Pros:easy to use, works great
Cons:Not for the impatient
The Bottom Line: The soaker hose is a slow process, but it works like a charm.
In theory, you're supposed to water in the morning. If you water in the day, a good portion of it evaporates. Water at night and you run the risk of getting a fungus and mold. So watering in the morning is ideal. However, doing such a thing is a near impossible task for me since I need to worry about getting the kids to school and myself to work. I just don't have time to go throwing a sprinkler around the yard. So I need a solution that allows me to water any time I want. The Swan Soaker Hose allows me to do just that. Was it easy to install? Does it do the trick?
Recommend this product?
Read on, dear reader...
What it is
The Swan soaker hose is a porous hose that is used to drip water into garden beds.
Features and Commentary
For about 15 bucks, you can get 75 feet of soaker hose. This is enough to cover a medium sized bed. While only that size bed? Because you wind it back and forth in rows. See, the soaker hose isn't a sprinkler, it's a hose made of recycled rubber that is by definition, imperfect. It's has holes throughout. So in order ot properly soak the bed, you need to make the hose in rows that are about 9 inches apart.
But I think I might be getting ahead of myself here. The idea of the soaker hose is to put it under pressure and have the water slowly squeeze its way out drop by drop. This eventually waters the bed by soaking it deep into the dirt. Really, it's the ideal way to water since it doesn't get sprayed into the air to evaporate or get on the leaves to cause mildew or fungus.
I grabbed my hose and promptly set to work. The hose is coiled just like a normal hose, but it's rough and black. It seems to be a little narrower than a normal hose, but it's also more flexible. The first thing I did, was plan where I wanted it to go. The I started to dig a little trench for the hose.
Ok, that brings me to the second point. You can either leave it on top of the soil or you can bury it. I chose to bury it a few inches, so it looked a little nicer.As well, this way, I know it will stay in place. Laying the hose on the surface, it can be jostled and moved out of place. The positive to this method is that it can be moved by choice as the needs of the bed change. My way, it's pretty much stuck that way unless I pull it up.
The installation was fairly easy. The hose tried to pull itself out a few times, but this was due to the fact that it had been coiled to sell. A little strong arming and the hose did what I wanted. I didn't need stakes to hold it in and the hose bent nicely around some fairly stiff turns.
At the ends are hose attachments. One to obviously attach a garden hose to and the other to daisy chain a few of these together of you need to. Of the 75 feet, I only needed about 65. So did I just coil the hose up somewhere or double up? Nope, that would cause excess water in those spots. Instead, I took a sharp utility knife and cut off the part I didn't need. Then I bent the end and tied wire around it to crimp it closed. This was very effective in stopping the flow.
The next step is to turn on the water. Now, you need to be careful here. You don't want to crank it up. I turn the hose maybe one revolution. The idea is to get a slow drip. And it takes very little water pressure to do that. Turn it too high and you'll see water spray out of the holes. Ideally, you should see water slowly drip out of the hose, much like condensation on a glass of ice water.
So how did it work? Perfectly! After a few hours of the entire bed was nicely wet. I stuck my finger down in and the water had soaked in. Exactly what I wanted.
The soaker hose is a slow process, but it works like a charm.