A garden soaker hose can be the way to make sure you have an easy and less time-consuming summer. When you install a soaker hose, not only are you doing something great for your plants, but it is great for you as well. These soaker hoses are readily available and come in a few different styles. We have found the best soaker hoses on the market and some information for you about how to install a soaker hose and how long to run them. Let’s take a look at the next helpful purchase for your garden.
The 7 Best Soaker Hoses
1) Best Overall: Melnor 65062-AMZ 75′ Flat Soaker Hose with 2 Washers Set
- Flattens for easy storage
- Extends to 75 feet
- Extremely flexible
- 2 Extra filter washers included for a leak-free seal
If you don’t currently own a soaker hose but you think it might be a good choice for your home, the Melnor 65062 is a great choice to consider. This is a flat soaker hose, and it is effortless to store during the months when you do not need it. You can purchase the Melnor in 25, 50, or 75-foot lengths, and it comes with a leak-free seal. You will also get two extra washers should you need them at some point. We noticed that this hose was easy to set up, and it did a great job of keeping debris out of the waterline.
- Fair pricing
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Good filtering system
- Comes with extra washers
- May need to purchase a few of them to get the right setup for your garden
2) Best Value Soaker Hose: Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose, 25 Feet, Black (870251-1001)
- Snake through rows of new seedlings or under mature plantings for efficient, deep watering season after season
- Create an easy DIY watering system by burying the hose under mulch. Hook it up to a timer and enjoy healthy, vibrant plants without all the watering work
- Made of vinyl
- Clog-resistant fabric cover for consistent soaking
The Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose is a 25′ long hose with an end cap. This is a simple system, and it is offered at a very fair price. The Gilmour is made of vinyl, and it has a clog-resistant fabric coating. This is important, especially when placing under mulch. If the mulch happens to get into your lines, you will end up needing to replace your hose. If you have a smaller vegetable garden or some new plants that need attention, the Gilmour is a perfect choice. Since this is a lower-priced hose, we don’t recommend it for heavy-duty use.
- Very fair pricing
- Made of a durable vinyl material
- Clog resistant fabric
- Does not have the long term durability of other brands
3) Best Premium Soaker Hoses: Water Right 25-Foot x 1/2″ Polyurethane Lead Safe Soaker Hose – Bristle Grass
- Manufactured in the United States using 100% lead-free, top quality, UV stabilized polyurethane
- Specially engineered strain reliefs on both hose ends to prevent hose kink; flexible in all weather conditions, even freezing temperatures
- Specially engineered strain reliefs on both hose ends to prevent hose kink; flexible in all weather conditions, even freezing temperatures
- Flexible in all weather conditions, even freezing temperatures
When purchasing a soaker hose, it is important to make sure that you are doing a good thing for the environment. This premium option is made with polyurethane and lead-free fittings. If you want to take a drink from the hose, it is more than fine. This is a great choice for those that are organic gardening and want to make sure their fruits and vegetables have only the best. The strain reliefs on the hose ends will help to prevent a kink, and the Water Right can even handle itself should you get a frost or freezing temperatures.
- Contains no BPA
- Will not kink
- Handles fine even in freezing temperatures
- Much more money than a traditional garden hose
4) Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose – Heavy Duty Rubber
- Heavy duty recycled rubber soaker hose is made to last
- Add length when needed - Quick attach reinforced fittings are included and make for easy connect of additional soaker hoses
- Works great for gardens and flower beds
- Saves up to 70% more water than traditional sprinkling systems
The Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose is a great choice if you want long term durability. This is a mid-to-high priced option built to hold up for quite some time. The claim to fame for the Rocky Mountain is that it conserves a significant amount of water. You will likely notice that your water bill is consistently lower when using these soaker hoses as part of your irrigation system. This impressive design comes with a 7-year warranty; certainly, they have some confidence in their product design.
- Made with recycled rubber material
- Very durable
- Helps to conserve water
- Priced a bit higher than other choices on the market
5) Swan Products GIDS-2496287 Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose, 50 Ft. – 2496287, 50′
The Swan Products Element Sprinkler Hose is a great choice for a sprinkler and a soaker hose. This product is made from 65% recycled rubber, and it has no issues with kinks or twists. We noticed that the Swan Products hose had no problem getting the water down into the ground and properly soaking the plants. In addition, this hose has UV protection to help it from breaking down when left exposed to the sun over time. With a 50′ model, make sure that you have the water pressure set properly to take care of all of your plants.
