "other" plant site.

Honeybee, I'm hooked on the soaker hoses, after a few weeks, (I will be learning about drip irrigation next.) There's a bit of a learning curve, but I can see that my plants love them. I don't have them on a timer - maybe in the future - just turn them on manually. I've installed quick release (screw-on) parts to all of my hoses, sprinkles, nozzles, etc., so it's a piece of cake to hook up the drip hose & run it a couple of times a week. If you explore this forum, you'll see some discussions about different watering systems, which may be appropriate for your installation. Good Luck!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

lizzipa - thanks for your input. I've read a lot about different watering systems and figured the soaker hose route would be the simplest, at least at the outset.

I won't need a timer, either. I visit the garden every morning. There's always something to pick, or a weed to pull, so I can turn on a soaker during the same visit.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

lizzi, glad you solved your issues! I have soaker hoses hooked up on a timer for the sunnier side of my hosta beds, but I like the idea of using quick release parts on everything else. Maybe then I get my honey to do his part if he ever wants his grass to grow!

La Quinta, CA

I live in La Quinta a few miles west of the Salton Sea, It's 112 degs today. It is the general Palm Springs area. I have used seeping tube irrigation here quite successfully. In my case the seeping part of the installation has a two year life because it gets blocked by the salts in the hard water.

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