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How to Use a Soaker Hose in a Raised Bed Garden

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Many people prefer soaker hose garden irrigation over other techniques. And this is understandable since soaker hoses are easy to install, and they offer minimal water loss.

Can you use a soaker hose in a raised bed? You can use a soaker hose in a raised bed. Soaker hoses promote efficiency and reduce water waste when used for watering a raised bed garden. With a soaker hose, the water goes into the soil without touching the leaves of the plants. So, the risk of pests and diseases is reduced.

onions-in-a-raised-bed-with-an-irrigation-hose

If you want to know how to use a soaker hose in a raised bed garden, you are on the right page. This article discusses the suitability of soaker hoses for vegetable gardens. We also talk about how to install soaker hoses and how long a soaker hose should run. 

Can You Use a Soaker Hose in a Raised Bed?

You can use a soaker hose in a raised bed. Soaker hoses offer multiple advantages which explains their popularity amongst backyard gardeners.

Using a soaker hose in your raised bed relieves you of the stress of watering your plants manually. With a soaker hose, there is no runoff and the water flows gently through the tiny holes on the hose.

Due to the slow nature of the watering process, the soil is not overwhelmed with water making it easier to absorb the water readily. It also ensures any water lost to evaporation is minimal. 

With a soaker hose, the foliage of the plant remains dry since the ground receives water directly. Therefore, the risks of diseases and pests are reduced.

raised beds with soaker hose

Are Soaker Hoses Good For Vegetable Gardens?

Soaker hoses are good for vegetable gardens because their layout and spacing are ideal for vegetables planted in rows.

With a soaker hose, the effort and time required to keep plants in peak production reduces while watering efficiency increases. Having a soaker hose in your vegetable garden will help keep your plants healthy and improve the quality of your vegetables.

Here are several other reasons why using a soaker hose is ideal for your vegetable garden:

  • Consistent water delivery with a soaker hose is essential for nurturing seedlings during the first weeks of their life. With a soaker hose, nurturing your seedlings is not labor-intensive and the survival of your seedlings is guaranteed.
  • Another benefit of using a soaker hose is that there is no runoff. The reduced runoff prevents the loss of essential soil nutrients from the roots of the plant. It also ensures your vegetable garden gets the most out of any soil treatment and fertilizer you apply. 
  • With a soaker hose, the leaves of your vegetables remain dry, protecting them from pests and fungal diseases. It means you do not have to worry about your vegetables being spoiled by insects or mildew before you harvest.
  • Using a soaker hose allows you to establish a watering routine which can be essential to the health of your vegetable garden. If you water your garden manually, you will be unable to attain the perfect watering routine.

    Aside from the watering inconsistencies, you may forget to water your garden. The irregularity will stress your plants, causing them to underproduce. With a soaker hose, your plants do not experience any moisture stress. Therefore, they will be happier and more productive.
healthy vegetables grown in a raised bed

How Do You Install a Soaker Hose in a Raised Bed?

Follow the steps below to install a soaker hose in a raised bed:

Unfold the Hose

When you open the package containing the soaker hose, you will notice it is stiff and tightly wound. Before you begin the installation, you have to unravel and stretch out the hose. Do a quick inspection of the hose to ensure it does not have any leaks.

To make the hose easier to carry and control, get it wet.

Secure the Hose

Ensure you secure the end of the hose you will start with. To keep the hose from being pulled around, you can place something heavy on it. 

Lay the Soaker Hose on the Ground

Begin laying the hose at the perimeter of the raised bed carefully and slowly.

Start by laying the hose over the root systems of the plants in the front row. Then once you are done with the first row, curve the hose and lay it over the root system of the second row. 

Ensure the soaker hose is at least 1 or 2 inches away from the roots of the plant. Also, during the process of laying the soaker hose, remember to secure it with sticks.

When laying the soaker hose, place it in a way that maximizes the uphill flow of water. 

soaker hose laid on the ground with the vegetable seedling

Connect the Hose End

After laying the hose, the next step is to connect the hose end to the water supply. Once you attach the soaker hose to the water supply, you can turn on the tap and check the hose to ensure water is coming out of all the holes.

Add a Timer 

If you do not want to bother too much about watering your garden, you can add a soaker hose timer. The timer allows you to program it for times and days you want the watering done. 

Cover Your Soaker Hose With Mulch

Although this step is not necessary, covering the hose with mulch reduces evaporation. It ensures your garden remains wet for extended periods. 

How Long Should the Soaker Hose Run?

After installing your soaker hose, the next thing to do is find out how long it should run.

How long your soaker hose should run depends on factors like climate, time of the year, and soil condition. 

Although some gardeners will recommend running the hose for 30 minutes twice a week, you still need to find the perfect balance for your garden. For this research, you will need a timer.  

Set your timer for one hour and let the water run for that duration. Once the time runs out, dig the soil around the hose carefully to check how much of it was soaked.

If the soil is too wet, reduce the running time of the hose. But if it remains dry after watering, increase the running time. 

The roots of your plants will develop better if they are watered heavily (long watering times) and infrequently. Light and frequent watering of plants will promote shallow and fragile root growth.

Prepare a watering schedule for your plants, and carefully monitor how they respond to it. If required, make any adjustments according to their response. 

Although having a watering schedule is essential for your garden’s health, not all plants have matching watering requirements. This means you will need to adjust the watering schedule to meet the needs of different plants.

Final Thoughts

A soaker hose is a great way to water plants in a raised bed. It saves you the time and effort required to water plants manually.

A soaker hose is easy to install, and once installed, all you need is the appropriate watering schedule for your plants and you are all set. 

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