- Fairly price model
- Gets the water down to the root zone
- More effective than drip irrigation systems
- May need to install a pressure regulator to get the proper water flow
6) Teknor Apex Company 1030-25 Thumb Soaker Hose, 25-Feet, Green
- 25' black soil soaker hose
- For deep, even soaking
- Advanced vinyl construction
- Consistent soaking
- Flexible, easy placement
The Teknor Apex hose is a vinyl hose that is quite flexible and easy to run around your garden. We had no issues placing the Teknor in our garden and creating an effective watering system. The Teknor releases just the right amount of water to get consistent soaking and a much healthier watering than garden hoses can provide. If you have new plants or plants that are on a hill and hard to properly get to, the Teknor will do the trick.
- 25′ long hose is easy to work with
- Does a great job with even soaking
- Advanced vinyl construction for durability
- Not offered in longer sizes
7) Dramm 17010 ColorStorm Premium 50 Foot Soaker Garden Hose, Black
- Soaker hose
- Conveniently water gardens and beds
- Evenly waters from beginning to end
- 50 foot Soaker Hose made from recycled material
- Thoroughly waters using 90% less water than conventional watering
- Conveniently waters garden and beds
- 50% thicker wall eliminating the geyser effect, wasteful water that sprays out from hose
The Dramm Color Storm Premium 50 Foot Soaker Garden Hose is a great choice for those that want durability. If you want to set this hose up as your primary irrigation system, the Dramm is a great choice. This hose evenly waters, and it claims to use 90 percent less water than a typical watering system. One of the best benefits of the Dramm is that it does not spray water throughout your entire garden. Although the soaker hoses need to let out a good amount of water, they should not be spraying your plants’ underside.
- Made with quality material
- Durable watering system
- Fifty feet of length
- A little expensive if you are looking for a temporary fix for a garden
What Is a Soaker Hose?
A soaker hose is a hose that allows an even soaking of the plant’s roots along the entire line of the hose. These hoses are not meant to transfer water from the faucet to the end of the hose. Instead, they are going to deliver water to plants that sit all along the hose. The soaker hose is different than a drip hose and different than a traditional garden hose as well.
How Does a Soaker Hose Work?
A soaker hose will allow water to seep out and water plants with a great deal of depth. When you use a soaker hose, you will need a cap on one end of the hose. The cap keeps the water inside the hose length and allows the water to reach the plant’s root systems.
You will not see water spraying out of the hose; it will simply drain out the entire length of the hose and water the plants’ roots. It does not water the leaves of a plant, eliminating fungus and other diseases that can occur when plants are not properly watered.
Considerations for Buying a Soaker Hose
There are a few important considerations to make before you purchase a soaker hose. Here are a few of the most important.
Length of Hose
The soaker hoses typically come in 25-foot segments. You may find something as short as 25 feet and as long as 75 feet. Before purchasing these soaker hoses, measure your beds’ lengths and determine how you can get this system to work. Most gardeners will find that they need two or three hoses to wind through their gardens and water the plants properly.
Not all soaker hoses are sold with the end cap; however, you are going to need one to get this to work. The end cap is what allows the water pressure to build up in the hose and distribute properly to the rest of the garden.
Sometimes water pressure is going to be a bit too high for a soaker hose. If you find that your water pressure is extreme when you are watering, you can install a pressure regulator to help make sure that the soaker hose works appropriately. Remember that a soaker hose is not supposed to look like a sprinkler hose, and it shouldn’t look like a drip system. Water should be flowing out of the house at a constant rate with enough time for the landscape plants to soak up the water.
Make sure that the soaker hose you purchase is going to work with your faucet. You may need to purchase a faucet adapter to hook up and install this product properly. You will also want to make sure that the adapter has a filter to keep any debris from getting back into the waterline.
Soaker hoses are typically made with recycled material. Some of the options on our list are made with recycled rubber, and others are made with nylon or polyethylene products. Choose materials that you think are going to last in the environment that you have them placed. The fact that these soaker hoses are made from mostly recycled material is a good thing and something that should make gardeners happy.
How to Set Up a Soaker Hose System
A soaker hose system is not all that difficult to set up. Ensure that you have the proper supplies in place, and then follow these steps to start working on your soaker hose system.
Step 1: Gather Materials
To start this process, you will need a soaker hose, a small container to collect water, a soaker hose end cap, and potentially a pressure regulator.
Step 2: Test the Hose
Many websites will tell you to lay the hose throughout your garden and then give it a test. We would much rather learn about our water flow and how fast the holes drain before having the hose weaved through all of our plants. Connect your hose to the faucet and see how the water flows out. If this looks more like a sprinkler hose than a soaker hose, you will need a pressure regulator.
Step 3: Install Pressure Regulator
You will need to install a pressure regulator on your faucet if you find that the water is pouring out of the soaker hose too quickly. Plants are going to need about one to two inches of water a week. Your goal is going to be to set your irrigation systems to provide this amount of water.
Step 4: Choose Watering Plan
Once you have tested your new soaker hose, you should know how long it takes for two inches of water to seep into your plastic container. Chances are, it will take about an hour or so for this to happen. This means that your pressure is set up properly.
