The Secret to Growing a Green Garden

Use a garden soaker hose and discover the secret to growing a green garden. Installation tips from a self-taught, DIY gardener.

You’ll have to be patient just a second to find out the secret to growing a green garden. First let me show you my Fence Row Garden as it looks now, in early June.

fence row garden plants

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No blooms to speak of although I did have a few on the peony bushes. I think maybe four so we sure didn’t set any records there! Hopefully next year will be a bumper crop. Anyway, I wrote in my Fence Row Garden post about something I did that made a huge difference in not only blooms, but keeping everything green as well. Really green. Any idea?

OK…it was the garden soaker hose I installed last year! Not only did it make my life a whole lot easier, it made a world of difference in how my garden looked and produced. I had more blooms and everything stayed so green…even in August when I usually have a brown, shriveled up mess. I did the entire installation myself so clearly that means ANYONE can do this. I bought two 50 foot hoses.

garden soaker hose installation guide

The first garden soaker hose was used on the far end of the garden. It ended right at the back of the shed so that’s where the water hook up is.

How to install a soaker hose

The second hose covers the east end of the garden with the water hook up coming out at the corner.

garden soaker hose installation tips

At first, as I was laying the garden soaker hose, it didn’t stay flat to the ground. I found some metal plant stakes in my garage, cut them in about 12 in. lengths and bent them to make U-shaped pins. I pinned the hoses down in a few places and it was just enough to hold it in place.

How to install a garden soaker hose

There is a middle section of garden that doesn’t currently have a hose. It’s very mature coreopsis and daisies. The coreopsis doesn’t need any extra watering and I water the daisies on my way to hook up the soaker hose. I’d like to lay hose in this section but I have to get out in early spring before the coreopsis gets tall. I missed my opportunity this year so maybe next year…

Fence Row Garden coreopsis and shasta daisies

Garden Soaker Hose Tips

1. There is a screen at the end of the hose where the water is hooked up. I took out the little screens to get better water flow.

2. Don’t lay one gigantic hose. It takes too long to get the water from point A to point B. My water pressure was not good enough so I used 2 lengths of hose. I alternate days so I don’t water both sections on the same day.

3. To speed up the water flow, I used a hole punch to make some of the existing holes bigger, where I wanted more water. This worked like a charm.

I’m not sure how long these two hoses will last. They are on their second year and I hope they last a few more. I’m sure at some point I may have to lay new hose, but hopefully not any time soon.

As always, my garden assistant was on the job.

miniature schnauzer sitting on grass kelly

I can’t think of a DIY project, that I did myself, that has had results like this soaker hose installation. Not only has it transformed my garden, it is so much easier than standing with a hose in the sticky summer heat. To say it was life-changing might be a stretch…but the time, effort and sweat that I’ve saved has been amazing.

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  1. Krystal Cain says:

    Hi! So you just took regular hoses and cut holes in them? Is that my understanding? I have a very black thumb and can never get flowers to grow (or grow back once I plant them) I am a perennial only person and really want to become a green thumb..or not such a black thumb at least!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Krystal! No…I used soaker hoses you can get at any home improvement or discount store. For the hoses that were furthest away from the water source, I just made the holes already in the soaker hoses a little bigger. I hope this helps!

  2. Pingback: Hardy Plants ~ The DIY Gardener's Guide - On Sutton Place
  3. Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker says:

    You know Ann, I think I need to seriously think about this for my front flower beds and my hydrangeas in the back, they wither in the afternoon and it’s only June! I just haven’t been as good at watering every morning as I used to either, anything to make it easier!

  4. Mary Alice Patterson says:

    This is a great idea, Ann, especially for plants like hydrangeas that need a lot of water. Your flower bed along your fence is going to look gorgeous when all your blooms burst open.
    Mary Alice

  5. Your flower beds are looking great and gosh,a soaker hose. What a great help. Can’t wait to see your flowers in bloom.

  6. Lisa at Texas Decor says:

    I love how well our soaker hose works! We’ve had the same ones in our garden for over 5 years and they’re still working great. We cover them with mulch and it seems to help by keeping the scorching sun off them. You’re absolutely right too about using several smaller hoses instead of one very long one. It totally helps with the water pressure. Your yard is beautiful!

  7. Your gardens are beautiful! By any big stretch of the imagination I am ‘not’ a gardener therefore two summers ago decided on installing sprinkle hoses to cut down on the work and assigned the installation of per same to my hubby. Wrong thing to do LOL as what he chose IMO resembled some type of exotic black and yellow striped snake! I hated the things so much as anytime in close proximity they gave me the willies. (There is a downside to having an imagination … ha.) Needless to say by the end of the season they were donated to a neighbour down the street and were replaced with ones that blended in with the mulch. Lesson learned. ☺ -Brenda-
    P.S: Your dog is adorable.

  8. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    I love the expression on Kelly’s face! What a cutie! I’m sure your plants are thanking you for coming up with that watering system! We have water to just about everything in the vegetable garden, but not to most of our flower beds. Of course, with all this rain that we’re getting, it doesn’t matter!

  9. I love your garden along the fence. I remember when you weren’t happy about the fence but I knew how nice a backdrop a wood fence can be, happy it worked out so nicely. And something I learned about soaker hoses is to lay them in place then add the mulch on top. It helps with evaporation and makes the hoses last longer…..the sun is damaging to them. Lovely garden!

  10. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gardens. I think I will take your advice about the soaker hose this year. Usually I stand out there for ages watering everything every few days if we don’t get rain. This will save me a lot of time. Thanks for sharing. Yarlette

  11. DeDe@DesignedDecor says:

    Ann, your fence garden looks so pretty! I love the face on Kelly, she is adorable!

  12. Hi Ann,
    I enjoy reading your posts,this one included. You have a beautiful garden. I too, learned the wonderful advantage of soaker hoses. I just might add that a timer may be added on a dual or split hose hook-up and then you are set, even if you aren’t home. Happy gardening!!!
    I read somewhere that gardens are for enjoyment and we should never apologize for anything, but I did the same thing when our daughter and her family visited over the weekend.I smiled at the leaves, I am working toward that goal…

  13. Kelly @ View Along the Way says:

    Your garden is so beautiful and lush! We really need to add soaker hoses. I’d like to say that’s the reason why I can’t grow anything, but I’m sure I’m ruining all my plants in multiple ways. :)

  14. Such a neat idea. I haven’t put in watering systems cuz it makes me get outside but the older I get the more I’m thinking about them. Thanks for sharing.

  15. That was quite an endeavor! It makes it worthwhile when you get rewarded with the payoff. Your garden is so pretty!

  16. Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says:

    Please post again when these flowers are in full bloom. They are wonderful now I can only image what they look like in bloom.

  17. Your flower garden is just beautiful and I can see why you needed the soaker hose. How clever to do it yourself too! Your little garden shed is just adorable too and so is your puppy.

  18. Thanks for sharing these tips! Love your wee helper.

  19. Dolly Sarrio says:

    I thank you for reminding me of the soaker hoses. I have some in the gardens and frankly have forgotten about them they are covered with mulch..Your garden is beautiful thanks for sharing.