Have you ever heard of a soaker hose? There is nothing really fancy about it - it is just a garden hose full of holes. It is also one of the simplest ways you can water your garden, as well as one of the best. Here are 3 reasons why:

Soaker hoses save water. Yes, that is right: It is a leaky garden hose that actually saves water. The explanation to this has something to do with evaporation. Normally, when you water your garden with a sprinkler or a spray nozzle, you are distributing the water from a distance away from the plant. This way there is a loss of water due to evaporation to the surrounding air. Most of the time, the water will fall anywhere but on the plant that needs it. It will fall on bare ground quite often. This water is also wasted to some degree, as much of it will also evaporate before it can reach the roots in the ground. Lastly, any water that lands on the leaves of the plant may or may not make it to the roots where it is really needed. A lot will evaporate before it gets that far. All in all, you waste a lot of water with a sprinkler or a spray nozzle.

Automation. Using a garden soaker hose only requires you to place the hose where you want it, turn on the water and leave it running for a bit. Meanwhile you can go and do something else. Use the hose with a water timer, and you can pretty much set it and forget it. You can have soaker hoses laid out to each and every medium to large plant - or in dense flower beds - and never have to move any of them again. Just turn on the water for a little while, and you are done.

Stronger plants . One of the neat things you can do with a soaker hose, is to make sure it runs closely past the roots of the plants. When you turn on the water, leave it on long enough that the soil around the plants roots are well soaked. You want the water to go deep into the soil - not just the upper two inches. By going deep, you encourage the plant to grow deep roots to get to the water. This is good for dry seasons, as the plant will then not be reliant on a weak root-net which can only reach moisture near the surface. Water it deep and not too often, and you will get a stronger plant. Don't drip-feed it constantly, as that will let the plant get away with having only a weak, shallow root-net.