We used U-shaped pins to anchor the soaker hose in place. At first we used landscape fabric pins, but they were expensive, and if the hose jerked from a bit of air in the line, it tended to pull the pins right out of the soil. I came up with the bright idea of using wireframe coat hangers instead. We snip off the curve that hangs over the clothes rod and bend them into U-shaped pins with longer arms. These work great to hold the soaker hose in place. You push the ends of the pins into the ground, allowing the curve of the U to push the hose into place.
I like the drip irrigation system around the vegetable plants for many reasons. We're on well water, and we don't want to waste the resources or the well pump. The soaker hose seems to use less water. What it does use, it aims directly where the plant needs it, and leaves the rest of the soil dry. Hopefully that will discourage some of the weeds from taking root, too!
We noticed that the soil stayed moist near the hose area for a long time after we turned off the water. We realized that the hose continued to drop for a while after the water source was shut off, another benefit.
So far, our plants seem to like the soaker hose. Time will tell if our investment pays off. We have growing in the vegetable garden the following:
- Garlic - elephant bulbs
- Onions - three kinds (white, red, Spanish)
- Beets - Detroit Dark red and golden
- Tomatoes - five kinds including Mortgage Lifter, Supersonic, Better Boy, Early Girl, Sweet 100s and Golden Stripe, an heirloom
- Peppers - California Wonder, a green bell
- Eggplant - Black Beauty
- Lettuce - about five kinds of lettuce
- Greens - Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, spinach (for salads)
- Sweet potato - "Beauregard"
- Potatoes - Yukon Gold, Russet, Kennebec
- Asparagus - Jersey Giant
- Strawberries - Everbearing
- Cucumbers - Bush Burpless