Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose Review

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One thing I always try to preach to myself and to other gardeners is the importance of using soaker hoses in the vegetable garden.

Soaker hoses are an ideal method for easily watering your vegetables by reducing water usage and directing water where the plant needs it most – at the roots.

But I have a confession. I have always hated soaker hoses.

You might be asking…”Well, why??”. I have always found most soaker hoses to be a royal pain in the patoot.

They come rolled up very tightly and when you try to uncoil them it’s like fighting a 50 foot boa constrictor. And don’t try to run a soaker around already established plants because they could easily become a victim of death by soaker hose.

Don’t even get me started on trying to roll the soaker hose up at the end of the season. It can be a nightmare just trying to roll it up so it can be stored. One thing is for sure – a soaker hose knows nothing about cooperation.

Constant holes and repairs were another issue I ran into frequently with most soaker hoses I used. You might be thinking, “Well, aren’t they supposed to leak?”. Yes, but I’m talking about a hole developing in the soaker hose causing a spray of water coming that resembled something like Old Faithful.

As I said, most of the time I felt there just wasn’t any good quality, affordable soaker hoses out there. I didn’t want to give up so I decided to try another type.

Finding A Solution

One day while scanning my local garden center, I came across a flat soaker hose that is supposed to be much easier to handle and easier to store.

Yeah right. There’s no way a soaker hose can be that easy to use.

This soaker hose was the Gilmour Flat 75ft Soaker Hose. The first thing I noticed about this soaker hose that is different than the others I’ve used is that it’s flat, instead of round like a normal water hose, and it’s made out of a type of fabric-like material instead of rubber.

It looked like it might be a lot easier to work with, and maybe it didn’t spring any holes like the rubber types of soaker hoses.

So I decided to give it a try.

Gilmour Flat Soaker HoseGilmour Flat Soaker Hose Unwrapped

Testing The Gilmour Flat 75ft Soaker Hose

I wanted to place a soaker hose around my tomato and summer squash plants to make it easier watering them this season.

The first thing I did after unwrapping the soaker hose was to stretch it out down the length of my garden.

Laying The Gilmour Soaker Hose Out

I immediately fell in love with how easy the Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose was to lay out. I was also impressed by the length of it. I typically buy 50 foot soaker hoses and was surprised at how much longer that extra 25 feet is.

I was able to use the soaker hose to water not only my tomatoes and squash, but my pole beans and eggplant, too.

Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose Under Squash

Because the Gilmour Soaker Hose is flat it made it very easy to get under already-established plants, like my yellow summer squash.

Once I had the Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose laid out around my plants like I wanted, it was time to hook it up to the water hose and give it a test run.

Hook The Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose To The Water Hose

The Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose worked like a charm. Immediately the water started slowly dribbling from the hose just like it’s intended to. The great thing is I didn’t have not one leak all season long.

It is truly a “set it and forget it” garden luxury and one that I highly recommend for your vegetable garden!

Gilmour Flat Soaker Hose

Pros Of The Gilmour Flat 75ft Soaker Hose

  1. Very easy to use and set up
  2. Relatively inexpensive compared to other soaker hoses
  3. Much lighter in weight than most rubber soaker hoses of the same length
  4. Flat construction makes it very easy to roll up and store
  5. Doesn’t kink up and get tangled as much as rubber soaker hoses
  6. Fabric materials easily bend around sharp corners, making it easier to set the hose exactly where you need it most
  7. Long 75 foot length covers plenty of garden area

Cons of the Gilmour Flat 75ft Soaker Hose

  1. Fabric material fades and becomes more “brittle” if exposed in the sun
  2. Hose connectors on each end are plastic and seem a bit “cheap”

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Comments

  1. Interesting info. I haven’t had much luck with soaker hoses, either. I have them connected to my rain barrels to water the areas that don’t get rain because they’re under the overhang. I do leave my round soakers outside over winter, just not connected to the rain barrel and that hasn’t damaged them, but the problem is they are very hard to move in the shape I want. Also, the water pressure from a rain barrel isn’t as much as from a normal faucet and I’m not sure if that would make a difference with this hose. Maybe they’re on sale now!

  2. I have used those hoses for a couple of years now and I would like to add a couple of things. First, the connectors are cheap, I have replaced most of them on my hoses in the past 3 years. I have not used them much in my garden but on spots in my lawn that needed extra water and they work great for that as well but don’t hit the things with a weed eater. There is a porous plastic hose inside the fabric that can break with surprisingly little force after a couple of years of service. I have one hose that I just gave up and tied a knot in the end that was broken.
    These hoses are much better than the recycled rubber ones that crack after the first winter.
    The only other issue I have had is they don’t like to stay rolled up over the winter. I had an untangling mess that was a pain to get sorted out this spring. There must be a better way than a traditional rollup, I keep thinking a hose minder or something like that would work well.
    Nice write up Tee, I am going to use those hoses on my garden next year. My regular sprinklers got covered by my corn and my raspberries this year so other things didn’t get enough water, that problem would be solved with the soakers.

  3. I purchased 3 of the Gilmour flat soaker hoses this year. The questions:
    Do I leave them on top of the mulch, or bury them about 2-3 inches?

    Thanks

    Jane

    • Hi Jane – You can place the soaker hoses on top of the soil and under the mulch if you like. Some gardeners prefer this method to conceal the hoses. I wouldn’t bury them under the soil if that’s what you meant, but putting them down then covering with mulch is just fine.

