Easiest Way to Water the Garden
The best method to effectively provide enough water to the garden is using a drip tape irrigation system. Drip tape systems allow you to conserve water and supply the plant with all the water it needs for all growing stages. Another benefit is drip tape irrigations reduces disease and weed pressures in the vegetable garden. With overhead watering, you tend to water the edges of the garden and in between rows that are not planted with anything which will increase weed germination in those areas. Drip tape irrigation reduces those issues because the water is going directly to the plant roots and it will conserve more water in the vegetable garden. Another advantage caused by drip tape being buried in the soil is it allows for the plant to not contain constant moisture on the leaves which will reduce foliage diseases causing issues in the garden area. Overall, the difference between drip tape and soaker hoses can be based on your personal preference for the garden area.
Drip Tape vs. Soaker Hose
On this week’s episode, Travis explains the difference between drip tape and soaker hose in the vegetable garden. Drip tape is made out of a collapsible polyethylene tubing that lays flat when not in use and when you supply water it can become pressurized which swells up. The drip tape has emitters that are equally spaced 12 inches along the drip tape. These emitters are where the water flows out and they come already punched equally into the drip tape. Most drip tapes will have a water output of 0.4 gallons per minute per 100 feet of tape. For example, if you have a thousand feet of tape in your vegetable garden you will be supplying 4 gallons of water per minute along that entire system. The mainline tubing for drip tape is going to feed the individual lines running through the garden. At the beginning of each row of tape, you will have a row start valve that will connect the drip tape and the actual mainline tubing. The row starter valves also allow you to control the flow on individual drip irrigation tape lines in the rows. Then at the end of each row, you will have a drip tape row end that will seal off the tape at the end of the row. This will create the equalized pressure along the entire length of drip tape in the garden. If you have our Double Wheel Hoe with the Plow Set we have a Drip Tape Layer attachment that works perfectly for laying drip tape in rows in the garden area. We recommend using the plow set with it in order to bury the drip tape in one single passing. Drip tape provides a frequent slow watering that will increase harvest production and a better vegetable garden area.
However, a soaker hose has a couple of difference between drip tape systems. Drip tape is consistent in water output and soaker hoses are inconsistent when it comes to water output. A soaker hose does not have several adjustable fittings or the radius of coverage that drip tape offers. The soaker hose is usually made out of recycled rubber and they tend to get brittle from the sun which makes them not last as long as drip tape. They will also tear/break fairly easy and can be lot more pricer than drip tape. When looking over the difference between drip tape and a soaker hose choose the best method that will last for a long time, conserve water, reduce problems, and save you time and money in the vegetable garden.