A simple garden hose guide and plant protector

One of my greatest passions, and best forms of therapy, outside of work is my garden. Although the entire garden is most often watered by a timer- operated irrigation and drip system, occasionally there is a need to do extra watering using the garden hose. I always hate to be dragging the hose across the driveway, sidewalk or patio and have it attempt to decapitate plants in the garden.

I've looked at various hose guides at garden stores and I'm just too cheap to pay what is asked. I'd heard of people making the guides using lengths of pipe with ornamental lamp finials on top. Again, most lamp finials I like are too expensive for me to use in such a manner. A few weeks ago at Lowe's I found some aged bronze swirl drawer pulls on sale for $1.28 a piece - and I'd discovered my hose guide ornaments. So, with a 37-cent copper cap, a $1.42 piece of rebar, and about $1.00 worth of copper pipe, I had my hose guide materials for just over $4.00.

The materials needed for one hose guard (shown above) are:

• 1 piece of 1/2 inch copper pipe cut to 10 inches in length

• 1 copper cap for 1/2 inch pipe

• 1 piece of 3/8 inch rebar cut to 24 inches in length

• 1 ornamental brass or bronze drawer pull

• 1 metal screw (comes with drawer pull)

The tools needed include:

• a tape measure

• a handheld pipe cutter (available at the hardware store)

• a hacksaw (to cut the rebar and screw)

• an electric drill

• the necessary solder and soldering equipment

• steel wool, sandpaper or a tool made for roughing up the pipe surfaces to be joined

• a container of flux and the necessary brush for "painting" it on the copper tubing

• a pair of gloves with a non-skid palm surface for assistance in holding the pipe while it is being cut

The project process was actually fairly simple. The most effort was required in cutting the rebar and copper pipe to the proper lengths. It was also necessary to cut the screw that came with the drawer pull to about half of its length.

I used an electric drill to create a hole in the copper cap to screw on the drawer pull. Once the drawer pull was tightly screwed onto the cap, Ed soldered the screw in place within the cap to prevent movement (you could super glue the screw in place if desired). He then soldered the copper cap to the 10-inch length of copper pipe (again, you could super glue it on for ease).

I then stuck the piece of rebar into the ground, at the corner of the flower bed, until 10 inches of the rebar was left above the surface. The copper pipe fit over the rebar and my "designer" hose guide was in place. In a little less than an hour I had three custom hose guides completed and installed in my garden.

Note: You might also want to check out my copper garden trellis project.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

3 comments:

Jim Butt said...

Just as a bit of a help. Check that the rebar dimension is 3/8ths or that it fits easily inside the copper tubing. You may need to buy 5/8ths tubing for the rebar. Rebar often comes as 1/2 inch O.D. which is a very tight fit on 1/2 inch I.D. copper tubing and would prevent the tubing from spinning on the rebar (if that were desired).

Jeff Fisher LogoMotives said...

Thanks for the tip, Jim. However, the slight spin of the copper on the rebar is actually a benefit when pulling the hose around the garden.

Linda said...

I found this looking for easy to make hose guides. This looks good! The only problem I see with it is that the hose could slip over the top. If there was something larger on the top the whole thing could be shorter... overall I think this is the best idea I have found. I am going to give it a try using different materials.

Thanks!