Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reuse, reuse, the best recycling

I was in my community garden plot today installing row cover (great explanation of what row cover is and why to use it here) and ran out of ground staples. These are 4" staples used to secure the cloth down. It takes a surprising number of staples to keep the cloth from blowing away. 

So as I rounded one side and discovered just one more staple left, I had to come up with a creative solution.

Row cover keeps in moisture and heat, just what seeds and plants need in the spring.
Last year, we marked garden plots with "utility flags," those orange or yellow plastic flags on a thin but stiff wire. This spring, I noticed that the flags had all but disintegrated but the wires were still in the ground, and were difficult to discern from the ground - it's brown on brown - and probably a eye-poking hazard.

I found one, bent it in half and stuck it through the ground cloth and down into the hay. It was perfect, in fact, more perfect than the staples because these had 6" "legs" which easily reached the ground through thick hay mulch.

Pushed down even further, the flag wires made great staples to hold down the ground cloth.

I took a few minutes to walk through the garden pulling up a dozen flag wires, and easily finished staking down the ground cloth, quite pleased with this reuse of something otherwise left to rust away.