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How to Use Drip Hoses

By Diane Watkins ; Updated September 21, 2017
Drip hoses are efficient for watering flower beds.

A properly used drip hose is the most efficient method of watering the garden or landscape. Water is applied under low pressure directly to the surface of the soil where it is needed. This minimizes water use, puts the water right where it is needed and eliminates landscape damage due to runoff. Drip hoses have perforations that leak water into the ground at the desired rate. They are easy to locate and manage in the landscape, and can be moved when landscape needs change. Keeping the length of each run to less than 50 feet will ensure that all plants get adequate water.

Attach a regular hose to the faucet with enough length to reach the plants to be watered. Locate this leader hose and all drip hoses out of traffic and mowing areas. Leader hoses can be buried or covered with mulch, if desired.

Cut the drip hose to lengths needed to water the plant bed if short sections are desired. Allow enough length to circle trees without splashing water onto the trunk. Place hose end fittings on the cut ends of the hose and attach the drip hose to the leader hose.

Place the drip hose so that the water drips over the roots of the plant, but not onto the stems or foliage.

Add sections of leader hose and drip hose at intervals to reach all the planting beds desired. Keep the drip hose length to less than 50 feet. For longer reaches, start a new drip hose.

Fasten with wire anchor pins every few feet as needed to anchor the drip hose and leader hose in place.

Turn on the faucet and time how long it takes to deliver enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of two inches. Use this time as a guide for future watering.

Moderate water flow by opening the faucet only partially if needed. Water should drip out of the hose, not spray.

Turn on the faucet in the morning or evening for routine watering and allow the system to run for the determined time before turning off the faucet.

Maintain the system by checking seasonally for clogs and ruptures.


Things You Will Need

  • Leader hose
  • Drip hose or soaker hose
  • Outdoor water faucet
  • Hose end fittings, optional
  • Sharp knife, optional
  • Wire anchor pins

About the Author


Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.