Monday, June 21, 2010


I think the best and most efficient way to water is to use SOAKER HOSES in your flower beds.  You decrease the chance of diseases and use water much more efficiently.  Most people over-water their plants, but plants do better with deep, infrequent watering.   A general rule is to "Water the soil, not the plant."   In fact, too much water actually deprives the plant of oxygen, and it will die.  I have 11 soaker hoses in the beds to date, some have been in as long as 7 years.  To prepare the soaker hoses,  thread them in a  snake-like fashion through the beds, about 12-18" apart--their flow-out is about that wide.   I bury mine--anywhere from just under the soil, to a couple of inches,  to as many as 4 inches.  I use garden staples to keep the hoses in place, then  I cover the hose, although you don't need to, but I do. The hoses can be left in year-round.  (That's what I do).  I barely turn on the water and let it drip  for overnight or longer,up to 24 hours, depending on the bed and how dry it is.   Annuals, biennials and perennials as a rule need about 1 inch of water per week--either by rainfall or watering at our hands.  In reading about plants the one thing that is repeated over and over is that plants like evenly moist, but not wet, soil.  Using a soaker hose helps with this immensely.  I have two different types of soakers:  round, rubber (from recycled tires) and a flat, nylon one.  You can get different lengths.  I usually like to use the longer ones, 75 to 150 feet.  I prefer the flat nylon the best.  It's very durable, and hard to puncture, which I have before with the rubber ones.   (However, they are very easy to splice with an inexpensive hose mender that all the garden stores carry).  I've had mine in for several years now and haven't had to replace any of them yet, although if I needed to, they have a lifetime guarantee.  They are very easy to use.  Just turn on the water and, check the flow--you want a slow, steady gentle stream--and then basically forget about it overnight, anywhere from 8 to 24 hours.  (Note:  Don't turn on the water too strong, or you will 'blow-out' the hose--just an 1/8th of a turn is usually sufficient.  Check your flow to make sure, though).  After the initial work of putting the soaker hoses in, they are virtually trouble-free and effective.  Because I have plants falrly close together, the soaker hoses ensures that the leaves on my plants don't get wet, greatly decreasing the change of fungal or nonpathagenic diseases.  Using this method of watering has helped the beds be healthier and stronger, not-to-mention using water wisely.  The soaker hoses have been one of the most valuable things I've implemented in the gardens, and I hope you try this suggestion if you don't already have them--you'll be glad you did!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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