minu
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:25 am
Location: Fremont, CA

Drip or soaker hose?

Hi,

I have raised veggie beds that have spray emitters set up as irrigation but given that I am in CA where most of our summer veggies do not like water, I want to switch to either a drip system or a soaker hose. I will be hooking it up to the main line which can be controlled by timers, etc. I am wondering if there are any pros/cons of either system. My lawn help is trying talk me into a soaker hose. This is my 2nd year of growing veggies and I am trying to implement SFG in a couple of beds (I have a total of 5 beds).

Thanks
Minoti

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

We like to use 1\4 " soaker drip tubbing. They have 1\2 gallon pressure compensating emitters ever 12". The emitters don't open until the system reaches 10 PSI. We feel you get more even watering. If your beds are 3ft wide, we run 3 lines. One at 6", one at 18" and the last 6" from the other side. You are trying to get a emitter every square foot.

1\2" mainline can handle 480 1\2 gallon emitters.

minu
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:25 am
Location: Fremont, CA

Thanks I looked into the link for dripworks and found it really helpful so much so that now I don't have to ask DH for help :)
One question though - if I am trying to do the SFG method, I have certain squares where I have more than one plant and certain large plants like Squash have multiple squares dedicated. In using the 12" soaker drip, will I end up watering some areas that don't need it and not watering certain plants when they are planted intensively? Should I be worried about this or will it all even out and the plants will manage to seek out water if they are not being directly watered?

Thanks
Minoti

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

With the 3 lines, you are basically blanketing the whole bed with water. Water doesn't flow straight down, it radiates in a cone pattern. Different cone pattern with different soils. If you look at some of (Jal_ut) postings, roots are quite massive and will seek out the water.

You can also install the 1\4" inline valves to help regulate the flow

Hope this helps

User avatar
Jbest
Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania

I have used the 0.7" soaker hose for 3 years now and it has done a great job. The hose makes one loop around the outside of the bed about 6" from the edge. I lift the hose before I plant and them mulch which puts the hose about 2"-3" below the surface. I loose very little water due to evaporation. John
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting,
"Holy crap what a ride!!"

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Like John said, mulching over, any type of irrigation tubing, is a good idea.

Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

I am debating too, which one to get, and my neigbour who uses both, adviced soaker hose for veggie beds, because it is much easier to change layout as you change the plants around through the season(s). It costs much less too.

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

I've done both. The drip system required more regular and more consistent maintenance than soaker hoses require. The drip system was more accurate in delivering exact amounts of water to specific plants. The soaker hoses water entire beds. Drip systems are more expensive because you have to purchase a quantity of individual parts to construct the system. If I still grew in containers, I would use the drip system with a timer. Since I now grow in raised beds, the soaker hoses work best for me. I still am able to control the amount of water to each bed by using a timer on the system and sized flow discs at each hose fitting.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

User avatar
Jbest
Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania

You can see the soaker hose lay-out in this photo. This is the first year for these beds and they are filled with 100% compost.
[img]https://www.jbest123.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/sfg12121.jpg[/img]

The timer is set to turn on twice per week for 10 min. This photo was taken in September and the tomato plants in my area are usually worn out after a hot dry summer. John
[img]https://www.jbest123.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/P7310649.jpg[/img]
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting,
"Holy crap what a ride!!"

Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

Okey, Jbest, you convinced me - soaker hose it will be as I have raised beds too. How long one do I need if I have 7 3 by 4 beds plus several pots?

Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

One more question - the whole soaker hose come with holes, right, so then the part that is just going to my beds will weep too? Do I need to get a very short regular hose in order to avoid it?

User avatar
Jbest
Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania

Joyfirst wrote:One more question - the whole soaker hose come with holes, right, so then the part that is just going to my beds will weep too? Do I need to get a very short regular hose in order to avoid it?
Yes it weeps the entire length. You use a different hose between beds. This drawing is of one of my gardens. If you eMail me at john.best@comcast.net with a sketch with measurements I will figure out how many "t", "elbows", poly hose, soaker hose and misc. fittings you will need. John
[img]https://www.jbest123.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/sfg331.jpg[/img]
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting,
"Holy crap what a ride!!"

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Since my beds are 4' X 8', I buy 50 long soaker hoses in either 1/2" or 5/8" diameter. I cut the hose into two 25' long hoses and put new fittings on the ends where I cut the hose.

One 25' hose allows me to do like jbest and run it along both sides of the bed about 6" from the side. I then run the last 8' right up the middle of the bed. The hoses are rated to emit I believe 2 1/2 gallons per foot of hose at 60 psi water pressure. That means my 25 foot hose would provide 73 gallons of water in an hour. Since I don't need that much water, I use a timer for ten minutes and it provides twelve gallons in ten minutes. Since my system has multiple hoses and each hose also has a re stricter or flow disc at each hose, it takes at least a minute to pressure the system from the timer. I actually get about nine gallons to each bed in ten minutes.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Very nice John, and generous too :D

Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

You are very generous, John. My garden set up is very simple since my whole plot is 8 by 25 feet, long and skinny, and I wanted to reuse my beds from the old plot, and just have them all on both sides(with a path in the middle), and I didn't make any paths between the beds lengthwise to save space. But the first few feet in front are for the bench and compost- so I need to avoid just those few feet- everything else is pretty much together in a circle.
[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2705/4477809864_d72cf1d317.jpg[/img]

That's the picture a few weeks ago, since then I built couple more beds, but you get an idea.

User avatar
Jbest
Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania

Joyfirst wrote:That's the picture a few weeks ago, since then I built couple more beds, but you get an idea.
I'm afraid I need more than an idea. Take a photo of the entire back yard including the water source and eMail it to me. I will mark on the photo the dimensions that I will need and return it to you. After you have it dimensioned, I will go to work. I assume that you want the system out of sight. John
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting,
"Holy crap what a ride!!"

User avatar
Jbest
Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania

Woooh, I was reading the thread too fast. Joyfirst I got your posts confused with minu's. How about eMailing me or starting a new thread to continue.

minu, sorry for the thread hijack. :( John
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting,
"Holy crap what a ride!!"

Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

Thank you Jbest, I'll do it by beginning of next week. We have Gardens of Gratitude event here this weekend, and I am volunteering, so I will be busy for a while.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”