Friday, April 10, 2015

Garden Hose Door Mat

At a recent composting class I received a great tip on "chopping" garden greens for my compost bin.  To quickly and easily chop your garden greens, and therefore speed up the composting process, simply pile your greens on the soil and stab at them with a shovel or pitchfork.  Every spot that gets torn or pierced by the garden tools will allow bacteria and other decomposing organisms to get to work breaking down your garden waste.  Wow!   What a great idea.  Why didn't I think of that myself.  I couldn't wait for the weekend and a chance to try this tip out for myself. 
With my Cana Lily leaves piled two feet high I start stabbing my way through the pile.  I couldn't believe how easy (and fun) this was.  After dozens of hacks at the stack, I move the shredded leaves to my compost bin, only to reach the bottom of the pile and the sorry sight of my garden hose that had been laying underneath the leaves.  Oops.  There's a mistake I won't make again.  Now I need an upcycle for my ruined hose.  The obvious (and easiest) would be a soaker hose, but I don't need one. I loved the idea of a door mat.  Our furry friend Maryah chewed ours up and I was looking for a recycled replacement.  Wouldn't a garden hose door mat be an indestructible rug for her to deal with?
My 1st attempts were complete failures.  I tried keeping my rug together with fishing line, and then a staple gun, but neither one worked.  Then I saw an AWESOME rug on  This blogger made a great rug out of a garden hose and black zip ties.  Check out her site for this and other great sustainable ideas.  I don't want to use the few zip ties I have (it's not frugal if I'm not recycling something) but this post gives me the idea of using twist ties that I've been saving.  I finally have the missing link to making my garden hose door mat.  

I gathered up all of the twist ties that I could find.  It takes a lot of ties even for a small rug.  Longer ties work best for this project.

Start with about a one foot section of hose, bending and wrapping the hose around itself.  Use a twist tie to hold each side of the hose to the piece next to it.  I used one tie on each end, but bigger rugs would need more ties. 

                    My hose wasn't long enough so I had to use more than one piece. 

When the mat reached the size I wanted (actually, I ran out of ties) I finished it off with one last tie at the end. 
While my door mat isn't anywhere near as artistic as rug I found online, my first attempt was a success.  Here's to reducing/recycling and reusing!
Be well and happy gardening.

Follow up 04/27/15:

After finding a few more twist ties, and breaking down and using 5 zip ties, I finally used up the last piece of the garden hose.  The zip ties are stronger than the twist ties and a good choice to finish the rug securely.  Actually, they are a better choice overall than the twist ties, but I wanted to keep things frugal. I love my door mat.  It's durable, waterproof and almost 100% upcycled.