As summer winds down, I count my lucky stars for many reasons. Among these is that I work at home and no longer have to wear pantyhose on a regular basis.
That means I have plenty of discarded pairs of hosiery (and who doesn’t, because they run if you look at them cross-eyed). I didn’t think of this brilliant idea, but I’m so glad that someone did. Pantyhose is a lot more flexible on a tomato plant than it is on my thighs. And I don’t think that’s from eating too many fresh tomatoes. Maybe from too many BLTs, but back to gardening.
We’ve used hose this year to support some tomato branches and to help train melon plants up the fence. I’m saving the toes from the hose we cut up, because I have seen people use them as halters or hammocks for melons to help support them on a trellis or fence. You can just slip the fruit into the hose and then tie the open end to your support structure; the hose flexes while the melon finishes growing. And heck, you don’t eat the rind anyway, so who cares that it was in the old, run foot section of my work hose?
Speaking of hose, we hang on to some old sections of soaker or garden hoses for a few purposes. One is to help support trees. I am not in favor of tying trees, but if a young or damaged tree needs support for a year or so, we would rather have the rubber hose against a branch or trunk than a piece of rough rope. The hose also flexes some with the wind and has a smoother surface.
Here are a few other household or repurposed items you can use in your garden:
- Old PVC or other pipe. Along with hose, you might be able to use it to build small hoops for covering plants.
- Clamps and clips. They help secure cloth to fencing or pipe. We got a bag of assorted plastic ones (no rusting) at a discount store.
- Cable ties and barbed wire. I like clamps better, because a garden grows and I want items to be flexible. But sometimes a plastic cable tie or a piece of barbed wire hold things in place more securely.
- Discarded fencing. I’ve made temporary trellises or cages out of fencing we’ve removed from small trees, just to give a cucumber some extra support or a place to climb.
- Lawn chairs. Seriously, Tim has used folding, webbed lawn chairs plenty of times to set gently over a new plant for temporary shade, while maintaining warmth and air circulation. Just be sure the wind is calm on the day you do it. And if you get tired and hot, you have a place to sit!
- Old 5-gallon plastic buckets. Sure, it’s good to have pretty garden tools and bags, but you can’t beat 5-gallon buckets for discarding weeds, carrying items for projects and cutting out the bottom to keep seedlings warm as you start your garden.
- Rocks. You just can’t have enough rocks handy to hold down covers, balance items, even bury as a stepping stone. Lucky for us.