Soaker hoses are a form of drip irrigation, carrying low-pressure water to plants throughout the garden. Drip irrigation such as soaker hoses are 90 percent efficient says Colorado State University Extension, much higher than sprinklers which are only 50 to 70 percent efficient. After adjusting the gauges and pressure, as well as setting up a timer on the system, and burying it properly, soaker hoses save money and water.
Attach your timer, pressure regulator, backflow preventer and garden hose at the faucet outside your home according to the instructions on the packaging. Test the pressure of the water by turning the faucet on, and ensure it gets to the end of the hose. The pressure regulator should be graded at 10 to 12 psi says the Saving Water Partnership of Seattle.
Attach the soaker hose to the end of the garden hose and place it throughout your garden, ensuring it stays on level ground and does not go up hill. The maximum length for a soaker hose, says the Saving Water Partnership, is 100 feet. Space the hoses, if there is more than one, 12 to 18 inches from each other in rows on sandy soil, and 18 to 24 inches on loam or clay soil.
Position the hoses within the rows so they are 1 to 2 inches from the base of each established plant, advises Saving Water Partnership. This may require you to gently bend the hose around plants in a serpentine manner.
Check the hose for any kinks and tighten all connections.
Bury the soaker hose with 2 to 3 inches of mulch to protect it from sunlight and external damage. Soaker hoses are not effective buried in dirt, as the small particles clogs the hose. Mulch retains moisture.