Sunday, May 25, 2008

Soaker Hose and Timer Installation 101

Hello, Pumpkinistas!

I've had a few questions about installing a simple automatic watering system. (Since my seedlings are still pretty small, I've been hand-watering using a watering can.) So, I thought I'd take advantage of the cool weather to install my watering system this morning.

I used a soaker hose wound around the mound, connected to a standard garden hose that's connected to a 4, AA-battery-operated/powered watering timer. (Since the timer uses very little electricity, one set of 4, AA batteries easily last the season.) To hold the soaker hose in place, I bent 3, 8"-10" lengths of clothes hanger wire into U-shapes, and pushed them over the soaker hose, and into the mound where necessary. After the hoses and timer were tightly connected, I placed a mulch over the mound and soaker hose to keep water evaporation to a minimum, the weeds down, and to moderate the soil temperature.

From start to finish, it took about 20 minutes. Of course, the first time I installed the system, it took about one hour. Just make sure that you have the soaker hose, garden hose, timer, and batteries before you start the installation. If you'll need to use the hose bib for another hose, don't forget a Y-hose splitter.

Once the seedlings are a few more days old, I'll water for 15 minutes/day at 6:00 a.m., and then increase it to 30 minutes/day, once the seedlings start vining or if the weather starts warming up.