Automated Watering – PVC vs Soaker Tape

Q. I had a question regarding soaker tape. my garden is to big for me to try to water with a hose and sock ( 50 + soil beds 60 feet long). But the cost of running pvc and all the fittings and the 400 feet of main line would run me over 2000 dollars just for materials not including the cost of renting a trench digger.

So I looked into soaker tape and found it to be considerably cheaper. I was able to have what I needed to water 100 beds for less than 300 dollars. Although I must admit there is still some fine tuning that I have to do concerning water pressure and figuring out how many beds can be watered at the same time. Just wanted to know what you thought about and what may be your experience with it.

A. Being on the ground it is subject to getting cut when weeding occurs.

It is also subject to getting soil particles into the orifices, plugging it up.

It is not designed to supply a large amount of water quickly, but rather to work for several/many hours applying a little water at a time.

It is not possible to know how much water is being applied.
Plants sometimes (often?) are under-watered.

Life expectancy is 2-4 years.

One thing to consider is that you are making an investment that will last for 15-25 years, and so the cost per year is minimal. My garden at Utah’s Hogle Zoo has had the same inexpensive PVC pipes for 20 years now.

And by the way, you do not use Schedule 40 pipe, but instead use the inexpensive Schedule 200 pipe.

Jim Kennard