Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:17 pm

I'm thinking about laying down a soaker hose and straw mulch in my 20 x 30 garden before the hot dry days of July and August show up. I've got the basics planted (tomatos, peppers, beans, cucs, etc).

I'm wondering if it would be better to lay the hose on top or under the straw mulch. I'll pull the hose up in the fall and leave the straw.

Comments and suggestions welcomed.

Re: Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:35 pm

Hope,

There is a good discussion of using a soaker hose for vegetable gardening here: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/714.html It will work fine, as long as you cross your Ts and dot the Is.

Good luck.

Bill

Re: Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:40 pm

Under the straw you will get less evaporation, but on top of the straw will keep it moist so their is less problems with it blowing away in the wind. Soaker hoses are not very popular in this area. We have so much lime in our water that they stop up in about 2 years or less fo sue.

Re: Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:48 am

If you use straw you will have the best wheat field in the neighborhood.

Re: Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:34 pm

You will also have the biggest slugs/snails/etc. under the wet nasty mulch, because they love the cold wet slimy ground that mulch creates! thanks; sonny

Re: Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:18 am

I have used soaker hoses under mulch from grass clippings for years because I'm too lazy to hoe. What few weeds may come up are easy to pull. Most weed seeds need light to germinate. My only problem was sweet potatoes with mice and voles eating them. I didn't have any that wern't mulched that year so I don't know if it made any difference or not. I have mulched since without problems. A word of caution. My brother-in-law mulched using grass clipping frrom his lawn on which he had used weed-n-feed and after a few years thought it was affecting germination. I have three acres of rough out back so no problem. This uses less water, keeps the moisture more even, can water day or night w/o leaving wet plants and doesn't splash water back onto plants especially tomatos. We have a lot of trouble with septoria leaf spot here and it always gets tomatos. Can generally keep the plants going until frost. Fungicide seems to have no lasting effect. Looks like I've written a novel here. Good luck gardening and good eating. Vern

Edit: I would agree that straw runs a risk of grain growth. Look at a field behind a combine. Whew. I also use a type of permanent mulch in my vine garden but that is another novel. If interested google author Ruth Stout. Vern

Re: Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:04 am

I agree with Vern, put the soaker hose beneath the mulch. All of my soaker hoses have small holes, even when new, that spritz the water further than intended. The straw will keep the water where you want it. The straw doesn't blow that much once its gone through a rain or two. Jim

Re: Using a soaker hose with straw mulch

Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:00 am

RedBess wrote:........All of my soaker hoses have small holes, even when new, that spritz the water further than intended. ........ Jim
Jim, that sound more like a sprinkler hose than a soaker hose. In this area we have sprinkler hoses that have small holes that spray fine streams of water, and soakers hoses that only weep the water, almost like they are sweating. Neither one lasts very long though due to the calcium in our water.