June 6, 2011

Creating a Custom Soaker Irrigation System

A soaker tubing system and a drip watering system are similar but not the same. The main difference between the two is that a soaker system uses porous tubing or sprinkler tubing that allows water to soak from it and penetrate the soil where sits while a dripper irrigation system is a miniature style water sprinkler system with micro sprayers and water emitters. Porous soaker tubing has pores that allows water to saturate the ground. Sprinkler tubing has pre-drilled holes where water seeps out.
The major benefits of soaker systems versus conventional lawn irrigation systems is that they are easy to set up and maintain, they save water and money and they promote healthy plant growth.
Soaker tube systems do not require any sort of micro sprinklers or drippers, just porous tubing connected to a water source. A soaker system is ideal for watering garden areas with delicate plants. This helps protect those delicate plants from being damaged by high water pressure being dispersed from sprinklers.
You can easily set up a soaker tubing system for your garden areas and potted plants. First, attach an adapter with a pressure reducer from a garden hose faucet to flexible supply tubing. Run this supply line to your garden areas and potted plants. Use tubing stakes to keep the supply line in place.
With a tubing tee, connect the supply hose to the soaker hose or to additional supply line to branch direct soaker lines to your plants. Cap off the end of each soaker tube.
If you want to automate your soaker system, you can connect an automatic watering timer to your hose faucet. This will help you save more money by using less water and only watering when programmed.
A few key things to remember when installing your soaker irrigation system include:
  • Try and maintain water pressure at 25 PSI. This is the ideal water pressure for a soaker system.
  • Lengths of individual porous soaker tube should never exceed 100 feet.
  • One garden hose faucet can maintain up to 6 individual soaker tubes of 100 feet.
You can easily install and operate your own soaker system from a garden hose faucet. Treat your plants and garden areas to a hydration fiesta without breaking the bank and without using a ton of water.


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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