      Of course, you could just lay them on top of the mulch as well.

      I think you will really like using them, and your plant will like them, too. :)

      • Jane (not the same one) says:

        Just to clarify…the Gilmour flat soaker hoses are okay to bury under mulch? I am getting ready to mulch my beds and want to make sure I can leave them underneath the mulch (I’ve read that some soaker hoses are not meant to be under the mulch). I do love these flat hoses, especially compared to the rubber ones that blow out at every turn!
        Thanks.

        • Hi Jane (not the same) – Yes, you can place these soaker hoses under mulch. That’s how I arrange mine and they work perfectly fine. Have fun with your new soaker hoses :)

      • desperately seeking the hose you describe and picture here, but alas the manufacturer CHANGED the design. All the awesom reviews on Amazon, etc are for the pre-2012 product – with 2 seams, etc.
        The new hose – see amazon – has one seam – even looks different in the package. And according ot the one person who was expecting the old product & got the new one, it’s really bad.
        I know this is an old article, but i found it – so if you can include a warning – or at least a head’s up to read-up, that would be good.

  4. if you have more in 100 feets long

  5. I have one of these because it’s the only soaker hose I can find in a 25ft length for a small side terrace in my garden. However, after a year of service, it just developed several leaks near the end which gush water while reducing water flow to the rest of the soaker system. All the info I’m finding online describe fixing the typical round soaker hoses. Do you have any advice on how to fix the flat soaker hose or should I just replace it/tie off the end as the previous poster recommended?

  6. CHARLES WILKINS says:

    Thanks for the info on the Gilmour soaker hose, I just ordered one. Keep the info coming!

  7. I have a 24 ft square veggie garden and want to put a soaker system in to run from my in ground sprinkler system. I am looking at the Gilmour hose as everyone seems to think it is better than the rubber hose. Are there any ‘T’ or ‘elbow’ attachments for the gilmour so you can cut it and lay it out in rows all coming from one feed line down the side ? I am assuming that there is no way this hose will work snaked up and down 7 24 ft long rows, surely it will kink at the corners and stop the flow? Any advise would be great , thanks.

    • Thought i would share my experience with these. I’ve used these for about 3 or 4 years now and would like to share some things. My main garden has grown to 125 ft x 30 ft so its a lot to water.
      They last longer if you put them under your mulch. Sun breaks them down inside an out. The problem with putting them under mulch is you have to remember where they are not go sticking a shovel, a knife, or a pipe thru them (oops). They are not easy to repair but they are repairable. I am finding that my oldest ones seem to have sprung up a few leaks and i think i’ll retire them rather than patch them (some have 5 or 6 pin holes streaming water out of them.)
      I dont recommend sharp bends with them. They tend to crease and build up pressure before the end causing often too much pressure. They definitely perform better and have less issues if you run them in a straight line or with very wide curve.
      I dont recall a psi rating on the package, but you have to be experiment and find the right flow. Too much will start to bust holds in teh plastic inside the fabric outter layer. ( i have insanely high water pressure). These are better than traditional black rubber soaker hoses (you know the ones that look and smell like recylced tires) because these are not carcinogenic… yes, the others are! I use these in a veggie garden so i’d like a clean water supply.
      I found these cheapest at Wal mart (i hate going there, but they are less expensive for many of my garden supplies.) < $15 for 75ft roll.
      My strategy for storing them: roll em up neatly (not easy). Lay them out in the grass (stretched straight). Run some water thru them and use an old rag to wipe them down (they store better if they are not caked in mud). let them dry a bit, but not to the point where they get hard to roll. Take a semi-rigid piece of plastic about 2 feet long and roll the hose around it (i use a tray that held 10 x 6" pots which has a nice canal down the center that guides the first few windings thru. Try to wrap it up single file (you might have to put a tie around two ends about 3/4 of the way thru to keep the roll from collapsing on you). WHen done, tie in 2 or 4 places with twine or twistie ties to hold in place and bend the plastic you used to guide it around to slide the hose out. I guess if you have some christmas light holders you could store them around those. I've also been thinking i will make something that looks like a spool to wind htem aorund that. I'll make it so it pulls apart in the middle so i can get the hose off once i get all wrapped around it neatly. Keeping them rolled up neatly similar to the way it came (well a little larger of a circle but in a single roll) is much better than putting them back as spaghetti. When you try to unravel that mess of spaghetti you inevitably can break holes in the plastic inner hose when its so dry after a long winter storage. I guess hitting these with some water before unraveling them might not be a bad idea either. (Note after a season of use they will never be as soft and plyable as they were when you bought them, so wrapping them up is not the easiest). This year as i retire some of these i am going to start building by own irrigation set for part of the garden and see how much i like them. Seems like they have every piece part imaginable to make a custom erector set that will water my garden just where i want it. Too many projects, never enough time. :) GOOD LUCK!

  8. Thank you SO MUCH for writing this! I too experienced the exact same thing with the round soaker hoses. What a pain in the a####! I resorted to a twirling one that gets me completely soaked everytime I have to move it :( I happened to see the flat soaker hoses at Wal-Mart last time I was there and remembered them. I Googled which is better, and came across your article. I am definately going to order right after I shut off the sprinkler and dry off, lol

  9. How many soaker hoses do you need for a bed that is 4 feet wide? Can I just run one down the middle?

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