It is time for me to begin replacing my oldest soaker hoses in my vegetable garden, and I decided it is a good time to make the switch to Netafim in my raised beds. The Netafim will fit better, is hard to accidentally perforate, is possible to repair, and should last longer. (There is a video of what I did after I list supplies and tools)
By fitting better, I mean that I can custom fit exactly how much Netafim irrigation tubing I want in each raised bed. We have already done this with a four flower areas, including circles, odd shapes, and long rectangles and I am pleased with them all.
Soaker hoses came in set lengths and thus can end up either extensively looped or crossing paths creating tripping hazards. I did make one a custom length soaker hose for a straw bale garden once, but it is more challenging to make connecting parts fit without causing permanent leaks in the soaker hose. The material the soaker hose is relatively soft and doesn’t allow for tightening fittings easily.
I choose not to make my Netafim circular because of my experience with soaker hoses and the difficulty in moving them for planting or weeding. With just one length of Netafim down each side of the raised bed, I can easily move one at a time to the side as needed.
Netafim can be repaired by cutting and splicing with a connector piece with threaded ends just like the one I attach to the hose in the video. As long as these splices end up between most of the drip points, then the Netafim tubing will still function just fine.
The Netafim tubing is definitely stronger than the uniformly porous soaker hoses. With soaker hoses, a random hit with a shovel or dandelion weeder would permanently damage it. Not so with Netafim tubing. A small tool is unlikely to do more than barely scratch it. Of course, more care should be taken when using force with tools such as shovels.
There are no little attachments to the Netafim that come off or get tangled. The drip points are designed to deal with some sediment or hard water deposits that might be in the water, but if your water is has an abundance of such in it, you might want to consider an extra filter.
The list of supplies for making my custom fitted Netafim irrigation is:
- Netafim tubing (sold in rolls of 100 or 250 feet)
- hose end connector (brass fitting)
- Netafim dual connector (techline 2 way)
- Teflon plumber’s tape
- rubber washer
- landscape fabric pins
The only tools I needed were:
- adjustable wrench (crescent wrench)
Sometimes it is just easier to see something like this done, so here is a video: