Monday, January 30, 2012

What to do with old cotton or wool rugs? Recycle it in your garden!

I love old wool and cotton rugs.
  you know the ones... beautifully patterned and threadbare? No way any thrift store will take them and no way to display them in your home anymore...they are just too far gone.
And too heavy to pay to take to the landfill, let alone add another 'thing' in the deep caverns of our precious mother that could be useful...but how?

Well, one way is to use them for mulch. Yep, that's right, mulch.
Stay with me here...

Need a pathway, but don't want to dig up the sod, or pay for gravel/sand?
Ok, cut up the rug, literally.
 I have to be clear here, it MUST be natural fibers.
Wool or cotton only.
  I also must add...old wool or cotton clothing can work just the same, be sure to overlap. Think about it....covering the ground with your fasvorite old sweater, the one that needs to be buried!!!! Give it a nice place to carry on in another useful way.
   I have quite a few work sweaters that I really need to repurpose, maybe you've seen me wear them, and were too polite to tell me. Thank you for giving me the time to work it out.  Winks.

Yes, cut it up, lay it out in the pathway formation you like. Over time (a long time-years) the rug will break down and add back to the soil...and will not add to landfills.
Here we go back to arborist wood chips...if you have any, or can get some, lay 4-6 inches over the path/rug and it will stay weed free for years!
This is no different than burlap coffee bags. 

I know, it sounds crazy, but I've done it so many times and it's amazing, listen, I have lots and lots of land to cover, so I need to reach outside the box and I am always trying to use what I have, rather than buy more!
I've also used old canvas tarps. They work great. The only thing that has ever been able to push up through after a few years, were the woodland hyacinth...oh my goodness, don't get me started on those!!!! Wretched little beasts!

Now, we are not talking about using this in Edible gardens, however, this could be used in any area that you want to eliminate lawn, the downside is that the rugs are too thick to dig a shovel in to plant anything, unless of course you pile soil over it and are creating a 'berm' effect, of at least 12 inches deep or more.   Keep this in mind as you decide where to try this.

Don't be afraid to experiment.   Maybe I'm not the first one to have ever tried this, but I've never heard or read about this anywhere else...I learned by trying, and have used this technique for nearly 15 years, never to be disappionted.

See ya in the garden!