Hose Guide Planters

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These hose guides solve two problems at once: they add some greenery at the edge of a planting bed, and keep said plants from being run over by the hose. You can install them singly or in clusters.

Supplies:

Here’s what you need to make one hose guide (I make two at a time so that's what you will see in the pictures).

Materials:

(1) 12” long piece of 3” ABS, cut in half lengthwise (I used a table saw but you could use a hacksaw)

(1) 14” long 1-1/4” diameter dowel

(1) 14” length of pipe insulation to fit 1” copper pipe

(2) Hose clamps to fit around the ABS

PAM cooking spray (or other mold release)

Sakrete/Cheng Shapecrete (you can use other concrete mix but this is streets ahead of anything else, in my experience).

Melamine scrap (I used an Ikea Billy shelf), but anything faced with melamine and about 12” square or so will work.

Large plastic bag or dry cleaning film

Potting soil or dirt

Small plant

Tools:

Glue gun and glue sticks

Rags

Sharpie

Flat screwdriver

Bucket for mixing concrete

Paint stirrer for mixing concrete

Dust mask

Finish sander (or jigsaw or sawzall without a blade)

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Assemble the Components

1. Install a hose clamp at each end of the reassembled ABS.

2. Wrap the dowel with the insulation.

Step 2: Mark the Melamine

1. Stand the ABS up on the melamine and trace around the bottom with the sharpie onto the melamine.

2. Put the ABS aside and center the insulation-wrapped dowel in the circle you just drew. Trace the circumference of the insulation with the sharpie onto the melamine. You should have two fairly concentric circles.

Step 3: Glue the Forms

1. Heat the glue gun and glue the insulation/dowel unit to the melamine in the center of the inner circle. Use lots of glue so that you have some time to wiggle it around and get it as perpendicular to the melamine as possible.

2. Spray the insulation with PAM completely. When the glue has set, use a rag to wipe the excess PAM off the melamine.

3. Spray the inside of the ABS with PAM and use your hand to make sure the entire interior is coated. Wipe off the end of the ABS that you are going to glue to the melamine.

4. Center the ABS in the outer circle on the melamine, making sure the insulation/dowel is centered. Use the glue gun to glue the ABS in place. It’s more important that the ABS is relatively centered on the dowel than in the circle.

Step 4: Mix the Concrete and Fill the Form

Put on the dust mask and mix the concrete according to the package directions. You can find out more about consistency here (http://www.shapecrete.com/videos/how-to-make-a-clay-like-mix). I use about 4 cups of mix for each planter. Sometimes there’s some left over, and sometimes I have to mix a bit more. The paint stirrer works well to pack the concrete into the form.

Step 5: Remove Air Bubbles

1. Once the form is full, turn on the sander (without a sanding pad) and hold it against the form. Air bubbles will rise to the surface and pop. The level of concrete may drop quite a bit – keep adding concrete and vibrating the form with the sander until the top of the concrete remains constant and bubbles stop appearing. Use your finger or the paint stirrer to smooth the top edge of the concrete.

2. Cover loosely with plastic and let the concrete cure for 72 hours.

Step 6: Remove the Forms

1. Remove the plastic and push the ABS to one side. Quite often, the dowel and insulation will remain glued to the melamine, and the concrete and ABS will start to slide off. In this case, you can just pull the dowel and insulation out of the concrete. If the dowel and insulation stay inside the concrete, not to worry. Use a hammer to tap the dowel down until you can grab it and pull it out. Use your fingers to collapse the insulation into the void (the paint stirrer is useful here too) and un-stick it from the concrete. When it’s loose, pull it out.

2. Unscrew the hose clamps and remove them. Pull the ABS pieces off (you may need to pry them apart at the seam). Voila!

Step 7: Plant It!

To install the hose guide, dig a hole about 6” deep. Place the guide in the hole and backfill around it, pressing firmly to make sure the hose guide is stable. Fill the hose guide about 2/3 full of potting soil or dirt, and plant the plant (I used creeping wire vine and campanula). Water it in, and there you have it.

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