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Southeast Gardening: Hose Woes

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Pulling a hose through the garden can damage plants. You can make inexpensive hose guards to prevent harm.

 Finally, plants are safe from the dragging hose.

’Tis the season for dragging the hose. After almost a week of temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I am basking in mere 90s and taking stock of the damage. Oddly the worst of it comes from the hose itself rather than the lack of water.

As I pulled my hose from one thirsty area of my garden to the other, bad things happened. If I was not paying careful attention, the hose raked across tender plants. In many cases I have hose guards in place to prevent this, but the ones I bought a few years ago are too short. Often the hose would just skip over them.

When I was visiting my gardening friend Elissa Steeves in Blacksburg, Virginia, this spring, I found the answer. Her clever, homemade hose guards are tall, sturdy and ornamental. Here’s my version of her wonderful idea. To pay for it I used the $100 that Lowe’s gave us regional garden experts with the challenge to make or do something for our gardens for that amount or less.

Like many of my projects this one begins with rebar. I hammered an 18-in piece of ½-in rebar into the soil as much as 6 to 10 inches deep so it was securely anchored. (Note: Watch for irrigation lines frequently buried along a path.)

Cut ¾-in copper pipe into 15-in sections. These become sleeves that slip over the rebar. The sleeves should be loose so they can spin as the hose pulls past them.

Glass doorknobs are sold in pairs with a single spindle that joins them through the door. I only need one doorknob per hose guard. I anchored the spindle in one of the knobs using a Phillips screwdriver to loosen and then tighten the setscrew. The spindle slips inside the copper pipe, but the knob doesn’t sit securely in it.

Duct tape came to my rescue. I cut 10- to 12-in strips and clipped the cut ends, partitioning the strips into thirds. I tore three strips, which I wrapped around the spindle below the knob.

I continued wrapping until the duct tape had enough dimension to fit snuggly into the top of the copper pipe.

Because I only had one spindle and two knobs, I fashioned a second makeshift spindle from a ¼-in square dowel. With hand clippers I snipped the dowel into 3-in sections. I wrapped them with duct tape, as before.

Materials and Cost for Four Hose Guards

  • Four pieces of rebar (1/2x18 in): $6.32
  • One 36-in-long ¼-in square dowel: $0.74
  • One 3/4x5-in copper pipe (makes four 16-in sections): $15.31
  • Two sets of glass doorknobs: $13.36
  • Duct tape: $6.98

Total without tax: $42.71

See more Southeast Gardening Articles.