The 5 Best Soaker Hoses for Vegetable Gardens

Below we list some of our favorite brands. Read more below.

We’ve all been there. You buy a gardening product that looks like it suits your needs. But less than one year later, it’s broken and your garden is in ruins because its malfunction. 

Using a quality soaker hose will give you the highest chances of success with your vegetable garden. The goal isn’t to just get your vegetable garden to grow, it’s to make your vegetable garden flourish.

Soaker hoses are the best kept secret for vegetable gardens. They are better than sprinklers and watering cans. They are cheaper than irrigation drip systems. They bring water straight to the roots without getting it onto the foliage and once they are set up, require very little work. Keep reading below to find out the products that we recommend.

Soaker hose laid in a raised planter snaking in an appropriate pattern

Our Favorites

Here are the top choices. Please read our small reviews below and keep reading further below for a short guide on how to choose the best product for your needs Don’t be fooled, soaker hose provide many benefits over the traditional sprinkler and the arduous task of watering everything with a watering can.

Water Right Polyurethane Lead Safe Hose

Size Options – 25ft, 50ft, 100ft

This is our top pick. Water Right’s product is designed to be both convenient and safe. It is made from polyurethane with no BPA or phthalates. In addition, the fittings are lead free. This means that water dispensed it is safe for drinking and safe for watering a variety of gardens or lawns. It features strain reliefs at both ends to help prevent kinking. Water Right’s material and design mean that it’s flexible and simple to lay out even in cold weather. It won’t tangle, so ensuring that plants receive the proper amount of water is easy and convenient.

Rocky Mountain Goods Hose

Size Options – 25ft, 50ft, 75ft

Rocky Mountain Goods’ product is designed to be durable and easy to use. It is made of a PVC liner which is then covered by strong fabric, through which water can easily seep. This seepage ensures that plants are evenly, consistently watered. What we love about this product is that it is environmentally friendly. It’s made completely from environmentally safe materials and helps to mitigate potential evaporation and conserves water up to 70 percent more than other products. Rocky Mountain Goods’ product is guaranteed to not only work well but to last a lifetime without splitting or tearing.

Swan Products Element Hose

Size Options – 50ft

The Swan Products Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose is designed to make properly watering a garden or patch of lawn simple. It is 50 feet long and has six perforations per foot. If placed with the perforations up, it creates a wall of mist to gently water plants or grass. If placed with the perforations closer to the ground, it acts as a soaker. It is made from 65 percent recycled materials and is designed to be easy to use. It does not kink or twist and will lay flat wherever it’s placed. When using this hose, lawns and plants will receive an even, gentle flow of water for the perfect watering schedule.

Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose

Size Options – 25ft, 50ft, 75ft

Melnor’s product is both durable and easy to use. A rust resistant end cap makes it simple to connect several hoses together in order to ensure water goes exactly where it’s needed. Because it’s soft and flexible, it is also very easy to place. The hose, which offers a continuous seep of water through its porous surface, can be used on lawns, in gardens, or in raised beds, either on top of the soil or under a thin layer of mulch. In addition, when it comes time to store it, it flattens down so that it’s compact and takes up less space.

Dramm Premium Flat Hose

Size Options – 25ft, 50ft

Dramm’s product is made from recycled material, so gardeners can feel great when using it in their gardens or on their lawns. The material it is made out of is designed to be porous but thick, so water will not geyser out. Instead, water seeps out continuously, providing steady, even watering wherever its needed. This watering method is also ecofriendly, as it saves about 90 percent more water than traditional watering methods. Finally, the nickel plated couplings are rust resistant, making it even more convenient to use.

Plant Watering Guide

Soaker hose…what’s the big deal? In this short guide, we will tell you why you should be using them and how to set them up properly.

Cheap and Efficient

Soaker hoses are very efficient ways to irrigate plants while minimizing water waste. This is good for the environment and also helps to decrease your water bill.

Soaker hoses have with tiny pores along the entire length of it. These pores allow water to seep out of it and flow into the ground around the plant. This delivers water directly at the root zones with very low water pressure.

Because the water is directed straight into the ground, there is no runoff and less water is lost through evaporation.  It also provides water evenly and slowly.

Proper set up of irrigation so it feeds the root zone

Keeps Foliage Dry

Another one of the great benefits of a soaker hose is it keeps foliage dry.

Typically, you do not want to water the foliage of your plant. Allowing water to sit for extended periods of time encourages pests and diseases that require moist environments to grow. Occasionally spraying plants with water to rinse away pests or dusts is okay, but it should not be done on a regular basis. If you are doing this, make sure to do so in the early morning so that the sun can dry it throughout the day.

How to Set Them Up

Long soaker hoses can be useful for large vegetable gardens, but try not to buy too much. Too much length can become cumbersome to move around and manage.

Look for the side that has holes in it and lay it with the pores directed towards the ground around the base of your plants. This may require you to make spirals around certain plants or trees. The water should be gently seeping out through the holes and not squirting in the air.

Allow water to run until the soil is damp to your preferred depth. You can measure the depth easily with a yardstick or a trowel. Also make sure to record the length of time you have to keep the water on to reach your desired depth of dampness. In the future, you can simply run the water for the same amount of time.

If you want, you can also bury your soaker hose under mulch. They work efficiently under mulch. However, be sure NOT to bury under soil.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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