Have your watering hoses seen better days? Are they brittle, cracked or otherwise unusable? Consider turning them into homemade soaker hoses. Soaker hoses provide water where the plants need it…at the root zone. Gone are the days of overhead watering with the sprinkler that shoots 20′ in the air. With a small drill bit or even a nail, you can turn those “worthless” piles of plastic into something that actually works for you. Poke a hole (the smaller the better) every few inches or so and repair the major leaks with hose menders. You can even customize your homemade soaker hose so that it only waters where you need it to. If part of your hose is emitting a particularly large geyser, bury it with mulch. Of course, mulching the whole hose would be better anyway since it will help to keep the water where it’s needed. Turn your faucet on a little at the time to adjust the watering rate. If you really want to automate your watering to the point where you barely even have to think about it, consider purchasing this timer. I have used them for over a year in a commercial setting that didn’t already have an irrigation system. The timer hasn’t given us a minute’s trouble and it works like a charm.
What other ideas do you have for reusing or re-purposing items that are lying around besides homemade soaker hoses? Share your ideas with other Mid-Atlantic Gardening readers by leaving me a comment below or shooting me an e-mail. If you enjoy being part of the Mid-Atlantic Gardening community, join our e-mail list (upper right hand corner of this page), become a fan on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Happy gardening!