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By lnygaard from Billings, MT
I have an idea for watering gardens outdoors but with health problems haven't been able to actually do it yet. If anyone does it, I'd sure appreciate a feedback to let me know how it works!
I like to use soaker hoses and a timer to water my garden. However every time I have had one down for a while it seems to get clogged up with ants, weeds and mud. So here's my solution - PVC pipe!
I'd take a PVC pipe that is just big enough around to fit the soaker hose through (don't forget the end with a cap on it has to fit too). I'd drill tiny holes in it using the smallest bits I could find (if you clamp the pipe in place this would be a lot easier, not to mention a lot safer) about every 6 inches or so. I'd only put the holes in the top half of the pipe. The water would seep down on it's own.
You could either leave it on top of the ground and maybe cover it with mulch so it doesn't look bad, or you could bury it all along through your garden. The PVC would keep the soaker hose from becoming clogged and the holes in the pipe would allow the water to still get out to your plants. You could also put more holes where certain plants are and no holes where no plants are, which would also allow for no waste of water. And the timer would simply make it easier so you don't have to be going in and out everyday to turn it on and off.
I'd appreciate any feedback anyone has or suggestions.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
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I've been using soaker hoses for many years and they worked great. Recently I've started new beds and found the hoses to be very frustrating to use, they either won't work or sprout "geysers" which I have to repair, and the parts are getting expensive. Has anyone found a better alternative to soaker hoses? I've heard of using PVC piping and making small holes. I vegetable garden in a very drought prone area and need a reliable system when I am not home to fix the leaks. I use timers for everything already. The old soaker hoses still work great but the new ones must be made so cheaply and always notice they are made in China.
Use a drip system. The different drippers for each plant. They can be used with a timer, also.
I also have a soaker hose with a lot of geyesers. To keep the water headed down into the ground instead of up, I took small coke or soft drink bottles (the single serving size) and washed them out, then cut them in half to make a "tunnel" - I made "stakes" out of half opened paper clips, and clipped them over the geyesers -so the water hit the inside of the bottle, and then ran down into the ground. You can also deflect the water back down by half burying the hose under mulch or soil.
I have successfully and happily used PVC piping with holes drilled into it at various spacing to grow all my organic fruit and vegetables. I use raised beds with the PVC connected in two rows down the middle of each bed. I have a main line of PVC connecting to the smaller rows, and shut off/on valves at each row to allow watering as needed.
Some gardeners have good luck using buried PVC pipe with holes drilled in it to water their tomatoes. This is a page about watering tomatoes underground with PVC pipe.