What is the best soaker hose that will LAST for a few years?
i would like one that i can leave down and not have to replace half way thru the year..
You can buy rubber soaker hoses and they last longer. You'll pay for that.
I've never had to replace a soaker hose, unless I hit it with the weed whacker or else don't get it drained before the first hard freeze.
Some of mine are under mulch and some drip line is right out in the sunlight and it is several years old and still good. Sunlight here is intense, so it's not like the hose has only been exposed to filtered light.
I had a problem with the soaker hose getting holes that would just squirt. I'd cut that section out and use a coupler to fit the hose back together rather than replace it.
Then I found out the reason...my water pressure was way too high. I'd turn the faucet on and let it run to get the water out in the shortest amount of time and then move on. Once I found I was shooting myself in the foot and started using less pressure, the hoses quit rupturing.
You can buy a pressure regulator at garden supply stores or from drip irrigation suppliers.
Speaking of drip irrigation, dripline tubing is very long-lasting. I've had some in use for five years.
I'm having trouble with those black ones from HD. They crack and fall apart in less than a year.
This year I'm going to see what an irrigation store can offer that can be attached to a regular hose attachment but hopefully made to last longer.
I got tired of the black soaker hoses. They use to be good, then they started making them cheaper and cheaper. Even with reduced pressure, they would break or split. I ended up spending more money on couplers than if I would have just replaced the hoses.
I cut out my couplers and threw the hoses away and went for drip tape. By far a much better product.
jrslick, Where do you get your drip tape from?
I bought it from Berry Hill Irrigation. I went with the Aqua-Traxx. I liked it because of the blue lines, they go on top. It made installation really easy for my helpers (my 9,7,4, and 2 year old). I bought the 7,500 foot roll. It was $170 and shipping. Just buy the connector ( I would suggest the ones with the valves, didn't do that the first time) some patch connectors ( tillers, hoes and drip tape don't mix). Make sure you get a filter and regulator. They have kits, maybe check those out too. I would my the header line at a local place and save on shipping.
Here is a link that might be useful: Berryhill Irrigation
I used drip irrigation a couple a years ago and it worked ok. However it is time consuming to set up. But the real problem is that if you rotate your plan things every year, the system is configured to last year's plantings and it is very difficult to reconfigure..
My soaker hose is years old and still running fine. It has a few holes that will fountain, but I just proped a rock against it at that spot to keep the water in the garden. Last year I used it under plastic mulch, so it was no problem. I assume I got it from a big box, but I have no idea which or what the brand name was. Drip lines are better, but like someone said, if you change your layout every year, a drip line makes no sense. My soaker is perfect for my 4 foot wide, 15 foot long plot.
I use a couple of wraps of duct tape to patch holes in my soaker hoses. Just make sure the hose is dry before taping it up.
Not knowing what kind of gardening you do, but if you are a sqaurefoot or box gardener I'd reccommend the Garden-Grid irrigation system. It partitions everything perfectly and is really durable from what I have experienced. A small company in Florida makes them, I love it! I posted their website below. They also make cedar garden boxes that are beautiful!
Here is a link that might be useful: Garden in minutes - products
How much water do you put or in terms of hours how long do you use the soaker hose lets say for 1 inch per week vegetable requirement. My soeaker hose says it outputs 1 gallon per feet per hour. I have two 50 sq. foot above the ground
Farmington- The "one inch per week" "rule" is a very vague guideline at best. To put it another way, it's completely unreliable. How much you need to water depends on the specific crop, rainfall, heat, your type of soil, sun exposure, if your soil is mulched or not, etc. Nobody can say definitively that your plants need x-amount of water. Sorry, I realize that doesn't help much.
Water until your soil is moist. Not just on the surface but deep down. Certain plants like consistent moisture. Some like to dry out a bit between waterings. If it's been hot, you'll need to water more. If it's been cool you might not need to water for a while. Sandy soil dries out quicker than clay. Mulched soil retains moisture whereas unmulched dries out quick in summer. You just have to get a feel for it.