Using a soaker hose for irrigation is one of many watering options that may be useful in your garden. Soaker hoses are especially good for plants that need a lot of water or constantly moist soil, such as celery or strawberries. They also are perfect for situations where you are trying to avoid mildew or other diseases, because they don't splash or spray water on foliage. The other reason many gardeners rely on soaker hoses is if you live in an area where drought is a concern, but water conservation rules apply to you. Soaker hoses use less water than traditional garden hoses and sprayers, but the water is directed more effectively to the plants' roots.
Lay a soaker hose down near plants when they are first planted or transplanted, for a period of a few weeks. This will help them root or re-root in a new location. Also use a soaker hose during periods when plants are setting fruit or vegetables, since they need more water then, and the weather is likely to be hotter and dryer.
Place the soaker hose carefully. It should be at least a few inches away from the base of the plant, or from its outermost part that touches the ground, if you are using it on vining plants. Don't place a soaker hose right next to stems, as the constant moisture will produce rot and mold. Similarly, don't place it right next to a building, wall or fence, as it will encourage water damage and rot at the foundation or base of the structure.
Secure the soaker hose in place. You can use small stakes to place on either side of the hose to keep it in place, or you can use hose tiedowns. Many soaker hoses are flat on one side so that they won't move around incidentally as much as a round hose would, so you may not feel the need to secure it further.
Connect the soaker hose to your regular outside garden hose valve. Most soaker hoses are sold with the right connector ends, but if not, you can find them at any home improvement or garden store. You also can connect it to your garden hose for more length if you have a limited amount of soaker hose to work with, or if you need it to not drip for a distance until it reaches your plants, such as along a driveway or building.
Turn it on just when needed. Soaker hoses are great at watering thoroughly and saving water, but they are not a license to overwater your plants. Be sure you are still within the water requirements of the specific plants you are using.