Drip Irrigation vs Soaker Hose – 5 Factors about Garden Watering

Drip Irrigation vs Soaker Hose

Gardening is not only a healthy enjoyable activity but also very good for our health both mentally and physically. Taking a break from the robotic life & desk works, planting your own vegetables, butterfly bushes, and flowers can be great for you. But there are many ways of watering your plants. Some may prefer to water them with soaker hoses while others would let an irrigation system to take care of your plants when you are busy. So the question is, which watering process is better? Let’s read to find out rivals drip irrigation vs soaker hose.

Soaker Hose

Soaker HoseA soaker hose is the traditional watering tool for your garden. Anyone can simply connect the hose end to the faucet, take the pipe near the plants and turn on the water to start watering. They give you the flexibility of moving around from one bed to another, and watering specific areas you water to moisten. You can stand between 2 beds and do simultaneous watering. Soaker hoses also are an efficient way of watering because you are there to make sure how much water is emitted and also the fast pace of water does not give any chance of water wastage by evaporation. They are the cheapest watering method.

Drip Irrigation System

Drip Irrigation SystemDrip Irrigation is a process of slow dripping of water into the soil through small pipes with small emitters. The water comes out of these emitters at a very slow rate and seeps into the soil. The best part of this system is that it targets the root zone, that is, the water only moistens the part of the soil where the roots grow. It is considered as the most efficient among all irrigation methods because very less water is wasted and the soil gets enough time to absorb the water. There is a very low chance of the water to evaporate or wasted.

In sprinkler irrigation, a lot of water is wasted because it wets the whole soil and not only the root region. You can save a lot of time and physical effort using a drip system. After all, you are not spending time outdoors, dragging your heavy hose all around your garden. So when you are busy, drip irrigation will do the job for you. Just turn on the system and go to the office and the timer will turn it off when the watering is done. It is very easy to install & quite inexpensive as well. There are many diseases associated with too much moisture in the plants like powdery mildew. But with drip irrigation, you don’t need to worry about them.

Drip Irrigation vs Soaker Hose

Drip Irrigation vs Soaker Hose

So which one would you choose for your garden? A drip irrigation system or a soaker hose? Let’s analyze both:

EfficiencySoaker hoses are known to seep out water and suffer from many kink and cracks. A lot of water is also wasted while we leave the

Soaker hoses are known to seep out water and suffer from many kink and cracks. A lot of water is also wasted while we leave the hose and turn off the faucet. Drip emitters works with a slow pace and very accurately without any water being wasted through runoff or evaporation. You also have the flexibility to use many emitters for large plants and a single emitter for smaller plants, therefore, reducing the wastage of water.


A drip irrigation system needs hose, drippers, regulators and filters, which makes it a bit costly. But is you look at a soaker hose, it is the cheapest watering tool you will find. Just buy a best garden hose, join one end to your faucet and start watering your garden.

Slope Watering

Drip Irrigation is great for slope watering, but soaker hoses are not. This is because they are not pressured compensating.


Soaker hoses have higher chances of clogging because they do not have any filters to block debris in the water. But the drip system is designed with tiny passages or filters to filter out the debris and avoid clogging.


Soaker hoses are more prone to cracks & leaks especially if not taken care properly. If left under the sun for long, the pipe will be damaged. Many hoses are made of rubber and are not durable enough. If you have leaks, it is hard to repair them to last longer. But drip systems can be easily repaired if damaged. You can replace the emitters if they are damaged.

Coverage Area

Soaker hoses are best for small and medium beds & plants placed closely together. But if you try to water patches beyond the length of the pipe, the flow of water decreases. Drip system, however, is best for large vegetable patches.



Soaker hose and drip irrigation are both great ways to water your garden. They are similar in many ways in saving water from wastage and targeting the root zone of your plants. But they differ a lot in terms of cost, watering range, durability, and flexibility. Therefore, you need to choose which one is better for your plantation and buy the one according to your preference.

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