Re-purposing an Old Garden Hose
My old garden hose died.….
…and I hate throwing away big jumbled things like 100 feet of cracked, kinked useless old garden hose. I imagine how junk like that would end up…. wrapped around something that doesn’t want to be wrapped up…. clogging something that doesn’t need to be clogged…. and lasting forever. What could the earth possibly do with such an ecco-thug. I can’t seem to put it in the garbage, so the thing has been sitting like a dead snake in a heap behind the shed.
I checked out Pinterest to see what ideas there might be for re-purposing and old garden hose. They had bucket handles, tool hangers, re-done (uncomfortable looking) lawn chair seats, garden “rugs”, earwig traps…..hmmmm. No.
But then I saw the planters. THAT is something I could use! The spot I chose for my dear rhubarb plant was not ideal. Consequently the poor thing has become a miserable looking member of my garden family. So I decided… The hose shall be a planter for my rhubarb!
I’m going to share with you my experience making this planter (which I made a bottomless planter), and hopefully inspire you to try this when you have a snake-beast hose to deal with. I learned as I went, and you might figure out some better techniques that would be helpful. I would love to hear in the comments about your ideas, successes or frustrations if you give it a try! This may not be beautiful a or especially artistic project, but it uses honest and real ingredients and is a true recycling project.
What you need
Hose – Back to Pinterest. If you decide to look at the DIY posts about garden hose planters and baskets, you might notice that they are, well….perfect looking. Mine is not. Now I realize that this could be a learning curve, because I am pretty sure that if I made another planter it would be better than this one. But it is my suspicion that many of the hoses used to make these perfect planters may not be old, cracked, bendy hoses. I think some of them might be brand new. Which seems ridiculous to me. But that’s me. So ingredient #1: old garden hose.
Ties – So many of the how-to posts show the hose being held together with zip ties. A great idea and probably sturdy and not too expensive. But by the time I got this far with it I had decided I didn’t want to buy anything new. This is where being a re-purposing kind of person came in handy. I save all kinds of cord. Nylon cord from some old roll up sun shades, old burned out holiday lights cut into pieces, and this other cord…… My husband and I tried real hard to remember where these long pieces of coated wire came from, but we can’t. If you have any ideas what it might be let me know…..it’s driving us crazy. Anyway this cord is perfect…..and free…..and I’m using something that was probably headed for the trash before I snagged it.
Liner – You might want to line the planter with some weed barrier. I happened to have a piece that was almost the perfect size. The rest I lined with scraps of thin cardboard which will keep the soil from washing out before it settles. But my plan was to use cardboard for the whole thing.
If you are using zip ties
Here is a great tutorial if you want to use zip ties. It takes a lot of ties, and unless you have them already it’s one more thing to buy….plus I think they used a new hose….but it has great instructions. It also tells how to make a planter with a bottom, which I did not do.
Get the hose ready
The first thing you want to do is lay your hose out and untwist it. My hose was way more twisted than I thought. I found this out the hard way and spent a lot of time untwisting as I went, which was so much more frustrating. Don’t do that.
I cut the metal ends off the hose because I thought they were a pain, but many of the others I saw on Pinterest left them on. Then coil it up a bit to get an idea if your hose is long enough for the desired planter size.
Put it together
The technique used is basically basket making. Coil and tie. I started out with only 5 ties and realized I needed more in between. If you have long pieces of cord just tie each coil above the last one as you coil it around. If you are using small pieces or zip ties, just tie as you go wherever you want another tie. You can add ties afterwards if you think it isn’t tight enough, but it is easier to do it as you go around.
I made my planter without a bottom. It is sitting right on dirt so a bottom wasn’t necessary, but if you want it to have a bottom you will have to start it in the center and coil out, then straight up just like a basket. Here is that link again with the zip ties and the planter with a bottom.
This basket making might take a bit of practice, but tight and straight is the key here. I actually undid a couple of cords to tighten things up and I’m glad I did.
When you get it all tied together, if you have used the long cord version like I did, then just knot them and cut them. I added a big drop of Gorilla Glue to the each knot just so I’d feel better about it.
Now you can place your planter where you want it and add the liner you have decided to use.
I closed up the ends of the hose with duct tape after reading about the recycled hose use of “earwig trap”. Not wanting a permanent earwig hotel. And I didn’t really care if it looked kind of tacky…. Because….well… hose planter.
Add dirt and plants!
Your favorite potting soil and some seeds or plants are all you need next. And hey, check out my post “A Bunch of Reasons to Grow Lettuce in a Pot“! You might want to grow your own salad!
I don’t think this planter is winning awards for beauty, but I sure do love it! And I used up some junk and made a member of my garden family so happy! I threw in some pumpkin seeds along with the rhubarb and I think there were some tomato seeds in my compost that I added. A much improved situation!