Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Greener Way to Water your garden this summer

The more I research ways to be green, and the more I implement green changes around our home. The more I am convinced that green just makes sense, green changes usually save you money, and a lot of the time they save you effort as well.
This is so true of our latest green change. We added a soaker hose to our rain barrel and it's been awesome!

First it saves us money! 

Sprinklers waste a lot of water! While we are careful not to water the sidewalk, or the street, some always ends up there. Sprinklers also loose some water due to evaporation!

Second it saves us time. 

Because sprinklers are a bit of a waste of water, we took to hand watering which ends with us standing in the front yard for 30 minutes watering all the beds, all summer.
Even if we kept using the sprinkler to water our garden beds, we still have to run back outside every 10 minutes to move the sprinkler.

3rd green benefit . . . 

Most soaker hoses are made from recycled rubber!

Soaker hose tips: 

  • Soaker or Weeping hoses work best in lengths of 50 feet or less. Any more and it's hard to get the water all the way to the end of the hose (because there is no pressure pushing the water through . . . just gravity from the rain barrel). 
  • Don't bury your soaker hose in the dirt . . . lay it on top of the dirt and cover it with mulch instead. The mulch works two ways, one to cover the hose, and two to trap moisture in the soil. 
  • Keep the hose approx. 2-4 inches away from the base of the plant. 

Here's how we tackled it . . . 

(please excuse my terrible drawing, graphic designer I am definitely NOT!)
Because we are using our rain barrel for our water source, we attached the hose to our barrel.
We used a regular hose to run from the barrel to the garden bed so we didn't waste water that would seep out over our gravel . . . gravel doesn't need to be watered, silly!
(p.s. ever tried to take an artsy shot of a garden hose??? . . . nailed it ;)

Then we hooked up the regular hose to the soaker hose at the start of our garden bed.
Then we weaved the soaker hose in a big squiggly line between the hydrangeas (since they are the plants that need watering the most in our front yard).  We made sure to keep the hose 2-4 inches from the base of each plant.
Lastly we covered the hose with mulch so now, you can't see it at all. Soaker hose?? What soaker hose?? 
One last tip before I go . . . to promote strong, deep, healthy roots systems on your plants, water longer and more infrequently, instead of short burst of water frequently. Let the water soak deep down your looking for about an 8-12 inch deep soak! It usually takes all the water in our rain barrel to achieve this . . . luckily we live in the Greater Vancouver area, where rain is abundant . . . even when you wish it wasn't.
Here's a link to our Rain Barrel Guide from last year! Our rain barrel is one of my favorite green changes we've made . . . and now with the addition of a soaker hose it might take top billing.
I am also pretty happy with my clothesline from last year!

You can find soaker hoses everywhere, we picked ours up off Amazon for a great price, 50 feet for under $17, and free shipping!


  1. Love this Ashli - we definitely need to look into soaker hoses!

  2. Thats really cool! We are in the process of looking into rain barrels, so I will definitely have to keep this in mind!

  3. Love this post. We just bought a rain barrel and soaker hoses for this same purpose.

  4. I am thinking that I need to go out and get a rain barrel. We have had a ton of rain lately, so I haven't had to water but a couple times so far. But I am sure come August will have to every day!


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