11 alternative uses for a garden hose

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Garden hoseThere comes a day when a garden hose has been mended so often it is ready to retire. But rather than chuck it into the trash, why not put it to other uses? Here are 11 suggestions for using that tubing in creative ways.

1. Make a snake decoy to discourage birds from congregating where you don't want them.

2. Catch earwigs that are living in the moist corners of your house. Cut several, foot-long lengths of dry hose and leave them in earwig areas; they'll find these a perfect resting place and be waiting inside the hose for you the next morning.

3. Clean out that downspout. A stiff hose can act like a plumber's snake in your downspouts, knocking apart any clogs that might have accumulated as nearby trees shed leaves or seeds.

4. Ever pinch your finger on the chain of a swing set? Then you'll appreciate this use of a hose; thread the chain through a length of hose to alleviate that chain-against-skin action.

5. Make a water level. If you've ever put up a long fence, you know how hard it is to establish even height across long distances. In a length of hose filled with water, the water at either end will always rise to the same level, regardless of how far apart the two ends are.

6. Protect your saw blades. Take a length of hose, slit along its length, and press the blade into that slit. You'll reduce the chance of injury and protect the blade from being nicked or chipped.

7. Make a paint-can grip. The typical narrow metal handle on a paint can doesn't provide a very comfortable or secure grip on the can, and the consequences of a dropped container can be dire. Slip a length of hose over that handle and your hands will thank you for it.

8. Coddle your young trees. You want your trees to grow straight, so you stake the trunk with wire or rope. Those nooses can be abrasive to the tree, however. A hunk of hose between the tree and the staked rope will increase the odds of horticultural success.

9. Sand those contours. For hobbyists and home remodelers, sanding concave curves can be a problem. Make a sanding block by slitting a piece of hose and wrapping it with sandpaper. You'll have a cylindrical, flexible sanding implement that can get right down into those curves.

10. Make a wreath. A hose will take a wreath shape nicely, and holly and other decorations can be held in place by pinning, gluing, stapling or tying them to the hose.

11. Telephone. These days, you can hardly find a couple of cans to make a can-and-string telephone, so why not save some hose for your junior scientists to make a handy communications device?

What other uses do you have for a garden hose?
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