Question From: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Q: We have a large communal vegetable garden and a number of gardeners. We have dug in hoses in the past but found this to be a problem getting cut up because nobody remembered where exactly the hoses were buried. This year we have laid them on top but the soil winding around the garden but they don't seem to be putting enough moisture into the soil. Should the hoses be covered with mulch?
A: Covering the hoses will not increase the output, but will decrease the evaporation. Leaving it exposed to the sun will cause damage from the ultraviolet light. I'd cover it with mulch. Soaker hoses will clog up over time with mineral and other deposits carried in the water. This was a serious problem for Jeff and me at our home in the country. Our well water was very high in particulates and we were never able to use any kind of watering system as they would clog up in a matter of days. Surprisingly there are a number of websites dedicated to use of soaker hoses including www.soakerhose.com. Google "how to clean a soaker hose" to find more. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy