Soaker hoses are made of porous rubber material that allows water to seep slowly out of the soaker hose into the soil. By slowly releasing water into the garden around the root zone of the plants, a soaker hose is an important part of a sensible water conservation program. Soaker hoses can be purchased in different lengths, with 100 feet being the maximum length for optimal effectiveness. Soaker hoses work best on a level area. If one end of the soaker hose is higher than the other, water flow can be restricted or uneven.
Attach a back flow preventer to the outdoor water faucet to prevent dirty water from being pulled into the open water faucet. This is required by law in many locations. Attach a timer to the backflow preventer so the water to the soaker hose can be turned on and off automatically. Timers can be battery operated or solar operated depending on the variety. They make watering very convenient because the water automatically turns itself off after watering. Also, there is less chance the plants will be over-watered.
Attach a regulator to the timer that decreases water pressure to 10 to 12 psi or pounds per square inch. This prevent too much water pressure from building up in the soaker hose and causing the sides to fail and spring a leak. Attach a standard water hose to the pressure regulator. Bring the other end of the hose to the side of the garden where you will be attaching your soaker hose to the end of the standard garden hose.
Attach a soaker hose to the standard garden hose. Lay the soaker hose in as straight a line as possible, 1 to 2 inches from established plants, but closer to small plants and seedlings. Be sure the end cap is on the soaker hose before turning on the water supply.
Turn on the water supply and allow the soaker hose to run as needed to moisten soil to a depth of 6 inches. To test, take a hand-held garden spade and loosen the soil under the soaker hose and see if the soil is moistened 6 inches deep. Adjust the timer so the water runs long enough to soak the areas around the plants as required. For example, vegetable plants may need more frequent watering than flowering perennials.
Allow the soaker hose to set on top of the soil without being covered with mulch or soil as this can clog the porous hose. The soaker hose should not be kinked or water pressure will be reduced in certain areas of the soaker hose.