Installing a soaker hose in my garden this year has proven to be one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.
It started out with just one run, then we added another and another, totalling 75 feet of soaker hose. This completely covers both beds along the house and the crescent bed. So unlike last year, if I am too hot or tired to stand out in the yard when I get home from work, the plants don't miss a watering. I can just pop outside when I untangle Oli's rope (inevitable) and turn the faucet on low. Leave the soaker on for a few hours, then turn it off.
And when we were away for several days in a row, I'm sure my plants would have wilted completely, except that I was able to leave the soaker on a very slow trickle. Plus I think it is probably a better use of water, wasting less due to evaporation and overspraying. Whenever Oliver sees the hose, he thinks it means play time. I'm sure we waste tons of water just playing. Never during a drought, thought- we are very responsible that way.
We finally had a long day of drizzle and rain showers yesterday, but for about 3 weeks before that it has been pretty dry. Aside from the occasional violent storm, of course, but they are not good for watering.
So, here is my advice. If you have a garden, lay a soaker hose. You won't regret it. But try to do it when you are planting, or just after. We found it a bit more challenging to lay the second two sections because the garden had really taken off by then. It is much easier to weave the hose around small plants.
Now, maybe next year we will finally get a rain barrel, then I can hook the soaker hose up to the rain barrel and all my watering will be taken care of by mother nature, as it is supposed to be. Rainwater is better for plants anyway, they don't care for all the chlorine and other things used to treat our water.