I have always been cheap. My wife has been working on me to change this attitude for 50 years now, and I must admit that she has largely been successful. I still, however, really resist throwing anything away. It’s not that I am a hoarder, I just find extreme pleasure on finding a use for an object after I have saved it for years. I have junk drawers that are a challenge to close. This cheapness applies to tools as well. For instance, I am still using the wheelbarrow and sawhorses my dad (who was a contractor) gave me nearly 50 years ago—and they were old and beat up then!
Anyway, this impulsion to save stuff has resulted for instance in collection of old soaker hoses and pieces of soaker hoses that fill a garbage can. I’ve now decided that the garbage can is the best destination for this accumulation. You see, our main iris garden was watered by a variety of soaker hoses—different sizes and different ages. The result was very uneven watering—some parts were completely dry, some parts over watered, and there were frequent squirts here and there. LaVille would have to drag a hose through the garden and water everything every week. After listening to several complaints (she is careful not to nag), I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy new soaker hose. I was looking for ½ inch hose everywhere, but only found 3/8”. Interesting enough, I found the same brand at every store. For instance, the 50 foot SoakerPro by Element was about $17 at Home Depot. However, the same hose was $5.72 at the Lowes in West Sacramento. I jumped on that one! In fact, I bought two.
The hoses were easy to install. I first unrolled the coils and twisted it to take out all of the loops. Then as I dragged it through the garden I pinned it using “U” shaped wires made from coat hangers that I had been saving. When I turned on the water, I couldn’t believe how well the water was distributed. I bet this system could also be used to water lines of potted plants if they were, say, all one-gallon pots.
So, if you find that your soaker hose is squirting rather than dripping, head for West Sacramento. Don’t be cheap and take the hose out in the street and run over it with the car—which is the old, recommended treatment for soaker hoses that get clogged by minerals. You will love how much better a new hose works.
Stan, The Tool Man