I use soaker hoses almost exclusively here in my garden. They insure that the water gets where it is needed without watering path and other area and simply causing grass and weeds to grow. In our dry, Southern California climate it is hardy weed indeed that can grow without any source of additional water.

Soaker hose timer and manifold

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All of my soaker hoses use these these mechanical, clockwork timers. Since soakers must run much longer than a normal hose, it can be easy to forget that they are running. With a quick twist of the wrist, these timers from for 2 hours. They are “set it and forget it.” Perfect here in my garden of benign neglect (LAUGH). On this particular hose pipe I have a 4 way distribution manifold, I can only run one soaker line at a time due to water pressure concerns, so the small black values on the manifold allow me to turn each section off and on as needed. I find this much easier than connecting and disconnecting hoses each time.

I have used a couple of manufacturers for these timers and both worked well. You do need to make sure that you don’t have any leaks at the hose pipe end or the manifold connections so you don’t waste water when the timers are turned off, but that only seems to require replacing a washer every so often or perhaps a piece of the hose stubs I use to run to each bed. They stand up well to UV light, too, which is always a concern for anything made of plastic in the outdoors.