Irrigation system can save a lot of time spent on the daily watering in the garden.
They can be connected to a water timer which allows water to be delivered economically to plants and vegetables when you are away from home.
There are various kits available for containers, flower beds and vegetable plots.
However as no two gardens are the same shapes or size, making your own system can have its advantages and it’s a lot easier than you may imagine.
If you decide to add more plants to your garden the system can be easily altered to accommodate them.
Making a System with a Soaker Hose
A soaker hose system works best when used on a flat reasonably level surface, they cannot be used for steep inclines. In normal conditions the water from the soaker hose can soak up to 18 inches (450 mm) away from the hose.
At first glance a soaker hose looks similar to a normal garden hose, however it’s designed to do the exact opposite. A soaker hose or also called a seep hose is micro porous.
This means instead of delivering water from the tap to the other end of the hose, it leaks droplets of water all along its length.
Soaker hoses are easily cut usually with scissors. Most
have an internal diameter of ½”, this means normal pieces of garden hose can be joined to the soaker hose using connectors.
Joining a normal garden hose to a soaker hose allows you to deliver the water to the plants and not to areas where it’s not needed. There are 90 degree, straight and ‘T’ piece connectors, and using these it’s possible to create a system for any garden design.
Laying the Soaker Hose
When laying the soaker hose you may find that because it has been tightly coiled in its packing, it tends to curl up.
An easy solution is to buy some U shaped landscaping pins and insert one every 24’’ inches (600 mm) or
closer if needed. These pins are also useful for any tight curves you may need to make.
Adding a layer of Mulch
When the hose has been laid and the system tested for leaks, you are then ready to lay your mulch. Laying mulch on top will hide the hose, prevent water evaporation and help stop weeds growing.
You can use organic mulch such as wood chip or mineral mulch like gravel or pebbles to a depth of 2 inches (50 mm).
Below are two diagrams of how a soaker hose irrigation system could be used for a vegetable plot and a flower bed. You could loop the soaker hose around the plants instead of using ‘T’ joints.
Every 6 months it’s a good idea to take of the end caps and flush the hose through to remove any sediment that might have built up.
Any splits that occur can be repaired by cutting out the affected piece and replaced with two straight connectors plus a piece of new hose.