Forum home Tools and techniques

Seeper hose novice - advice please

I’ve just learned about these and seen some demos on YouTube. They sound fantastic particularly for my large bone dry beds.  Any advice please very welcome on installing and use.  Also what’s the maximum length one can use on a bed and is it safe to join up or best one solid length (our pressure is ok I think). Should it go under the soil or best on top? I would like to connect two separate smaller beds - should the length between them go under the lawn? What do you do about sloping buts of garden?  Many thanks


  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,292
    Sarahlhs  I've honestly never used one of these but basic hose principles will no doubt apply.  If, as you say, your pressure is good, any reasonable length should be OK.  As long as you join lengths properly with pieces of, say, copper pipe firmly clamped with jubilee clips, it won't leak.  ALWAYS place under the soil, and don't be afraid to go down several inches, thus encouraging roots to head down to where they sense the water is.  Surface watering will tend to make the roots turn upwards and become marooned if you stop watering.  It will also be wasteful through evaporation loss.  Any section that passes under e.g. a lawn that doesn't need irrigation would be best joined by a piece of standard hosepipe to prevent wastage.  As long as you stay underground, I don't see sloping ground needing different treatment.  I hope this helps, and good luck.
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    My beds  are all 2,4m x 1.2m and I run 2 or 3 lengths up and down each bed sometimes doing a loop around a clematis or roses that needs extra water. I would estimate 25 to 30m length over several beds and where it goes over the wooden sleeps I have used ordinary hose.
    It's a pain to lay and you need plenty of wire hoops or pegs if you are doing bends. 
    As per instructions I left mine on the surface to start with but it's gradually getting buried and now and again some of the holes don't weep they spray so I put a bit of soil on top to stop this.
    I'm not sure about it being buried though as you can't see if it's working and I wonder if it impedes the water flow. 
    You don't need the tap full on just enough for It to reach the end and then leave for 4 or 5 hours or overnight if your bed is really dry otherwise it only waters the top few inches.
    I certainly found it a boon over the last 2 summers as my garden is only 3 years old and everything needed watering.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,852
    I am new to these too and bought 2 kinds last autumn in a sale.  One has holes at intervals and is very long so I've looped it 3 times round my polytunnel beds pegging it down on the surface with U shaped pegs for holding down weed membrane.   I then planted my tomatoes, chillies, cucumbers and some lemon grass strategically next to drip holes which means there are gaps where water seeps but nothing is growing.   Temps here are in the 30s at the mo so I turn it on for 30 to 40 minutes a day and, so far, it's working well.  Healthy plants, good fruiting and the foliage isn't getting wet like if did in previous years when I just sprayed them with the hosepipe.

    The other is a porous pipe along its entire length and I have it outside looped twice round my dahlia bed.  It isn't buried but is now covered by their foliage so little is lost to evaporation.   I turn it on for 30 to 40 minutes every 2 to 3 days.  Much better dahlias this year with longer stalks.   I shall leave it in place and it will gradually be buried by the annual mulching but, in this first year of using them, I find it easier to have them visible for hoeing purposes.

    I like the porous one better and have bought another for a fruit bed I'm planning to make this autumn so we get better black and redcurrants and gooseberries.   Agree with @nick615 about using plain pipe to join up the beds.  Just make sure the joins are very tight so they don't burst underground where you can't get at them.  Sometimes the pressure here has made my connections pop.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 9,985
    I put in a seeper hose 2 years ago and this is the one I got

    I'd previously had a Gardenia setup with the little sprayers and drippers, but the tubing got buried over the years, the sprayers and drippers got blocked and then I was often putting a spade through the buried pipework so I eventually pulled it all up and chucked it.
    The new one (as above) works very well. It 'perspires' along the whole length and being quite a wide bore it's easy to see on the soil surface (and I'll make sure it stays on the surface) so I've managed not to put a spade through it - yet.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,715
    edited July 2020
    I’ve had the same experience as Pete with a micro-irrigation system. Buried pipe stabbed with forks, buried connections blocked with soil.

    I’m going to lay a seeper hose along the base of a hedge which has been very badly affected by 3 consecutive very dry summers and the rain shadow and drinking capabilities of a huge, mature ash tree.

    I know it makes some sense to bury a seeper hose but I want to be able to see it (it won’t be noticeable anyway) - partly so I don’t stab it but also so I can easily reposition it if necessary. 
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,292
    Sarahlhs , As a veg only gardener, I'd only use such a system in conjunction with a specific crop(s) as I plant them.  Once finished, I'd take it up and reuse it as and when required.  It therefore never occurred to me, unlike the others, that I might stab the hose with a fork or spade.  Hence the value of multi-responses.
  • TackTack Posts: 1,159
    I have 2 soaker hoses, one 15m the other 20m. There is a drop off of drip rate at the end of the longer one up a very gentle slope. I keep the hoses above ground and remove them for winter as I read that freezing damages them. As a previous poster said the connections can burst apart if there is too much pressure. They work really well but are stiff to lay flat, particularly around bends and ringing specific plants, I use lots of tent-type pegs.
    Central southern England
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 9,985
    Tack said:
     They work really well but are stiff to lay flat, particularly around bends and ringing specific plants, I use lots of tent-type pegs.
    That's a very good point.
    When I got mine it just kept springing back to as it was when delivered. I just couldn't get it to lay in a straight line.
    Fortunately we had some very hot days and I laid it out on the lawn to soak up the sun for a while then it was easy to lay and I didn't need any pegs.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,852
    Mine came tightly rolled and wrapped in plastic. A few days out in the sun softened them enough to unwind and lay.  The porous all over one was easier than the smooth one with holes at intervals.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 7,782
    I have 2, one 15 metre and the other 20 or 25 metre.  I had them connected to each other when I planted up a new border and needed to water veg when we went away.  It worked well.  This year I have just used the shorter one to water runner beans, it's on the end of a 100 foot long conventional hose and works very well still.  I haven't buried it and to be honest I wouldn't bury it for the reason mentioned previously about being able to check it's working effectively.
Sign In or Register to comment.