You can then choose the watering plan for your garden based on your soaker hose’s water flow rate. IF you want to use a timer, you can simply remember to put your hose on a few times a week for about a 1/2 hour at a time.
Once this has all been worked out, you can then run your hose through the garden.
Step 5: Place Hose on the Ground
Now that you have your system figured out, you can start to run it through your plants. You will want to have the soaker hose placed about two inches from your plants’ roots and about 12- 24 inches from the next line of a soaker hose. This will ensure that you are not, in fact, overwatering your gardens.
Since a soaker system is a type of permanent watering solution, you will want the hose to be placed under any mulch you may have in your garden. It is not a good idea to bury your soaker hose under the soil. Dirt will get in your soaker hose line, and it will not be able to escape.
How to Use a Soaker Hose In Your Garden
When you are using a soaker hose, it will be an alternative to having to hand-water your plants. There are a few guidelines that you should follow to make sure that you are using your soaker hose properly.
- Don’t run the hose more than 100 feet; you won’t get enough pressure or proper watering along the way
- Use a timer to make sure that you are getting the proper amount of water each week
- The soaker hose will work best on level ground
- Never burry your soaker hose under any soil; however, it will work well under mulch
- Set the house about two inches from the plant’s roots
- Soakers hoses will experience sun damage; putting a light layer of mulch in the garden beds can help
How Long to Run a Soaker Hose
Ideally, it is best to run the soaker hose a few times a week for about twenty minutes at a time. If you have trouble with the water flowing too quickly or not quickly enough, you may need to use pressure regulators to get this right. Ideally, you want your plant beds to have 1-2 inches of water a week in order to have enough water to thrive.
More Tips for Using Soaker Hoses
- If you notice that your soaker hose is not working well, it may need to be cleared out. You can run water through the line at high pressure and get any stuck pieces in the hose line. This should be done away from your plant beds so that the garden doesn’t end up with too much water.
- When using a soaker hose on an incline, you may deal with too much water accumulating in one area.
- If you are connecting your soaker hose to an outdoor faucet, you should take it off and on with each use.
- Not all soaker hoses will do well in cold weather. If you are not using the hose in the offseason, fold it up and bring it inside for a few months, you will get quite a longer lifespan from the soaker hose.
Soaker Hose vs. Drip Irrigation: What’s the Difference?
A soaker hose and drip irrigation are similar, but they do have some significant differences. Soaker hoses are made with a porous material that allows water to soak through the hose’s entire length.
Drip irrigation is made with plastic-type material, and it has holes in it. The drip irrigation lets a small drop of water release along the line. It will not typically give plants as much water as the soaker hose will.
The soaker hose works best on level ground and is not quite as versatile as a drip irrigation systems. The drip systems work really well in potted plants because you can customize the delivery of water.
Best Soaker Hose FAQ
How Much Water Does a Soaker Hose Use?
A soaker hose will use about six gallons of water per hour per foot. Remember that you won’t need to keep the soaker hose on all that long if you keep your watering schedule a few times per week. The amount of water that the soaker hose uses will also vary depending on the water pressure and the type of hose you have.
What Is the Difference Between a Soaker Hose and a Drip Hose?
A soaker hose has perforations along the entire length of the house. The water will soak as it comes out of the hose instead of just offering a drip or two of water in timed intervals. Soaker hoses tend to be used for larger watering needs, while a drip hose is a good choice for a smaller garden or potted plants.
Can You Connect a Soaker Hose to a Regular Hose?
If your gardens are quite far from the faucet, the best thing to do is to connect a traditional hose to the faucet and connect it to the soaker hose. The regular hose will essentially work as an extension to bring the water to the soaker hose. Make sure that you have the proper washers to connect the two hoses.
Are You Supposed to Bury Soaker Hoses?
You can bury soaker hoses under mulch; however, they should not be buried under the soil. When a soaker hose is buried under soil, it will not work effectively. You will also notice that quite a bit of debris will end up in the hose itself.
Are Soaker Hoses Worth It?
If you have the proper setup and gardens that require a lot of attention, a soaker hose is a great choice. In addition to making watering much easier on a person, the way a soaker hose waters is much better for plants. Plants are going to be getting water directed at their roots as opposed to their leaves. When you use typical irrigation systems or hoses, you will send more water to the top part of the plant. This can create fungus and growing problems in the plant.
The Best Soaker Hoses for Your Garden
Soaker hoses are going to save you time, money, and water. We highly recommend the Melnor Flat Soaker Hose. This is an easy soaker hose to use and to store as well. You will have an easy time placing the Melnor around plants and using this instead of a garden hose, irrigation system, or drip irrigation. Overall for the price you pay, this is a perfect solution to water plant roots the way they are intended to be watered.