DIY Irrigation for My Gardens – Leaky Hose Upcycling!

3 Materials
2 Hours

DIY “Irrigation” made from old leaky hoses for my vegetable garden and perennial flower bed. As anyone who has ever watered anything outside knows it can be a real (and literal) drag moving hoses around. I had a little sprinkler thing for my vegetable garden but its arc was WAY too big for it and now that I built my raised beds it was basically worthless and (even before I built them) it mostly just watered the lawn. My L-shaped flower bed by my house was probably my biggest drag though when it came to all in pain in the butt to water.

(NOTE: We had such a dark, sad, wet and cold spring, sorry my flower beds look so dreary in most of these pictures!)At first I was going to put in pex or pvc pipe. Its cheap, easy to work with and I already had any glue, tools or fittings I needed but the more I thought about it the more I thought, “Why don’t I just buy cheap hoses and cut holes in them?”Fortunately I remembered I had some old hoses that were here when I started the renovation. Unfortunately I only had two and I needed three female ends so I did end up buying one small one. (It was on sale for $7 so I was cool with that.)I started by tackling my big L shaped flower bed I have around the north and west sides of my house.My only outdoor spigot at my house is up on my deck and I had already drilled a hole so I could have a hose go straight down from the spigot, under my deck to over and up to my flower bed.

(Having only one outdoor spigot has driven my crazy for YEARS.  I’ll be adding another one to the front of my house this summer!)I purchased a double hose fitting so I could have two hoses at that spigot. One hose stays up on my deck so I have it to water my deck plants and fill my bird bath. The other now goes under the deck to my new “irrigation” – hardly visible and totally out of the way.(Another great plus to doing this is at the end of my flower bed is my hydrangea bush which I moved early this spring so now it will actually get watered and not be totally neglected like normal.)

One of my old hoses was actually longer then I needed but instead of cutting it off I just looped it around and throughout my flower bed. I then secured it with garden staples and grabbed my utility knife.Be careful with your utility knife! At first I made larger holes then I realized and ended up with a geyser! It is much better in this case to do one little hole every few inches as opposed to big holes every foot. (NOTE: I did turn up the pressure here so you can actually see the water in the photos. Usually I have it so low that you can barely see the water at all.)

This is going to make my life WAY easier!Before I had to drag hoses up on to my deck, around, get them caught on every piece of furniture along the way OR I would leave my hose out on my deck to trip over constantly. In other words I neglected watering my flower bed because it really was a pain in the butt.Now all I have to do is turn the water on!

I purchased a double hose fitting for my vegetable garden as well so I could use two hoses for the irrigation and have them hook up for it in the back corner like I wanted.

After laying the hoses down I secured them with gardening staples and then carefully put in lots of little holes along each hose with a utility knife just like I did with my flower bed.

There were two ways I could do this. I could keep the hose in the barn hooked up to my hydrant out there or I could keep the hose at the garden and keep it hooked up to my “irrigation” I decided on the second option. I went looking for something to wrap my hose around and, lo and behold, a leftover shelf bracket I had worked just fine!My flower bed is as simple to water now as just turning my water on at my deck spigot and remembering to turn it off at some point! My vegetable garden requires a tad more work on my part. I have to walk all the way up to the barn, run my hose to my spigot and THEN turn the water on lol oh and ALSO remember to turn it off at some point too!

(To be fair I generally just leave the hose on the ground as the only time it needs to move is when my lawn gets mowed.)I certainly didn’t need to spend as much money here as I did. I definitely have a friend or family member that has a leaky hose they would have given me instead of buying new. I also bought a couple of hose ends instead of kinking the hoses off like I could have.Not sure how I could have gone without the double hose fitting on my deck but I didn’t NEED to purchase the one for my vegetable garden…

So… my total came to about $35 but it could have been nearly free if I hadn’t been quite so stubborn on getting it “exactly” how I wanted it. No regrets, I’m glad I splurged a little!Seriously, I am thrilled with this and how well it worked and how easy and quick and cheap it was to do!

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • R R on May 19, 2021

    Why not attach a timer at the spigot so it will turn and off without your effort?

  • Karen Dunnam Karen Dunnam on May 21, 2021

    Pro tip: I have soaker hoses, and I'd forget to turn them off. A couple of times they've been on all day and night.

    I picked up a distinctive drawer knob from the shelving department at Menards; it's shaped like an old-timey faucet handle. For this season I'll attach it to a coil bracelt, and store on the reaf faucet. When I turn it on, I'll put the bracelet on my wrist.

  • Julie Julie on May 21, 2021

    Excellent idea! I’m doing this tomorrow!

    One question though - have you ever found that the hydrangea at the “end of the line” suffered at all because the water trickled out before it got there? (There’s probably a Physics lesson there in water pressure and equilibrium etc but Physics was never my strong suit! Ha!)

    Thanks for the genius idea!


Join the conversation

4 of 62 comments
  • Carole White Carole White on May 22, 2021

    I feel your pain! The air around me turns blue when I try to drag my hoses up and down and around; they're always smacking my legs too, and getting me filthy!! LOL I'm sure it's a funny sight for anyone unfortunate enough to be watching! I'm definitely gonna try this; I don't have any crappy hoses but can buy some cheap ones. Brilliant idea, thanks for sharing!

    • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on May 24, 2021

      Thanks Carole and that's exactly what I was trying to avoid - dragging hoses around is SO bizarrely annoying!!

  • Floweringroseofsharon Floweringroseofsharon on May 22, 2021

    I built a large bed around the trees in front yard. I used soaker hoses they are great. And it doesn't matter how much you turn the faucet . I usually turn the faucet all the way on so it will go to the farend of soaker hoses. I like the idea of two sided faucet and the idea of a timer to turn on and off..